Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Collideoscope - Washington Post Review

A Shade Bolder, Living Colour Is Back

By Michael Deeds
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, October 26, 2003; Page N02

Although Living Colour released three albums before disbanding in 1995, the group is best remembered for the song that made its initial splash: 1988's Grammy-winning anthem "Cult of Personality."

Constructed around a perfectly bludgeoning riff, that terrific hit was almost as effective as its stereotype-shattering video, which became ubiquitous on MTV. The image of four black men cranking out cranium-crushing rock -- vocalist Corey Glover flinging his dreadlocks, guitarist Vernon Reid unleashing avant-garde metal solos -- was foreign and revolutionary to music fans, as was the song's politically charged subject matter.

That's why headbangers have every reason to celebrate the return of this ambitious quartet, which also includes drummer Will Calhoun and bassist Doug Wimbish. Living Colour's dynamic fourth album, "Collideoscope," isn't just a comeback. It's a raised fist and a battle cry.

The opening track, "Song Without Sin," is a lesson for today's nu-metal elite: Reid's guttural guitar is ferocious but paced, and his rhythmic approach emphasizes the silence between riffs, making the power chords that much denser. Meanwhile, Glover's instantly recognizable voice -- wrenched with passion and focused on melody -- perfectly counteracts Reid's sonic brutality throughout the album.

Living Colour has plenty to say on "Collideoscope," which covers an array of subjects and musical styles: anxiety (blues scorcher "Holy Roller"), Big Brother (the grinding "Operation: Mind Control") and war protest (industrial-metal track "In Your Name"). The Sept. 11, 2001,
terrorist attacks provide the framework for a handful of songs. The ethereal, smooth-grooved "Flying" tells, in first person, the sad story of a man who gets the nerve to ask out a woman in the World Trade Center -- moments before the plane hits: "Fate has given me wings / Such a terrible, funny thing," he sings as the couple jump to their death holding hands. The other terrorist attack-inspired standout, "A ? of When," is a frantic, relentless charge about living in fear. "Can it happen again? / Not a question of if / But a question of when!" Glover shrieks while Reid pummels his ax like a madman.

Even when Living Colour joyfully plows through a sizzling cover of AC/DC's "Back in Black," it feels like a statement. Song title notwithstanding, the lyric "They've got to catch me if they want me to hang" takes on new meaning coming from Glover's mouth.

Reid spits out more notes during the "Back in Black" guitar solo than Angus Young probably played on that entire AC/DC album -- a trend that permeates "Collideoscope." Influenced by jazz and punk, his leads are Gatling gun bursts often completely outside the song's parameters.

Somehow he's able to pull the ripcord and parachute back in, even on the soulful, easygoing "Lost Halo." But for the more casual rock listener, it can be jarring to have a zillion notes explode in your face.

Then again, Reid and the rest of Living Colour want to be noticed. (Why else would they cover the Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows"?) "Collideoscope" not only jumps up and down screaming to be heard, it also raises the whammy bar for the rest of the hard-rock universe.

(To hear a free Sound Bite from this album, call Post-Haste at 202-334-9000 and press 8161.)

Living Colour Collideoscope DVD audio- November 18th
pre-order through CD Universe
thanks Sam!

Vernon Reid Interview w/ Metal Refuge

3 more reviews
StlToday review of Collideoscope

another Collideoscope Review

Rolling Stone Review - Collideoscope

**** (4 stars)
Black-funk-metal pioneers return in righteous form when black-rock warriors living Colour broke up in 1995, they left the high promise of their apocalyptic funk in the hands of crying clowns, white metalheads endlessly rapping about their own agony. Guitarist Vernon Reid, drummer Will Calhoun, bassist Doug Wimbish and singer Corey Glover now return to shame the whiners with righteous choler and elevated invention: the kamikaze rush and raw-sugar chorus of "A ? of When"; Reid's wah-wah teardrops amid the brute-reggae devastation in "Nightmare City"; the electrodread of "In Your Name," a howling-techno prayer against White House imperialism, here and abroad. There was always a great paisley-soul band kicking inside all the noise - it's here, loud and clean, in the ballad "Flying." And Living Colour cover AC/DC's "Back in Black" with grand funk: boom- ing comic relief seared with no-nonsense mission.
(RS 935, November 13, 2003)

Friday, October 17, 2003

Living Colour Michigan date
SUN NOV 9,03 DRS 8:00PM

News from Will Calhoun's site
Saturday, October 18th, 2003
Will Calhoun will perform as a special guest with Malian music master Cheick Tidiane Seck- at the JVC Jazz Festival in Paris, France.

