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OVERCOLORED (Lights And Air series)

OVERCOLORED interview marks the fourth part of my Lights And Air compilation promotion series. This cool outing presented by Post-Rock PL is the first compilation of Polish post rock / experimental bands and here’s another part of my contribution to its. Cracow’s OVERCOLORED unveils a softer and more rockish side of the compilation. The following interview tells their story and explains the band’s approach to making music.

Taste their smooth instrumental backgrounds mixed with vigorous female vocals and see what they have to offer.

Hey, guys! I must say you’re the least post rockish band featured on the Post-rock PL compilation :) Are you sure this is the right place for OVERCOLORED? What do you have in common with the post rock scene / ambient scene?

First of all, we started this project with a huge inspiration on bands such as GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT, JUNIUS or MOGWAI. On the other hand, three of us were part of a grunge rock band called “THE 30TH OF JULY’ and we have those roots of playing strong rock riffs for most of our lives. That’s why it’s hard to qualify. Although, we love mixing smooth post-rock riffs with our music. It is very close to our perception.  The “scene” – bands, fans and people involved in management are simply great and very committed to action. We’ve found a lot of friends in there and at sure wanna be part of it.

 There is also some kind of duality  – we are writing two kinds of songs: first – rock songs with vocals of Kasia Malenda and second – long instrumental compositions with a lot of post rock and progressive riffs. It gives us an opportunity to break the rules and organize different concerts without any borders on our creativity.

Tell me more about the beginnings of your work with Kasia. What’s her impact on the band? :)

We met together on the ski trip in Italy in 2010. Our concept of the band started to grow so we invited Kasia to join us. The idea was that vocal will be like another instrument, not the front of whole thing. Sometimes it works, sometimes not, because Kasia used to be in the center of every band she played with. The best thing is, that she is very creative person and is not afraid of hard work, so working on compositions is quickly and effective.

Ok, so let’s go even deeper. Tell me about your rookie days. How did you form OVERCOLORED?

We have just left our previous band and we wanted to go to the different site of music. Different, I mean, it was post rock and mathematic music on the first place for us right than. So, when some riffs and beginnings of new songs came to life, we decided to call Maczos – our old drummer from “The 30th of july”, and ask him if he want to form new band with us.

You released your debut EP “Corvus Corone Cornix” back in 2011. How do you remember those days? Are you proud of that material now?

Yes, of course we are proud with that. This is our first child and despite his lacks in sound (it was recorded in our home studio) it has sentimental impact on us. We are going further, but first steps are very important.

How has the band changed since your rookie days?

Overcolored is quite young project, so we still keep looking for our way in music by mixing, jamming and looking for new inspirations. Those three years gave us some kind of consciousness. We know much more about composing music, managing our shows. We have invented our special scene setup to bring music and visualisations to life. I think Overcolored is just growing up :)

What would you say has been the pivotal moment of the bands existence so far?

We cannot specify such a thing. But when it will occurs you’ll at sure notice it. Nowadays we are just focus on moving forward.

What kind of music are you currently listening to and how does it inspire you? How have your inspirations changed over the years?

If we want to talk about this, we have to separate each other’s inspirations.

Zylek, our guitarist, for a long time digs into math rock and roll, prog, post everything to nu jazz and hip-hop. And his big inspiration –  bands such as THE MARS VOLTA, ATDI, THE FALL OF TROY, TERA MELOS – recently ASIWYFA, OCEANSIZE, VESSELS, THE BULLETPROOF TIGER, finishing on experimental sounds of MOUSE ON MARS and AUTECHRE, and Floyds of course … Slimak, bassist, from a couple of years is the big fun of the nu jazz music and connected with that electronic music (bands such as JAGGA JAZZIST, HIDDEN ORCHESTRA, CINEMATIC ORCHESTRA, BONOBO, DJ SHADOW) and is always an advocate of breaking rhythm in compositions. Maczos, the drummer,  takes much inspiration from GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT, also, last days, he found himself in listening TIDES FROM NEBULA – with their great ambient and very wide sounds.

We don’t focus on one genre of music. Every kind of music is brilliant, provided that it has a great intrumental and rhythm section :)

What inspired you to write for your new EP called „Mandragora”?

There is no kind of inspiration in this case :P We’ve won a competition which gave us an opportunity to record 3 tracks in one of the best record studios in Poland for free. But they had their own conditions – we had to choose 3 songs of total length 3 – 4 minutes for radio edit. So we’ve chosen 3 shortest, non-instrumental songs, rearranged them and recorded. Really no inspiration :P

Where does the title of the outing come from? Obviously, I’m aware of the name, but tell me more about how you read its meaning and why did you decide to link it with your newest release? Is there a concept to it?

