We'd like to thank Sebastian, Riku, Ronne, and Elias for this insightful interview about the band's creative process. In the same way that rock legends like Queen could never be put in a box, Shadows and Colors are making songs that merge different music styles and genres such as metal, classic rock, alternative; also picking up ideas from cinematic music and prog. The result, are songs that translate between different listeners, thus helping them gain more appreciation from listeners of different backgrounds.
What made you come up with the band name, "Shadows and Colors”?
The meaning is multi-layered. ”Shadows” comes from Carl Gustav Jung. In Jungian Psychology, the "shadow" refers to an unconscious aspect of the personality which the conscious ego does not identify in itself. In short, the shadow is the unknown side. Usually shadow, when not investigated, is in dissonance with one’s conscious mind since it holds also the negative aspects (and unconscious aspects) of one’s mind and personality.
We think that unconscious mind plays a major role when you are composing music or doing anything.
'Colors' refers to synesthesia, which is a neurological condition in which one sees music as colors in one’s mind.
With our name we want to state also that we can make different music regardless of genre and mood. There is room for heavy, soft, straight-forward and complex music in our catalog.
And to be honest; it sounds cool.
Can you tell us more about your latest music video "From These Walls"? What is the song and the video about? How did you go about creating this video?
We think that the lyrics are very straight-forward and convey the answer. It is about a man who is trapped in his life; in the life he does not want to live. He lives it day in and day out, because there is not way out. Thus, ”there is no way out from these walls”. And obviously, the walls are being built by the man himself by the choices he has made in his past.
In the video there is the dissonance between the external and internal condition of the main character (our vocalist). On the exterior, outside, he lives the normal 9-5-life filled with work but on the inside he is broken, beaten and miserable.
Your latest song Crimson Dawn, that you fuse alternative rock and metal in your songs - Can you tell us more about this? Your style of music, and the reaction from your listeners?
We listen to both rock and metal; the heavier and ”softer”. We enjoy to play and mix different (sub)genres of music. It is not actually very conscious when we start to jam. One guy comes up with a riff or chord progression and the snowball starts to roll from there. It flows very naturally. Intuition takes control.
With ’Crimson Dawn’ we wanted to make heavier song with all-screaming-style-vocals since it fitted to song perfectly, whereas ”From These Walls” was made for great clean-vocal and guitar melody -hooks.
Reaction has been varied when it comes to ’Crimson Dawn’, but generally speaking positive. Those who enjoy heavier tunes think it is a banger, or even our best song. On the other hand those who are not into screaming or heavier genres of metal that much don’t think it is our strongest song. But in the end you can not please everyone at the same time. That’s why we make different kinds of songs. We don’t want to make same song twice.
What kind of artists and music do you love listening to? Who would you consider as influences for your music? What other music genres or artists do you get ideas from, when wanting to innovate and make something new?
We all have an unique taste but we share some bands we enjoy together like Bring Me The Horizon (both old and new material), some modern metal bands like Wage War and Architects and classic rock acts like Queen, The Beatles and Pink Floyd. We enjoy and draw influences from pop to prog and from classical to metal.
Besides other rock and metal genres we get our ideas from cinematic music and maybe 1970s prog. The source can be actually anything. In cinematic music and prog there great instrumentations and cool modal themes and melodies.
Can you tell us more about songwriting? How do you guys go about writing songs?
When writing we don’t think ”who we want to sound like” but instead we think what effect and feel we want to create with our music.
Firstly, we start with instrumentation. One guy comes up with a riff, a melody or a chord progression and it starts from there. Sometimes one member can come up with a whole song in mind but we rehearse it many times as a band and it might become very different from the original idea.
Very free-flowing but still regimented. It is very ambivalent; free but disciplined.
How did you guys meet and form the band?
Elias and Sebastian met when they started to play in same extreme metal band in 2015. In same year they formed ’Shadows and Colors’ when they realized they would better play something else than just blast beats and tremolo picked and palm muted riffs. They wanted to make more compelling music and mix influences from different genres more freely.
After that, Elias contacted Ronne, of whom he had known since primary school. Ronne started as bass player but later became vocalist.
Riku joined our band in 2017 when we needed another guitar player. He was the first guy who came up in Elias’ mind when thinking about a second guitarist. Riku and Elias have known each other since upper secondary school but never played together, although they both knew about each others’ musicianship.
Can you name one interesting thing about each band member?
Fun Facts about each guy: Riku is a cross-fit-trainer, Sebastian is a BMW-enthusiastic, both Elias and Ronne has won Chess medals (from gold to bronze) in their hometown Pori and participated in Chess Finnish National Championships in primary school.
Who or what got you interested in being a musician?
Elias found a toy guitar from a flea market as toddler before he could even speak. Later on, he was inspired by John Frusciante of RHCP and James Hetfield (Metallica). Elias got his first real electric guitar, a Squier strat, as a 9-year-old.
Sebastian started his musical journey with a guitar. Sebastian was obsessed with BC Rich Warlock -guitar because Mick Thomson from Slipknot played one. He bought his first drum kit as a 15-year-old teen. Since then he has mainly played drums.
Ronne’s father inspired Ronne to be a musician. He started first taking piano lessons as a 7-year-old. Since then he also started to sing and play bass guitar.
Riku was inspired by a local band called ’Circle of Contempt', originally known as 'Thrust Moment’. He was mesmerised by a fact that guys from same city (Pori) could compose and play music like that.
Can you describe your best live gig so far?
Porispere in 2017 was our best gig so far. We played in local festival in our hometown, Pori, when we won a local band competition and got a slot to play.
Our line-up was a bit different back then. Founding members Elias (guitarist) and Sebastian (drummer) has remained same. Our current vocalist, Ronne was then our bass player and background vocalist.
Since Riku was not in our line-up in Porispere, Sebastian’s best friend Ville Rajala played 2nd guitar in live. He landed to Finland from Turkey 4 days prior to concert. Ville had to learn songs in very little time frame.
Gig at Porispere was our first gig ever. It was surreal to play first gig in a semi-large festival. And it went actually well, objectively speaking.
Whats the most unforgettable thing you've ever done as a band?
The most unforgettable moment was when we performed at a local bar called ’Baarikaappi’ and it was sold out. We can’t recall a time when that has happened before. They had to turn people away since it was too crowded. It was our third gig ever.
What's next for you guys as a band?
We are preparing for your competition Global Battle of Bands. We spend a lot of time at rehearsals rehearsing our new songs and sharpening our skills and honing our craft.
Just for fun: If your band members were each a fruit, what would they be and why?
Sebastian would be a banana since he is like a caveman. Ronne would be an apple since it seems Adam’s apple got stuck in his throat. Elias would be a watermelon; head is full of information and stuff. Riku would be a Kiwi - hairy on the outside and soft from the inside.