Venue: The New Morning jazz club
7-9, rue des Petites Ecuries. Paris, France. Tel:

Head>>Fake Dec 2003 European Tour

Wed 12/10/03 - Solothurn, Switzerland @ Kofmehl
Thu 12/11/03 - Luzern, Switzerland @ Boa
Fri 12/12/03 - Salzburg, Austria @ Jazzit
Sat 12/13/03 - Innsbruck, Austria @ Treibhaus
Sun 12/14/03 - Brno, Czech Rep @ (to be announced)
Mon 12/15/03 - Prague, Czech Rep @ Lucerna Music Bar
Tue 12/16/03 - Vienna, Austria @ Porgy
Wed 12/17/03 - Winterthur, Switzerland @ Salzhaus/tbc
Thu 12/18/03 - Waalwijk(NL) @ Music School Club
Fri 12/19/03 - Enschede(NL) @ Atak
Sat 12/20/03 - Zoetemeer(NL) @ Boerderij
Sun 12/21/03 - Berlin, Germany @ Kato

Rumour : Living Colour to open for Deep Purple in January?

Metal Refuge review of Collideoscope
Review by: A. M. Sefic
It took them long enough, but at last they are here giving us great music once again. Living Colour's first release in ten years called "CollideØscope" rocks you hard, eases your mind as well, and talks about some of the horrible events in recent history.

This band demonstrates through their own unique brand of bluesy rock just how much of range they have! From the first song on the disc called "Song Without Sin" which is one of the more harder rocking tunes, to "Flying" the mellowest song on the disc, these guys provide a little something for nearly everyone. Their version of AC/DC's "Back In Black" is very well done. It does not sound exactly like the original artists of this song, but instead its done the Living Colour way. The guitar work is phenomenal, and the screaming vocals are dead on style wise. Also included on this disc is cover of the Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows." I could not have believed that this song could actually be improved on, but in this case, it has!

"Operation Mind Control" has a definite garage band vibe to it, but without the annoying high pitched whiny vocals normally found in this type of music. "Nightmare City" has a smooth reggae vibe to it. "Heavy Roller" is a sexy blues tune. "Nova" is a psychedelic sounding instrumental with excellent use of the bass, drums, and electronic mixing.

CollideØscope is a definite easy listening record that you can take out on a sunday afternoon while enjoying the sunshine. Welcome back boys!

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Another Living Colour tour date
THE DOWNTOWN/516-293-7700
SAT DEC 6, 2003 8:00PM

Corey Glover interview w/ Metal Express 10/03

Living Colour - City Hall Park (review)
*thanks to kennymack from okayplayer
Oct. 14, 2003

Promoting the release of their new album Collideoscope, Living Colour held a free concert in City Hall Park and an in-store signing at J&R music world. The turnout was good (at least 300 people) and the band tore it down. here's the rundown:
1) Middle Man
2) Back in Black
3) Sacred Ground
4) Love Rears its Ugly Head
5) Flying
6) Stereotype
7) Cult of Personality
The concert was approx. 45 min., an hour max. Back in Black and Flying were the only new material they played. Vibes were great. Bohos were up in there heavy but it was a diverse crowd. They kicked ass from start to finish, and even gave an update on the Yankee game. Me and my dumb ass forgot my camcorder. I didn't stick around for the in-store but I'm copping the album next paycheck. Not too many bands fucking with them...

