Hello Reddit!

We are all working together on this exciting project called Contemporary Color, conceived by David Byrne. Together, we're each collaborating with a Colorguard team to present a LIVE performance in Brooklyn and Toronto. We'll all be composing and performing original music LIVE alongside our teams at the performances.

Here's a video of David Explaining the idea to some of the teams: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykzkjAwUy74&feature=youtu.be

This weekend, some of us are in Dayton, Ohio for the WGI (Winter Guard International) Championships and meeting our teams for the first time and wanted to get together and answer questions you have for us! We want to tell you the AMAZING story of color guard, the "sport of the arts." AND we want to talk about this crazy experience collaborating together!

We've got: David Byrne, Tom of How to Dress Well, Jess and Holly of Lucius, and Merrill of Tune-Yards here ready to chat! More details on Contemporary Color are below!

The composer and team pairings are:

  • David Byrne and Les Eclipses

  • Nelly Furtado and Ventures

  • How To Dress Well and Mechanicsburg High School

  • Devonté Hynes and Black Watch

  • Kelis and Brigadiers

  • Lucius and Shenendehowa High School

  • Money Mark + Ad-Rock and Somerville High School

  • Nico Muhly + Ira Glass and Alter Ego

  • St. Vincent and Field of View

  • tUnE-yArDs and Emanon

The Shows Will Be on…June 27 & 28 @ Barclays Center in Brooklyn presented by BAM and June 22 & 23 at Toronto's Air Canada Center for the Luminato Festival. www.Contemporarycolor.com

We'll spend the next couple of hours answering as many questions as we can and are looking forward to talking to you!

PROOF! http://imgur.com/ZlW5NP0



Hi guys! Thanks so much for joining us this morning. We can't believe there are so many folks out there that are interested in this zany project we're doing. We have to run to the arena to check out our teams perform in a few minutes, but we will be back here and there to answer lingering questions when we can. :) Hope to see as many of you as can make it out to the shows in Toronto and Brooklyn!! -DB, Tom, Lucius and Merrill

Comments: 443 • Responses: 75  • Date: 

tax-cunts263 karma

Well, How did I get here?

ContemporaryColor114 karma

Tom HTDW: this is an important and oft overlooked question

ContemporaryColor50 karma

This is Lucius... that's a good question. Perhaps we should be asking you?

ContemporaryColor162 karma

Hey David, I used to listen to '77' all the time when I was like 18--- was there a record you remember being obsessed by at that age?

Thanks, Tom (How To Dress Well)

ContemporaryColor174 karma

DB Tom, you're sitting next to me, I could use the part of me that speaks to answer this....let's see, at 18....would have been end of high school I think. Dr John the Night Tripper, Beatles, Gamelan, Xenakis, Marvin Gaye, James Brown....foreign movies...Velvets, Incredible String Band...Coltrane...on and on...

scrognog_gutentag123 karma

David, is it true you and Annie Clark like to ride bicycles together in Manhattan? I think that's just splendid.

ContemporaryColor137 karma

DB: Annie and I and much of the band had bikes on tour- it was glorious way to wipe away the tour cobwebs and bond. Yeah, Annie and I have sometimes gone to concerts or shows in NY on bikes...and now it's spring. Annie's on tour somewhere now I think.

mar10wright37 karma

David, should I just give up any hope of ever seeing The Talking Heads live? (Please say no)

MakeBelieveMambo30 karma

I think you already know the answer...

ContemporaryColor152 karma

DB look at this crazy stuff I'm doing now-this!- and in the year ahead (Meltdown, a new musical, a science project)...I'm not really about the past, or nostalgia...though I am SO proud of most of what the band did....and it holds up pretty well I hear.

likessinging79 karma

Hey Merrill, I love all your songs! You're a big inspiration to me. What are your inspirations?

What's your writing process like?

ContemporaryColor75 karma

Hi this is Merrill!

Since we're talking about this Contemporary Colorguard thing today, I'll talk about how I wrote for this. The performers who we're writing music for are incredible athletes, dancers, gymnasts, etc. So I wrote music to accompany a routine that my colorguard team had already been performing. That being said, I always draw inspiration from the human voice. Also, Emanon, the team I'm paired with, had a great theme already -- technology and humanity, and how the two interact. It's been fun to work with both digital and acoustic sounds, which is something I do in tune-yards all the time.

MakeBelieveMambo51 karma

David, what is it about colourguard that you find so fascinating? What makes it more than just glorified flag twirling for you?

