Photo by Karsten Staiger

The last time I caught up with vocalist Corey Glover of Living Colour the band were in the midst of a tour celebrating the 25th anniversary of their debut album Vivid. This time it’s on the eve of a new tour debuting songs from their upcoming album Shade. However, it seems that much attention still remains on their debut. So much so that a headline for a story on the upcoming album in USA Today proclaimed that they were “Still Vivid”.

The Vivid celebration put the band back on that precarious edge that straddles the commercial and artistic worlds. As well, video game soundtracks and an appearance at Wrestlemania have given Living Colour roads back into the mainstream musical consciousness. Before their 2000 reunion it would have been easy to perceive Living Colour’s longevity as tied to their commercial success, which seems completely at odds with the diversity of their sound and the eclectic projects each member pursues outside of the band. Each subsequent album has been angrier and darker, which is probably why none of them were able to match the debut’s sales.

Living Colour is an artistic contradiction in the current world of rock n’ roll, and it was with that contradiction at the forefront of my mind that I spoke with Corey about constructing the shape and the sound of Shade, the lingering effect of the Vivid anniversary, and what it takes to make a genuine album that’s also successful.


A Journal of Musical Things