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  • Writer's pictureStevie Connor

The Sound Café Brings You An Exclusive Interview With The Color Blew, A Trailblazing Indie Alternative Rock Band From South Africa

The Color Blew

The Sound Café is thrilled to bring you an exclusive interview with The Color Blew, a trailblazing indie alternative rock band from South Africa. Known for their profound lyrics and evocative soundscapes, The Color Blew has been a significant presence in the music scene since their inception in 2014. With their latest single, "Discount Hearts," the band continues to push boundaries and captivate audiences worldwide. Join us as we delve into the heart of their music, their creative process, and the stories behind their latest release.


The Color Blew

Q: The Color Blew has been around since 2014, and you have quite a rich history in the South African music scene. Can you tell us how the band has evolved over the years?


The Color Blew (Timothy Lotter): As much as it's been a journey of music, it's been a journey of us as friends and brothers. Through our experiences of gigging, touring, getting through the pandemic, and our own personal endeavors, we collectively arrived where we are now. This chapter is us sharing our journey through our music.


The Color Blew (Liaan Horton): I think as people we grew and changed; that is the natural order of things. You either stagnate or evolve… we don’t like stagnation, and we like reading the next chapter. Every song is a time capsule of the specific moment it was meant to capture, and that is the order of things.


Q: With over 65 years of collective experience, how do you manage to keep your music fresh and relevant in the ever-changing music industry?


The Color Blew (Liaan Horton): Simple, we don’t try to do anything… we play exactly what we feel and what we want to hear. Somewhere out there, people will want to hear our music, and they find it and appreciate it. That is how it should be—the order of art. I don’t want to be forced or guided into a space that is “safe.” We have always been averse to that. If you want real, raw, and unfiltered, it’s us right here.


Q: Your music transcends traditional genre boundaries, blending elements of grunge, punk, jazz, and African beats. How do you approach the fusion of these diverse influences in your sound?


The Color Blew (Timothy Lotter): With such a diverse blend of musical influences, we naturally incorporate different aspects of different genres when writing, but always maintain our core sound. We're always trying to push our own boundaries musically and explore new and different sounds.


Q: Your new single ‘Discount Hearts’ is set to release on July 5. Can you share the inspiration and creative process behind this song?


The Color Blew (Timothy Lotter): From the guitar standpoint, I wanted there to be a distinct duality between the soft, wavy clean sounds of the verse and the explosive, heavy sounds of the chorus and solo to emphasize the song's contrast.


The Color Blew (Liaan Horton): It’s chaos and harmony in a decadent wrapper. The challenge was trying to harness and capture the raw energy in the recording, which I think we did… it's not watered down but 100% tang.


Q: Liaan Horton provided a compelling commentary on the themes of "Discount Hearts," touching on self-worth and emotional compromise. How do these themes resonate with the band and your personal experiences?


The Color Blew (Timothy Lotter): It’s important for us to be on the same page; it just works. Marius often says that Liaan somehow ends up saying what we all are feeling in the song. That is the special nature of the band’s relationship. It resonates through the energy and manifests in raw passion while playing this song.


Q: The lyrics of ‘Discount Hearts’ are quite evocative. Can you take us through the narrative of the song and what you hope listeners take away from it?


The Color Blew (Liaan Horton): I think it’s all of us at once… we let things happen sometimes because they can. It’s not all good, it’s not all bad; it’s the experience of living. It’s not specific but a general apathy. I think there is a truth for everyone playing the song and everyone who enjoys listening to it… it is what it becomes to you that matters, even a warm blanket of emotional damage, which is part of the human condition.


Q: Reflecting on your past releases, including your acclaimed cover of "Under Pressure" and your original "Love in Space," how does ‘Discount Hearts’ compare in terms of musical style and thematic depth?


The Color Blew (Liaan Horton): Creatively, this song is part of our new cycle of songs, which we kicked off with "Love in Space" last year. It’s a different era for us where we immensely enjoyed writing these songs as jams that evolved into moments captured as songs. I think the song is yet again a raw moment reflecting our fragile humanity and basic craving for mutual acceptance and affection. It's part two of the journey started by "Love in Space."


The Color Blew (Timothy Lotter): Recently, we have put sincerity at the forefront of our music and gone in a simpler, more emotionally heavy direction. We are placing more emphasis on the songs as a whole, rather than just the sum of their parts.


Q: Since your formation, what has been the most significant challenge you’ve faced as a band, and how have you overcome it?


The Color Blew (Liaan Horton): We have had our fair share of tragedies, ranging from deep personal loss to existential threats that are very difficult to speak about… it’s in the music, it’s right there in the songs. I will say that if it wasn’t for the formation of this band and the love of my son, I would not have been here today.


Q: The South African music scene is incredibly diverse. How has your local environment influenced your music and your growth as artists?


The Color Blew (Liaan Horton): I think for all of us, we have been involved in this industry for most of our lives in various roles. Personally, for me, it was all I wanted to do as far back as I can remember. Growing up in the East Rand is not the easiest thing, especially if you had long hair and liked playing guitar! It shaped me and motivated me to try harder, to keep doing what I knew I was born to do, and here we are. Things don’t always turn out exactly the way you wanted… but they turn out the way they should.


Q: You record your music in a private studio in Springs, Gauteng (South Africa). How does having your own studio impact your creative process and the final output of your music?