ContemporaryColor68 karma

DB: It's so creative, homegrown, local, emotional (just flag twirling is not all that emotional- maybe stirring, but hardly more than that)....and for many of us, colorguard was all but unknown. Not for long I suspect. It's a whole world many of us never knew existed- so there's a bit bit of "how long has this been going on!?" happening here.

MakeBelieveMambo14 karma

Do you think its popularity will increase after your performances? Do you think colourguard itself will change because of it?

ContemporaryColor38 karma

DB: Colorguard is already hugely popular! Just not known in some of the big jaded cities. But yes, I think there might be some growth in the colorguard audience- and vice versa!-- I suspect many of the teams and their followers don't know but a couple of these musical artists- so there might be a cross fertilization... Could colorguard begin to have a live music component as a result of this?? There are practical and financial issues, but why not?

MakeBelieveMambo12 karma

I think it's great what you're doing. I've loved all of your projects over the years, but this one takes the biscuit. Is this your favourite project you have participated in? Do you think this 'movement' could branch out of North America?

ContemporaryColor25 karma

DB "take the biscuit"!! Love that phrase. There's a Japanese team here in Dayton- I expect inhuman precision to be evident. This project (there will be more insane projects to come) yes it sometimes gets the reaction "you're going to do what!!??" I understand that reaction but then that's often followed by a dawning reaction "well yes, of course!"

manomirth40 karma

Which color needs guarding the most?

ContemporaryColor118 karma

Tom (HTDW) here--- periwinkle is obviously fragile and needs our support.

oh_whattodo37 karma


I just wanted to take a moment to let you know that your music gave me immense strength at a time when I was stuck in a really awful cycle of self-loathing. Three years ago I drove alone to Asheville to see you play, and it was one of the most liberating, emotional experiences of my life. At the end of it, and at the risk of projecting my insecurities and being a super weird fan, I think I told you that you gave me hope that one day I'd figure out what I was supposed to do with my life. You reassured me that I would be fine and not to worry (because what else do you say to that?) and it really, really meant a lot to me. So thank you. The things you make mean a whole lot to me.

As for a question: Do you have another trip to Haiti planned? What experience stuck with you most from your most recent trip?

ContemporaryColor44 karma

Hi it's Merrill!

I remember you! And I'm so glad that anything I ever did gave you hope. I think that's what we all need to give to each other.

I hope I'll be back to Haiti. It's been amazing to see so many different types of performance; in Haiti, I saw vodou rituals which I was very privileged to witness. I'll never forget that.

icantcontrolmybrain29 karma

Good morning Merrill! I've seen you in Chicago and Bangkok and both times were so so fun & amazing!

What were you expecting going into Tune-Yards' first tour in Asia and what surprised you the most?

Thank you for bringing the colossal forces of groovy and politically conscious together. I've received endless joy from you music!

ContemporaryColor24 karma

Hi it's Merrill!

Thanks for coming out to the shows. Bangkok was a crazy show, in that huge room! I don't know what I expected from Asia, but it surpassed whatever I could have anticipated. Amazing that we have fans all around the world.

Thanks so much for your kind words--


ps_29 karma

lucius! love the band, when can we expect more music? (i got into your band via you two's vocals on 'son sick' (which i adore), any thoughts on that experience, and any other collaborative plans in the future?)

anyway, you guys rock. thanks for some great music (esp. two of us).....and i look forward to seeing you in bklyn in two weeks.

ContemporaryColor29 karma

This is Jess & Holly! Hello! Thank you for the kind words! We are currently in the studio recording our 2nd record... no exact release date but we are very excited about what's happening:) The San Fermin record was a fun thing to be a part of. Ellis writes beautiful songs and gave us the room to really explore and get creative... we've been fortunate enough to work with a lot of incredible artists in the past year, and are always excited to work with inspiring people... so yes, would love more collaborations. ColorGuard is certainly a perfect example of that!

chaopoiesis27 karma

Why can you always buy the soundtrack for a movie, but not just the visuals?

ContemporaryColor35 karma

DB: good idea- we're discussing this now! answer- You can always hit the mute button! But where else could this go? Tom suggests breaking movies up by scene so you could make scene playlists.

sighing_sage24 karma

David: In the early days, Talking Heads were associated with "punk" and the CBGBs scene, but were pretty different in both musical style and image from a lot of what was going on. How did you guys get along with bands like the Ramones? Did you ever have the urge to play more aggressive music?