James Blood Ulmer and Vernon Reid - NYC
Legendary guitarist James "Blood" Ulmer comes into Jazz Standard with Memphis Blood, his blues project to celebrate his follow up release to his grammy-nominated recording. Joining the group will be the heralded guitarist Vernon Reid.
Tickets: $30/$25 Sun. plus tax

Monday, October 13, 2003

Reminder Free NYC show Oct. 14th
Tuesday, October 14th at 5:00 pm
Live Performance in City Hall Park

Followed by In-Store Signing at J&R Pop Store, 23 Park Row
One of the most influential bands of the late '80s, Living Colour crossed musical and racial boundaries with thier blend of hard rock, metal, jazz fusion & funk, blazing a trail for successful protege such as Rage Against the Machine & Sevendust. Now, guitarist-extrordinaire Vernon Reid, singer-actor Corey Glover and crew are back with their most challenging, expiremental and, perhaps, satisfying release yet -- CollideØscope. Do not miss this opportunity to see them blaze live in City Hall Park!

Living Colour - Collideoscope : Living Colour Webring Review

Excerpt from Fall 2003 Bass Guitar article w/ Doug Wimbish

...Wimbish took an active role in making Collideoscope happen, and that meant doing whatever needed to be done. “I was like the main overseer of this record. I brought in my crew, organized all the studios, financed shit, put cats up, took care of the hotels and crew – even before the label paid us a dime. I had everyone over at my studio, Nova Sound in Connecticut, and I took care of all the gigs.” And how did Wimbish’s strong work ethic translate to the bass? “I had a hand in the sonics and in getting the best out of everybody. I asked myself, How could I make Vernon Reid sound better by playing less or more or different? On this album, I’m really trying to play a supportive role while keeping the bass in your face.”...

Friday, October 10, 2003

Living Colour - Collideoscope Reviews

Underdog Online Review of COLLIDEOSCOPE

Author: Peter Hodgson

There's always an anxious moment when one of your favourite bands releases a new album, and especially so when they've reunited after a decade apart.

Living Colour were always a little ahead of their time, so now that everyone incorporates the heavy guitars, samples and beats that were a part of their sound for so long, how would they fare in the current climate? And, like George Lucas before them, would another vestige of my teen years spit in my face with an overworked, emotionless facsimile of what once was? The fact that my fears have been proven totally unfounded is perfectly evident in the silly grin I've had on my face ever since pressing 'play' on my discman about 20 hours ago, and the four AA batteries that have heroically forfeited their lives since then.

From the opening skittery electronic flurry of 'Song Without Sin,' it's face-smackingly evident that this is the Living Colour who made the abrasive 'Stain.' The guitar tones have the same sharp teeth as that album, and the vocals are treated in the same way, with Corey Glover's natural voice front and centre, but augmented by stereo effects here and there. The opening of second track 'A ? of When' had me spitting Coke out my nose - it's just that cool. The pun of the album title is very apt, as the music combines percussive, hard-edged rock with colourful psychedelia and comes up with a sound which continually feeds on itself and evolves throughout its 61 minutes.

Unlike 'Stain,' which barely took a moment to breathe amidst the math-rock firestorm, Collideoscope's heavier tracks are tempered by 'Flying,' 'Nightmare City' and 'Pocket of Tears,' three spacious grooves with heavenly vocal melodies and superb bass interjections by Doug Wimbish. 'Flying' in particular stands as one of the strongest songs the band has ever written, telling the deeply personal story of a guy who clocks in at work in the World Trade Centre on the morning of September 11, finally resolving himself to ask his crush out on a date.

The events of that day and their aftermath are referenced often in the first half of the album, and not always in such personal terms. 'A ? of When' and 'Operation: Mind Control' take critical stabs at the constant state of terror alert and big brotherism clouding the western world. Living Colour have never been without irony, so their cover of AC/DC's 'Back in Black' is a welcome addition to the catalogue, conceptually and musically, with Glover affectionately mimicking Brian Johnson's high shriek and guitarist Vernon Reid swinging from Angus Young to Jimi Hendrix to Frank Zappa.

