City and Colour, aka Dallas Green, will be releasing his new album The Hurry and The Harm at the end of this month. After a great run with Alexisonfire, Green has decided to concentrate solely on his solo work as City and Colour, parting from his former band and band mates last year. It seems like a joke really, that the lead singer of a hardcore band could turn around and produce such pleasant melodic music, but Green is far from a joke, and if anything, he’s proving that tattoos and loud music don’t always make a guy tough. But don’t bag on Canada’s weather, because he will pull rank.
Both the acts that you’ve been apart of have been so popular but so polar opposite. Where are you originally rooted in music?
I guess I’ve always been a fan of melody first, but I was always into aggressive things too. I’ll be 33 years old this year, when I was a teenager that was the early 90’s so I’m a product of grunge really. When I was 11, 12, 13 years old, that’s when Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains were spiking in the main stream and that really grabbed a hold on me. Its what really made me stand up and take notice to music. Alice in Chains especially – if you look at Alice in Chains’ music it was very moody and loud and hard rock but also they had this unbelievable sense of melody and their was nothing like their harmonies.
From that I sort of branched out into different styles of things; Quicksands and Deftones but I also discovered Jeff Buckley around that time as well, which made me want to explore the idea of singing so much more. I was sort of always drawn to rock music but I was also drawn to melody and voice.
When it comes back to Alexis, I feel like the answer is in the proof but does your heart lie heavier with the music you’re making now than what you made with Alexis?
I think over time this is where the creative side of me was heading. Who knows if that’s where it will always be. The next time I pick up my guitar to try to right a song it could be something loud and aggressive and I’ll have to find somewhere to put it. But for the last bunch of years when I’ve started to write a song, or play my guitar, these are the songs that have come out of me. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to leave the band because I felt if I tried to make another record I would be forcing it and I never wanted to be in that position. I never want to make a record because it’s time to make a record; I want to make a record because I’ve got a bunch of songs that I really love.
On the flip side of that, it’s still not to say that you won’t be making another album with Alexis, it’s just to say that that’s not what’s happening right now. Right?
Right. George bought that up when I said I wanted to leave the band. George said: “Why can’t you just go and do City and Colour records and when you want to, come back.” and I said “I don’t want to make you wait for me.” This was before I made this last album, I said “I’m going to make this album and go on tour and what happenes if when I’m finished I have all these other songs and I want to make another City and Colour record, are you guys just going to sit there and wait until I feel the need to express myself?” and that’s why I wanted to leave the band and put an end to it because I didn’t want to make people wait around for years and years. That’s not to say that one day I won’t come up with all these ideas and call the guys. The good thing [is that] I have a bunch of friends that I used to be in a really heavy band with who I know can make good heavy records and stuff.
Its always good for your fan base to know that there is that possibility that they’ll hear more of what they love. I know someone who cried at your very last concert because it was the last one.
I cried at those last shows because it meant as much, if not more, to me.
Is there an Australian tour coming up?
Well, I don’t know. I know that there is talk that I might get an offer to do Big Day Out but I’m not sure. That’s not up to me I guess, its up to them to ask. But if that doesn’t happen I still want to come back as soon as possible. I’d come play there tomorrow; it’s my favourite place to tour. I think towards the end of the year probably.
It’s the best time to be here, it’s scorching hot and the beaches are beautiful.
It’s the worst time of year in Canada.
That’s right, I hate the snow. I can’t deal with winter; I don’t know how you do it.
Wait a minute, how do you hate the snow? How many time shave you dealt with the snow?
Maybe five times in my life.
You can’t say you hate it.
Ok, it’s not so much that I hate the physical snow, its that I hate everything that comes with it. I can’t ski, I can’t snowboard, and I can’t ice-skate because I’m uncoordinated.
As a 32-year-old man who has lived in the winter his whole life; I can’t ski, or snowboard, or ice-skate either. The snow can be a total, total bummer, but it can also be quite beautiful. You can’t say you hate it. I’ve earned the right to say that I hate it. As a Canadian it’s our god given right to complain about the weather. But you, being a bratty Australian, you can’t complain about the weather. I wont allow it.
City and Colour’s new album The Hurry and The Harm with be out May 31st.
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