ContemporaryColor44 karma

DB I LOVED that in those early days there was no musical discrimination- folks took an interest in all. Very ecumenical- beautiful. We toured in a van w the Ramones in Europe (they only ate at Mickey D's!) - audiences were curious about all, and hadn't segmented into smaller segments yet- it was a nice moment in retrospect. I think something similar is happening here with this event!

PlipPlopPlipPlop15 karma

What the FUCK is Ira Glass going to do for this?

ContemporaryColor17 karma

DB: Ira came to us! He loves this project- no surprise there, right? At first of course we thought "oh he'll be the MC or do an This Am Life segment but he wanted to be a performer! I had seen his recent collaboration with some dancers and choreographers at Town Hall (really) so I sort of got what he was suggesting. He's doing some interviews (no surprise) and the music under what he creates will be composed by Nico Muhly so it will be quite, umm, evocative...and utterly unlike anything else. Can't believe we're tossing this into an arena show, but why not?

HybridMoose15 karma

Hey guys!

David how did you choose who you would work with on this project?

Everyone else, what is it like working with David?

Is there anyone you wanted to get involved that couldn't?

ContemporaryColor24 karma

Hey Tom here: working with David is awesome! He just got really excited about the fruit salad that just rolled into the suite!

ContemporaryColor22 karma

This is David. How did we choose the artists? The teams? For the most part we tried to do an initial edit by choosing artists and teams within a days driving distance from NY or Toronto. That was a financial consideration. Here I am sitting next to Merrill and Tom (how to dress well) so that idea didn't last long for the artists, but it held for the teams. From there I chose from a wide range of artists (obviously, for you look at the list) ....classical, pop, rnb, alternative, etc etc....to make as interesting and wide ranging a show as possible- and it's happening!

ContemporaryColor21 karma

Hi this is Merrill! We've mostly been working on our own so far, so this is the first time some of us have been in the same room together. David's enthusiasm about both colorguard and the fruit plate have been contagious.

I don't think I would have ever known about colorguard, winterguard, and any of this if it weren't for David!

ContemporaryColor15 karma

This is LUCIUS! it's been fantastic working with David, though the process has really only just begun. We're very much looking forward to being a part of such an incredible production, alongside artists we are so fond of.

PartyCakez14 karma

Are we going to be able to hear music from the performances if we can't come to NY/Toronto?

Or a video??

Thank youu!

ContemporaryColor25 karma

DB: there's a documentary film being made by the Ross Brothers as I write (there are cameras in the room here!) That will have lots of this process, the music, the teams, the excitement and tears and of course the show...

charmingtedious13 karma

David, I'm very excited about this event; it seems to have something in common spiritually with True Stories, which similarly celebrated American cultural traditions that are usually overlooked by "serious" art people. Do you agree that there's a common thread between these projects, and will we ever see a blu-ray (or at least a widescreen DVD transfer) of True Stories, so we can see those gorgeous Ed Lachmann shots as they were originally framed?

ContemporaryColor9 karma

DB: yeah...I've circled around in a way! If that movie sometimes got accused of being ironic (I didn't intend it to be) this escapes that tag completely- we can see colorguard as unique, homegrown, a brilliant vernacular artform...that like some of that material it is also deeply eccentric and outside at times- which we love.

strawberryvines12 karma

This one's for Lucius.

Firstly, you are amazing and your music means a LOT to me.

"How Loud Your Heart Gets" is going to be my first dance song at my wedding in May. My fiancé & I are a Long Distance couple and that song just gets us emotionally. We first saw you guys supporting Freelance Whales @ the Bowery Ballroom in June 2012 and have loved you ever since. I saw you last year in Manchester, England too and was so happy to get to meet you (Jess and Holly) and tell you how much your music means to me. Here's a pic from when we met!

I have 2 questions - When will the next album be out? I just realised this was answered earlier...so, I have a different one. What was the influence behind How Loud your Heart Gets?

Also, a totally crazy one, but, if you're by any chance around the Philly/NJ area on 24th May, would you like to come to my wedding?! (your music really means so much to my fiancé & I)

ContemporaryColor8 karma

Hello Strawberry.... this is jess & holly. thank you for your kind words and the support, we are truly grateful. we are in the midst of recording our new record, not sure of release date yet but we promise it will be worth the wait! have an epic wedding!


This one is for Tom "Literally my boy" Krell.

