We also chat to the band all about how they have reached this point and what the song represents for them.
We are absolutely delighted to present to you 'Purtrid', the brand new single from Colosseums.
The track serves as the band's first new music in just over a year, a year in which they took a step back and focused on the things that they truly wanted to represent moving forwards. 'Putrid' is the first of piece of that new tapestry.
A vicious blend of technically bouncy guitar licks, RnB-speckled croons and plenty of pristine pop sensibility, it's a statement of intent from a band firing on all cylinders and ready to destroy any sort of boundary that may be in their way.
Get stuck in below:
To get the full story of how we reached this point, we jumped on the phone with the whole band to let them tell their story in their own words. Here we go...
What would you say the mission statement of Colosseums was when you started, and how has that adapted over the years?
Billy Douglas, Vocals: “So, me and Sam started the band, or an alternative version of this band, back in 2013. We’ve had a lot of time together, and through the years, we have developed what we feel is our definitive sound. We’ve always known that we've wanted to change how metal is perceived. We've also kept a close eye on the bands that have done that well. We have always wanted to pursue that, but we didn’t always know exactly what elements we needed to make it so.
“When Will and Charlie then joined the band, that was when things started slotting into place. So we released a track called ‘Divided’ last year, which we love, but we still felt that we could take things to the next level and hone in on what we wanted to sound like. We all come from different influences and are all separate musicians in a way, and we wanted to be able to highlight that with our sound.”
Will McKeown, Bass: “It's always felt like our standards for our music were growing. They were getting higher quicker than we could write songs. So the trialling of our songwriting formula has been ongoing and still is today. This chapter may be the start of something for us, but it’s also going to change again in the future, and that’s a cool thing.”
Charlie Newbury, Guitar: “I’m the newest member of the band who joined around the release of ‘Divided’, and when they asked me to join, they said, ‘This is our sound, but we like what you do and want you to bring that in’. Some of the stuff that the guys had demoed was still in the same vein as ‘Divided’, and I could see how much more potential there was there.”
To have two markers in how far you have travelled in such a short period, in ‘Divided’ last year through to this new track, is quite a rare thing for a band to have. How exactly do you feel like things have shifted in the last 12 months to allow you to create this new sound and look?
Billy: “When Charlie joined, he brought an element to the band that we always felt like we were missing. What we decided to do was go completely off the radar, take a year and make the most of who we wanted to be and how we wanted to define ourselves.”
Charlie: “It’s rare to have a set of musicians that are as varied in terms of their backgrounds and where they come from, but can all meet in the middle and agree on something. When we’re writing, there’s minimal disagreement or changes taking place. If I bring something that I feel is good, I’m confident that everybody else will feel the same way. It’s the same from every angle, and we all have the same mindset.”
So, what do you feel as though the central feeling of the band is now? Why is ‘Putrid’ the perfect song to present that?
Billy: “With the sound that we are putting out, we didn’t want to knock on the door. We wanted to kick through it. With that came a bit of rage, I guess. But more than anything, we want to be loud about ourselves.”
Will: “‘Putrid’ feels like the first step into the world just because it encapsulates us so well. It’s got the riffs, it’s got the chorus, and it’s got the subs in there. There are a lot of different aspects in there. It felt like the perfect summation of the band at this point.”
Charlie: “There are also some bits of what’s to come as well.”
So what does the song represent for you? What are the things that you want to stand for?
Billy: “More than anything, we stand for being different. We stand for not being scared of change and going for what we think is cool.”
Charlie: “It’s just fun. Even in metal, there can be joy. I’ve been in bands before, and I’ve been playing stuff that I don’t believe in. But when you play something you do believe in and enjoy, it comes across.”
Billy: “We didn’t want to be another sad band. It’s not within our nature as people. It’s much more comfortable for us to sing and talk about being free to do what we want and to have fun first and foremost.”
Metal is very good at forgetting that it's allowed to let loose now and then, but when you’re able to remind it with a two-footed tackle like this, then you’re going to do it…
Billy: “Absolutely, and it felt to us that not enough bands in the scene were pushing that mark. It felt like everybody was scared to say, ‘This is fun, and we’re having fun doing it’. We’re saying things in our songs that are just a vibe. Whilst everything we put out has meaning, we don’t want to be singing about another break-up just because.”
Will: “I think that when I consider the rhythms that Sam comes up with and the parts that Charlie has written, there’s a real playfulness to it. Though that playfulness comes from us knowing that we can be like that, and nobody is stopping us.”
Billy: “We’re so open to genre-bending stuff, which I feel as though ‘Putrid’ represents well. We wanted to come out of this tough year with music that people are going to want to vibe to.”
Sam Hemus, Drums: “We want to be able to take all of that off of people’s minds, more than anything.”
More than anything, you want to go against everything that people may expect to be hearing from a heavy band in 2021…
Billy: “Yeah, and that sometimes feels risky as hell. What we do doesn’t feel conventional, but it feels like that has always been our goal. That’s always been the way that we have to be. We don’t want to give in to what the norm of a metal band is or how they should write or look or sing.”
Charlie: “We don’t want to be like anyone else or sound like anyone else because that’s already a thing isn’t it? We aren’t going to write like we’re Meshuggah because people can go and listen to Meshuggah. Yet if you come out with something different that someone can’t get anywhere else, they’re going to want to listen to you.”
Billy: “That’s what Colosseums is all about. I don’t think we will ever release a safe song. ‘Divided’ was a good opener to that, but even then, we knew that we wanted to take more risks. We want to push those boundaries and maybe even piss a few people off along the way.”
Finally, how does it feel to be at a stage in this journey where you feel confident and comfortable putting out this brand of music?
Billy: "This is very much the band that Sam and I always wanted it to be. We always knew that we wanted to turn some heads. Maybe we didn’t always do that because you want people to like you when you're young. But as we have grown, not just as a band but also as people, we are now really out here trying to make the music we love."
Sam: “It feels like right now we can express ourselves so much more freely than we could have done when we first started. Personally, this is what I have always wanted.”
Charlie: “I’ve not felt like I do with this band in any other band previously, and that allows me to bring everything to the table that I know everybody will love.”
Billy: “Having the fundamental chemistry that we have is almost the secret to Colosseums. We’re a very open and honest band. We cut the shit, and nobody beats around the bush. We’re exposed, and it’s the best feeling in the world. We have full trust in each other, and it’s just so great.”