by Tim Wenger
You may be familiar with Wesley Watkins. Whether it was with Petals of Spain or Air Dubai, the guy has been making the rounds in Colorado’s music scene, and he is back with his latest project The Other Black. The Denver based soul band is dropping an EP on December 12 and will be hitting venues along the front range to get the word out. Look for them in Greeley, Fort Collins, Denver and Boulder that weekend, with dates posted on the band’s facebook page.
CMB: Let’s hear about this record and the process of making it. Where did you guys record, and how was the overall process?
OB: It has been a long process! Initially we were recording it somewhere else, but in the end we ended up recording with Chad over at Unit E. I have been really determined to get a live feel out of the recorded sound for this band so we went from recording everybody live, to tracking individually, and finally recording sections of the group live. Thank god for chads patience, the bands patience, and whiskey and beer.
\CMB: Who did most of the songwriting? What would you say is the overall “concept” of the EP?
OB: I did all the song writing, I have been working on these songs for a while and upon playing them for the band there have been some minor changes made, everybody has their sound ya know? So we try to fit it all together. As far as a concept for this EP goes…hmm, well initially it was going to be a full length, but finances have been tight so I decided to split it up into two EP’s. A “Soul” EP and a “Hip-Hop” EP. But listening to them you can tell it all fits together. I like to think of the other black as a venture into space, traveling the universe to help people experience themselves. It should have a comic book vibe a bit. I’m intrigued to see if people can hear that.
CMB: Where can we find it online, and how bout record stores? How is the record being promoted and distributed?
OB: We’ll have it online at first( bandcamp, soundcloud, etc.) and after we the full record we will probably press it to vinyl. We are just promoting it ourselves, selling it to as many people as we can and giving it away to the rest. We feel like we have an interesting sound, but that for the fans to choose, ya know? Putting out a record is the true test.
CMB: How did you guys come together to form this group?
OBS: Cosmic interference, haha. It’s wild. I wanted to start a soul group and randomly ran into Dandoo (who plays bass) downtown boulder while I was playing on the streets and told him about it and he hit me up to play. He brought with him the guitar player, keyboard player, and percussionist and via DU, and old friends we formed a group of killer musicians. Then all the vocalist happened across each other. I met one in Fort Collins after a road 34 show, a few at unit E on a late night, one hit me up online. Its honestly like something was drawing all of us together.
CMB: What’s coming up after the release as far as live gigs, and how can we get a hold of tickets?
OB: So the CD release is a 3 day affair. Dec 12th in Greeley at the Moxi Theatre, Dec 13th at the Marquis in Denver, and Dec 14th at road 34 in Fort Collins . You can get tix to that online or from us. And after that we are planning some really specific “shows”, which I’m not really allowed to saying anything about accept that, but keep posted on our facebook! They will be a lot of fun.
CMB: Wesley, has your experiences in two pretty well-known Denver groups (Air Dubai and Petals) helped to shape this band at all, or is it totally different?
OB: Oh absolutely! Playing with bands like Petals of Spain, and Air Dubai, and Bonnie and the beard is incredibly informative. You get to SEE all the business, you learn the importance of performance, you learn the practicality of rehearsal. You can listen to lectures, and take notes all day long, but until you’re thrown into the madness of the music industry you know nothing about the business. I mean everyone has their strengths, and maybe the most import thing I learned was what my strengths are which makes The Other Black something totally different from the other experiences too. Its more like writing for a big band and a gospel choir, Trying to travel to gigs is an ordeal, And keeping 16 personalities on the same page, well… ha. But seriously, you learn a lot from every experience.
CMB: Where do you guys eat after a show?
OB: Pete’s often. Or Jerusalem….I dunno 7-11 nine times out of ten, its close to home.