Just curious what your songwriting and composition process is like. I've heard you use logic from a software perspective, but are you composing before melodies, or starting with the melodies and building around them? Any hardware gear, or all plugins?

How long until Drake reaches out for a hook?

ContemporaryColor9 karma

Hey Tom here--- I don't use logic no. I mostly just sing and sing until i've basically gotten the whole tune sketched out! I use exclusively hardware to demo--- a simple yamaha synth basically.

Drake is a nice guy we've been speaking a bit lol

thanks for the q

duroudes8 karma

David, I feel like a lot of your music has to do with architecture. As a student, I am curious what your interests are in architecture? You seem to include a lot of architectural elements in your song lyrics. Also to what extent do you see music and architecture being related?

ContemporaryColor16 karma

DB: I had a conversation with Thomas Heatherwick the other day- super exciting. I noticed there is a familiar thought, investigation, questioning and exploratory process at work- after that part of the process they may diverge...but who knows?

eleotwilhelmine7 karma

Lucius, David, Merrill - Would you all scribble a quick drawing of whatever this show may be like, on whatever you have at hand, and submit for us? It by no means has to be literal! Dankeschön! E

ContemporaryColor18 karma

Hi this is Merrill. And it's bad. https://instagram.com/p/1nm53iK39M/

ContemporaryColor16 karma

This is how I envision the stage/performing area working: https://twitter.com/DBtodomundo/status/589435060346052608 (from DB)

cosmic_radio7 karma

I'm a band director at a school with a growing color guard program. I would love to show my students videos of this - will there be a way to stream it or show it to them? Annie and Merrill, love your music!

ContemporaryColor8 karma

Hi this is Merrill,

That's so great that you're growing this at your school. Colorguard seems to touch on so many art forms at once: music, dance, visual art.

As far as we know there will be a documentary of this whole adventure; not sure about full performances at this point. Hopefully the doc will be inspiring!

yungchakra6 karma

Tom, (HTDW) I appreciate many aspects of your personal philosophy that you share through your music and interviews as spiritual yet fundamentally atheist. I have always understood spirituality to come from a place that is essentially what all human cultures have more or less defined as "God". Where does your spirituality come from? Could you recommend a book that helps explain what seems to me to be a contradiction? Can't wait for your next album, man. Youre the best.

ContemporaryColor10 karma

Hey Tom here: Great Q thank u so much. I mean, this is a complex q! God, historically, has taken so many different shapes... The wikipedia on conceptions of god is pretty rich :)

I don't quite see the contradiction--- I think it's more of a challenge to defend spiritual experience without banal concepts of god and transcendence. I call this challenging thing intramundane transcendence lol

For me, spirituality comes from community, from people, and from the very engine of grounded, immanent, spiritual experience––viz., love.

Books... hmm... I like everything by Adrienne Rich, Martin Luther King Jr., Franck Andre Jamme, but nothing really comes to mind rn on this topic!

mellowship5 karma

David: What fiction have you read recently that you feel influenced your music or lyric writing?

ContemporaryColor19 karma

DB: I've been reading a LOT of non fiction. Mostly on neuroscience, for an upcoming project- which will take at least a year to realize, and some historical books on a person I'm writing another musical about.

purplecoatvigik3 karma

This is for David-- Colorguard is derived from military formations, how does the militaristic aspect contribute to or affect the art?

Everyone else-- I guess I'm wondering about the collaboration between artists and colorguarders-- how did you folks divvy up composer and team pairings? You artists have an eclectic representation of music genres, could you describe the process of artists chooseing Auxillary teams and their choreography to fit with their own style themes? If its under one show called contemporary color, can we expect a range of colors? and who has insight as to what the choreography should look like?

ContemporaryColor8 karma

DB: Yes, the inevitable inclusion of rifles and sabers in a show about some tragic issue sometimes illicits a WTF reaction- but that's part of the surreal fun of this sport. Rifles and sabers are always there- but somehow it's not about weapons. Ballet (which is not my thing) was also derived from military maneuvers I am told. As were marching bands which evolved into...Jazz and second line!

ContemporaryColor3 karma

Hi Purple Coat, this is Holly & Jess from Lucius... David paired us with our specific team. The theme was established, but truly felt perfect for us, "HITCHCOCK". After given a team and a theme, we spent some time writing something that would enable movement, color, excitement and of course some spook... We are thrilled to see how it all comes together.

gosteinao3 karma

Merrill, hi, how are you, big fan here.

