3 Colours Red Biography
Pete Vuckovic - Lead vocals, bass
Chris McCormack - Guitar, backing vocals
Ben Harding - Guitar, backing vocals
Keith Baxter- Drums
"I see the smoke clear/But I ain't watching the screen/I get the joke/And yes, I know what it means..."
All parties must come to an end, they have to. The last bottle is drained and you're left with a mouthful of ashes. The bathroom sink is blocked and overflowing, a warm morning breeze blowing in through the broken window. The honeymoon is over and the salad days are no longer green. So what do you do? Where do you go? You get off your arse and charge into the future. That is what you do.
3 Colours Red exploded into '96 with their independently released single "This Is My Hollywood", a song containing a form of pent-up rage, frustration, nihilism and self-loathing only ever touched upon by Nirvana since the anger-is-an-energy exponents of the late 70s. A song hinged around the poignant scream of "Is this success?/tuesday night and penniless". Deftly snapped-up by Creation, 3 Colours Red gate-crashed the rock 'n' roll party clad in regulation black like that oft-referred to Last Gang In Town (only this time, it was true), took command of the stereo and cornered the generic so-called guitar stars.
"As a band we've all established our roles, we're stronger than ever and we know exactly what we want to do. 3 Colours Red have landed". (Pete)
Assembled from the four corners of this fair isle and from various shady backgrounds...oh, go on then, since you ask. Ben spent his time cultivating a palette for fine wine and playing in Senseless Things, Keith mastered his art in various northern bands. Pete, recovering from a stint in metallers Diamond Head (career highlight: being covered by Metallica), holed himself up in his Midlands bedroom crafting songs which stretched from AC/DC to Nick Drake whilst Chris - the hardest lad in his school by the age of fourteen - slept off his hangovers in a guitar shop, released records in his teens and galavanted around his native South Shields dreaming big, big dreams.
Unlike most though, the crop-topped Geordie grabbed his chance and re-located to London to writ songs via post with Pete who soon followed. Even before they'd met, a classic songwriting parnership was being cemented. This was Lennon/McCartney, Strummer/Jones, yin and yang stuff. Pete, the introspective thinker, the semi-reclusive rock poet ("I have panic attacks about music, when I hear mediocre bands who arn't pushing themselves I despair") a perfect fiol for Chris, the wild-eyed and wired speed-kid gobshite. Fire and water, yes, but both equally angry and ambitious.
The band cut their first single immediately and, seconds later, supported the like of Sex Pistols and Iggy. The party was swining. The venues filled as "nuclear Holiday" hit the charts with its sturdy, grinding, aggro-pop in early '97. "Sixty Mile Smile" followed as tours became savage joy-rides around the country. Front covers, TV and endless supplies of booze ensued. The punk ethic met with metal dynamics and a pop sensibility. The album "Pure" went Top 20 and 3 Colours Red were on fire.
Every night was a party, every party at least a night long. 3 Colours Red were everywherer buying doubles. A sell-out tour with Bush and numerous festivals appearances fuelled the madnees.
"We're into finding new textures, not just relying on fat chords." (Chris)
But then the quartet woke up, bleary-eyed and ready to go again. The party was put on hold, the revelling minimalised whilst new songs were written in a deluge which reflect on this new post-dole world, a sound which masks layered emotions married to dark and personal feelings. 3 Colours Red fled to the studio with Chris Sheldon (Foo Fighters, Therapy?) and Dave Eringa (Manics). Everything was deeper, more thoughtful, more dimensional, Pete drawing inwards further than he had ever been before, Chris fuelled by the desire to make the most confrontational music around:
"Paralyse is about the idea of being stuck to the spot in desbelief when it all becomes too much. It's more about the image of mental paralysis, about not beimg heard. My front room features heavily in the lyric : the blinds, the chairs, the four walls..." (Pete)
"Paralyse": A sonic, electric hurricane swirling with slabs of driving schizo guitars and soul-twisting lyrics. The single precedes 3 Colours Red's second album and the sweeping, string-laden landscape of "Beautiful Day", a song which provides a marked departure to the bombastic bluster of the early singles.
And so the party starts again with a Molotov single, a low-key tour and then..? And then the world. It has, as they say, only just begun. Roll out the barrels.
Ben Myers - September 1998.