I wish there was something negative to say about this album so I don't come across as such a fawning fan, but this is the first CD I've heard in a long long time that I've been unable to find fault with. It's energized, complex, beautiful, brutal and thoughtful, and every time you listen to it you will hear something new.

Collideoscope is out now through Mayan/Sanctuary.

Cleveland Scene Review Of COLLIDEOSCOPE
by Dan LeRoy
When a band's been largely out of action for a decade, a comeback usually entails a restatement of themes. In the case of Living Colour, that would mean the soulful, Zeppelinesque stomp that powered "Cult of Personality" and other late-'80s blasts, opening many ears to the idea that four black musicians could shred just as convincingly as their white metal counterparts. Considering that the concept of black rock stars hasn't gained much traction since then, one might suppose that Living Colour would have to try doubly hard to remind listeners of its arena-sized bona fides.
Surprisingly -- and fortunately -- Collideoscope is a very different album, one that bears the heavy stamp of bassist and executive producer Doug Wimbish. Most of these songs are informed by his work with groundbreaking outfits like Tackhead, with dub and electronic undercurrents casting shadowy tendrils around Vernon Reid's guitar squalls. That hardly dilutes the band's power: "Choices Mash Up" covers the On-U-Sound classic "Happy Shopper" for a bludgeoning critique of consumerism, while the paranoid "A ? of When" is a direct descendant of "Hellhound on My Trail," with Corey Glover screaming "Who do you love?/Who do you hate?/Who do you love?/Who's at the gate?"

The tune that will attract the most notice is undoubtedly the brave and conceptually brilliant cover of AC/DC's "Back in Black," a straight shot of rock that treats its Aussie authors right. In reality, though, it's the surrounding dark-hued tunes that prove Living Colour is back, black, and rightfully proud.

Collideoscope Review

Metal innovators' return pleases

Pete Oliva
Beat Editor
October 08, 2003

Living Colour
Sanctuary Records
Rating: B-
Over 10 years ago, Living Colour brought politically charged messages to the masses, simultaneously breaking black artists into the realm of heavy metal with their 1988 album Vivid.

Now, Collideoscope, the band's first new release in nearly five years, finds the group experimenting with new sounds and production techniques while still grasping the key elements of their musical character.

The good news is that Collideoscope succeeds on most levels. The relief of hearing that the opening "Song Without Sin" bears little resemblance to any of their 1980's material allows for the letting down of any hesitance in believing that a half-decade hiatus can still yield fresh music.

If anything, though, it sounds a little like Sevendust, a '90s band that owes some of its style to Living Colour.

Even better than the opener is "A ? Of When," featuring the high-energy grind of guitarist Vernon Reid's nimble verse riff matched with Corey Glover's short, accentuated screams.

Glover's vocal agility becomes evident as the verse gives way to a beautifully sung melodic chorus, kept alive by the rhythm section of bassist Muzz Skillings and drummer Will Calhoun.

The experimentation of the band throughout keeps the album alive, though, and ensures that Collideoscope becomes more than just a rehash of Living Colour's earlier work.

"Nightmare City" may be the first-ever successful fusion of reggae and metal, while covers of AC/DC's "Back in Black" and The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" entertain listeners through their inspired performance.

The former's straightforwardness works to balance the latter's unusual, yet effective, take on the classic song.

This unconventional experimentation, though, hurts the album as a whole.

The simplistic, yet unnecessarily muddy sounding "Operation: Mind Control," while offering politically- themed lyrics, loses its message as the band clearly attempts to sound like something it is not with overly distorted vocals and instruments.

"In Your Name" similarly loses the effectiveness of its anti-war message through overproduction and an electronica-based groove that that does little to improve its aural picture.

Still, with the touching "Flying," the distinctly Living Colour-esque "Holy Roller" and "Sacred Ground," the album's best song, it's hard to harshly fault the band for its missteps.

And while the new album proves that often a band sounds best just being themselves, sometimes it takes experimenting to get the creative energy alive again.

