In Conversation With . . . hue, Part I

?Where you goin??
Where you comin? from?
Where you runnin? to?
Where you go I will, I will follow.
When you grow, I will, I will also.?

from Starting Fires, ?The Bump?

hue is a Toronto-based indie band noted for its enthusiastic pop rock tunes, superlative sound production, and creative collaborations with a host of stellar acts (including Timbaland, We Are Wolves, The Wooden Sky, Two Hours Traffic, Said The Whale, Hollerado, Lights, and Mother Mother). Starting Fires is hue’s second full-length album. Recently the band’s leader, singer, and songwriter Danny Paton, Jr., took the time to answer some of Wanda Waterman’s questions about band history, inspiration, and creativity.

Regarding Starting Fires

We approached this album from a whole different perspective than the last. Working closely with Mike Tompkins, we took our time and absolutely pushed ourselves to make a bright, solid record in our eyes.

We wrote as a five-piece instead of three, having Jess Paton as a fresh female presence and innocence in the writing. Andrew Jones brought a different musical taste and fire to the songs, changing the direction in the best ways possible.

Feeding the muse

We all feel that as long as we aren’t being told how to create by anyone but ourselves, then we will be open and happy creating, writing, and laughing together. Hearts full and lost have only inspired and brought us to the places we are in life and with our music.

Has the creative life changed you?

Definitely, yes. You are able to let your emotions and hard work out into the world, and by hearing and seeing feedback from people, it drives us to keep going and sharpen our game.

Inspiring music

Plans by Death Cab for Cutie is a colossal album throughout the band. Front to back the album is incredible. We are inspired by a lot of Canadian music such as The Tragically Hip, Joel Plaskett, [and] Attack in Black, all of whom we look up to and aspire to end up like.

Regenerating

We rely a lot on the friendships we’ve created within the band. We are the closest, best friends in the world. An agreeable laugh here and there easily brings us back to reality and helps reboot ourselves. We are also all very lucky to have wonderful families who fully support what we do.

Coming together

Darcy, Andrew, and Danny started playing together in high school, and it was a three-man show for a few years. After moving to Toronto the band sought a larger sound, and found Andrew Jones at a local bar. We asked him to be in the band and take over bass from Darcy, who then moved to guitars and piano.

Danny asked his sister Jess in December 2009 to sing and play synth in hue after she sang on a few early demos with the band. The sound was fuller than imagined, and the new hue was born.

Writing songs

It usually starts from an idea, with Danny and Darcy coming up with a melody or progression on acoustic or piano. We bring it to the band and jam out parts and piece it together, jumping from instrument to instrument between us.

To be continued . . .

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