The Amazing Colourist

Costa Mesa’s the Colourist have been busy. Since we last heard from them a year and a half ago, they’ve played at South By Southwest in Austin, were nominated for Best New Artist and Best Song for the 2010 OC Music Awards, and have toured extensively, thus snagging the Best Live Band title in the Weekly’s Best of 2010 issue. Made up of keyboardist Justin Wagner, bassist Kollin Johannsen, singer/guitarist Adam Castilla and drummer Maya Tuttle, the Colourist have a residency all this month at Detroit Bar—and then return to the venue on Jan. 4 to play the first night of the 2011 OC Music Awards Showcase Series.

OC Weekly: How do you feel about being the Detroit Bar’s resident band for December?

Adam Castilla: It’s cool because we’re from Costa Mesa. It’s a good time to have a lot of our friends be able to play with us. Since it’s the holiday season, we have surprises coming.

What kind of surprises?

Castilla: Can’t tell you.

Maya Tuttle: That’s the biggest thing, playing with our friends—which is what the holidays are all about. They’re all really talented bands, too! We’re not just plugging our friends or anything. Like Audrey and the Deer . . .

Castilla: Chasing Kings . . .

Tuttle: Awesome bands that maybe haven’t played here as much. They’re from LA. We’re real excited to introduce them to Orange County.

I read a tweet that you guys retweeted that said, “No one gives the Colourist any credit.” Why do you think someone would say that?

Castilla: See, Maya, I told you that people read that.

Tuttle: I know they do!

Castilla: Okay, so here’s the deal: Every time we play a show, no one likes Maya.

Tuttle: [Laughs.] The real story is that I thought it was funny because someone wrote that about a comic book called The Colourist. But then people took it as serious. I actually think that people give us a lot of credit. We feel really appreciated around here. It was a joke.

I took it seriously.

Tuttle: Sorry about that. [Laughs.]

Castilla: Our name is like the British spelling, so when people search for us on Google, half of the searches are for hair colorists.

What was it like opening for Led Zeppelin with your old band, Paper Thin Walls?

Castilla: [Points to keyboardist Justin Wagner.] Ask him. Ask him the same question.

Justin Wagner: I wasn’t there.

Castilla: What was it like opening for Led Zeppelin?

Wagner: [Waves arms.] It was awesome! Best time of my life!

Castilla: Kollin [Johannsen] and Justin weren’t a part of it, so they want to talk about something they can share. It was one of my and Maya’s biggest accomplishments. Without that band, we wouldn’t have this band, so even though that band was a lot different, we took the drive from it.

What are your future plans?

Castilla: We’re working on new stuff right now. We are spending so much time on it because we don’t want to put out something that is not as good as our last album. So we’ve just been practicing four or five nights a week, which is crazy. We’ve been staying in the recording studio until 2 in the morning. But we’re really excited for what’s coming out. We’ve got some touring plans on the way.

Oh, yeah? Where are you guys going?

Castilla: Hopefully to Washington. We’ve played the OC and LA, and we’re just going to see how other people like it. Hopefully, it goes well.


The Colourist perform at Detroit Bar, 843 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 642-0600; Every Mon., 9 p.m. Through Dec. 27. Free. 21+.

Hey, Orange County/Long Beach musicians and bands! Mail your music, contact info, high-res photos and impending show dates for possible review to: Locals Only, OC Weekly, 2975 Red Hill Ave., Ste 150, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Or e-mail your link to: lo********@oc******.com.

This column appeared in print as “The Future’s Rainbow Bright.”

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