This week we spoke with Shapes and Colors, an alternative pop band. The band consists of 5 members, Travis (vocals and guitar),Bob (harmonies and base), Mike (Guitar and Vocals) Scott(drums) and Kyle (Guitar). We talked with the band about their biggest inspirations, new music and their creative process when it comes to song writing.
Read our Q&A below.
BTS – How would you describe your music?
S&C-“Alternative rock, alternative pop rock. Our back catalog consists of more theatrical alternative rock. Our more recent music is much more pop rock or dance pop rock for sure.”
BTS – How did you meet, and how long have you known each other/ been a band?
S&C Travis- “The previous incarnation of this band known as Aria Aesthetic, was formed in 2008, and we were that band until 2011, at that time, Myself, Mike and Bob, were in that band and we changed our name to Shapes and Colors in that year, in late 2011. Over the course of the next 4 years, we wrangled up, Mr. Kyle Labuta and Mr. Scott Solomon, until the line up you see here today. Kyle was in a band called Fighting Lights, that we had played shows with on numerous occasions and we had known Scott through a band called Yours Truly and other various bands as well.”
BTS – Did it take long for you guys to decide as a whole what you wanted your music to sound like?
S&C Travis- “Yes.”
S&C Bob- “Yes it did.”
S&C Travis- “Yes, because with this previous incarnation of this band we started off very progressive alternative, post hardcore, kind of in the vain of numerous bands, and over time as our individual music tastes changed, subsequently so did our overall sound as a band changed. We were really influenced by bands like, The 1975 and Bad Suns and more groove oriented music. We all have very eclectic music tastes collectively in this band and I like to think that, that kind of shows in our song catalog. It’s always a work In progress.”
BTS – Are you still trying to figure out your sound?
S&C Travis – “I feel like we have a much better grasp on it. We have been writing a brand new collection of songs, we don’t know if it is going to be an EP or a full length hopefully a full length, but they are a lot more of the same vain as one another, then as our past material which was significantly more eclectic.”
BTS – Who came up with the band name, how and is there a story behind it?
S&C Travis- “I did! Like I said with the previous incarnation of the band, we were starting over pretty much from scratch and wanted to reinvent ourselves and reinvent our sound and have completely a new song catalog. Kind of going back to the basis of what a bands all about, being a creative collective and just writing some music and when thinking of what to name ourselves I thought well you know what are the basic building blocks of art and those are shapes and colors. After realizing there wasn’t a band already called Shapes and Colors out there, we decided to settle on that name because it’s kind of colorful and eclectic like our sound was initially and yeah that’s how it happened.”
BTS – If you weren’t in a band, what would each of you be doing?
S&C Travis- “I would be a music teacher or a music engineer.”
S&C Bob-“I would be an electrician.”
S&C Mike- “Probably laying bricks.
S&C Scott-“I would still be doing something music related. Probably working at a label or a drum tech.”
S&C Kyle- “Astronaut.”
S&C Travis- “The first album that my parents purchased for me was Nsync’s self-titled record in about 1999 and the first record that I actually purchased on my own with my own money was Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory.”
S&C Bob-“The first record I purchased was Reliant K’s Two Lefts don’t make a Right, but Three do. ”
S&C Mike- “The first album my folks bought me was a live dvd, it was ACDC live at Noughtingham and then the first record I bought with my own money was American Idiot, Green Day.”
S&C Scott -“The first record I bought by myself was Hybrid Theory and Crazy Town.”
S&C Kyle- “From Fear through the eyes of Madness”
BTS – Growing up what type of music did you enjoy?
S&C Travis- “Growing up I listened to a lot of the same music my parents did just because being driven to school and being around them all the time they kind of dictated the music I listened too. I listened to a lot of 80’s music, a lot of U2 which I fell in love with and they are still my favorite band today, a lot of Madonna a lot of Celine Dion, a lot of really great female vocalists and male vocalists for that matter but a lot of 80’s and early 90’s music.”
S&C Bob-“I was subjected to reggae, Judaist priests, ACDC, Iron Maiden and Stevie Ray Vaughan, as a kid, my parents were very big 80’s metal heads, a lot of blues influences I guess, some classical but mostly blues.”
S&C Mike-“I pretty much grew up on classic rock, my dad was always playing Peter Frampton. Zeppelin and even ACDC, The Stones, you name it and that really influenced me as a guitar player. Slash is probably one of my biggest influences so yeah mostly classic rock for my childhood. Slash and Angus Young are my biggest influences.”
S&C Scott- “It was classic rock, a lot of bands like The Who and Led Zeppelin, my dad got me into The Stones, just brainwashed me with all that stuff but yeah classic rock. I wouldn’t say brainwashing because I actually enjoyed it.”
S&C Kyle-“ I probably grew up with the Back to the Future soundtrack, a bunch of boy bands, middle school I had a classic rock phase which led into a progressive metal phase, through high school, and now I just listen to everything. Biggest influence was Phil Collins.”
