For many artists, growing your fanbase on social media doesn't often translate well in real life - but it seems that alt-pop musician Vesperteen has found the secret.
After years of drumming in another band, House of Heroes, Vesperteen (AKA Colin Rigsby) decided to take a break and work on a project of his own. The songs were released under the moniker of his new solo act, Vesperteen, back in 2015. After a few live shows in which Colin plays his drums whilst standing up, fans took notice and Colin found himself suddenly in high demand for live appearances and a non-stop tour that lasted nearly three years. In fact, there was so much touring that Colin was hardly able to find time to record new music. But being out on the road gave Colin a solid fan base, who would drive hours to be at multiple live shows and stream and download his music.
Today, Colin finally released his second EP, The Hype is Dead. The EP is a turbulent ride through mixed genres and even includes a drum appearance from Colin's close friend, Josh Dun of Twenty One Pilots. With all-star producers and co-writers like Lostboycrow, John Feldman (Blink 182, 5 Seconds of Summer) and PJ Bianco (Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, A R I Z O N A ), the EP presents some of Colin's best work yet.
Besides his ability to win live audiences over with his music, Colin is the best example of DIY we've seen in a while. He writes and co-produces all of his music and creates all of his own artwork - and the visuals for The Hype is Dead are certainly interesting on their own. Add in the music for good measure, and you'll be intrigued to know more about just who Vesperteen is.
Take a listen to The Hype is Dead and read our Q&A with Colin below.
OTW: On the new EP, which song do you think sounds the most like what you would describe as your “signature” sound?
Colin: Honestly, I feel like I'm still in the exploration of my sound. Maybe it will always be evolving though. I think the signature thread that runs through all the songs is my voice. From a rap-ish part to a raw pop punk part to a ballad part it's still all my voice coming through in the same way.
OTW: Where did you come up with the name, The Hype is Dead?
Colin: Like most great ideas, I'm pretty sure this one came to me in the shower. I was just in the middle of considering the remarkable upward trajectory that this music had generated, and then felt sort of cynical about it - like nothing lasts. I was afraid that people would soon lose interest in what I was doing. But then I kind of turned it around and thought, "Well, now I get to see who is really into my music and who was just into it cause it was some new hot fresh thing they heard about." So its been freeing to shed "the hype" even if it is all in my head, which it most certainly is.
OTW: You worked with a few different well-known producers on this EP - would you say working with each of them is different? Do each of them bring out a different part of you as a writer/artist?
Colin: Yeah, everyone has a different way of working on music and collaborating. So it takes a different amount of time with each person to feel each other out on how we flow. I like learning people's strengths so I can know when to lean on them and trust their instinct. I'm a little bit controlling when it comes to writing, but I've learned a great deal how to listen and know that my perspective may not always be the right one. It's hard, but super necessary and beneficial.
OTW: What is “Memory” about?
Colin: "Memory" is about erasing someone from your brain - or trying to, at least. It's about that decision to aggressively move on. It's about not living in regret, or letting the effects of another person linger with you.
OTW: What is your current favorite song on the EP?
Colin: Man, I literally do not have a favorite! I am so excited about each one for what it is. But, if I could say I'm most proud of one it would be "Blue." I know for sure it's the best song I've ever written and one of the best songs I've released in a while.
OTW: We’ve heard a rumor that Josh Dun plays on “Speed of Light”? Is that true/How did that happen?
Colin: Josh and I have been friends a long time and are both drummers. And actually John Feldmann (who produced "Speed of Light") is the one who thought of having him on. I wondered at first if it'd be weird to have a guest drummer on a record since I AM a drummer. So I will say that Josh is really the only one I'd ever be cool with having play drums on one of my songs. Or Dave Grohl. He definitely could too, if he wants.
Photo Credit: @bradheaton
OTW: You just played a bunch of dates including a really big show in your hometown…. did you play any songs from the new EP? What was the reaction from your fans?
Colin: Yeah!! We played five of the songs from the new EP. I always worry about playing a new song live that the crowd doesn't know yet. But there was so much anticipation and amazing energy at the show that it felt great! It made everyone very excited for the release.
OTW: Tell us a secret/weird story about the making of a song on this EP. Did anything weird or coincidental happen?
Colin: We recorded "Blue" at midnight during a big snowstorm in Nashville. I remember being very hungry and no pizza place would deliver to the studio because of the snow storm. I'm sure there's some more interesting stuff, but I have a terrible memory. Maybe that's why I'm a writer and have to write songs so I don't forget the stories and feelings.
OTW: We’ve heard you designed all the artwork for this EP… what inspired that?
Colin: Yeah I did, actually my cousin is a good friend of mine and a talented designer as well and he and I came up with these concepts together and he shot the photos we used. I wanted it to represent the death and decay of something with a shiny fake-looking surface to reflect the theme of any superficial hype just falling away. And my hand at my own throat represents how I am doing all of this to myself. I'm choosing to let the shell crack and reveal the next layer.
OTW: What’s next for you? More touring?
Colin: Yeah some touring for sure - and actually a lot more new music. I want to have a lot of songs ready to go so we can do another release before the end of the year. And a video or two!
Photo Credit: @JordanSmellz