Phoenix—the city, not the French indie band, may not pop into your brain when you think of the next up-and-coming music metropolis. But Phoenix-based band the Technicolors are looking to change the perception of the Valley of the Sun with their latest LP, Metaphysical, on July 7.
The Technicolors are comprised of Brennan Smiley (vocals, guitar), Troy Lowney (keys), Mike "Nico" Nicolette (bass) and Sean Silverman (guitar). Known for their amped up live shows, the quartet nicely blend the sonic pop anthems of Oasis and vocal stylings of the Killers with the grit of early Rolling Stones, while still sounding innovative and modern in their own right. The strong collection of songs might just make Metaphysical a breakout album and the Technicolors a band to watch in 2017.
Ahead of a July launch release show in their hometown, frontman Brennan Smiley sat down withAXSto discuss the new album, his love of ’90s British pop music and with which artist he’d like to swap careers.
AXS: How does Metaphysical differ from your first couple of releases?
Brennan Smiley: This album is a dreamier evolution of our music, more imaginative, but still us. In the past, we really didn’t think through anything or have too much of a concept. Which that can be a beautiful way to create music. This time around we strategically put ourselves in the studio with a great producer, Bob Hoag, who is a beautiful, amazing person who works in his own little world. The dude doesn’t wear clothes past 1963. [Laughs] We were strategic about the environment that we were making music. I think all of this combined gives this collection of songs a complete thought.
AXS: The video for your first single "Little Charmer" has a very 60s kitschy feel, with a little bit of the Stones or Oasis attitude. Where did you come up with the concept for this fun one?
BS: It’s funny. [Laughs] We were shooting another video in Los Angeles at this massive film studio. We were done with the other video. After eating two giant pizzas we were sitting on the studio floor, just bloated out. [Laughs] The next tune on the playlist was our song "Little Charmer." They were all like, "We should do a live-type video for this song." So, I got up there and danced like an idiot. [Laughs] Turns out it was a pretty good idea for a video.
AXS: When you started the band you all bonded over your parents’ love for Led Zeppelin. What other influences do you guys have that seep their way into your music?
BS: We really appreciate the dreaminess of the Brit-pop music of the 90s, but also maybe more on the outskirts of the Brit-pop thing. That combined with great grooves from the 80s. I really loved the post-disco band Zapp for a while. [Laughs] I think it can be all over the place for us. I’ve always been attracted to all kinds of styles of songwriting. Where Nico [bass] loves darker music, where Sean [guitar] is into the groove. We all bring different elements into the mix.
AXS: Phoenix has not always been known to have a big music scene. Has that changed since you guys started the band?
BS: I like to think so. The culture of music has definitely evolved. They now have some really great hubs of creativity in music that have expanded over the last five to six years. I think there are some rad bands these days all throughout Arizona.
AXS: If you had one “Freaky Friday” wish to switch places with any band’s career, who would that be, and why?
BS: Andrew W.K., straight up! I just saw that guy in Vegas at the Hard Rock Hotel DJ’ing, and it seemed like only three people in the whole club knew it was him. I think that’d be kind of cool career to have. You got your successful band and doing a cool DJ gig on the side. [Laughs]
The Technicolors hit the road this summer with soon-to-be-announced dates in the U.S. and then hop across the pond for a string of fall dates around Europe. Check out their latest LP, Metaphysical, which drops July 7 at www.thetechnicolors.com.
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