Tell us about your career, including your history, where you are from and how you started?
Rise Carmine is me, Liam Colbert. I’m a Toronto-born and Toronto-based musician. I got my start at St. Michael’s Choir School where I learned to sing and play piano. It wasn’t until I picked up the electric guitar at around age 10 that I realized just how much I liked music. I had a scholarship to Berklee College of Music and graduated before coming home to Toronto to start a band and join the scene.
I self – released an album under the artist name ‘Patiohawk’ in 2017. When the pandemic hit, I holed up in my room and recorded 20 demos of new songs. I sent the demos to producer Dave Schiffman (Weezer, Vampire Weekend, PUP) and he liked the songs enough that he came up to Toronto to record an EP with me. I am releasing songs under the new name Rise Carmine. Now that things have opened up, I am playing with a very talented group of musicians which is adding another dimension to the music. I am really happy with the live show.
How did you come up with your band name?
The band name came from an image I had in my mind and two words that fit that image. I’m a big fan of horror movies, and the image in my mind was that of someone clawing their way out of a grave, two hands digging into soil and pulling themselves up. Rising out of the ground. So it’s a bit of a directive, “Rise, Carmine”. Get yourself up.
Do you have any recorded music available for fans?
I’ve been releasing the songs I recorded with Dave Schiffman as singles over the summer and into the new year. You can find them everywhere music exists online. I’ll be putting out the full EP ‘No Coup For Anyone’ early in the new year.
How would you describe your music?
As a kid I was trained in classical music, but as a teenager I listened exclusively to 70s hard rock. As I grew up, I expanded my tastes and will now listen to just about anything that means something. But that 70s rock of my teenage years pervades all of my writing. It’s a mix of bands like Thin Lizzy, Led Zeppelin, Early Aerosmith and more contemporary psych bands and artists like Tame Impala, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Ty Segall.
What makes your band or music stand out from the others?
I’d say the breadth of my musical experience causes me to write music that can’t fit into a single genre, and that makes it fairly unique. I allow myself to incorporate many different elements into my writing, and it results in more unpredictable music. It’s also nice that modern taste is pretty accepting of genreless music.
What do you like to do outside of music that contributes to your music?
I like to read, and I find that fuels my musical creativity. Writing and playing music is telling stories, and there’s no better way to get good at telling stories than by reading other people’s stories.
Name your two biggest musical influences, and why?
Two of my biggest influences are Phil Lynott from Thin Lizzy, and Ruban Nielson from Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Phil Lynott, in my mind, is one of the greatest songwriters and lyricists of all time. He had a unique skill for weaving a tale. I think the way I sing was subconsciously modeled after him.
Ruban Nielson has had a huge influence on me for the way he approaches song-writing and recording. He mostly does it all himself, from the writing to the recording to the mixing. I like to write music the same way, and I see all of those stages as parts of the whole in the songwriting process.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs?
I write all the songs, and they can be about all kinds of things. I often like to question myself in my songs. I treat it as a sort of internal dialogue, to get at the root of what makes me tick, and in turn what makes all of us tick. Music should be personal, which in turn makes it universal, – if I can understand myself I can get a better understanding of other people and vice versa. It also gets a little political at times (‘No Coup for Anyone’ and ‘Be The Only One’).
What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
Right now the biggest challenge has been staying hungry and focused in the middle of this pandemic. Over the past couple years, and in the face of such a massive paradigm shift, it’s been easy to get down on myself and on what it means to be a musician, and how useful we are in the grand scheme of things. I often have to remind myself that music is important, that is why it has existed as long as people have. It’s also important, as a person, to do the things that you love. Realizing that helps me keep it moving.
What current projects are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on recording a full length album that I’ll be releasing in the New Year.