This Interview is linked from the Okeechobee Official Portal Guide.
Interview with Colorvision
Deyo Braun • Vocals/Guitar
Chris Mintz-Plasse • Bass
Nicholas Chamian • Guitar
Ryan Dean • Drums
SIGT: This is going to be your first show under the new name?
Nicholas Chamian: Yeah, myself, Chris, and Ryan, played in a band called Main Man for three years. When we lost our singer, we tried a bunch of different singers out. We sent him one song to Deyo, who we’ve known forever as a killer musician and songwriter. Deyo took it and turned it into just a completely elevated piece of music that just blew our mind.
SIGT: Cool. He’s got his own project (called Deyo), and he’s been working for a while.
Deyo: Yeah, it’s funny because Okeechobee actually plays a little role in the story here. Main Man was nearly going to play Okee 2020, and the lead singer had dropped out of the band completely. So Chris (Mintz-Plasse) asked my brother to sing the Main Man songs, and it didn’t end up working out. And last summer, when Chris was in New York and we had a couple of cocktails, I told him, “Hey, you asked the wrong brother.” Right after that, Chris started sending me the songs, and that’s when the project was born. So Okeechobee was a part of our lore; our story.
SIGT: Dude. First show at Okeechobee. Same day as Tame Impala. This is going to be amazing. And this isn’t the first time that part of this band has performed the same day as Tame Impala?
Chris Mintz-Plasse: Yeah. The old iteration of Main Man placed Floatfest mainstage on the same day as Tame Impala
SIGT: Chris, you actually started out playing drums?
CMP: Yeah, after I filmed the movie Superbad [see McLovin’] I bought a drum kit with my first paycheck and started just learning drums. With Nick learning guitar, we started a White Stripes cover band, and then that led into, like, inviting friends over, and it started our first band, The Young Rapscallions. And then when that bass player quit, I picked up the bass and started learning the bass.
SIGT: Cool. You play left handed—a Paul McCartney-style bass. Is that an influence of yours?
CMP: I mean, he’s one of the greatest bass players of all time. But I bought the Hofner because I play left-handed, but I play a right-handed bass upside down. The only base that I could figure out at the time where I could slide my hand up high enough to play the high notes was a Hofner without the stock getting in the way.
SIGT: Damn, that’s awesome. Drums and bass just go hand-in-hand. How did you find that transition going from drums to bass?
CMP: I was learning a little bit of bass when I was playing drums, because when I lived in my parents house, I played in the garage, but I couldn’t make noise in the garage past 05:00 p.m. I wanted to keep playing music so I just bought a Hofner to just kind of diddle with inside the house. When that band broke up, we started a band with, like, six musicians, which was the best way to learn bass because I didn’t have to play anything crazy. There was so much noise going on in the band that I could just kind of hold down the root note or octave and then kind of teach myself while we were writing. So it’s a good process.
SIGT: I’ve noticed some of the Main Man stuff, like the Jam In The Van session, you’re kind of all over the place, like you’re playing chords, so I think you’ve made quite the progress as a bassist.
CMP: Thanks, man. I appreciate it. Yeah. You know, the Hofner calls for a lot of bass chords. It’s such a warm sound. And I think the kind of music I was writing by myself in my room was very sad-boy, chord music.
SIGT: Oh, man, that’s awesome. Nick, you’re the guitarist here in Color Vision, but I see that your IG actually mentioned that you are a bassist/music educator for Fender play. Fender is changing the game in music education. How did you first get involved with Fender?
NC: Before I ever played guitar, I was a bass player. I was like twelve years old and got a Fender Precision Bass. I started playing bass in punk bands and that was just kind of my world for a while. And then Chris and I started jamming together. I grabbed a Telecaster, so my brain was always Fender. Four years ago, my friend Scott Goldbaum, who is like a super talented singer-songwriter and acoustic guitar player, was working for Fender, and he got me a job. He got me an audition. It was funny, I was actually auditioning as the guitar player, and I did just a terrible audition. I don’t audition for anything. I had to learn all these solos and read all this sheet music, like sight reading it. When I walked out, I was like, “that was awful.” And then my friend Scott called me an hour later. He was like, “I talked to the guys, they said, you did great.” So apparently they liked me enough. As I was leaving the audition, I said, “you know, I played bass, too,” and I didn’t even know if they heard me. But ever since then, they’ve always called me in as a bass player. So, yeah, it’s been very cool to work with Fender, a company I love. They’re killing it. People are loving learning online, and it’s been great to do that and play with these boys.
SIGT: Let’s talk some Deyo. How long has Deyo been a thing? And how are you tying it into Colorvision?
Deyo: I was playing in a sort of rock-jam band in San Francisco for almost a decade. It felt like sort of living a double life because I was getting more and more into playing and making electronic music and listening to more electronic style alternative-pop music and then go into shows and we’re playing, like, a four-hour set at some bar in the middle of Northern California, jamming out, and then I get off stage and want to just listen to straight beat-style production stuff. So it was a cool thing that kept building. Then I found a co-producer to work with on that project, and he really opened my eyes to a lot of amazing ways to look at production and ways to look at recording, and it was a really influential collaboration. I think I’ve taken that with me into pretty much everything I’ve done since. I was born with the name Deyo on my birth certificate, so it’s a family name. It was spelled a little bit more French, but I think they shortened it up on Ellis Island or something. It was spelled D-E-J-E-A-U-X just like too many vowels.
