Colours of One Interview: Disorder Magazine

The Welsh band,Colours of One, are relieved to be playing in Camden, London for the night. They  come from Bridgend, an area of the UK that was plastered all over  the news for it’s high number of suicides by young people. The band are  well accustomed to the kind of audience whose frustration is a symptom of a deprived area with few things to do and few places to go. The band recalls how they have toured some rough areas in Wales. They sit wide-eyed at the memory of a riot at the end of a gig they headlined in a village called Pyle in Bridgend.

Rhythm guitarist, Rhys Hart, laughs at the memory of one of their recent gigs; “We got to the end of our gig and had to stop playing because the moshing in the crowd turned into intense violence. We couldn’t leave the stage to get to our van because the way was blocked by a rampaging audience and riot police with shields and helmets. We just had to sit, wait and watch what our music had stirred up, it was surreal.” Mike adds that when a girl stormed the stage and hurled the mic stand, it went from exciting to plain stupid.

Simmons has an aura of sensible introspection for a 25-year-old; his body language and voice reveal a grounded, old soul.  As the main songwriter and lyricist he focuses on various issues and emotions to fire-up his lyrical pen. He opines, “Our songs are about a mixture of social observations and relationships, like what’s wrong in our society, my annoyance with all the apathy. I’m really cynical about the state of politics, that’s what our tune ‘Spin’ is about. I know it sounds like an easy target but all the politicians are the same. I’d only vote now to make sure some nutter didn’t get in!”

Mike who studied philosophy at university, goes on to explain that Marxism, ethics and staunch political characters such as Malcolm X, are the kind of influences that changed his thinking forever. This kind of forward, demanding mindset creates songs which target the kind of people who progressive thinkers fire away at in disdain. The track ‘Leech’ is just that, a social critique of people who lose all drive and give up for a life of scrounging and living off others.

By day, Mike’s in a soul-destroying work that fuels his song writing; “Leech is about the characters I’ve seen as an administrator in the job centre. You get your genuine cases that are unfortunate and can no longer afford to pay the rent, but then you have the type who is causally downing a can of cider before strolling in the building.”

The band’s hard-edged, pulsating tune, ‘Carty and Brown’, is another social commentary about the degeneration of spirit in young people. It’s a direct reference to Donnel Carty and Delano Brown who belonged to a London gang called the Kensel Green Tribe, which committed hundreds of robberies and muggings in a seven month spree before murdering someone and going down for life. Mike explains:

“We live in the kind of place where kids join gangs who’d mug, beat and murder for a laugh and people don’t stand up for themselves for fear of being stabbed. The song was triggered by a mugging I experienced. This group of teenagers punched me in the face. I stood my ground and told them not do  it again, but of course they didn’t take any notice and I thought, damn, and just ran away fast.”

The band bursts out in unified laughter at this anecdote and tease Mike for his open admission. Colours of One are a loyal set of mates who are having a riot and still keeping heads firmly on their shoulders. The smart thinking that fiercely powers Mike’s singing voice, scorching lyrics and the band’s pounding tunes, also  leaks into their every day attitude, they’ve set up their own record label, Rogues Gallery Records, so they can control all the business side and keep their creativity as independent as possible.

Originally all friends since school, the guys have been jamming their raucous tunes as Colours of One since 2008 with the band name taken from the lyrics in an Incubus song called, ‘Redefine.’ They can sum up their fans, their music and the strong held beliefs in one sentence: “The message is our listeners should think for themselves, and completely define their own way,” says Mike, which is exactly how they live themselves each day.

• New single, ‘Carty and Brown’, is out 2nd May.

• Photo: Anna Paluch

• Jameela is a music journalist/staff writer for national magazine Disorder, see website:

*If you’re an unusual artist wishing for publicity email stating reasons why you should be featured.


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