By Lindsey Gonzalez
It’s the last night of the American Candy Tour, just hours before The Technicolors take the stage of The Beacham in Orlando, Florida. Brennan Smiley sighs, leaning back in his chair and surveying the black dressing room beneath the rim of his ball cap. “Sneaky,” he says with a smile, “and a little more restrained than we’ve written in the past.” He straightens in his seat, lifting his head before he continues, “I think that with the newest bit of tunes we really tried to reach outside the norm.”
The Technicolors are a rock band based in Phoenix, Arizona, that consists of Smiley (vocals and guitar), Troy Lowney (keys), and Mike Nicolette (bass). Thier latest EP, Ultraviolet Disguise, was released on April 7, and is a progression of the band’s rock roots that features new groove elements. The five-song EP was written and recorded in just three weeks. “It was stressful, but in a positive way,” says Smiley. “There were a lot of Little Caesar’s Hot N’ Ready’s, a lot of Red Bull… It was kind of a grind, but it was a good one.”
“I think it’s probably the most exciting sounding thing we’ve ever done,” says Smiley, “and I think that was due to the fact that we had so little time. We also felt more confident to try new things.”
Smiley explains that, with a looming deadline, the band was forced to make changes in their creative process. For instance, he typically does most of the songwriting on his own, then the entire band would work together to supplement his words with music. With this EP, however, that wasn’t always the case. “Sometimes, I like to form an idea by hearing the music and letting it show me the foundation of what that painting could be,” says Smiley. “Then, based on that, an idea comes to mind and I write the tune around that.”
This writing process was also influenced by fellow 8123 guitarist Sean Silverman, who’s a member of the Phoenix-based pop-rock group This Century. Living and writing in the same city, Smiley and Silverman had often discussed the idea of working together, but this EP is their first official collaboration.
“Musically, he’s very inspired by grooves,” explains Smiley, “as am I, but I’m also very inspired by melody. So it brought a similar but slightly different angle to what we were doing, and it was really good.”
Days before the EP’s release, on April 3, The Technicolors headed out on the American Candy Tour. Joined by Silverman, they played alongside Knuckle Puck, Real Friends, and The Maine for six weeks in a number of cities across North America. Their setlist featured a handful of songs from the new EP, including one of Smiley’s favorites, “Feels Like Trouble.” On the road, the band was often taken aback by the overwhelming amount of enthusiasm for their music. “We’ve never had this much attention as a band,” explains Smiley, “so it’s been really amazing to hear people digging it and seeing support.”
Smiley admits that some of his favorite dates on the tour were also some of the most hectic. He laughs as he recalls the story of one parking fiasco that occurred while they were playing at the Best Buy Theater in New York City. “It was a crazy day, and when the show happened there was just so much adrenaline that I don’t even remember the show that much, but I remember that it was a good time and a lot of people.”
With the American Candy tour behind them, there’s still a lot in store for The Technicolors this year. On June 10 and 11, they’ll play two shows in California with This Century. From June 31 to August 5, they’ll join The Maine once more on the Brazilian Candy Tour. They plan to do some more shows in the fall, but nothing is currently scheduled.
Smiley also revealed plans to release more music. “We’re not sure if we’re going to do another EP or record… We’ll probably just try to get into a creative space and let it be whatever it ends up being. But we’re hoping to have something out this year. There’s not really any reason why we won’t.”
In the wake of their latest release, The Technicolors already have one tour behind them, and the future looks bright as they dive into more shows, writing and recording all the while. It looks like, for The Technicolors, 2015 will be a year to remember.