SIGT: Are you planning on releasing some music soon?
CMP: The first song we’re releasing, “Reckless,” our first single that’s coming out in a couple of weeks, was the first instrumental we sent Deyo, and he chopped it up and diced it up. And you said that the lyrics came out of you in, like, minutes. You said the melody and everything flew out of you, and it was a true story about you ruining a relationship with a girl that she, like, flew across the country to see you, right? Do you want to tell them what it’s about?
Deyo: Yeah, it’s kind of a wild thing because it was one of those memories from my early 20s where you’re just kind of an asshole and you’re not really knowing about people’s feelings and you’re not really taking things into account. You don’t have that kind of emotional intelligence yet. I had buried this sad moment for a long time. And then listening to this sort of wistful and beautiful chord progression that they sent me, instantly I was brought back into that scene. It really just came out quickly. It felt like trapping lightning in a bottle. It was one of those magic moments that we all spend hundreds of hours looking for and trudging through the mud. Then once in a while you get one of those times where you’re like, wow, that just came right out. And it was very cathartic. It felt like a little therapy session.
CMP: It was crazy because the story of the single happened when you came to see The Young Rapscallions in San Francisco, like eleven or twelve years ago. And that’s the night. There’s another little lore to the band. The night you came to see Nick and I play at a small bar when we were 19 years old was when the event happened with the chick. And then twelve years later… ya know.
Deyo: It’s pretty wild of all the things, and it was completely unintentional. But when I then dissected it, I remembered, wait a minute, that was earlier in the day. And then later that night I went and saw them. It really comes full circle. A lot of these things basically like Main Man, The Young Rapscallions, and Okeechobee have written our whole story.
SIGT: Can you give me a preview of what the lyrics are for the chorus of “Reckless”?
Deyo: “I should have never been so cavalier and reckless. I should have never been so insincere and reckless.” That’s the macro, and the micro is really telling the story. I often think that the chorus should be a macro, relatable sort of thing, and the verses can tell the more micro, like why you come to that realization.
SIGT: Well, Ryan, I didn’t forget about you, Ryan. You got your hair up. Is that because you cut it or is it in a bun?
Ryan Dean: It’s up in a bun because I don’t want to take away from the beautiful scenic view behind me. The hair is going to be down at Okeechobee for sure. I’m going to let it all out.
SIGT: How long have you been playing drums?
RD: I’ve been playing drums most of my life, say 25 years now. I’m just really passionate about working on my craft and working on music and sound. And I was brought to this project via Mainman. I played with Main Man for a few years and I was introduced to Chris and Nick through a friend, but I kind of knew both of them already because we all grew up in the San Fernando Valley. It’s like a big Valley, but it’s also kind of a small world here in some ways. And we had a lot of mutual friends. I played in some hardcore punk bands growing up and played shows with Nick Chamien and he was in some hardcore punk bands. I played a lot of punk and reggae bands growing up, but it made me into the player I am now. I like to study the full spectrum of music and sounds. A close friend of mine worked with Chris on a movie and him and I were in a band. We were in a punk band called The Hammerheads and flash forward a few years. We’re all jamming at Chris’s Jammy World and writing songs for Main Man and playing shows and doing little tours. Now here we are, and we’re just really thrilled to get to go to Florida and play Okeechobee and kick-off Color Vision.
SIGT: It’s going to be beautiful down here. I must ask, what is Chris’s Jammy World?
CMP: Good question. It’s very much an inside comment. I built a soundproof studio in my backyard. That’s like our rehearsal space. We bought a bunch of recording gear. We actually recorded a lot of the drums and bass stuff for our new single back there. So it’s just like a great central location where we can play till two in the morning and not disturb my neighbors and stuff. And, it’s called Jammy World.
SIGT: Well, let’s talk a little bit more about Okeechobee. We’re celebrating five years in this place called Sunshine Grove. There’s such incredible magic to being in the woods with 30,000 people and some of your favorite bands. Why do you guys think it’s so important to have a space like that, to be able to connect with each other?
Deyo: I actually went to the inaugural Okeechobee festival. I only went there on Sunday to see Ween and White Denim. It was because I was on a family vacation celebrating one of my family members birthdays. The cleaning lady came on Sunday morning and was like, “I went to this music festival because I wanted to see Mumford And Sons, but it was all kids your age. So if you want to go, here’s my wristband.” And she just gave it to me. And so I borrowed the family’s old Cadillac and drove down. It was a magical hang in the Sunshine Grove. I think it’s a really conducive environment for music, especially new music like ours, where it really does feel as if we are tailoring our set in our original songs. We’re building it out so that it will be transmitted well to the Okeechobee audience and I’m glad to at least know the vibe of Okeechobee so I have a little bit more to work from. We’re adding all this really cool stuff, kind of a combination of electronic music and live sounds and just making it something that’s really special. It hits all the elements. It feels good to be kicking it off there.
“I borrowed the family’s old Cadillac and drove down. It was a magical hang in the Sunshine Grove.”
Interview by Mitch Foster.
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