Track By Tracks: The Colony - Smoke & Mirrors (2019)


1. Smoke:

The intro to the album is called Smoke. Aaron (guitar) had been writing a lot of instrumental pieces whilst writing the album and Smoke wasn’t one of them. Smoke came about from the interlude track Mirrors. He wrote this to be an instrumental on the album for a break in between the heavier songs and then decided that he wanted to write a heavy Intro to the album with the same theme from Mirrors. The title was named smoke for the contrasting juxtaposition effect.

2. On My Own:

The first song on the album was actually the last song to be written. We had all these riffs kicking about and different versions of the riffs and nothing was working at all. So we decided to do a typical Colony track so fans could get straight into the album with something we are known for. Heavy riffs, big chorus with harmonies, dynamic interlude with a huge simple solo. Aaron (guitar) played about with different gear for the recording of this, there’s a Fender Stratocaster for some of the clean pickings and there’s also the use of a Digitec Whammy pedal. The lyrics on this song are pretty straight forward to the meaning behind them, we wanted to get straight to the point with this song, no BS.

3. Soul Saviour:

Soul Saviour was the one song we just couldn’t finish or just wasn’t happy with at the time. It was either too long or too boring, So what we did was got our engineer and producer Roddy ‘Teeby’ MacKenzie to help finish and give an outsider point of view. He took what we had recorded and then played about with the structure and then added effects and totally butchered what we had. When he was finished, we then listened back and had about 90% of what you hear today. Aaron added a lot of underlying guitars to create textures and added some duel guitars for the intro riff. The interlude again playing about with the Digitec Whammy pedal and adding a new element to our sound. The lyrics had to have a lot of work done to them, not the chorus the chorus was written and the melody was done in the practice space, Aaron and Pete just played the chorus chords and started singing and harmonizing and we knew that it was a chorus we all loved and could get behind. The theme continues from ‘On My Own’ with the interlude lyrics being ‘My mask is wearing thin, could these demons really win? Even deserts call for rain, and you can never show the pain.’

4. The Flood:

This one we tried to put in perspective of a soul who has passed on and started sailing into the afterlife. ‘Another soul sailing to sleep’ as they are sailing, I would assume it would be quite scary not knowing what's going on ‘Time will pass as we float unsure’

The chorus is the realization of their situation and that they can either dwell that they are passing on or they can accept that they had lived the life they had ‘Will you drown in your sorrows, or find a wave to ride.’ When it comes to the middle section of this song this is when the soul is ready to move to the afterlife and be at peace ‘look far into the distance... we sail to infinity’. Musically this was written by Aaron in half an hour, ‘I had the chords I wanted and knew the structure, so I built the song up from the chorus. I wanted to make to song simple but massive to try and let emotion in the vocals take over.’ This is emphasised with the violins and piano.

5. Here We Stand:

Here We Stand is one of the heavier songs on the album, it’s a heavy album but this song doesn’t have the big chorus or the melodic sections, its straight up heavy and in your face. We wanted to write something that was a bit more metalcore but not too much that it sounded like a different band. This was one of the songs that took a bit of time to work on and actually for the majority of the band to get into. The lyrics in this song is about someone that’s not got a home or is homeless and how people walk by and ignore them, not acknowledging their existence. To sum up its about people looking down on others, not knowing their life story and judging them before they get to know them. Its also a song that suggest it may not be today but some day a revolution will happen and Here We Stand.

6. Always:

This song was actually written by Riki (Drums) he had the riffs and about 80% of the structure when he brought it to the table as a demo. ‘This one came to me pretty quickly I wanted to make the chorus very positive and life assuring that life is great with your loved ones around you no matter what’s happening in your life. You need loved ones to help you get through and makes life a lot better. It's not your job to save the whole world from all the terrible things in it but with loved ones around, the world is a better place and that’s how I wrote the lyrics for the chorus.

‘I see clear what the world is, to save it is not our purpose, every day’s better with those we love always’

7. Mirrors:

Going back to Smoke, Mirrors was the instrumental that was written to take a step back from the craziness that’s on the album and give the listener some breathing space. We try and arrange the songs on our albums as if they are a live set list but also keeping the journey of the album relevant. Again, the contrasting juxtaposition for the title and how the track actually goes. Mirrors beinf something heavy and reflective where the song is mellow and relaxing.

8. Carry On:

Carry On was written about overcoming depression and grief. The album has a mental illness concept like we have mentioned before. With the lyrics we took a more darker approach but also an acceptance approach ‘One day all of us will be ghosts’ but before we meet I must live a life fulfilled and complete’ this is saying one day life does end and we will meet those we lost but before we do lets live life to its fullest whilst accepting what is to come. Like being at peace with the end of the journey so to speak. The chorus is a message to the people in or have been on our lives. They are the reason we ‘Carry On’ living and enjoying life in supporting us with the band. Being in a band isn’t easy.

The middle section takes a quick turn. Even though you have a good day’s there is always bad days that creep on you and sometimes you reach the end of your tether. ‘I heard we live and die by the choices that we make, There’s only so much, so much that we can take’ The reason this was put into the middle section was because in the song it’s heavy musically so we wanted to associate the heaviness with the good times and then for musical dynamics and lyrical contrast wanted the quiet section to be about the days your emotions are low, so the volume drop in this song represents more than just a change in music.

9. Disconnected:

So, this track is like our version of a ballad. This was the original instrumental track that we wrote for the last album but didn’t get the attention it needed to be a full song. The music was written by Konnar and Aaron. Konnar wrote all the clean rhythms whilst we were touring over in Ireland, once the cleans had been recorded we started adding layers of clean and acoustic style guitars on top for texture. The song originally finished just before the distortion kicks in being an instrumental but the band made a decision that this should have vocals and worked on as a full song. It took about 5 days to finish this song musically with different tempo changes and to get the feel right for the buildup. A nice piece of tension and release song writing 1-0-1. The lyrics to this song going along with the theme of the album is not about the person going through grief but it’s at the point of view from the friend or family member that’s helping them through it. Giving them love and advice about what they may be going through.

10. Sands of Time:

The longest song we have written and the first song we had written for the album. This was our attempt at thinking of a musical journey within a song having all the element dynamics, tension, release and melody whilst still being heavy and relevant. This song was written fully by Aaron and Riki at the beginning of the creative process about 90% and then fully finished when the producer listened and gave his opinion. It's an 8-minute song but you don’t get bored, it's not riffs repeating themselves 8 times, there's only 2 choruses in this song, we literally wrote this song based on natural feel rather than piecing ideas together that already existed. Aaron must have recorded this song about 20 times with different tempos, time signatures, also trying new ideas with gear such as baritone guitars and double bass. The lyrics were written by Aaron and George (bass), it’s the epic finally of the album and we wanted the lyrics to be emotionally huge and meaningful. The content is about humanity and how we are lost within ourselves and lost within society this is concreted in the chorus. ‘We’re lost, we’re lost. We’re too far gone, searching together, but lost forever. Heartbreaking, Soul shaping, the pessimist with Sands of Time.’
So that’s our album track by track, even though some members wrote lyrics to the songs, these were all worked on by the band and finalised by the band as well as the music. Massive thanks to Teeby the producer and Gerard vocal producer for making this the best album in our career. ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ September 28th available on all platforms and hardcopy.

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