Living Colour has not sounded this alive, or colorful, in years


Living Colour returns from the missing with "Collideoscope" (Sanctuary), enriched with a heady collage of styles, from the funkified challenge of "A ? of When" to the slinky, trippy "Flying" and the techno/metallic-edged protest "In Your Name." Likewise juicy are the reggae-fied "Nightmare City," blues-scorched "Holy Roller" and a slashing cover of AC/DC's "Back in Black." A real headphone trip. A-
(from Philly.com )

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Sept 22 show broadcast live
thanks hoek
For the Dutch fans.

I just heard that the 22 September LC concert in the Melkweg will be
broadcasted on 24 October on radio 3FM. It will be on the 3FMLive
show, it starts at 22:00.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Cologne, Germany - setlist
thanks nader

funny vibe
middle man
back in black
a ? of when
operation mind control
time´s up
ignorance is bliss
sacred ground
information overload
love rears
in your name
pocket of tears
go away
tomorrow never knows

they actually played cult on the first encore
and then crosstown traffic on the second encore.
Pocket of Tears and Tomorrow Never Knows weren't played

Listen to Living Colour's COLLIDEOSCOPE

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

US Dates
10/14/03 New York, NY J&R in-store @ City Hall Park
11/05/03* Denver, CO Fillmore
11/08/03* Chicago, IL Park West
11/09/03* Chicago, IL Park West
11/11/03* Montreal, QUE Theatre St Denis
11/12/03* Boston, MA Avalon Ballroom
11/15/03* New York, NY Beacon Theater
11/16/03* Philadelphia, PA Electric Factory
11/21/03 Tuscon, AZ City Limits
11/22/03 Scottsdale, AZ Cajun House
11/23/03 San Juan Capistrano, CA Coach House
11/25/03 West Hollywood, CA House of Blues
11/26/03 San Francisco, CA The Independent
11/28/03 Portland, OR Roseland
*w/ King Crimson
see www.livingcolour.com tour section for details

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Launching the week of October 6th, the official Living Colour site.

RESPECT to all the other sites keeping the spirit and spirit of LIVING COLOUR alive.

Kudos to : Sam @ Living Colour net - deserves an immense amount of applause, from his old geocities site, to his present site @ www.LIVINGCOLOURnet.com.
Shouts to the Living Colour webring, and Sacred Ground yahoo group located at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SacredGround/.

These guys have been giving a ton of information, rumors, news, shows, and reviews about all the LC-related bands, way before this site was started.

Living Colour - 10/05/03 - Munich pictures

Living Colour - Pratteln, Switzerland pictures (1)

Living Colour - Pratteln, Switzerland pictures (2)

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Living Colour w/ King Crimson dates ????
Our source stated that Living Colour would be touring w/ King Crimson for 9 shows ( "It begins Nov. 5 in Denver. The other cities (9 dates in all) are Minneapolis, Chicago (2 nights?),Detroit, Montreal, Boston, New York and Philadelphia. ")

The following dates were taken from King Crimson's site. Some of the dates are not confirmed, but they look to fit in the boundaries of those 9 shows. Keep an eye on ticketmaster and cc.com to make sure.

*November 5, 2003 Denver Fillmore
November 7, 2003 Minneapolis Medina Centre/Quest Club
*November 8, 2003 Chicago Park West
*November 9, 2003 Chicago Park West
November 11, 2003 Montreal Theatre St Denis
*November 12, 2003 Boston Avalon
November 13 or 14, 2003 Oakdale, CT Oakdale Theatre
*November 15, 2003 New York Beacon Theatre
November 16, 2003 Philadelphia Electric Factory
November 17, 2003 Washington, DC State Theatre
* = confirmed as of 10/04/03

Friday, October 03, 2003

Live performance and in-store appearance
Tuesday, October 14th, 2003
LIVING COLOUR live Performance in City Hall Park at 5:00 pm. Followed by In-Store Signing at J&R Pop Store, 23 Park Row.
(City Hall Park is located between Park Row & Broadway, south of Chambers Street)

