Interview: City and Colour

Just before taking the stage, for his second, sold out, night in London, England; Alter The Press were fortunate to sit down with Dallas Green (aka City and Colour.)

Dallas spoke to ATP about his recent shows in the UK with Pink, the new Alexisonfire EP, his upcoming, co-headline, summer show with Tegan and Sara; the next City and Colour album, and more.

Alter The Press: You were invited to the UK to support Pink. How did this happen?
Dallas Green: I met her in January this year. We played a show in Los Angeles, and she came to it, because she had recently been turned onto my songs. I guess she was really taken to them, which is nice. We talked, and a couple of weeks later, she offered me some shows with her, and of course I said yes. Originally, she offered me the whole UK tour, but I could only do Belfast; and then some stuff fell through, and we asked if we could do a couple more. We did two of the shows the other day, and they were awesome. Her show is the craziest thing I've ever seen, honestly, and she still actually sings. It's insane.

ATP: How was it playing to a, predominantly, top-Billboard chart audience?
Dallas: They're polite. Most of them don't even know who I am; they're there to see Pink. We go out there and play like five songs, and that's it.

ATP: It seems like a pretty easy gig. You play five songs, for 20 minutes, and that's it.
Dallas: It's honestly really simple, but if someone asks you if you want to play for 30,000 people, you say, “yes I would.” It doesn't matter who it is, because chances are, you will get a couple of them coming away thinking that was good.

ATP: You're now doing two nights at London HMV Forum, which sold out immediately. Were you expecting this?
Dallas: I expected the first one to sell pretty good, because I don't really come here and I wasn't doing any other shows, so I figured some people would travel for it. I didn't think both of them would sell out as fast as they did. It's a nice feeling and a big surprise.

ATP: How was the first night?
Dallas: One of the best shows I've been a part of, so hopefully tonight is just as good.

ATP: With the majority of your time spent with Alexisonfire, it must make these shows even more special.
Dallas: It's great, especially because I have my band with me. We've been playing together for two years now, and we've never gotten to come over here together. Dylan, who plays drums for me, it's his first time in England; it's just a great experience. It's a lot of fun.

ATP: Last time we spoke, you said how you have put out a new album every three years. Will the new City and Colour album be out next year?
Dallas: Yes, definitely. I have lots of songs; just have to find time to record them.

ATP: Have you narrowed down how many songs will be on the record?
Dallas: Not yet, but I've got fifteen that I like. It'll probably be ten songs.

ATP: How would you compare the new songs to 'Bring Me Your Love'?
Dallas: There's a lot more piano. I've always wanted to write songs on piano, but there are still songs that are just me and my guitar. There are also songs that are taking a whole new direction.

ATP: Do you have an album title yet?
Dallas: No. That'll be later in the process.

ATP: You said, that every time you put out an album, you release it on a different label. Do you know who you want to release the new album with yet?
Dallas: Once I have the record made, that's when we'll start worrying about that stuff. It'll be on the same label in Canada, but elsewhere, it'll probably end up somewhere else. I do it the same way I do shows, it's all up in the air, and you don't know what's going to happen.

ATP: What’s the update on the forthcoming Alexisonfire, 'Dogs Blood,' EP?
Dallas: We've kinda got all of the songs written, we just have to record it; but it's not going to take that long to record, we can do it a few days. We're coming back to the UK in the fall, and hopefully it'll be done by then. We're doing it on vinyl and digital. It'll probably be a 12".

ATP: Have you already set time aside to record the EP?
Dallas: We have a bunch of time off in the summer, and we'll probably do it on a weekend. The songs cater to just being able to go in, and play.

ATP: How many tracks?
Dallas: I think it'll be four.

ATP: What's happening with the vinyl release of 'Bring Me Your Love'?
Dallas: We got the test pressings, they were fucked up and so, we had to have them re-mastered. It's all stupid shit, but it's going to be there. It's happening.

ATP: Will it be out by the end of the year?
Dallas: It should be. By the summer it should be sorted out.

ATP: Will it be 180-gram? Gatefold?

Dallas: It'll be 180-gram. It'll be like the deluxe edition of 'Bring Me Your Love'. It'll be like a replica of that.

ATP: The upcoming, huge, co-headline Tegan and Sara/City and Colour show. What can people expect to see?
Dallas: It's going to be a lot of fun. It's my first time headlining at the Molson Amphitheater, in Toronto, which is a really big outdoor venue. It's kind of scary and nerve racking, but hopefully the girls will come sing with me, and I'll go out and sing with them. I'll try to bring some special guests. I think I'm going to play some songs that I haven't played in a really long time. There are songs off 'Sometimes' that I've just never played, and there are other things; like I did this version of 'Happiness of the Kilowatt' (Alexisonfire song) on piano, like five years ago, and every time I play a show, people want to hear it but I never have a piano. I think I'll do that, get a piano, and do stuff like that; change it up a little.

ATP: And you might come out with Tegan and Sara and play 'The First' (old Tegan and Sara song) again?
Dallas: Yeah, something like that. Tegan (Quin) and I have already talked about it. I really like 'The Ocean,' off their new record, so maybe I'll convince Tegan to let me play that one with them.

ATP: You're also doing a City and Colour/Tegan and Sara 7" split too.
Dallas: That was just a pre-sale thing for people who bought tickets. It's got a version of us doing 'The First' together; and 'Sleeping Sickness,' with the only time that Gord (Downie of The Tragically Hip) sung on it live.

ATP: What will the artwork look like?
Dallas: The tour poster that is on the website. It's just that.

ATP: What's the plan after these shows?
Dallas: I'm going home for a few days; then Alexis is going to Europe for some festivals. We have a bunch of time off this summer, more or less the whole of August, which is nice because I haven't had time off in two years. I'm looking forward to it. We're then going to do another headline run over here, in the fall.

ATP: Have you any idea when City and Colour will be back?
Dallas: When I put out another record; I'll come over and do a tour, but that won't be till next year.

- Jon Ableson

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