What will you and Emanon be shooting for, something closer to your style of art pop or their hip hop? How are your ideas on matching those disparate styles?

Also, is there any new material from tUnE-yArDs in the works? And could you come back to Brazil again I missed it last time OK thanks a lot.

ContemporaryColor3 karma

Hi! We'd love to come back to Brazil, last time we were there it was way too short.

So: I'm not working with Aloe Blacc's Emanon, it's a different Emanon, a winterguard team out of New Jersey. They're incredible, and I'm trying to create music for their performance. It's actually been helping me to make new stuff for t-Y because I'm writing for someone else instead of for myself. Sometimes I get tired of my own whiny brain.

Thanks for the question!

wowsuchversace3 karma

Hey Tom, what is the sample you used on "Say My Name or Say Whatever" for the piano?

ContemporaryColor8 karma

Hey it's Tom: It's actually a few diff bits of a piano study by Ligeti stitched together--- thank you for asking!

wowsuchversace5 karma

TYBG that u answered I've been looking for this forever

ContemporaryColor8 karma

🙏-- Tk

tcoogan153 karma

Merrill how is it working with a hip hop group like Emanon? I've always enjoyed your dabbling in hip hop specifically with the Roots with your performances of "Gangsta" and "Water Fountain" as well as "Lady" the song you did with ?estlove for Red.
Do you think this collaboration with Emanon will be different from those and what do you anticipate the writing and performing style to be like? Thanks for putting out amazing albums and putting on the best concert I've been to when I saw you in Luxembourg!

ContemporaryColor8 karma

Hi it's Merrill!

I should clarify -- I'm not working with the hip-hop duo Emanon, I'm composing for a colorguard team that's called Emanon. They're based in New Jersey and they compete around the country.

Thanks for being up on all I've done in the hip-hop world. There will be beats in this performance. And hip-hop was and is a huge influence on tune-yards and the music I'm interested in creating.

IckoGun3 karma

Hi Tom! I just have a few questions. At its core, what is your music about? Or, rather, what do you ultimately hope the impact of your music is? Why do you make music - for yourself or to communicate something to others? Also how did the AG Cook remix happen and is there any other pc music x HTDW stuff coming up? And will we ever hear the SD laika remix you mentioned in an old Fact Singles Review video?

Your music is beautiful. Thank you so much.

ContemporaryColor6 karma

Hey TK here: Thanks so much for the questions! At it's core i think my music is about communication, communicating and connecting with people through emotion and sincerity. i guess lol. I make music because i kinda can't not---- it just happens! i met alex cook at a club in london and we just bro'd out and he was like 'lemme remix it!' so i said, OF COURSE! (nothing ever came of the sd laika thang >:() xo

enjoytheflood3 karma

First off, I'm a big fan of all the artist performing and the activity, and am very exciting this is happening. Have any of you been watching any performances this weekend at WGI Championships, is it any of your first times attending an event, what are your initial impression? Also do you feel Contemporary Color could possibly be an annual event?

ContemporaryColor3 karma

From all of us: David's been attending for the past 3 years!!! The rest of us are going tonight for the first time—we're super excited! We would love for this to be an annual event... we're working on being able to make that happen. :)

enjoytheflood2 karma

Thanks! Hope you all have fun today! David, how did you first hear about the activity?

ContemporaryColor4 karma

From David: A Team called Blessed Sacrament baed in Cambridge, MA asked me to use some of my music for their program in 2008. I said, "Of course, go ahead. No charge—just send me a DVD of whatever it is you're talking about. " I received it several months later and I was floored... have been hooked ever since.

clockwork_watermelon3 karma

thank you all so much for doing this interview!! remain in light and whokill have gotten me through some tough stuff and I would be over the moon if you guys answered. my question is, what food would you each say describes your music?

ContemporaryColor11 karma

DB: Clockwork- I want to know more about how music got you through tough times- not fishing for compliments, but wondering if you can be specific w/o oversharing how that happens. It happens to all of us, at various times, but can you try and articulate this?

ContemporaryColor6 karma

This is Merrill,

Seven Layer Dip?

ContemporaryColor3 karma

kettle corn! J + H

the_rosiest2 karma

Hi Lucius! I'm a huge fan of yours, can't wait to see you again in Brooklyn next week!

You guys already include a lot of color and synchronized outfits/movements in your shows. Was it any different working with a larger group of artists to coordinate it all?

