Crooked Colours are just enjoying the ride—duo dive into ‘Tomorrows’ tour, artistic origins after headlining The Fonda [Q+A]312552986 203776818741660 2804719432132867384 N

Crooked Colours are just enjoying the ride—duo dive into ‘Tomorrows’ tour, artistic origins after headlining The Fonda [Q+A]

On Saturday, October 22, Crooked Colours’ Phil Slabber and Liam Merrett-Park graced the stage at Los Angeles’ Fonda Theater for an electrifying performance in support of the group’s third studio album, Tomorrows. The September LP marks the Australian indie-electronic duo’s debut project under Atlantic Records; it consists of 13 infectious live-oriented recordings that have collectively amassed north of 30 million streams on Spotify alone.

Upon completing a mesmerizing performance at The Fonda, chock-full of new selects from the album, reliable crowd favorites, and even an on-stage marriage proposal led by a friend of the artists, Crooked Colours sat down with Dancing Astronaut to unwind over a conversation about the group’s more humble beginnings and just how far they’ve come up to their current tour run in support of Tomorrows. Read the DA-exclusive below.

Your popularity has been skyrocketing in the US over the last couple of years. How does Crooked Colours define your lives at this point in time?

Liam: “There’s not much else, for me, that I can give my energy to. If you don’t go one hundred percent, then what’s the point of doing it?”

Phil: “It started out with the three of us friends just making music as a hobby. We never thought this would eventuate into anything. A lot of [artists] say this, but I think we got very fortunate in meeting a lot of really great people who believed in us early on, like our manager Ben… And we really owe a lot to the US. People fuckin’ love their live music here. It’s so easy to tour here and get a genuine response from people. Most people don’t realize that this is a realistic job until they start doing it and things start happening. You’ve got to just kind of hang on and enjoy the ride.”

Tomorrows just landed in September. How long had the album been in the works?

Liam: “All of COVID, and even pre-COVID. So, like three years? But some of the songs were actually demos we wrote for ‘Langata’ that didn’t end up making the album. And then we just kept on working on them, which means it’s technically been in the works for around five years.”

Phil: “I spoke to Ben about this the other day. Not the first single, but the first track that we finished we started writing like two-and-a-half years ago. And we spent the following year here in LA just doing sessions and getting to know the community, the studios, and all that kind of stuff. The pandemic gave us two years at home to just write music, so that’s mostly where ‘Tomorrows’ came from—that two-year period at home.

Evident by tonight’s performance, fans’ live reception of the album seems outstanding. How have your other shows compared to playing The Fonda?

Phil: “This whole tour has been so much fun. There were a few shows [at the beginning] that were a bit rocky, in terms of ticket sales, getting to the cities…But every time we’ve showed up in the US, the crowd has shown out. The people dance, have a good time and are super receptive. They hang out afterwards and want to meet you; it’s fuckin’ great. This whole run has been amazing. As far as stand outs, Denver was amazing, New York was amazing, LA was obviously amazing…”

Liam: “Tonight really surprised me because normally, and other artists would agree, LA gives off a bit of a chin-stroker vibe, where people just kind of watch and observe. But tonight, people wanted to dance and show energy and it was super surprising. I would say [The Fonda] was one of the best crowds we’ve played to during our North American tour.”

Crooked Colours are just enjoying the ride—duo dive into ‘Tomorrows’ tour, artistic origins after headlining The Fonda [Q+A]Crooked Colours Red Rocks Credit Facebook

Liam, could you touch on your drumming career? At what age did you start?

Liam: “My dad’s a drum teacher, so I grew up around drum kits. But I didn’t start playing until I was like 13 or 14. I had been playing classical piano and clarinet before I picked up drumming. It wasn’t until around when Green Day entered my life, during my teenage years, that I started jamming out on drums with friends. Without my piano experience, though, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today as a drummer.”

Crooked Colours formed in 2013. Who coined the name of the group?

Phil: “We knew we wanted [the word] ‘crooked’ in the name. We actually had two other names before that; at one point we were going to be called ‘Unique.’ We didn’t stick with it because it’s like impossible to Google. We might need to go back to the messages to see who thought of Crooked Colours…”

Liam: “It was actually already Crooked Colours when I joined. They’d already released a few songs that they wanted to start playing live, and then I joined through friends of friends.”

Your tour itinerary includes shows in Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver. What excites you most about the Pacific Northwest?

Phil: “Man, I was really looking forward to LA. But we love Seattle; every time I’ve been to Seattle it’s been a good time. There’s such a rich music history there, especially considering the early grunge scene. We love Portland [because] it’s so beautiful. Vancouver is probably going to be the last really big show. It’s looking like it’s already selling out, so it’s gonna be good.”

Liam: “I’m really looking forward to Vancouver; it’ll be the biggest one, and it’s the last show of the tour. But Seattle and Portland always show up and show out as well. The whole northwest…they really enjoy their live music.”

You two crushed your 2020 remix of Don Toliver’s ‘No Idea.’ Are you solely focused on writing original material these days, or can fans expect some more DJ-centric reworks in the future?

Phil: “Yeah, absolutely. I feel like the hard part is…we want to put out as much of our own music as possible, so we’ve been putting most of our energy into that. Every now and again, we’ll get an offer to do a remix that you can’t really turn down. Obviously, ‘No Idea’ was a big one where we were like, ‘Okay cool let’s do it.’ But we also want to be prolific in making our own music that we can play live on tour, so we don’t want to put too much emphasis on the dance side of things. We’ll definitely do more remixes when it’s right, though, because it’s a lot of fun.”

Liam: “We love playing music, remixing, DJ’ing… Anything is in the cards.”

If you could collaborate with any artist at this point in time, who would it be?

Phil: “Ah, man…Where do I start? There’s so many people we look up to. I enjoy working with artists from completely different genres. I think a big US rapper would be fun, someone like Tyler, the Creator… That would be crazy.”

Liam: “Only because we’ve had so many people say this, I would love to do a track with RÜFÜS. We have the same fan base, and I feel like it’s achievable as well. We would definitely do it, and I feel like they would do too. We were playing with them back when they were playing to like 30 people, so that would definitely be sick.”

Featured image: Jared Tinetti

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