PropertyOfZack recently caught up with Casey Crescenzo of The Dear Hunter for an incredible interview. Casey discussed in heavy detail the process behind finally creating The Color Spectrum, how much of a role Andy Hull of Manchester Orchestra had in helping the project finally come to fruition, what’s next for The Dear Hunter musically following The Color Spectrum, touring, and so much more. Make sure you take the time to read the full interview, because it’s something you don’t want to miss out on!
The Color Spectrum project began somewhere around 11 months ago and we’re one day from its release. At times did it seem like the concept would never be able to be finished?
It started a lot longer than eleven months ago when I tried a few times to get it off the ground while simultaneously dealing with the normal politics of being in a band, but this sort of project really demands a lot of hard work. I just was never able to actually get things going, and most of it was because it was a project that required a lot of dedication, time, energy, and a lot of your life to do something that is this ambitious. That’s not me commenting on the quality and saying that I necessarily did a great or a bad job, but that amount of work just requires a lot of work. After trying to get it done so many times, the only thing that kept me thinking it wasn’t going to get done, was that I was relying on the people around me to sort of be a part of it and help me out and help see this big undertaking actually happen and only at the point when it was up to me personally did it seem to me that it was something that I would do. About eleven months ago is when that happened and when it became obvious that it was going to get done. It was going to require me going away for a better part of the year and working as hard as I could on something that I really loved to do. As soon as that happened, I knew it was going to happen. I didn’t have any other thought in my head other than that I wasn’t going to stop until I accomplished this.
The Dear Hunter is obviously not new to concept releases, and you’ve said that The Color Spectrum was a long-delayed idea, but what originally inspired you to do this project?
Originally, it was while I was working on the first full-length of the other concept that is running in the band. I realized the timeline that would be required to finish that concept and that was about eight years away at that point, and I just got to thinking about what I might do once I finish that concept. As time went on it was more about what was another outlet for music, not that I’ve dug myself into a hole, but that I have set out to do this one set of six records and just wanting to have some idea in the back of my head about what I’d do when it was over. It developed into a project that became a break in between working on Act III and Act IV.
What does The Color Spectrum mean for you as a whole?
The idea of the whole project was not necessarily to declare to every listener that this is the way that they should hear these colors. It’s not me putting my foot down on me saying what I think everyone should feel. At the end of the day, it is just music, but it was more about naming the inspirations for the music and for me taking these things that were absolutely visual and representing them in the way that I am inspired by them sonically. When I sit back down I look at an entire collection of music and I see it as a very wide representation of my inspiration from something that is not audible. If that could sound any less emotional, but it is definitely from the heart. I wanted to be inspired by something that is very basic, and let that inspiration kind of grow and run wild in my own head. I think that’s what it represents at the end of the day.
Was your work for The Color Spectrum a necessary break from Acts, or did it happen naturally?
I think it was both. It came about naturally and the amount of times the situation presented itself was very natural as well. At the point that I realized it was what felt right to do next it seemed even more obvious that I needed it and if that I was going to go write myself to write Act IV or jump right into the standard release system for labels with an eighteen month record cycle that I felt like I was going to write something that was going to be very forced and something that would be very dishonest and that I would just be doing it to do it, because at the moment I didn’t really feel like doing it and it didn’t strike me as what I should be doing. It was kind of like everything aligned; we had just finished touring for Act III, and by default we were getting less tour offers and it made less sense for us to tour around the country for the tenth time on the same record. I was thinking if I should do Act IV, and I was sitting with my cousin in my studio late at night and it was like, “Remember that idea that I had about doing a bunch of records about colors? Maybe I should do that right now.” It was very easy going. That’s what I did.
When did the writing process for the EPs actually begin?
The last false start was about eleven months ago when I was trying to get people behind it around me. I was trying to get it started that way with musicians behind me that I knew. As soon as it became obvious that it was another false start, but that I still felt compelled and inspired to complete it, the actual songwriting didn’t really start until September.
(subtitle: So You Think You Can Rest?)
First of all, welcome everybody to the other side. If you’re reading this you’ve had at least 24 hours to get your Color Spectrum on. The official fan forums are lighting up with new members and immense praise. Twitter is filled with nothing but TDH love. Here on Tumblr we’re seeing all sorts of reblogging. Yesterday was a very big day indeed.
For those of you not following us on Twitter, let me recap some of the biggest Color Spectrum news from yesterday:
1. Peaked at #3 on Amazon’s Hot New Alt. Rock Releases. (proof!)
2. Made it to #18 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases
3. Topped out at #6 on the Movers and Shakers list
I don’t have stats for other mediums (and I have to get to work soon) but The Color Spectrum took off in a major way, and it’s in large part due to you awesome fans. Let me share with you what the ever humble Mr. Casey Crescenzo had to say about the launch efforts:
How to start this..?
For the past 5 years I have been working without pause on trying to be the best I could be at this strange thing I do- doing my best to power through any hurdle that presented itself, be it personal or professional. I have always written from the heart, and done my best to remain transparent as an artist and an individual.
You guys have been with me the whole way, and have given me such amazing inspiration throughout this strange birth of a ‘career’. Simply writing here is not enough to show you how grateful I am, and I wish there was a more tangible way for me to show you, but I just want you to know in your hearts that it means the world to me, and that I know for a fact I would not be anywhere close to where I am if it weren’t for the unwavering support and love you have shown me.
It is incredibly humbling that you have all been so kind to me, and I hope with every future release you feel more and more gratitude, because it is most certainly due to you.
Thank you guys so much.
So we made a difference, and should be proud of our support.
But that was only the first day! While it seems like that was the most important part, what we really should be doing is continuing to support this release. So here’s your post-launch plan: promote like crazy.
Tweet about your favorite ep/song (use the #colorspectrum tag!), blog and reblog others (and tag appropriately!), share the streaming tracks with friends, change your profile picture to your favorite ep cover art, join the forum and discuss more ways to keep the interest level high,write a review of the album (either on a blog or on the site you purchased from), suggest the $8 compilation instead of the full collection for your cheap friends, or think of a new awesome way to represent.
We’d love to hear more suggestions on how to keep this multicolored ball rolling! Submit your ideas in whatever way you see fit. We’re listening to you (because we are fans just like you)
Keep up the good fight, brethren.