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Color Killer Interview
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Color Killer Interview

July 13, 2018


Color Killer

Color Killer is a recent phenomena on the Boston Music scene. Between 8-13 years old these kids play Punk! They love it and were brought up on it. It warms the cockles of our punk rock hearts to know that Punk will live on with this next generation! In this interview we get a bit glimpse into a modern day kid's mind and life.

An interesting note is that these kids are influenced by second generation Punk i.e Green Day and Blink 182. As time goes on these kids will represent yet another manifestation of Punk to influence others after them. Punk's not dead by a long shot.

The Interview:

To us you seem very young. Do you think you are very young to be on stage playing punk? Or does it seem right?

Lincoln – It feels normal to me. It’s what we do.
Nate – Yes we are very young and sometimes it can seem awkward seeing 45 year olds play with us
Matt - It seems right. I don’t think we are too young.
Dylan - It feels perfect. Punk is about being unique and being yourself. I feel like that is exactly what we are… unique and doing exactly what we want to be doing.

When you decide you wanted to be in a band?

L – I started playing guitar 2½ years ago
N – About a year and a half ago
M - I never really wanted to be in a band until I saw the original Color Killer play at the Middle School Talent show.

Color Killer

What and/or who inspired each of you to start playing and to start a band? It looks like you are more inspired by Green Day and bands of that frame time rather than Sex Pistols and Ramones. Is that true?

L – I asked for a guitar when I was 6. My dad took me to guitar center and bought me an electric guitar. A couple months after that I told my mom she could throw away all of my toys because I just wanted to play music, so she did. My dad took me to see the Descendents in New Jersey two years ago and I wanted to play in a band ever since then. Dylan and Nate live across the street, so we started Color Killer with Dylan playing drums for the Jr. High talent show last year. We kind of broke up after that and then we met Matt and started playing a lot. Dylan came back as a second guitar player earlier this year.

N – In a way Lincoln influenced me, because he was playing guitar, or maybe Green Day because I saw them playing and was like that would be pretty cool if I could start playing bass and we could start a band.

M - I asked my parents for a drum kit when I was in 1st grade. The band just kind of happened when Lincoln invited Nate and I to play with him at Ralph’s Diner. I listen to a lot of Green Day.

D - I feel like we are inspired by Green Day and more current pop punk bands because that is what I grew up listening to. Some of my first concerts were Weezer, Green Day and Offspring.

How long have you been playing each of your instruments?

L – Guitar 2 ½ Years / Bass 1½ Years / Drums 1½ Years
N – I’ve been playing Bass for 1½ years. I started taking drum lessons this year too.
M - I have been playing the drums close to 4 years. I just started playing guitar too.
D - I’ve been playing guitar for about four or five years, but have taken it seriously for the last year.

Color Killer

Is it easy for you to play your instruments? Or do you struggle?

L – Playing guitar is pretty easy for me, but I’m still learning. I practice a lot by myself and take an hour lesson every week
N – At some points I struggle and at some points it is easy.
M - I don’t struggle much but sometimes getting the tempo right is hard.
D - Some things are easy on guitar. I can learn things quickly and memorize a song after playing it only a few times. Some things on guitar are still challenging for me. There is always something to learn and improve on guitar and my dad teaches me new techniques.

How do you learn your cover tunes? Music books? Other musician’s show you?

L – I can usually figure out rhythm, drums and bass by listening to them. Sometimes I have to get help from my guitar teacher on the lead parts, or I look them up online.
N – Either by Rocksmith or watching the band play it live on a video, but we haven’t needed to do that because we play originals now.
M - I usually just listen to them and try to figure them out by ear. Sometimes my drum teacher, Joe, will help me figure something out if there is a hard part.
D - I listen to the song and watch YouTube. My dad and I will break the song down together into the parts (bridge, chorus, etc.) and we will learn it together. He helps me hear different parts.

What’s your favorite cover song and why?

L – "Haunted House" by Teenage Bottlerocket because I like the lead parts in that and it’s a fun song.
N – Bang Bang by Green Day
M - My favorite cover to play is “They Call Me Steve” because I sometimes get to play lead guitar on it and Lincoln will play drums.
D - “Holiday in Cambodia” by Dead Kennedys. It is fun to play the two guitar version we arranged.

Color Killer

What was the first kind of music you heard and liked? Punk or some other type of music.

L – My dad listens to punk, so that’s all we really hear at my house.
N – I first started off with ramp / pop then slowly made my way into Punk
M - The itsy bitsy spider and row row row your boat!
D - I've listened to a variety of different types of music and didn't always listen to punk, in fact I used to listen to only electronic music.

And how do you hear music every day? Radio, Ipod, Spotify?

L – I watch YouTube videos a lot because I like to watch music videos
N – It’s a mix of radio and blasting stuff through my speaker
M - I listen to my Sonos every night when I go to bed. I use to listen to Green Day radio but now I listen to Color Killer Radio on Napster!
D - I usually listen to YouTube and Amazon Music.