ContemporaryColor4 karma

Hello Rosiest:) This is Jess & Holly... Firstly, thanks so much for the support. We do love color and geometry and having a theme for this show has got our wheels turning! We just came back from seeing our team "Shenendehowa" perform their piece and it is so visual, energetic and spooky... right up our alley. Our theme is HITCHCOCK, so, in preparing for the upcoming shows, there is no shortage of inspiration. They already have their costumes so we will look forward to getting something that fits the bill ;-)

sadsatan2 karma

For How To Dress Well, I've been dying to know what are the lyrics to Walking this Dumb (Live)? It is my favorite song.

ContemporaryColor2 karma

ayy thank you so much! the lyrics are like about walking down the street in ny after a session of psychotherapy and feeling like i didn't know who – in my personal life, on the street, etc. – was 'beside me' or who was a 'rival'---- and then, ultimately, not knowing myself. --- Tom (HTDW)

hilwil2 karma

Tom - I had the pleasure of seeing you at U Street in DC last year. I will keep that performance as one of my top 5 live shows forever. Do you have any other collabs coming up? If I had it my way you'd sing the soundtrack to my life.

ContemporaryColor4 karma

TOm here--- thanks!!!!! i love playing in DC, always such a great vibe! no collabs on deck rn--- mostly just writing a new album :) xoxoxox

_izimbra2 karma

Will the songs for CC be announced beforehand or a surprise? ones by you guys that people will know or some new ones special for this?

ContemporaryColor4 karma

DB - what is amazing is that ALL the musical artists are doing new music for this. Nothing will be a set list of material you know....It won't be a greatist hits thing- this is beyond exciting- and super generous of the artists. I'll bet there has never been an arena show that can claim that except maybe Walking With Dinosaurs!

ContemporaryColor3 karma

Hi this is Merrill,

As far as I know we're all writing new music for this thing.

ContemporaryColor3 karma

Hi! This is jess and holly from Lucius.... we are thrilled to present a new piece of music inspired by our team and theme..ours being "Hitchcock".. the films not necessarily the man. We believe all of the artists have been busy writing their new pieces for this project .

CFCNeil2 karma

This is for David or Merrill-
What would you recommend a 17 year-old piano/trumpet player growing distant from playing music to do? Also, what were you doing at 17? Anything I shouldn't do?
Can't wait to see you at Barclays Center! Thanks so much!

ContemporaryColor7 karma

Hi this is Merrill,

I think the only "shouldn't" is "should". As in, don't force yourself to do something that you don't have it in your heart to do. I quit piano lessons at 13 and I have had some regrets about that, but I don't think if I had forced myself that I would have eventually become a musician. I had to go search high and low for what I was passionate about.

It's cheesy but it's true: follow your heart!

honeyintherock2 karma

As a former guard girl, THANK YOU times a million.

I often daydreamed of performing with the musician playing the music live. So even though I can't march , I'll get to see my day dreams in real life!! I'll be at the show in Brooklyn, third row! CANT WAIT!

Since you announced the project, I have tried to figure out what group approached you all those years ago. What song did they use? I want to see the show that got David Byrne into winterguard!?

ContemporaryColor4 karma

DB: Blessed Sac, 2008. I have tried to find how they layered my music into their program and... I still haven't been able to. IF you figure it out, let me know!

dragonfly19932 karma

what inspires you?

ContemporaryColor17 karma

Tom here: the new young thug album

FireKnife3602 karma

Hey guys!

First i want to say that as someone involved in the marching arts I'm really excited to see this whole project come together. I was just in Dayton Ohio competing in WGI's other "Sport of the Art" Indoor Percussion. Not a question but I hope David and everyone else can also see this venue of performance as well. Also I was wondering if you were familiar with DCI? I hope you can all to try to attend a Drum Corps International show this summer. Drum corps is where many of your teams members will probably be after WGI season.

Good luck and thanks again!

ContemporaryColor4 karma

Hi this is Merrill,

I admit I initially thought we'd be writing for drum corps, and I was really excited by that. I will definitely try to attend a DCI show someday soon. When I retire I want to join a marching band. Or maybe before that. DRUMMING RULES!

kathryn132 karma

My niece (14) and nephew (11) both participate in color guard! And I LOVE all the musicians participating in this. I think I just found a great early summer field trip to take them on! Going to young color guard competitions for the past few years, I've always found inspiration in how the kids participating really out their heart and soul into expressing themselves this way. I'm so excited to tell my niece and nephew. Hmm, question. Could you "rock stars" give some encouraging words to my niece and nephew (sometimes the sport isn't always seen as cool)? Especially my nephew, who as a boy is rare in the Maine/nh area for color guard. PS, Merrill, I see you everytime you're in Boston. Love your shows.

