Vast distance and a pandemic could be said to be the seed for distinct adventure certainly when talking about US/South African post hardcore outfit Waiting 4 April. With a sound as intriguing as the origins of the band we had the pleasure to chat with one half of the duo…
Hi and thank you for sparing time to chat with us.
COLTON RAY: Thanks for having us!
Could you first introduce yourself and tell us how the band came to be?
CR: Definitely. WAITING 4 APRIL consists of two main members. Colton Ray (vocals/guitars) and Jesse Meiring (drums). W4A originally started as myself (Ray) in San Luis Obispo, CA. I would write acoustic songs and perform them at open mic nights around town. Eventually, I would meet Jesse through YouTube while COVID was under way. He commented on a cover video I had posted and pitched the idea of doing a cover song together. I really enjoyed working with Jess and so I asked him if he wanted to be a part of the band.
How would you define not only your sound but the creative character of the band?
CR: I feel like writing this EP is what helped us find our sound as a band for sure. I grew up listening to so many groups and they all inspired me so much. We wanted something that would stand out from the other creatives in the scene. I wrote so many songs ranging from hardcore to acoustic trying to find our band’s sound. Finally, I realized I was trying too hard to be different and should just write how I feel. Our band is basically like a journal. Every song is so personal and full of emotion. I want our fans to know they aren’t alone.
Are there any previous musical experiences for band members and how have they been embraced in what you do now?
CR: So yeah I’ve never been in a band before this, but have always sang and played guitar. I used to busk on the pier for tips and would bring home enough money to eat at In-N-Out the whole week (laughs)! Jesse on the other hand has been in bands in the past. He’s most known for being the former drummer for the post hardcore band AMYST. For myself, singing has always been healing. I love singing and writing lyrics. There’s honestly nothing else I’d rather do in this life. If it wasn’t for WAITING 4 APRIL I don’t know what I’d be doing. Jesse’s passion for music inspires me so much. The way he plays the drums with such energy is incredible.
Being so far apart is there a particular process to your and the band’s songwriting?
CR: A lot of the songs I write are mostly freestyle at the beginning. The writing process for this record was somewhat odd. I would play chords on an acoustic guitar and just sing whatever came to mind for some. Others, it started with a vocal melody. Choruses would always come last to me for some reason. I really enjoy just freestyling melodies. It’s so rad when something cool comes out and you’re like “This is the one!” Since Jesse lives a ways from me, I’ll send him ideas and he’ll write drums to it. It’s a process, but I enjoy it.
Would you tell us about your latest release?
CR: Our band’s latest release is titled “Photo Memory“. The record is about my past depression and how I recently overcame it. I really felt like I needed to write this for those who are dealing with those same things I have.
So personal intimacy is the major inspirations to its heart?
CR: The inspiration for the entire album was just me wanting to get some things off my chest. I’ve had these stories bottled up for so long and I just needed to get them out on paper. From past relationships, family, and my depression it’s all in there. Surprising enough, the heart of the record is “love”. I found that out the hard way. One of the things I realized while overcoming my depression was that I kept looking for someone to love me when in reality I needed to learn to love myself for who Colton is.
I am always intrigued as to how artists choose track order on albums and EP’s and whether in hindsight they would change that. What has been the deciding factor for you or it is of an organic choosing?
CR: Jesse’s girlfriend, Lola, mentioned that since there are seven songs on the record they could each be the seven stages of grief. I really liked that and so I laid the songs out like that for the track list. Surprisingly, listening to the record from start to finish you can hear how they all correlate with each other in that aspect. They sound like they belong that way.
What do you find the most enjoyable part of being in this band and similarly the most cathartic?
CR: I think the most enjoyable part about being in a band is that Jesse and I are like brothers. We talk every single day and we get to make music together. My favorite thing is when either one of us comes up with a sick idea for a song and the excitement that comes with it. Never gets old.
For anyone contemplating checking you out live, give some teasers as to what they can expect.
CR: I love throwing the mic around like Adam Lazzara from TAKING BACK SUNDAY so be ready if I accidentally launch it into the pit. I’ll stage dive after that shit. We are super interactive and love to see everyone moving with us. The energy our songs bring definitely resonates throughout the venue.
What has been your most thrilling moment on stage to date?
CR: The most fun I’ve had on stage was doing guest vocals for my friend’s band SAVING VICE. Definitely fucked the lyrics up, but I loved being on stage with Tyler. He’s the man!
With the distances involved will there be any WAITING 4 APRIL shows anytime soon?
CR: As of now we don’t. We are in the process of planning a few presently.
What else can we expect in the near future?
CR: You guys can definitely expect show dates, features, and new music coming very soon!
What are the major inspirations to you sound wise and as a musician?
CR: The bands who personally inspire me have been PARAMORE, AVION ROE, CIRCA SURVIVE, and CHIODOS. I love how all these singers have such range. From singing low to soaring through the roof. It’s something that has inspired me when it comes to writing. Having a different range of vocal techniques is something that makes the song more interesting to me. It’s helped me with writing songs and being the vocalist I am today.
And finally what song or release would you say was the spark to your passion for music?
CR: Oh shoot I love that you guys are asking this. I have so many songs that got me into actually writing music. I think the song that made me want to sing and play guitar was “Heart Shaped Box” by NIRVANA. I remember playing that on guitar hero as a kid and asking my mom if I was singing it right. Little did I know Kurt Cobain would become one of my favorite artists.
Many thanks once again; anything else you would like to add?
CR: Be sure to check us out on Instagram @waiting4april! We are on all streaming platforms and appreciate every listener we get! Peace and thanks again!
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The RingMaster Review 12/07/2022
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