I somehow managed to set up an interview with Garret Rapp, the vocalist of The Color Morale, a band I’ve loved since I was 14. I even did a brief cover of “Prey For Me” on Instagram in 2015. Steve Carey commented on it and at the time it seemed like the most exciting thing that would ever happen to me. Flash forward two years later, and I was able to sit down and skype with their vocalist. I managed to not freak out and be a crazy fangirl, because I’m pretty good at keeping my chill, but let’s be honest, I was screaming inside throughout the whole thing.
Here’s what happened.
First off, who are you and what genre of music do you make?
My name is Garret Rapp, I do vocals for The Color Morale. We are- I would just call us a rock band- on Fearless Records
If you had to describe your music with a color, what would it be?
Does that count as a color?
Okay, cool. What’s the biggest struggle you have when it comes to creating?
I think the biggest struggle is trying to do things on timelines. Especially since it’s a pretty regular thing for bands to pump out a record in what seems like every year now, or every two years, and a lot of times it can take you a lifetime to write one song. So having to pump out ten to twelve songs in just a matter of 2-3 months when you tour as rigorously as we do, it’s definitely odds we have to work against.
If you could play any show in the world, what would it be?
Man, I would play a packed out 300 club, dirty, sweaty, smelly venue with two of my best friends’ bands.
What do you consider your biggest musical success?
I think getting to travel out of the country. Having been brought into other countries from you know, just making a record and getting on a label and touring full-time. Writing songs. It was kind of an achievement. I never imagined leaving my home state when I was a kid, and fast forward to now and I’ve visited every state in the entire country minus Hawaii and Alaska. Those are on the bucket list, so that’s the next interview. Remember this question for the next interview.
What inspired you to start making music?
I think just life experiences. For me, writing was kind of a way of coping when I was a kid. So I think being in a band is just kind of a way to create your own art and create a way to get rid of things you’ve had buried. That’s what I do in songwriting and playing shows and different things that I do with life. I’m just honest about them through my artwork and that’s my way of coping with being that “human” thing.
If you could hear any person living or dead sing to you, who would it be?
Freddie Mercury. I would love to just hear him with a piano- acapella with a piano.
Who, aside from any band or musician, is your biggest influence?
I think my biggest influence is people that I connect with on tour. I guess, The Color Morale fans- we call them fans- but just people in general. People that are at a show because they want to connect to the emotional integrity of what you do as an artist or people that just want to enjoy themselves, there’s a lot of angles and reasons why people attend shows, so I like connecting with people on a day-to-day basis.
What’s your favorite book?
Hmmm. I would have to say… There’s a book I read not too long ago called “Get Off Your But”. B-u-t. Also, I just got a Henry Rollins book given to me, so I’m in the very beginning of that, like chapter three. I really like The Heroin Diaries, the Nikki Sixx book that he wrote, and any Chuck Pal- however you pronounce his last name.
Palahniuk? I think?
Yeah! “Diary” was a really good book. I read that one. I was pretty into that.
What do you like to do other than music?
I really enjoy photography. I actually was in college back in the day to be a photojournalist, video journalist, so I’ve recently gotten a camera and been really into doing photography stuff. I ride bikes. Writing, in general. Just being a journalist. I think that’s what I see myself doing. You always get that “Where do you see yourself in ten years?” question, and I think being a journalist, video journalist, or doing something in photography.
Who is your favorite musical artist?
Jimmy Eat World.
What’s one piece of advice you have for young musicians?
I think don’t ever try to do something to please somebody else. And don’t every worry about being good. Get together with a group of friends and just suck. And play at shows and suck. Do it when there’s no one there, and keep doing it because you believe in it, and one day instead of playing to the other bands and the sound guy because no one showed up, you’ll find yourself touring the country in a rock band on your sixth record currently on Fearless Records. Yeah. That’s where we are now. Too many people worry about being signed and being the next big thing. The next big thing comes and goes, it goes as quick as it comes, so be true to yourself and enjoy what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with. I always tell younger bands, “you can have a group of five people and they can be the most amazing musicians but if there’s no symmetry within the group, and if you don’t have that symmetry on a personal level, on a friendship level, then you’re band’s not gonna last anyways”. Don’t worry about being great at your instrument, worry about being great as a group, if you’re in a band. Just be true to yourself and do what your heart tells you to do and not what some outside source tells you to do. You have to be confident in yourself as an artist first before you can take on the opinions of everyone else.
Lastly, what’s your lucky number?
Mine- my favorite number growing up was 15. It was always my little league number, my football number, my BMX number, I used to be a big fan of this motocross racer Jeremy McGrath and he was number 15, so it was like just a number that symbolized a magnitude of things in my youth.
Any last words for the readers?
Thanks for the interview and thanks for reading and giving two shits about the band and what we have to do or say and we’ll see you on tour very shortly.
You can follow The Color Morale on Instagram at @thecolormorale, and be sure to check them out on iTunes and Spotify.