Colony House’s Caleb Chapman on learning from touring
Despite your favorite genre or artists, we all have memories of our first concert, buying merch, or meeting one of your favorite bands after the show. Over the years, Tennessee-based rock band Colony House has been one of those bands that have given me so many special memories.
Their debut album, When I Was Younger, was released in 2014 and was a smart blend of old school rock and roll, 2010s alt-rock, and lyrical themes reminiscent of country legends that came before them. I caught up with Colony House ahead of the release of their new EP, Rotten Tomatoes, and their upcoming show at The Granada on September 29.
The Pitch: It’s wild to think about the last time I spoke to you guys was five years ago. I interviewed you before your show at KC Live Block and prior to the release of Only The Lonely. How have you been?
Caleb Chapman: Wow, Yes. that was a long time ago. A lot of life has been lived since then. Obviously both good and hard moments, but all things considered we have been doing well. Thanks!
In our previous conversation, Parke said something that still holds a lot of truth. He talked about being around talented and inspirational folks helps make you better at your own craft. Colony House has been a band for a very long time at this point. How do you challenge yourself and grow when your chemistry together is already so strong?
With every show and every new album, you learn to trust each other a little bit more. As collaborators, I believe that’s the greatest gift you can give one another, Trust. We’ve all continued to sharpen ourselves as well which only makes your “chemistry” as a band easier and easier to lean into.
My perspective of artist chemistry has changed a lot since the pandemic started. I’ve done a lot of interviews, and it’s interesting hearing how musicians have had to adapt to the restrictions of COVID-19 in regards to writing and recording together. Not only are you guys in a band, but you’re also parents. How have you found a balance when it comes to parenthood and work?
It’s definitely a fluctuating learning curve. Finding the balance between all of these things is a challenge, but it is what we signed up for I suppose. If it wasn’t for this job I am sure I would have to learn that balance with something else. The sacrifice is real but the reward of doing what you love to support your family is an incredible gift.
The first time I saw Colony House live was years ago with my brother Danzell at The Tank Room, now the Black Dolphin. To this day it’s still one of my favorite concerts because of how intimate the venue was. Your guys’ tour was supposed to kick off in Tennessee at Bonnaroo. Is there a city or venue you’ve played in that meant a lot to you?
We have toured for so long now there are several spots on the map that hold a special place in our hearts for different reasons. A few examples would be. Philly … we broke down on our way to Philly after our playing [our] very first show in New York City. We didn’t have any money or anywhere to stay but a friend connected us to a family in Philly who hosted us for several days while we got our Van fixed. They have since become some of our favorite people in the world and feel like family. We played Red Rocks in Colorado once while opening for NeedtoBreathe and Switchfoot … a very epic night!
We love playing cities and venues that have supported the band from the early days like Fayetteville, Arkansas (George’s Majestic Theatre). Waco, Texas (Common Grounds).
Portland Oregon (Doug Fir). The list could go on and on.
Speaking of Tennessee, there’s such a deep history when it comes to different music venues and artists that have cut their teeth there. Bands like you guys, Paramore, and Kings of Leon have had such a profound influence on me and the way I listen to music. How has the music scene changed throughout Tennessee over the years from your perspective?
Well, it’s only grown. That’s for sure. It has stretched its arms a lot further outside of the country world and that’s really cool to be a part of. I’d say it is just fun to be a part of a city that’s constantly changing and evolving while still carrying the pride of being here since I was born.
It was really just an eclectic bunch of songs that we wanted to put out amidst this weird season we’ve all been in. The spirit behind it was to not overthink anything. We wanted to challenge ourselves to follow the inspiration and not get tied down by some invisible “theme box” that had made up rules we had to follow.
When we spoke back in 2016, I asked you guys what advice you would give to aspiring artists. Looking back on everything Colony House has accomplished up to this point, what advice would you give to your 21 year-old self?
Slow down and be patient. We put so much weight on ourselves having to accomplish these incredible things while we are young. It’s just not that important… because at the end of the day, if we aren’t satisfied with the moment we are currently in we won’t fully appreciate the things we are striving so hard after. (I’m currently still having to tell myself these same things all the time.)
Colony House’s new EP, Rotten Tomatoes, is out now and the band performs at The Granada on September 29 with Fleurie. Details on that show here.