Who is writing your original songs?

L – It depends on the song, some we wrote the lyrics and some we wrote the music. We have gotten a lot of help from Jay Gauvin of the Prozacs and Walt Labree of After The Blackout.
N – It’s a group effort between all of the band, Jay Gauvin and Walter Labree.
M - Mostly we work with Jay Gauvin and Walt Labree. But me and my mom have each written one.

Lillingtons and Lincoln

And tell us about those originals? Titles and what they are about. And how you work them out.

L – Our first two songs were “I Just Wanna” and “Down With Winter” I went to Walt’s just to record some stuff and we recorded the songs without lyrics. Jay heard them and wrote some lyrics for them. "Down With Winter" went crazy on the internet, so Walter and Jay started helping us write more. "Michael Doesn’t Like Me" is a true story about a kid on our street. He really did pee in my sandbox. Walter had a song he wrote a long time ago about a girl, so we gave him dirt on Michael and he changed the words of the song. Jay wrote "Toothless Wonder" for me because I was losing a lot of teeth and having trouble singing. Nate and I recorded the music for "Spiders" with help from Walter and then Jay took Nates story about spiders and helped make it into a song

N – "Spiders" is my favorite song. We came up with it by a story that happened to us. We were in the basement practicing when I stopped in the middle of a song and stared at the huge spider coming down from the ceiling. I just stared at it and all of a sudden they all stopped and yelled RUN! We all put our instruments down and ran up the stairs saying we would never go down there again unless someone kills it and I said if spiders grow wings I’m leaving this planet.

M - I helped write "Maci". I got in trouble at the boys and girls club one day when I bit my classmate Maci on the leg. She was picking on me and I was trapped in the corner. My parents said I had to write an apology letter so instead I wrote a song. She didn’t like it but Walt helped me make it better. My mom wrote the words for "Generation Z" and Jay helped add the music because my mom doesn’t play any instruments!

Color Killer

What do you think is the difference between punk and other types of rock that you hear?

L – Punk is fast and fun to play.
N – Actually, they have a lot in common.
M - Other types of rock are real hard core. Punk is more fun and more simple.
D - Punk is deeper than other types of rock. Punk sounds more raw.

Do you know what disco is?

L – Yes
N – Yes, it’s a wired dance with hippie music in the background. There is an emote in Fortnite called Disco Fever.
M - NO, what the heck is Disco?
D - Disco is a type of dancing music.

OK, we don't even know what that means! But anyway: What do you think of these clubs and bars that you play in? Are they fun places or just a place to play your music?

L – Some are pretty cool, like Ralph’s and Midway Café.
N – Some are fun and some are not.
M - The Raven is fun because they have pool tables. The Tank is fun because they always have a raffle and its fun to see if you win. Plus they have a big tank that we play on outside. I like the stage at Beatniks and they have a couch in the back so we can relax in between moshing!
D - Playing in clubs is a lot of fun. I like listening to other bands and hanging out with my bandmates and other bands.

Lillingtons and Lincoln

What do you think of the older muscians you share the stage with at your gigs?

L – They’re mostly all cool. We are friends with a lot of them now.
N – I like to see them play and maybe pick up on some bass stuff.
M - I think they are all nice but they are 3 feet taller than me so it’s hard to communicate because it’s loud. They are all really nice to us. They always give us high fives and shout out to Color Killer when they are on stage!
D - I love talking to other musicians! It is always one of my favorite parts of a show. I like buying their merch and getting my pictures taken with them. I also like talking to them about music. So far every musician has been very supportive and given us great advice! Most are excited to see punk being played by young kids to see punk continue.

As way way underage how do you maneuver getting gigs in bars & clubs?

L – Some places won’t let us play. Some let us play, but nobody under 21 can go, but sometimes let our sisters go. Some have all ages shows.
N – Like Lincoln said on the radio, we have to compromise with them to get them to let us play
M - Tony works it out so we can get in. He sometimes even gets in the sisters!
D - Well we are ALWAYS with our parents. A lot of shows we play at are all ages. A few have been 21+ and then our parents REALLY watch us. Most places have been really cool about letting us play as long as we stay out of the bar area and are with our parents.

Color Killer

Now tell us about the Warped Tour! WOW!! First off congratulations! How did that happen? How’d you get on that tour?

L – Our video for “Down With Winter” got over a million views on Facebook in a couple weeks. My dad was talking to somebody he knew who was playing the whole tour and 5 minutes later, we were in.

Is it hard to stay up at night for the late shows?

L – Sometimes it is. My dad always makes us stay for all the bands and it gets pretty late.
N – Not at all because after a while you just get used to it.
M - Not really, we do it a lot and just sleep late the next day.
D - I almost always fall asleep on the way home! But if it's a good band (which it always is!), then I like listening to them. My mom makes me go to bed early the night before a show and the night after the show.

