Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Travis Bobier - Vocals, Guitar
Bob Allers - Bass, Vocals
Mike Morris - Guitar
Kyle Labuta - Guitar
Scott Solomon - Drums
For starters, were you apart of any other musical projects before Shapes & Colors? How long have you been a band?
Travis, Mike, and Bob played together in a band known as Aria Aesthetic before becoming S&C in 2011. During our time as S&C, Travis was also the singer of Search the City from 2012-2014. As members came and went, Kyle & Scott, who played together in a band called Fighting Lights, joined the band in 2013 and 2015, respectively.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and how do you think these topics will change over time?
We write all of our songs together. Although certain parts (or in some cases, the entire skeleton of a song) will be written by individual members, we flesh the songs out as a group, usually in live jam sessions. Outside of the instrumentation of the songs, Travis handles all of the lyrics and vocal aspects of the band.
T: Usually, I write about personal experiences, human things. Things we all experience. I hope our songs also convey a message of hope to those who may not have all that much or have lost it.
What artists are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
T: Right now I feel as though the band is really enveloped in this idea of nostalgic music. Songs that set you in a place in time sonically. We've kinda been borrowing elements from cleverly-written pop rock songs from the 80s and 90s, as well as modern-day groups like The 1975 and Paramore. Songs that are big, bright, anthemic, and get stuck in your head.
M: Currently I'm on a "Dad rock kick" Boston, Foreigner and the Eagles.
B: John Mayer, The 1975, Dan & Shay, The Night Game...I listen to anything and everything and take little pieces from all of it for writing our own stuff
K: Huey Lewis and the News, Phil Collins, Journey, The Eagles.
S: Anything with a great groove and melody
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start making music?
T: It's hard to pick a singular event or artist that put me on the path to music. Musical performance has been a part of my life since I was a child, but I would say that the first band that inspired me to form my own is Nirvana.
M: When I was 13 I got a guitar and at that time I was really into AC/DC and i think having been excited by the idea of the "guitar solo" gave me the push to want to be a musician/guitarist.
B: I was making music at age of 5, so I can't really say I was inspired to start making music...just introduced to it by my parents lol
K: Essentially the movie Back to the Future. From cranking the amplifiers in the garage to crashing the high school dance, every scene involving Marty playing guitar really made me want learn myself.
S: Like many of the others, I too started very young. I took a lot of influence from bands like The Who and JET growing up.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, fun pre-show rituals etc …
T: Bob and I usually do a series of various vocal warmups before any set we perform, but beyond that I really don't have any other pre-show rituals.
M: I like to run a few scales and maybe do a few jumping jacks before I hit the stage.
B: Normally just a vocal warm up with Trav and sometimes some jumping jacks and push ups to git swoll brah.
K: Running scales with a metronome and slamming water.
S: Hitting the drum pad for a few hours before we play, then I stretch and go.
What is your favorite tour story?
T: Probably the time when Bob, Kyle and I found an underground punk show while we were in Nashville, TN recording "On Display". It was the Fourth of July, and on our way back from one of the best fireworks displays any of us had EVER seen, we heard loud music off in the distance a little ways from downtown and decided to follow it. The atmosphere of that place was incredibly underground and dingy, and I can remember some of the speakers in the PA being completely blown out, but it was still a fun show, and a completely random adventure.
M: I'd have to say the story Trav told!
B: See Trav's story ^
K: Addition to Trav's story; It was apparently the last garage/basement show ever at the house. This made it somewhat important in the local "party/show" scene. The bass amp, while being turned on, had an ear piercing frequency when the bassist wasn't playing. Made us cringe, but nonetheless enjoy the mediocrity of the entertainment. We made it through at least half of a case of Pabst while being there and experienced some of the worst pot Tennessee had to offer.
S: It's always an adventure out there that's for sure! Probably when we got stuck in a tornado in Missouri and woke up to a knock on the van window at 6am from a Shell station clerk saying we couldn't stay there anymore after falling asleep at one of the pumps.
Which one of your songs is your favorite to perform live and why?
T: Currently, my favorite song to play to live is Loyal. That song is arguably the grooviest and sexiest in our catalog, and it's a lot of fun to let loose without the guitar.
M: I'd have to say currently it's Drifting but for our new music I'm pretty excited about Miracle.
B: We've only played it once acoustic, but I'd have to say Miracle. Its one of the new tunes we're recording in the studio that I'm writing this in right now
K: At the moment, Summer Soul or Drifting. There's a couple of moments in each song where you can feel the chords line up so well and wash over the crowd. Feels great when the noise bouncing off of the back wall in the venue doesn't sound displeasing.
S: I love jamming Summer Soul. That song came about so naturally when we wrote it I almost remember feeling like it wrote itself.
What has been the biggest highlight of your music career so far?
T: Earlier this year we won the award for "Best Record of 2016" at the 89X (Detroit, MI alt/rock station) Homie Awards. When I began playing in bands I would listen to 89X all of time time, gaining inspiration and idols from the songs they'd play, so to receive such an honor from them was truly humbling and one of the fondest memories of my life.
What is the next step for you guys? Are you working on any upcoming projects?
T: As we write this, we are recording new music with Zack Odom and Kenneth Mount down in Georgia. We're early into the process, but so far it's been incredibly fulfilling, and I think these songs are going to be really special.
If you could tour with any artists, past or present, who would they be and why?
T: U2, no question. Though Nirvana may have put my on the playing rock n' roll boat, U2, especially Bono, have shaped me as a musician and songwriter more than any other artist. My brain would probably explode if S&C ever had the privilege to share the stage with them. They're living legends.
M: I'd have to say My Chemical Romance. They had such a huge influence on me, not only as a musician but as a performer as well.
B: 1975. I love their music and I feel like we'd be a great fit on a tour with them
K: Journey, Phil Collins, or Backstreet Boys. I just want to watch a good set after I'm done playing.
S: I'd love to tour with Journey or Phil Collins. If My Chemical Romance ever decides to come back, that would also be a dream tour.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
We're really looking forward to putting out these new songs we're currently working on. It feels fresh and unlike anything that we've ever done before as a band, and we hope y'all dig it.