Living Colour Fall 2003 US Tour Dates
*so far

Wed 11/05/03 - Denver, CO @ Fillmore Auditorium (with King Crimson)
Sat 11/08/03 - Chicago, IL @ Park West (with King Crimson)
Sun 11/09/03 - Chicago, IL @ Park West (with King Crimson)
Sat 11/15/03 - New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre (with King Crimson)
Sun 11/23/03 - San Juan Capistrano, CA @ Coach House
Tue 11/25/03 - Los Angeles, CA @ Demo Facility
Tue 11/25/03 - Sunset Strip, CA @ House Of Blues
Wed 11/26/03 - Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
New Roots album w/ Vernon Reid

The Roots are working on their fourth album, The Tipping Point, in their native Philadelphia. The hip-hop group is holding open jam sessions in a small studio to workshop new songs.

"Our objective is to write as many songs as possible with a bunch of different people," says Roots drummer Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson.

The first night started off well: Jill Scott scatted freestyle, Living Colour's Vernon Reid crunched out ferocious rhythm guitar and several emerging rappers threw down rhymes. Upcoming jam guests may include Talib Kweli, Common, Pharrell Williams, Musiq and saxophonist Joshua Redman. "They all want an atmosphere where they can try stuff out," says Thompson.

The album, the Roots' follow-up to last year's Phrenology, is due in April.


Thursday, October 02, 2003

Tuesday, October 14th at 5:00 pm
Live Performance in City Hall Park
Followed by In-Store Signing at J&R Pop Store, 23 Park Row
Phone: (212) 238-9000
One of the most influential bands of the late '80s, Living Colour crossed musical and racial boundaries with thier blend of hard rock, metal, jazz fusion & funk, blazing a trail for successful protege such as Rage Against the Machine & Sevendust. Now, guitarist-extrordinaire Vernon Reid, singer-actor Corey Glover and crew are back with their most challenging, expiremental and, perhaps, satisfying release yet -- CollideØscope. Do not miss this opportunity to see them blaze live in City Hall Park!

Living Colour - The Garage, UK pics
Check out Sam's Living Colour site for some shots of the Garage gig.

Jagermeister Music Tour - Portland, Oregon
Wed 11/26/03 Arch Enemy
Wed 11/26/03 Five Foot Thick
Wed 11/26/03 Hatebreed
Wed 11/26/03 Living Colour
Wed 11/26/03 Slayer
from pollstar

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

New Living Colour date
Wed 11/26/03 Portland, OR Roseland Theater

Guitar World's Bass Guitar - Fall 2003
excerpt :
"We're feeling reignited," says Wimbish. "We will fuck up any band - we will blow motherfuckers off the stage - on any given night. The band is sounding 10 times better now than we ever sounded, and I say that with no hesitation. We've managed to be more patient in our delivery, but we definitely have something to say."

BBC interview w/ Living Colour
*requires Real Player

Interview with Will Calhoun of Living Colour 8/9/03

Living Colour burst out of New York and onto the rock music scene in the late eighties after initially being discovered by Mick Jagger one evening at the famed CBGB's Although Jagger's influence and connections were important and he even produced some demos for the band. Living Colour had actually formed a large fan base and attracted interest since their formation in 1984. Following three successful albums the band split in the mid nineties and the members pursued other projects. 2003 sees the band back together and signed to the Sanctuary Group and in the autumn of 2003 the band will issue its fourth studio album Collideoscope.

Jon Kirkman caught up with drummer Will Calhoun in New York while the band prepared for the release of the album and a short European tour

Jon Kirkman: Collidesoscope is the first Living Colour album for over ten years and there are a couple of covers on the album including a cover of the Beatles Tomorrow Never Knows. What was the thinking behind covering Tomorrow Never Knows?

Will Calhoun Well, if you want to know the truth behind that question, we were approached by Rykodisc to do a Beatles song for a Beatle's - I guess some kind of compilation album and they were coming to talk to a bunch of different artists and the guy approached us first. Ironically when we started demoing our first version of the current album at a place called Longview Farm the guy who was arranging the album for Rykodisc was at Longview Farm discussing the project with the studio owner and we happened to be there. So he talked to us and we said ok. We liked the track and we just went for it really. We were just thinking about some Asian kind of drum and bass thing.

