Overnight success is not normal in music. Most musicians labor and learn for years, waiting for the opportunity that could propel them to longevity. That's the story of A Thousand Colours: the Texas-based band has been working away for the last two years, honing their craft, and now in 2013 they believe that they're ready to make their statement in the world...politely.
"This is the year that we want to shine. In kind of a polite way," explained lead singer Kenyon Puntenney (above far right), who makes up the band along with guitarist Paul Pelc (left), bassist Rick Graham (second from left), drummer Doug Adams (second from right) and keyboardist Amos Rivera (not pictured). "We've been a band for two years, and [there's] been a lot of hesitation because we've been writing a lot, trying to really develop our sound. We've taken the past two years to find what we're trying to do. We've been a little bit under the radar [and] that's pretty much intentional. 2013 is, we all feel like we're ready,"
For Kenyon in particular, it's the culmination of a journey that began with growing up in an artistically inclined family. "I grew up in an artist home," said Kenyon, who also cites Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page as another major inspiration for having picked up his guitar. "My mother is, she's incredible. She could draw you with a Bic pen and a sheet of paper to a T. She's phenomenal. My father was, all his life, an indie folk singer-songwriter. I really grew up with him. He dragged me along to the open mics and little folk festivals and stuff that he would get into. While he was playing, I was hanging out with his buddies. I kind of grew up with a whole music life."
As he toured with various other projects, he met the members of his current band along the way. "All the guys I know now were in other bands at the time. We liked being around each other," he said. "That was ten, fifteen years ago and after we kind of had our trial and error with previous acts that didn't quite make it, I knew immediately what I wanted to do. I got out of the last band and I immediately knew who I wanted to be in a band with. It was instant."
"It was the right time. We all went through enough trials and what have you. We've all played so many kinds of music," continued Kenyon, who described the band's sound as "a lot more alternative, there's a lot more acoustic involved."
If you haven't heard A Thousand Colours before, interested readers should look toward a song called "Make Your Amends," which is deeply personal to Kenyon as it relates to his late grandmother. "My grandmother on my mother's side, I was always her favorite. She kind of took me under her wing. At some point when I got older, I just lost touch," he explained, "and then one day I got a call from my uncle and he's like 'Your grandmother's in the hospital. She's going in for triple bypass surgery.' I'm like, 'Okay, I have to see her.'
When he arrived at the hospital, "We just had this wonderful, amazing conversation. Nobody else was there, it was just me and her, and this was my first real conversation with her as an adult. It's like I had known her all my life. She didn't make it through the surgery the next day, but I kept that [memory]. She was such a wonderful woman and I didn't really know that until right up until the end. That song is kind of me trying to make peace with her and myself."
You can listen to "Make Your Amends" below.
Now, after not just developing as a musician but also growing as an individual, Kenyon is optimistic about what the future holds for him and A Thousand Colours. He hopes they'll be able to tour the world. "I got to tour the US and a bit of Canada in previous bands, and I was pretty ignorant to how beautiful other places are. I've only seen a fraction of this earth playing music," he said.
When it comes to what turns his head musically, that's a lot closer to home. "I've kind of moved from mainstream to a lot of my friends' local bands," he continued. "There's a band here in Houston called American Fangs that I used to be a part of. They're set to launch the next big rock thing. They're incredible."
As for A Thousand Colours, he explained that he and his bandmates aren't looking to become overnight superstars. They'e just looking to be able to do what they love. "Especially today, it's harder than ever to be a musician or an artist in general," said Kenyon. "We're not looking for the riches but more or less to do what we love and have a family life, and just enjoy what we love to do as a full time thing. That's really the ultimate goal. When you really care about something, when something really makes you happy, I don't really question it."
(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.