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Spain Colored Orange

Submitted by admin on February 9, 2009 – 9:56 pmNo Comment
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By Adam P. Newton Photo by Eric Hester

While it may be a familiar and clichéd whipping boy for the masses, there really is no disputing that the modern music industry sucks and sucks hard. There are all manner of stories chronicling how major record labels are willing to drop a popular band over artistic differences (Reprise v. Wilco) or mine a popular act’s back catalog once they’ve left the fold (Capitol v. Radiohead). In the case of Houston’s own Spain Colored Orange, the band recorded a full-length record a couple years back, only to see their efforts locked away by their record label because of a contract dispute. Thus, as the band continues to build a reputation as one of the hardest-working outfits in Houston, I decided to chat with Gilbert (lead vocals and keys) about that record, their personal take on the music industry, and what keeps them excited about making music.

“Yeah, it was quite the hassle. Sneaky Like A Villain is coming out - finally. We’re off of Lucid Records and signed a music licensing deal with Shout It Out Loud Music (Brooklyn, NY). The good folks at SIOLM are releasing the record. We are ready to go back into the studio to record a new(er) album. This time around, we have promised ourselves to have it released by November 2009.”

As I’ve heard of more than a few indie outfits going the route of creating a licensing agreement over signing a traditional record contract, I asked Gilbert what advice he would give to other up-and-coming groups.

“Handle your own business best you can. Record labels aren’t miracle makers. They’re good for 3 things: paying for the recording, manufacturing, and distribution. I would say - expect to get the run-around from the music industry. I’ve come to accept that it’s part of the business. I don’t like it, but I understand it (as it buys time).”

Since the creation of Sneaky Like A Villian, one would expect for this experience to have prompted growth within the band in terms of songwriting and band chemistry.

“Well, the music and songwriting has gotten a little more exciting for me lately, but what do I know? I always feel like I play with the best musicians in town. But again, what do I know?”

Moreover, the record label concerns must have taken a toll on the guys, but they remain consistently focused on making music and playing shows.

“We love doing it. Writing and performing are the two things we do best together as a band. Well, that and happy hour. There’s nothing like a good show! People say we play too much, perhaps. We spread ourselves out a little though. We’ll play a party for MFAH, The Continental Club, The Scout Bar, Discovery Green, Rudyard’s (our favorite), Boondocks, Warehouse Live, Walters, The Mink, or even a warehouse party. All of them have different crowds, so it’s totally worth it. Entertaining folks is a blast and it always involves having a good time; sometimes, too much of a good time.”

With Sneaky Like A Villain finally available to the band and its fans, we can expect from great things from the upcoming Spain Colored Orange release, not to mention some touring.

“The new record will contain sex talk, lies, god and the devil, she left me for him/she left me for her, last call, love, a smoky kiss, and perhaps a melody here and there. We do plan to go on tour this summer with The Sour Notes (from Austin).”

Finally, we talked about what makes Houston a great city in the eyes of Spain Colored Orange.

“Arthur Yoria is pretty amazing live and recorded. We always have a great time playing shows with him. I also dig Dizzy Pilot, You(Genious), Paris Falls, Motion Turns It On, and Buxton. I’m sure there’s more, but that’s all that comes to mind. Our favorite place to play in town is Rudyard’s. We just started doing shows at The Continental Club and it’s a pretty awesome place to play. Also, there’s Boondocks and The Mink that are really cool, but, once again, what do I know?”
Spain Colored Orange performs February 14th at Continental Club
www.myspace.com/spaincolouredorange

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