JK Well that's the thing I like; you could have done just a straight pass at it and nobody would have criticised you for that but you guys mixed it up which is, I guess the way you work and put your own stamp on it.

WC Well, thank you. I love the track and as a drummer, I was trying to approach it with a drum 'n' bass vibe and with a slight Bonham-esque thing with the half time thing. The other guys actually started on the track before I arrived just getting the sonics together. So once I arrived it was really ready; just once we got the information on the table about the vocal effect and that. We didn't want to go too Indian and we just kind of demoed it really and we liked it. Basically with Living Colour the first thing we do is just put the information on the table. We just play it and find a good tempo. Corey makes some lyrical adjustments or what have you and then just prints it and sees if it works. Fortunately for Tomorrow Never Knows the first print worked for us.

JK I think that you have to get the basics right though before you can go with anything else.

WC Yes you have and it's important to know the song, like the proper changes and how the song actually works because it's easier if you want to augment it. For instance Back in Black is like a perfect rock track and we really didn't want to bastardise that one. I actually went out and bought a 1950 something old drum kit I don't want to mention the name because I don't endorse it (laughs) but it was an old kit with the old plastic heads on it to get that sound for that track so I did a bit of research on the album and the sonics. We tried to make it sound analogue and respectful and not really bastardise it but Tomorrow Never Knows was just such a great piece and it's like a trace like tune that has the hippy element and the trance like element. It was fun to like spread I guess the word is I'm looking for - you know rhythmically and sonically spread that track out like a huge painting on a canvas.

JK Well you've mentioned Back in Black. That as you have said is one of the ultimate rock tracks of the last twenty-five years really but when we were talking earlier you said in America the reception has been mixed.

WC Well here's the deal with is not to get down into any kind of racial breakdown. There were two songs, growing up in the Bronx when hip hop began in the parks in my neighbourhood. There were two rock songs that every DJ spun and mixed or rapped to. Back in Black's riff and Walk this Way. Those were two songs in the neighbourhood. When Walk this Way came on or Back in Black came on everyone went to the dance floor or one of the rappers would get on the microphone. For us personally speaking it's one of the street tracks like an Earth, Wind and Fire track or a Hendrix track or Temptations track. Those two songs were the biggest, I think, credible rock tracks in the hip hop community on the street. So everyone knows Walk this Way and talks about Walks this Way. Run DMC I thought did a brilliant job with that and a great video and Back in Black has that same vibe and we said let's give it a go and see how it comes out and we thought about going back and trying something different and maybe augmenting it or stretching the solo section and we said you know what? It sounds find leave it alone.

JK Yeah, if it ain't broke don't fix it.

WC Yeah, that's right but for us there's two connections obviously there's the history of the band but second of all it was a community hit. It was one of those things that DJs always spun in the club. Before hip hop culture became the hip hop culture as we know it now, it was very underground. Walk this Way and Back in Black were the massive underground hits and for us it was great to give it a go.

JK Another thing I've noticed is that when Corey sings it the lyrics are much clearer and there are some things on there that you could twist around and identify with in those lyrics.

WC Absolutely. Well the interesting connotations that I can think of are coming back, black the colour you know black people the term used, there's some references to lynching and there's some interesting things in that tune and the concept of the song that relate to us as individuals as a division you know African American assimilations in the south in the sixties. There's some interesting things and also with the band really coming back now with a new record it's an interesting combination of things. We love the track but everything else that comes with that title and the definition of those lyrics for us really it was an idea of trying something to cover that we always loved and that we grew up with and we never really played it. I mean there are a thousand songs, Zeppelin songs and Hendrix songs that fit that list but we felt that Back in Black was something that we just didn't touch. No one touched the song. I don't believe there are that many covers of it so we decided to go with that one.

JK Your new album Collideoscope is the first new Living Colour album for quite a few years. What was it that made you guys think ok let's make another album?