Killer Color

Please tell us you are wearing ear protection!!! What do you think of that? Lincoln, we saw you at The Queers show covering your ears. Is it painful?

L – We wear in ear monitors when we play and practice. I wear ear protection at shows. At the Queers show, I forgot my ear protection so I got some from the bartender and they were hard to keep in my ears, so I had to keep pushing them in.
N – Yes, we use in ear protection when we play and my parents make me wear earplugs when I watch. My mom has bad hearing so I know it’s important to wear them.
M - I wear in ear monitors when I play and when loud bands play I wear ear plugs.
D - I always wear ear protection. If I don’t protect my ears, then I can’t be a musician!

Color Killer

What do other kids your age in school think about what you are doing?

L – A lot of them don’t believe we have a band. Some think it’s cool. Kids were mean to Matt and I this week at camp because they didn’t believe we had a band. Then they saw our videos and heard us on the radio and now they want to be our friends.
N – Sometimes they make fun of us because of our hair and stuff.
M - At first they don’t think that the band is real and then they hear us and they like us and our type of music.
D - Some of my friends have come to see shows and they are really excited. Some kids tease me about hanging out with kids who are younger than me in the band, but I don’t care.

What’s more important – homework or band practice?

L – Band practice. But I always do all my homework too.
N – Band practice, it’s way better than homework.
M - Band practice all the way. Homework sucks.
D - They are both important. Band practice is just my band homework. I make sure I have time to do both even if that means doing extra homework one night if I have band practice the next night. I play lacrosse in the spring also, so it can be a little busy on the day that I have lacrosse, homework, band practice and school. But I get it all done!

Do you think you will do this your whole life? Or do you have other things you want to do as you grow older?

L – I hope so.
N – As of right now, for my whole life.
M - No I want to stick with music my whole life and go to Berkley.
D - I’m only 12, I have no idea what I want to do! I do know that music will always be an important part of my life.

Color Killer
Lillingtons and Lincoln

Where is the album recorded and who help you with the recording?

L – It was recorded by Walter Labree at Skunk House Recording in Worcester, MA and mixed and mastered by Jamie McMann (Tony Sly, NOFX, Swingin' Utters etc) at Ground Zero Recording, Rochester, NY
N - Skunk house records with Walt and Jay.

How long did it take to record it all?

L – Three or Four months I think.
N - Took us 2-3 months overall but each of us were in for different amounts of time.

You must have felt pretty cool in a recording studio doing that. Tell us how you felt? Was it fascinating? exhilarating? describe how it felt in there doing that at your age!

L – It was fun. I had recorded some songs before we started recording the album, so I knew what I had to do. I was there a lot though and started to get tired of it. I have recorded a lot of songs myself since summer started. Most times it’s just me playing everything, but sometimes I get the other band members to record a part. I think I like recording almost as much as playing and it’s cool that I am learning to do it myself.
N - It was a small space, definitely soundproofed. It was very cool but claustrophobic. We had to repeat parts to the point of sometimes hating the songs. It was amazing but I’d be curious what a professional studio looks like.
M - It felt a little awkward at first because I wasn't really sure what was going on . Walt was doing a lot on his computer and everyone was just staring at me. As I got use to it, it felt pretty cool. Recording background vocals felt harder because I had to do lots of takes.

Same thing with being on the radio!! And WAAF! We've been on MFO and had fun doing that.

L – It was pretty exciting because it was the first time we were on the radio.
N - Knowing tens of thousands of people were listening and possibly watching online. The DJs were cool to talk with and it was easy to make to make them laugh.
M - WAAF was cool. When we were setting up the drums, we got stuck in the studio because they went live on the air. They were talking about pretty funny stuff!
D - It was pretty cool being on WAAF! It felt good to play on the radio because it was showcasing Color Killer to lots of people who wouldn’t normally hear about us.

Also I was wondering about the age differences. I know usually no 13 year old would be caught dead hanging with an 8 year old. How do you deal with the age differences? That's a lot of years when you are 8 or 13.

L – I don’t really notice. When we’re playing music everybody usually follows what I say. When we’re just hanging out, Nate thinks he’s in charge (but he’s not).
N - When it comes to music, Lincoln doesn’t seem 8. He’s talented. Matt works hard and is a good drummer. The ages don't really matter when we’re up on stage. Now when we practice, that’s a different thing.
M - I am in the middle, 2 years apart, so it does' really matter to me. Sometimes they think they know more because they are older and they have done stuff we haven't yet!
D - Most of the time I don’t even think about it! We like the same music and video games. We hang out together and have fun even if there is an age difference. Hanging out with younger kids can be annoying sometimes because they don’t know what Nate and I are talking about… especially when we are talking about school.

Color Killer


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