Of course there is a concept to it. It has begun in reading too many books of great polish fantasy writer – Andrzej Sapkowski ( for example The Witcher). The Mandragora ( eng. Mandrake) is a mystical plant. Its roots grow in human form, male and female, and shriek when torn from the ground. It is of great use in medicine, but anyone who hears the plant’s cry dies or goes mad. It was therefore a custom to tie a hungrydog to the plant by a cord and place a piece of meat beyond its reach. To get at the meat the dog tugged at the cord and dragged up the plant, while its master remained safely out of hearing. We’ve always loved this story so we’ve decided to tell this in Mandragora EP cover layout. In some kind of way it’s also connected to Mandragora single lyrics.

You’ve been readying the official video for your track Entering The Rat Race”. Tell us more about this picture.

This will be something different from almost everything that have been made in Poland. Whole movie is animated. The new 3D city has come to life to make main characters’ surroundings. Two years ago our director, Nikodem Wojciechowski, made a complete scene script and from that time, he, and our bassist Slimak, have spent hundreds of hours bringing it to life.

Oh.. and when’s the premiere? :)

It is now difficult to say. Till this time we had couple of dead ends. At sure we underprice the time needed. Everything is made by us and that make the things slower.

We hope the premiere will be before the 2013 ends.

You’ve been teasing for you debut full length, too. How’s the writing / recording going?

Right now we’re in the phase of finishing our material, writing new songs and rearranging the old ones. The conception of LP changed in past few months. Right now we are trying to make our material more compact filling it with electronics and other stuff. There will be vocals on our LP but it will be in circa 20-30% of all tracks. We’ve decided to go back to Corvus Corone Cornix conception and make our music more instrumental rather than with vocals. Recently we’ve found us just more happy playing live only instrumental :D

How do you feel about it? What would you call its strongest aspects?

Its strongest aspects??? I think richness of forms, instruments and samples, mathematical rhythms, and unpredictability? Yes, the last term is correct.

When do you think the new album will see the light of day?

Most of the songs are complete now, but we are planning to enter the studio at least in winter 2013 or spring 2014. Everything depends on one sad thing which gentlemen don’t talk about :P

What shows do you have marked in your calendar for this year? I mean both OVERCOLORED shows and the gigs you’re planning to attend as a listener.

As musicians we’re focusing on LP rather than playing gigs right now, we had in plans playing a festival in Moldavia in July but things had stucked in a dead point.

As listeners we’re looking forward to Opener and Off Festival in Poland. Lots of amazing bands such as QOTSA, NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS, MODEST MOUSE, DEERHUNTER or MY BLOODY VALENTINE are playing there. And in the nearest future we’re coming to Warsaw to see awesome australian band CLOSURE IN MOSCOW playing with THE ELIJAH and DANCE GAVIN DANCE.

Do you always use visuals for your live appearances? Doesn’t it bother you to have the bright light shining in your face? ;)

We use visualisations whenever we have an opportunity. Right now we are working for scene setup to be independent from clubs and places we play. Just like the mainstream bands, we are taking the scene with us :) Videos are strongly connected with music, they present emotions we’ve had while creating songs. Straight from our heads, You can’t separate it. When we are forced to play without visualisations, it looks like we have just lost one important member of the band. Simply, the show is an artistic creation called OVERCOLORED :)

‘Post-rock’ seems to have become a little pretentious over the past few years don’t you think? Do you try to somehow avoid the trap of generic thinking and therefore boring compositions?

I remember well one gig in Cracow, 5 or 4 years ago – TFN, GIAA and CASPIAN, everything was so fresh and tasty :D Right now it’s hard to find something new in this genre of music, bands duplicate schemes, eating their own tails. That’s my opinion. But there’s a lot of bands that are trying to break the rule and go further, for example AND SO I WATCH YOU FROM AFAR with their new LP All Hail Bright Futures, or ENEMIES with We’ve Been Talking – but for some people it’s not “typical” post rock anymore. And what are we doing to avoid the trap of boring compositions and generic thinking – we just play whatever we want even it is silly and doesn’t fit the rule, cause there are no rules :D

By the way, what does the term ‘post-rock’ mean to you?

It’s difficult to say cause it’s so wide term. For me it’s something beyond standard thinking of rock / metal music, with a lot of expression and passion in it, something that in assumption should be different. But some people are trying to put boundaries in this term, to close it, it’s ridiculous. You’re playing something that doesn’t fit the “rules”, it’s not post rock anymore, sorry – that’s why i don’t like to use this word to categorize music and the scene, because it’s just a word.

Can you talk about the direction the band is headed in now? Where are you going with this project?

The course is straight: to focus on our debut LP, to finish it and to go ahead. Maybe we will expand our trio with another guitarist who will help us in multiple parts, which are looped right now. We will see in the nearest future ;D

Any final words to our readers?

See ya on the gigs, stay tuned !

Thanks, guys!

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contact@overcolored.pl

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