ContemporaryColor3 karma

Hi Kathryn! This is Jess + Holly from Lucius. Thank you for the question...we certainly were not seen as "cool kids" growing up, it was a constant struggle to find some peace, find our niche... but we can safely say that sticking to what you love, sticking to your gut, will pay off and bring a lot of joy later on. tell them to keep their chins up... they will look back with no regret.. and more power to them for doing something so exciting!

awesomelikeapossum2 karma

To David Byrne (or Tom, Jess,Holly,Merrill): Have any of you received fanfiction/read fanfics that include yourself? How did they make you feel? Any particularly interesting ones you would like to tell us about? :)

ContemporaryColor4 karma

This is Merrill: I am WAITING for my fan fiction

DiamondsInTheDust2 karma

David, I've been listening to your music nearly all my life, so thank you for the music! I have a couple of questions.

1) Of all the many acts and collaborations you've been involved in, as well as your own solo work, is there one particular song/album you'd say you're most proud of? Why?

2) Is there any chance of another joint tour/album with St. Vincent? I thought your last one was absolutely fantastic and I'm gutted I missed out on seeing it performed live, especially as you played Lazy and Strange Overtones, two of my favourites of yours.

Thank you!

ContemporaryColor3 karma

DB thank you. I do have songs I'm more proud of than others- but they're scattered across lots of projects and albums. The St Vincent show was filmed v early on for NPR- it's very early in the tour so we're still getting the brass choreography sorted out, but that gives a taste. Think like this that tour was a one off thing- which is perfect for this age of stuff that needs to be experienced firsthand vs a digital version.

ilguline2 karma

How much guard slang do you know? Also what are your favorite shows this year at WGI?

ContemporaryColor9 karma

This is Merrill. I just learned, "Keep it in the toaster."


ContemporaryColor8 karma

From David: We're creating a color guard dictionary right now!!!! "Keep it in the toaster!"

ContemporaryColor5 karma

we arent too familiar yet... but have heard of some "exciting" colorguard merch "blood, sweat & glitter" "clarinet power" "pretty little girls with big metal sticks"...hmmm

hollyrauhl_191 karma

HOLLY & JESS! First off, my names Holly too, & I met you in Chicago last October! Any plans on making a trip back to Chicago soon?

ContemporaryColor1 karma

Hello Holly! This is Jess & Holly! we also were just in Chicago for 3 hours on a layover...had a nice martini at the airport...grabbed some Garrett's too ;-) Certainly love being in Chicago and hope to return soon!

foodude341 karma

Hello Merrill! I want to tell you your music is so great and i'm a big fan. Nikki Nack was really great. Can we expect a new album anytime soon?

ContemporaryColor1 karma

Hi it's Merrill! Thanks.

I'm not sure about when a new album will be done, but working on this project is certainly reinvigorating my creativity. I've been doing demos in the back of the tour bus which has been pretty fun. Kind of carsick sometimes but that's the price of rock and roll

TimNeedles1 karma

Hey David, I love your music as well as Tune Yards and I love that you both are working together- when did you first hear Tune Yards and what was your initial reaction?

ContemporaryColor6 karma

DB I first heard Merrill years ago when she opened for Dirty Projectors at Bowery Ballroom in NY. I know them and they explicitly told me "don't miss the opening act- she's amazing" they were right.

daniellekravitz1 karma

Merril, how are you? Did you enjoy your first Florida tour? You are one of my strongest female mentors, your music has been very empowering for me. Do you have any important mentors? Musically, or otherwise?

I can't wait to see you, Annie, David, and all new friends so soon. xoxo, Danielle Kravitz

ContemporaryColor2 karma

Hi it's Merrill

We loooove Florida. So glad we finally got there.

I'm in this room with David Byrne, definitely a musical mentor. Most of my mentors are people that have not censored themselves for fear that others wouldn't like what they put out into the world.

bonkus1 karma

Merrill! Will the world ever get to see Fat Kid Opera again?

ContemporaryColor2 karma

Hmmmmm not sure but this colorguard project is the closest thing I'll be doing to theater performance for awhile...