We’re PZYKD to be able to bring you the premiere of this amazing new video from HEY COLOSSUS. Taken from their latest LP ‘In Black And Gold’ – the band’s ninth, and their first released on Rocket Recordings – the video was created for the album’s titular song by Rebecca Leal. We caught up with Hey Colossus’ Rhys Llewelyn to talk about the record, ahead of a UK tour and them playing PZYK 2015 in September.
+ Tell us a bit more about the LP ‘In Black And Gold’ – do you see it as the most refined piece of work the band has created yet?
Rhys Llewellyn: Refined yes, but to be honest I think it’s simply the ‘livest’ album we have recorded for some time. Almost zero editing and simply bare tunes played and recorded. It was a conscious move to create something with a little more clarity and depth this time around and something that we would look forward to playing live. What else do you wanna know? It was recorded in a day, mixed in a week, mastered on National Rail and delivered to your doorstep.
+ We hear that the record’s lyrical content has more of a spiritual edge, but do you see this stretching to the music too?
RL: The music is always spiritual. The mood in the camp is spiritual. We are all human beings after all.
+ I suppose you can see that from the video, which looks to us like constant explosion and regeneration of stars. Who made the video for ‘Black And Gold’, and did any direction come from these themes?
RL: The video was made by a lovely lady who appeared at our rehearsal studio one day and took us for a walk. She told us about her children and we exchanged childcare vouchers. We directed her in no way whatsoever, thankfully. Thanks Rebecca! (rebeccacleal.com)
+ With the band being so widespread geographically, do you feel under any pressure to be creative every time you meet up to rehearse/record/play live?
RL: Not especially pressured but I think it makes us focus a lot more. We appreciate that it’s a rare occurrence that we are all in the same room together so it’s important to get as much out of that moment as possible, whether it’s a brief conversation about Brazilian food or a deep discussion on the next Hey Colossus three-day tour around Margate, Norwich and Cambridge.
+ I imagine you need to strike a balance between working at it and enjoying it when you meet up. Is this a reason why there’s no set template for Hey Colossus to work to when it comes to making a record?
RL: There are aspects we all enjoy and there are other aspects we don’t. I think that making a record we all enjoy, as we all have the freedom to express ourselves in whatever way we choose fit. Generally there is a leader but they never dictate and often pass the baton once their role is fulfilled. The template is always there but it’s elastic and forgiving. I think the common denominator is that we all enjoy working hard at it, whatever IT may be.
+ Would it be fair to say that ‘change’ is the only constant member of Hey Colossus?
RL: No. Joe and Bob are the constant members of Hey Colossus. They are one and have been since infancy. It’s a beautiful thing to be in the same room as childhood friends who genuinely love each other but are too bashful to admit it. It gives everyone else in the room a warm belief that there is true humanity, friendship and companionship to be found in the oddest of places.
+ Which track on the record is your favourite one to play live?
+ You and Rocket Recordings seem to be a perfect fit, in the precision of your heavy sound and their style. Do you feel as though there needs to be a natural synergy between band and label for the message to come across properly?
RL: Yeah I think there has to be, otherwise neither of you is doing the music justice. The musicians have to believe in the music they make and the label has to love the music they put out, thereby creating a ‘natural synergy’.
+ The amount of craft that has gone into this record is immense. Do you think that it could only have been created by musicians at a certain stage in their careers? Can you see any ‘young’ bands stepping forward to continue bringing energy to this underground rock spirit?
RL: There are plenty of ‘young’ bands out there bringing energy in abundance. Careers are monsters and they have their ups and downs. I genuinely think that most of the records the group has released have been crafted and composed with the same degree of thought and care, but this one reaches a more varied landscape and evokes a somewhat different listen.
+ Your next album is pretty much already done as well isn’t it? Can you reveal anything about what it will deal with, or what realms it might dip its toe in to?
RL: We have started recording the next record but it’s far from finished. It’s going to be carrying on pretty much the same way ‘In Black And Gold’ left off, continuing the journey and warping reality in to a new hot mess.