No small plans for BIGCOLOUR

By Matt Watson

When Brian Brissart moved to Chicago to attend Columbia in fall 2008, he started working on a solo music project he called BIGCOLOUR. After becoming bored with recording guitar loops and realizing he couldn’t perform every instrument live, Brissart said he decided to recruit friends he trusted with his sound. With Columbia students Alex Auby, on guitar and back up vocals; Jeremy Lindemulder, on drums; Jordan Vouga, on bass; and Brissart, on lead vocals and guitar, BIGCOLOUR performed live for the first time in October 2010 at a house in West Lafayette, Ind.

Since then, the self-described dreamy psychedelic-pop band has performed at numerous venues across Chicago and the Midwest. With two EPs already out, BIGCOLOUR is in the process of recording its third EP and first full-length LP, which the group hopes to have out this summer. They also plan to go on tour after the spring 2011 semester ends. The group has three shows booked for April, including two in Chicago, one at Saki Records, 3716 W. Fullerton Ave., on April 8, and the other at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., on April 26.

Between work, class and practice, Brissart chatted with The Chronicle to discuss balancing priorities, inspiration and

musical diversity.

The Chronicle: What are the challenges of being in school and a band?

Brian Brissart: I’d say the biggest challenge is trying to balance a workload and being attentive toward creativity at the same time. A lot of times, I find I have a butt load of homework, essays and other projects I have to do, and I will totally neglect to do those things and sit down and record music for 24 hours. You just have to find out what you want to do at that point, and if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out.

Chronicle: Have you guys played outside Chicago?

BB: We’ve played a lot in the Midwest . We’re planning on doing a tour after this semester is over, but we’ll see how that pans out.

The Chronicle: How often do you guys usually practice?

BB: Once a week. Sometimes we’ll all be hanging out, having a couple beers and we’ll decide to pick up instruments and not necessarily decide to practice but have kind of a little jam thing going on. I won’t call it a “jam session” because I hate that term.

The Chronicle: Where did you come up with this unique sound?

BB: I feel like I have an eclectic taste in music, and I derive a lot of inspirations from things that aren’t necessarily musical. Just a relationship with a person or a conversation can develop some sort of unique thought or process in my head that leads me to pick up a guitar and make a riff, write a melody to it. It kind of branches off from there. A lot of people stress only listening to older bands and don’t give the attention or respect to modern music I think it deserves. I kind of have a balance between all music.

The Chronicle: Who writes the music?

BB: I’ll usually write and record it myself. My guitar player, Alex, will sometimes come along and write a guitar riff to go along with the music. I write all the parts, but I like to let everyone have their creative freedom, so when we play live, everyone has some sort of say in what we’re doing.

The Chronicle: How do you stand out from other bands you play with?

BB: We are starting to play bigger shows with bigger bands we can mesh with well. We have a huge collective of friends in Chicago who all like to play music. We all play different styles, but we like to collaborate together. There’s a lot of electronic music and folk music, and I think it’s really cool that people can come out to shows like that. It offers diversity and a unity to that diversity. I really enjoy doing that stuff.

To hear recordings from BIGCOLOUR, visit For concert dates, visit the band’s Facebook page.