|There was no doubt about it; it was just an off night to begin with. The band got caught in a rainstorm heading to town and got to the venue literally minutes before the doors opened. Ticket sales were dismal at best and the club has no air conditioning so the 90-degree, 90-percent humidity was almost unbearable indoors. But all that meant nothing as The Color Red hit the stage, sweated out their 30-minute set and sounded as if they were playing in front of thousands in an arena.
With their debut RCA release, Clear, The Color Red is a lot of things: melodically heavy, musically detail oriented and not comparable to Creed or Nickelback.
“One thing I get sick of is being compared to Creed and Nickelback. Just because we have harmony people want to compare us to them. I don’t own a Creed or Nickelback CD. I probably never will. They are good at what they do, but we are totally different and I just don’t get it,” said singer Jon Zamora.
Already on tour with Primer 55 and getting ready to tour with Flaw, one could easily assume this is a heavy, in your face, guitar-riff band. But in the world of hard rock, nothing could further from the truth. Although harmonious and chorus-oriented like the fore-mentioned Creed and Nickelback, where their sound is as rough as a fine piece of cherry wood after being sanded by hand with 10-lb sand paper, The Color Red can be compared to a piece of mahogany cut with a sharpened pen knife; rough, jagged and definitely will leave a few splinters when rubbed.
This is why they are able to play with Flaw and Primer 55 and come away with new fans. The edge to their music makes the soft hard, and the hard as solid as granite. But even Zamora was a bit weirded out about the tour.
“When I heard we were going on the tour, I was a bit nervous as to how their fans would react, but they were great. And we became like best friends with the Primer guys,” Zamora says as he is pointing to an autographed photo of Primer 55 hanging on the RV wall. “And soon we will be out with Flaw, so I am not sure how we are getting hooked up with these tours, but it is fucking cool.”
Standout songs on the CD are “Cleansing” and “Season,” and it was no surprise that live these songs sounded even stronger. And night after night, Zamora the band is getting more strong in the performance and carrying the sound of the record to a live audience. But it shouldn’t be shocking that this “new” band has experience playing live. Together since 1994, The Color Red has played hometown gigs with No Doubt, 311 and the Deftones. But playing small shows across the country, in towns the band has never even heard, is more to Zamora’s liking.
“This is a total dream for us. It’s awesome to roll into a town you never fucking even heard of and play a show for people. And when you see those people singing your songs or coming up to us after the show to say “Hey,” or they dug what we are doing, it just doesn’t get any better than that.”
Who knows what road lies ahead for The Color Red? The band’s sound is different enough to either take off, or to be shunned by radio and television. But either way, Zamora can’t ask for anything more.
“We have gone farther than anyone could have ever asked. To be traveling to different cities, meeting new people and playing our music we love, if it all ended tomorrow we would feel great about what we did.”
But that satisfaction is not complacency. This band has some great music and is working on improving themselves, but not in the eyes of others or the radio. They are not measuring their success on record sales and airtime on MTV but by how happy they are with the music they make. And this is one fucking happy band.