The Color Blew (Liaan Horton): Recording music is a great passion of mine… many sacrifices and lots of hard work by many people allowed us to be in this fortunate position where we can call Audio Vibez Records home. I always wanted to be in this position, and finally, we are. It allows us to create without boundaries, and that is the way it should be.


Q: Can you describe your typical songwriting process? Do you have any rituals or routines that help you get into the creative zone?


The Color Blew (Timothy Lotter): Anything we create is done without any preconceived notions and is purely trying to capture our own voices and experiences as accurately as possible. If we’re sincere about what we create, we believe it will reach the right audience.


The Color Blew (Marius Cronje): We tend to write the music first, which allows us to capture the feel of a specific moment in time. Between Tim, Armando, and myself, we tend to play off each other, and that understanding of where your piece is in a song subconsciously dictates what either the bassline or guitar riff/lick and even the drum fill will be.


The Color Blew (Liaan Horton): I think we just try to be real… we don’t consider what the song might or might not do; we go where it takes us. I believe good art challenges you; it makes you feel uncomfortable sometimes and excites you when you need it most. Whether that’s good or bad is up to your interpretation… our music and what we are is 100% emotion. It took time to get here, but we plan on staying awhile.


Q: Collaboration is key in a band setting. How do you navigate creative differences and ensure that each member’s voice is heard in the final product?


The Color Blew (Liaan Horton): We respect each other through years of trust and understanding to know when someone doesn’t connect with a piece of music… either we all feel it, or we move on. Simple, no ego.


Q: What can fans expect from The Color Blew in the coming months following the release of ‘Discount Hearts’? Are there any upcoming projects or tours we should be excited about?


The Color Blew (Liaan Horton): ‘Discount Hearts’ is the second part in the story following “Love in Space.” Without revealing too much, expect part three later this year…


The Color Blew (Timothy Lotter): We will be releasing a music video for ‘Discount Hearts’ and expect to release two more singles before the year is out!


Q: How do you see The Color Blew evolving in the next five years? What are your long-term goals for the band?


The Color Blew (Liaan Horton): We are laser-focused on releasing music and content regularly over the next couple of years. The world of music has changed, and us along with it, I would like to think. I want us to connect in ways not possible before with our audience. We can invite them into our lives and share the creation process more openly… that is the goal for me in the future.


Q: For your fans in the US and Canada, what message would you like to convey through your music and this latest single?


The Color Blew (Liaan Horton): We are humbled and grateful for your support. It is one of our aspirations to tour the US and Canada, and hopefully, we can make that come true in the future with your ongoing support and love. Please share the music, tell your friends about this band in South Africa, and join the journey.



The Color Blew continues to redefine the indie alternative rock scene with their unique blend of heartfelt lyrics and innovative soundscapes. As they prepare to release "Discount Hearts," we anticipate a powerful impact that will resonate deeply with fans worldwide. Stay tuned to The Sound Café for more updates on The Color Blew and their musical journey.


‘Discount Hearts’ is available on all platforms Friday 5 July

The Color Blew

In the realm of Indie Alternative Rock, The Color Blew stands as a deep and perceptive presence, proudly positioned amidst a sea of commercially driven music that tends to be overproduced. Their sonic landscape serves as a refreshing alternative, where talent and passion seamlessly intertwine with depth and meaning - a sanctuary free from the constraints of conventional musical expectations. Discerning audiences often find themselves immersed in moments of profound listening, captivated by the artful sound and impassioned performances, blissfully oblivious to the world around them.


Since their inception in 2014, The Color Blew has been a stalwart presence in the South African music scene, boasting a collective band experience exceeding 65 years. The quartet comprises Liaan Horton, the soulful voice and rhythmic prowess behind the microphone; Marius Cronje, laying down the foundation on bass guitar; Timothy James Lotter, weaving intricate melodies on lead guitar; and Armando Santos, the heartbeat of the ensemble on drums.


Hailing from the East Rand of Gauteng, South Africa, The Color Blew finds their creative sanctuary in Springs, where they diligently craft, record, and produce their music in their private studio. Their commitment to excellence is unwavering, whether in the studio or under the spotlight, embodying consummate professionalism on every occasion.


Attempting to pigeonhole their sound into a single sub-genre of Rock would be akin to restricting a painter to a single-color palette. Broadly categorized as Alternative Rock, their music transcends boundaries, drawing heavily from the raw energy of Grunge and Punk, as showcased in their debut album 'The Canvas.' The evolution of their sonic palette is evident in their newer releases, where the vibrant hues of Jazz and African beats converge with meaningful lyrics, exemplified in their sophomore album 'Light Switch.'


In 2022, The Color Blew paid homage to the legendary Queen and David Bowie with their rendition of 'Under Pressure,' earning a place on the SA Top 40 and various international indie charts. The subsequent year saw the release of 'Love in Space', a musical odyssey that propelled them to new heights, securing chart positions with both local and international radio stations. This success underscored the band's versatility, demonstrating their mastery across a spectrum of genres.


As the calendar turns to 2024, The Color Blew stands on the cusp of a new musical chapter, eagerly anticipating the release of fresh compositions that continue to define their brand of Indie Alternative Rock. On Friday 5 July the new single 'Discount Hearts' will be released.


With unwavering passion and a commitment to pushing the boundaries of South African music, The Color Blew remains a dynamic force, etching an indelible mark on the ever-expanding canvas of their musical journey.

The Color Blew



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