S&C Travis- “I would go to Wembley in 1885 and see Queen at the peak of their popularity. Either that or I would go to the very first Woodstock.”
S&C Bob- “Mine would be Austin city limits, Stevie Ray Vaughan, nice warm summer night.”
S&C Mike- “Travis nailed it, I Would go see the Queen show.”
S&C Scott- “Mine would be any The Who shows with all the original members, I know the drummer died when he was in his thirties, so I would want to see him play live. Probably in London”
S& C Kyle- “I honestly don’t know. Probably Phil Collins the final f*cking farewell tour or whatever it was called.”
BTS – Where does your inspiration come from when it comes to writing songs? Lyrically and musically?
S&C Travis- “Being the lyricist, a lot of my lyrics come from personal experiences, and I have always thought about lyricism as always a weird psychotic therapy for myself, as far as letting out all my personal demons, and dealing with the past, present and the future for that matter. As far as musically goes, we are inspired by artists around us and this music scene, and the work and strife, that they go through on a daily basis, and that we experience, what inspires me more than anything, musically is being in a creative collective with these guys, and just pushing each other to become better every day. Try to write the next song and have a little more passion, and better than we did the previous song.”
S&C Bob, Mike, Scott, Kyle – “yeah you covered that really.”
BTS – Do you write songs as individuals or a group?
S&C Travis- “Usually as a group, sometimes it is half and half, or sometimes someone will come to the group with a semi completed idea, be it a verse or chorus, sometimes I come to the band with an entire song, and I ask them to fill in the blanks, other times we just write songs from the ground up together, it really just depends on the scenario or the song.”
BTS – Who is your dream collaboration with and why?
S&C Travis- “If I could do a duet with Freddie Mercury that would be just like the shit.”
S&C Bob- “It would have to be John Mayer, for sure if I could.”
S&C Mike- “John Mayer is pretty high up there, but um I feel like it would be cool to play guitar with SLASH, but I don’t know what song or anything, I would love to be able to just riff off of Slash that would be sweet.”
S&C Scott- “I think it would be really dope to collaborate with, Janice Joplin, her voice and what she has, and the impact she had at the time, I think was monumental.”
S&C Kyle- “I would stay Steve Vye, I would just purely be backing chords, I wouldn’t even try to do any leads, I would hide behind him.”
BTS – What is next in 2016? Any new music? Anything exciting to share?
S&C Travis- “We are releasing new music this year, we aren’t sure if it is going to be an ep or a full length, hopefully a full length, we are still figuring that out right now. Tonight our set list consists of mostly new songs that a lot of people have no heard before. We have been busy writing a bunch of new music, so for sure that, and hopefully some more touring. We have no intention of slowing down this year, this year is going to be a really crucial and pivotal year for us, creatively. We have turned over a new leaf and got really strong as a unit, with writing songs with one another, instead of individually.”
BTS – How can our readers find your music and you guys on social media?
S&C Travis- You can stream everything we have ever put out, you can also download a free version of the the cover we just did, Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself. We are also on iTunes, Spotify, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. All our links are listed on our website.
BTS – Pepsi or coke?
S&C Travis- Coke
S&C Bob- Coke
S&C Mike – Pepsi
S&C Scott- Coke
S&C Kyle- Coke
BTS – You won an award for something outside of music, what would it be?
S&C Travis- Acting or dancing
S&C Bob- Cooking
S&C Mike- Freestyle Lego building
S&C Scott- Lifting something heavy
S&C Kyle- Extensive RPG knowledge that no one needs to know
BTS – What is a song you are ashamed to have on your phone?
S&C- There is no shame in this band
S&C- We have no shame
S&C Travis- probably Selena Gomez
S&C Bob- Shania Twain
S&C Mike- Pink’s Raise your glass
S&C Scott- Tov Love talking body is my guilty pleasure
S&C Kyle- I don’t know what is embarrassing I listen to all that.
BTS – What is your favorite Shape and Color?
S&C Travis- Green and Triangle
S&C Bob –Green and Trapezoid
S&C Mike- Sky Blue, like Toy Story sky blue and any polygonal figure really.
S&C Scott- Green and circle
S&C Kyle- Red and Acute Triangle
BTS – Anything else our readers should know?
S&C- We are totally dapper and very handsome. Also we’re a bunch of nerds.
S&C Mike- We want to honestly play our songs, we want it to be something fans can really enjoy, we really like the feedback, yes we are a little bit introverted but that does not mean we don’t like hearing from people and talking to them. Especially if the songs resinate with you in a certain way, honestly thats why we do it. At the end of the day its kind of like thereapy, writing songs and playing music. If at any point other people feel the same way, we like knowing that.
S&C Travis- I like to think we write a lot of hopeful music, and hopefully that can get people through the tough times, like depression. Cause it has gotten us through a lot of those tough times. Interacting with people who have been touched by our music is probably the most gratifing thing in the world. If we can help someone get through an hour or a minute of their bad day, that’s what we do it for.
Be sure to watch for big things to come from Shapes and Colors in 2016 and stay in touch with them on their social media!