WC Well… that was a process (laughs) which started really I think with me and Vernon (Reid). We worked together individually if that makes sense over the two or three years before making this record. I'd done stuff with Vernon on hi electronic project with DJ Logic and Doug and I have a duo called Headfake that we had Vernon guest on. Corey guested with us as well. All these things were happening but if I had to give a bit of influence or credit to someone it would be Claude Nobs at Montreaux. I was going to Montreaux every year to work with all those alternative artists from Africa and Northern Africa doing ambient DJ music and so on and Claude would always approach me and say will man won't you guys do just one concert for me and I said Claude c'mon it's not going to happen. The band's over and he said no man is it possible to do just one concert for me so I said well the vibe's not really cool and to get him off my back I gave him every large number thinking that he wouldn't say yes and he said yes immediately and I was stuck (laughs) so then I had to get on a plane and come over and call Vernon and have dinner with him and sit down and talk and basically I told him look wherever your head is with this project. This is an opportunity to either you know collect some cash, have some fun or if you're serious about it maybe we can do three or four shows before going to Europe and get an act together. Do the European show and maybe while we're sat down at the time café and bounced the ideas around with each other. I think he was probably a little bit shocked that I'd just called him and had a meeting about it.

There was a lot of spilled milk; a lot of things under the carpet that we didn't bring up in that conversation but you know over a period of time those things worked themselves out. But it kind of really started with that and also honestly, to me I didn't want too much time to go by without giving it a good old fashioned try. If it hit the shank, not a problem, if we'd sat down and tried to play the music and there was no vibe and nobody was interested and the songs were horrible I could sleep at night but what was haunting me and I know I can speak for the other band members was that during the seven year break going around the world with other artists someone would always ask about Living Colour.

JK But I suppose that is to be expected as you guys made a hell of an impression.

WC I was approached by firemen in Brazil. I played the world economic conference I mean that's another issue, but I played it for the right reasons after my two hour surveillance to check on my vehicle and my equipment I was with the scientists that were doing stuff with meteors and electronics but ironically I got in an elevator and this FBI agent was there you know with the ear plugs and suit and he asked what floor I was going to and I told him the fifth and he said well I'm going to step out here if you don't mind. I thought he wanted to check me for something and he pulled me aside and took his plug out of his ear and he said look man I think you guys were one of the greatest rock 'n' roll bands ever.

JK Well, that's pretty cool.

WC That just shocked me. That happening there in that climate with all the protest and all the security, that was like someone poured cold water on my vibe with Living Colour so honestly I really wanted to give it at least a good old fashioned try and I know it wasn't going to be easy. I knew we had to deal with some old wounds and some old vibes and some old people but the music is bigger than we are and I wanted to give it a try and let the music dictate whether or not the band should exist. Let's get out of the way of the music, let the music speak and if we can get all of our emotional baggage, history, vibes out of the way and the music speaks and the people are receiving the information then we should move forward and keep creating.

JK Will this album be another phase of Living Colour or is it just a one off and you will all go back to your other projects?

WC Well, the other projects won't go away. We're all artists for the right reasons. We love art. Vernon's getting into some other media things. I had a photo exhibition recently in Switzerland and it went really fantastically. I'm trying to put together a book from my travels during my downtime during those five or six years I was in the Morroccan desert and stayed with some aboriginal families in the outback. Most of my travelling had to be with music honestly and meeting the master musicians and hanging out with the tribes and the families and learning about music and I ended up taking photographs. But I think Living Colour is an important entity for us and whatever happens we need to give Living Colour its proper respect and it's due justice and I think it will dictate to us whether we should continue or not. We'll tour, we're putting together some interesting ideas. We really wrote three albums anyway so we'll see what we can do with the old stuff later down the line. We're going to be writing on the read. We've got our computers and lap-tops and so on. So I like to think of this like a new stage of Living Colour and I'm glad everyone went out and did their own thing and had their own label and projects because everyone's come back to the table much more experienced, more mature and really more open to bringing other aspects to bear.

© 2003 Jon Kirkman, Rock Ahead. All rights reserved.