Dallas Green says City and Color continues to improve

Dallas Green has carved out a unique place for himself in music with two very successful projects.

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City and color

When: February 8, 6:30 pm

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Where: Rogers Arena

Tickets/information: From $59 at ticketmaster.ca

The Love Still Held Me Near is the seventh album by City and color.

City and color
City and Color The Love Still Held Me Near is now available on Dine Alone Records Photo by Dine Alone Records /sun

What started as a solo project alexisonfire Guitarist and vocalist Dallas Green becomes an arena act almost upon arrival. A cross-country tour supported by Nathaniel Rateliff and Night Sweats and Ruby Waters lands in Vancouver on Rogers Stadium on February 8.

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At home, recovering from eye surgery, Green reflected on what it’s like to be on two successful projects at the same time. Reuniting Aleixisonfire with 2022 reunion album Otherness and following up with City and Color is a new experience. She also hinted at possible new music from her chart-topping duo with P!nk called You + Me.

“We’ve done a couple shows at City and Color since the album came out last March between Alexis’ tour dates, but this is the roundup across Canada,” Green said. “For the rest of the year, I’ll be playing in the United States, probably going to South America and definitely coming back to Australia as well.”

Australia holds a special, if dark, place for the singer.

It was on a tour of Australia in 2019 where producer and close friend Karl Bareham died on a diving trip. The heart of Love that still held me close is Green beating through what he said was “the most tragic experience he has ever had.”

In the third line of the opening track Meant to Be, the St. Catherine native is already wondering if the Bible was wrong.

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The dozen songs form a cycle of soul-searching that goes deeper than City and Colour’s already emotional catalogue. Green has come to appreciate that what people comment on and appreciate most about her writing is the way she exposes the most difficult corners of life to make you feel better inside.

“When we lost Karl, I knew I would try to cope by writing about it, since most of the City and Color canon comes from some kind of feeling or experience that I’m trying to process inside of myself,” he said. . “What I didn’t really know was going to go along with that was how openly it would also address my Catholic upbringing. “I think I was questioning that while I was grieving.”

What mattered most was that the results were encouraging for his pain.

Beyond the added lyrical depth, the material on the new recording makes City and Color sound more like a band than ever. The presentation of the music is a far cry from the solo artist with a guitar heard on 2005’s hit debut, Once.

“After operating in a five-party democracy like Alexis, this was the place where I didn’t have to ask anyone to agree on anything,” he said. “But I think the version of City and Color you hear on this album shows an evolution. My frequent collaborator Matt Kelly has become so key to this now that it’s not impossible for me to consider it something resembling a band.

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Having someone who understands both the studio and live setups and demands of City and Color’s songs has proven key to being able to move between the two very different worlds of City and Color’s emotional pop and the post-hardcore fire of Alexisonfire. Kelly is, in a way, a caretaker of sorts.

“Ten years ago, I had to choose between which version of these two extraction projects was going to be the right one and I left Alexis,” he said. “The pandemic provided time and space to consider that perhaps there could be two new versions. Part of the problem before was that there was no real context to analyze how to manage two different bands, two different audiences, etc.

Doing it again has meant 20-month tours to 16 countries going back and forth between projects. But keeping things simple, such as having the same road crew for both bands and Matt Kelly playing with both groups, has solved some of the challenges. Green admits it’s still a work in progress.

“Last year we were in Australia for six weeks with City and Color and then the Alexis boys flew out and we were there for another six weeks,” he said. “I was explaining this to Ben Harper when we played a festival together and he looked at me and said, ‘nobody’s doing what you’re trying to do, you know?’ All I can say is that, during the time I spent agonizing over what would be the best way to do it, I have found a nice place in me right now.”

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They are two sides of the same artist and the You+Me project with good friend P!nk is another.

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Green says the two have enough material for an album, but scheduling is very difficult. The hope is that the two musicians can find some space for studio sessions over the next year.

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