Print Edition: January 8, 2014
UFV English student Wade Findlay is the mastermind behind the electronic music of Thru Colorado. He fills the role of producer, sound technician, and vocalist. His album Ephemera was released last fall and can be found on Bandcamp.
The first thing I wanted to ask you about was the cranes on the cover of your album.
Oh, the cranes. The artwork was done by my friend Amanda Field, and she’s a very cool artist. I just said to her, “Do you want to do an album cover?” and she said she’d love to. She just came up with some ideas. I didn’t specify anything. That’s one of the ones she came up with, and I liked it.
You’re not just the musician on this album, but the recorder and mixer and producer. What kind of experience do you have producing music and making music?
I’ve been playing around with different recording software for as long as I’ve had access to them, so it’s just really by trial and error that I’ve been playing around and recording songs over the years. Even when I started recording Ephemera, what I knew about recording changed so much from the time that I started to the time that I finished that I was tempted to go back and re-record some of the songs that I’d recorded first. It’s an ongoing process.
Maybe a remix album one day.
Maybe! The problem, I thought, was if I went back to re-record it, by the time I’d done that I would have learned so much more that I’d want to go back and do it again.
What is your favourite part of the process?
It was the first time that I’d really endeavoured to do something by myself, musically, and I just enjoyed the freedom that I was able to record any time. A lot of the songs were written within the recording process, so it was a new experience to do it that way. I had a lot of fun with it.
What musical projects have you worked on in the past?
In high school I was in a band called Deep Search, and we played some songs around Vancouver and put out an EP in 2010. And then I played with a few people — not doing anything serious — for a couple of years between that and this.
So now the name Thru Colorado — where did that come from?
I wanted to go by a different name just because I liked the idea of distancing myself from it. I did a roadtrip with a couple of friends this summer and we met an interesting character who introduced himself as Charlie from Colorado, and they suggested that that should be the name. And I liked the “Colorado” bit but I didn’t the “Charlie From.” So I was searching for something else that could go with it to sound okay, and “Thru” came up one day and just, well, worked.
Do you play live shows? How does that work?
I’m trying to put a live show together — it’s kind of difficult, because I recorded all the parts myself.
I’m imagining you in one of those one-man band outfits, with a computer and a guitar and a kick-drum.[Laughs.] No, I’ve been playing with a friend of mine who’s playing drums with me, and he’s a phenomenal musician. I’ve just been having fun jamming with him, but I’m hoping to get more people together and turn it into a full show.
Do you see yourself joining or forming a band in the future?
Yeah — if whoever I’m playing with, if there’s good chemistry, I’d love to turn it into a full band. But I’m not looking that far ahead, really. [Laughs.]
The one thing that really stuck out to me on the album is that the vocals are kind of hiding themselves — I was wondering if you would describe yourself as a shy person.
I guess I am shy vocally sometimes, but funnily enough the vocals are actually more prominent than in all the other demos and stuff I’ve recorded — they used to be much further back, so I thought they were more up front, but I’m glad it comes across as evened out.
What’s your favourite track on the album?
I’d say it has to be “Room 101,” which is the seventh track. I don’t know, I just sort of like how it all came together. It’s got a certain atmosphere about it that worked out very well as a tangible song compared to what it was in my head.
If you could jam on a track with anyone, musical or non-musical, who would it be?
There’s one musician, Daniel Rosen from Grizzly Bear … I’ve been really into his music lately. I’d love to jam with him. Probably never going to happen, but I’d love to.
And who would you say are your musical influences?
Some of my biggest ones are Radiohead, The Smiths, Grizzly Bear. And I’ve been listening to a lot of electronic music lately as well — Depeche Mode and Washed Out.
How about non-musical influences?
I’d have to say — I guess it is kind of a musical influence — but Marcy from The Smiths. I know he’s always described himself as not being a musician, and he considers himself a poet in terms of his lyrics. I’ve always thought that they’ve kind of stood apart from the music, in and of themselves, and I’m quite inspired by that.