Funny how 2,990 miles can save a man. Well, that and a growing infatuation with colors, which is the case with THE DEAR HUNTER commander-in-chief CASEY CRESCENZO. The multi-instrumentalist recently traded in his digs of eight years in Rhode Island to cozy up amidst the familiar urban sprawl of Temecula, California, where he and his fellow hunters are eardrum-deep in a new project. Color Spectrum is a set of nine EPs individually inspired by the colors of the visible spectrum (white, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet and black). We interrupted him long enough to talk about the EP project, the band’s upcoming tours with Circa Survive and Coheed And Cambria, when we can expect Act IV of the band’s concept series and the saving grace of the Inland Empire.
Why did you leave Rhode Island to return home to California?
My cousin offered me a place to live with my fiancée and have a studio. He told me that he wanted me to be closer to my family, and he wanted to be a part of the studio I was creating. I had wanted to move back for some time. My family has really played an enormous role in my life and saved me time and time again. In this situation, my cousin kind of pulled me up out of the muck and gave me a really amazing opportunity.
Was the “muck” the locale or something else?
The locale wasn’t so bad. I love the East Coast. It still feels like my home. The muck was really just the feeling of being stagnant. [When] I was in Rhode Island, I ran [Wild Blue Sky studio] with my bandmate at the time [former the Dear Hunter multi-instrumentalist Andy Wildrick] and things were just not progressing. It became more about creating to survive instead of surviving to create. In coming out here, I’ve been given the opportunity to just focus on creating again and to be close to family. They played the biggest part in shaping me as a human being, and I really need to be able to see them and not just exchange Facebook statuses.
Let’s talk about the Color Spectrum EPs. Why colors? Why now?
The reality of not being on a label hit us a few months ago. After that, we re-examined our situation and started to rethink our approach, and hypothesized what the next move would be on our own.The idea for the Color EPs was around for a while for us, but I think that final decision came at the point we realized we actually had the time and means to do it now.
How many songs will each EP feature?
Roughly anywhere from three to six.
There have been some updates floating around regarding early work on some of the colors. How much is written?
We have about 15 songs tracked and another five or six written, but we want to track as much music as possible and then trim it down as far as we can. I have a feeling we’ll end up writing a pretty obscene amount of music but only releasing half of it.
When you’re writing stuff, how do you know what color a song should be? Do you set out to write a “blue” song or do you start writing and decide, “This is totally violet?”
Idon’t think we’ve sat down and said, “Lets write Blue.” The norm lately is that we’ll have a spark and within the first listen of that idea, we know what [color] it is for us. We actually haven’t come into any disagreements on the tone or interpretation of a color.
What will the lyrics focus on?
I think the lyrics weave in and out of influence from the colors. White to me suggests the afterlife and the moments of passing into it. It isn’t so much that the whole album is about that moment, but that influences the lyrics heavily. [The White EP so far] has dealt with the influence of family on faith, as well as the comfort and security you should feel at the end of life.
When will the EPs be available?
We’re really shooting to have them out early next year.
You’re hitting the road again with recent tourmates Circa Survive and later with Coheed And Cambria.
We played a show with Coheed last year, and it was amazing. They were extremely kind to us and the fans were receptive, so we’re incredibly excited to get back out with them and actually do a tour. As for Circa, those guys are just so talented and so kind-hearted. We’re so grateful to be able to play with both bands. They both are really just throwing us bones. They don’t need us for their tours. I cannot vocalize how thankful we are to receive such offers.
Give us an update on Act IV. Any news from our hero or Ms. Leading?
Well,I think that if I were to have tried to do Act IV next, the band would have broken up—not from any turmoil, just because it’s been this one thing for so long. We needed this [new] project. In doing theColor EPs, I think it really helped me clear my palette. So now, going back and completing Act IV will feel much more fitting. I do want to get to work on Act IV fairly soon, though. I’m hoping we can get into the studio for it next summer. alt