Sydney’s Colour Coding are luring fans in with infectious harmonies, memorable dance beats, and charming lyrics such as “be strange but don’t be a stranger”. The duo comprised of cousins Tim Commandeur and Chris Holland recently took the time to speak with A Music Blog, Yea? about songwriting, their use of harmonies, being cousins, and dance moves. Want to know more about these stellar indie-pop makers? Look below:
AMBY: Hello Colour Coding, how are you doing today?
Colour Coding: Hello! Going well, thank you.
AMBY: How would you describe each other with one word?
Colour Coding: Tim: Energetic, Chris: Party
AMBY: What’s the songwriting process like between the two of you?
Colour Coding: I (Chris) Usually come up with an idea and it becomes fleshed out either through emails between myself and Tim, or if we try it out live, it usually evolves during that process.
AMBY: Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration? We love your use of harmonies.
Colour Coding: Thanks! We get inspired by a range of bands, people and places. Musically, we love bands such as Phoenix, Friendly Fires, Miike Snow, Bloc Party and Australian bands like Snakadaktal, Gold Fields and Atlas Genius. I think by listening to these bands, a combination of their styles creep into our songwriting.
AMBY: Your single Yours, Not Mine is such a fantastic track. What’s the story behind it?
Colour Coding: Thanks, once again. This song is a bit of a combination of two songs. The verse lyrics actually came from a slow folky song I wrote when I was about 15, when I was trying vocal ideas for this new track, that old song popped in to my head for some reason so I popped it in there and it just seemed to work. Essentially though, the idea behind the song is the notion of giving someone the opportunity to go and do something, as much as you don’t want them to as it is their life and journey, not mine.
AMBY: How did the lyrics “be strange, but don’t be a stranger” come to be?
Colour Coding: These lyrics came from an ad-lib when I was trying out vocal melodies for this song. I remember hitting stop and writing it down, it seemed to resonate with the whole vibe of the song, go out there, do what you have to do- keep being weird and fun but don’t be a stranger.
AMBY: Between both songs off your double a-side, which is your favourite?
Colour Coding: This is a bit hard to answer, but over all I’d have to say Yours, Not Mine is my favourite.
AMBY: What’s the funniest thing to happen to you at a gig?
Colour Coding: We played a festival in Manila, The Philippines earlier this year and prior to heading over we ran a competition to give away free tickets. There was one young girl who was particularly persistent with her entries and therefore ended up winning. During the last song of our set I spotted her in the crowd and somehow fitted her name into the lyrics and the reaction was really sweet, but hilarious!
AMBY: Do you feel being cousins benefits the band, or does it get in the way and you butt heads more often because of it?
Colour Coding: I think being cousins is a good thing for the most part. We are able to be honest about things and at the end of the day if we do bicker about anything we get over it straight away, ‘cos we’re family, after all!
AMBY: We feel it’s safe to say that Yours, Not Mine is a dance track. If you had to do one dance move for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Colour Coding: I think that’s a valid statement! My one and only dance move is the ‘knee drop’, some would say similar to Peter Garrett from the Australian 80’s band Midnight Oil.
AMBY: What’s next as far as recording goes?
Colour Coding: We have a bunch of demo’s brewing, and I will be on University holidays very soon so will be writing a whole lot more. I think we will aim to get a solid collection of songs and decide from there.
AMBY: What’s the best release of the year?
Colour Coding: I would have to say Lorde- Pure Heroine. That girl has a real knack for story telling and social observation and Joel’s production skills and incredibly smooth, yet simple. A very impressive debut!
AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about Colour Coding that nobody knows yet?
Colour Coding: There will be more projects from both of us in the future!
Thank you Colour Coding, for giving us your answers!
Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout