What’s your favorite thing about the recordings you guys have done for THE LOST MILLIONS debut ‘101’ now available on iTunes?   They are all really good songs on this album and they don’t sound like anything else out there to me. We are proud of it and can’t wait to see how they go over. For all I know there’s a whole genre built around bands that sound like us, who knows. We’re nobody but represent millions. We’re just four more dudes playing rock in a band. Everytime we get together it seems like someone in the group says quietly in passing “the ‘lost millions’ are kind of a big deal” LOL..

How does the writing process work for you guys?   The bulk of material on this album was written by Matt Westfield and Heath McBurnett in what has become a prolific partnership.  Generally, the songs begin with a riff or progression in a jam situation and develop from there.

Did you go in to the recording process with a vision for the sound over all or is it more of a sum-of-the-parts / songs-as-they-happen dynamic?  There wasn’t any preconceived overall sound we were shooting for on this one. We just started building on the framework with the gear we had and what we thought the song dictated.

What is your go-to set up?  In the studio, I mainly used a Fender Blues Jr., although an Orange and a BF Bandmaster were used as well. Effects-wise I used a Ibanez ts808, MXR phase 90, and a Big Muff. For guitars I used a Strat, Les Paul, and an Angers 12 string. I played the Wurlitzer through a SF Champ. There wasn’t much food involved.

What was the first record you ever bought and how do you feel about it today?   The first record I ever bought was Elton John “Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player”. It still stands up. Great melodies, great lyrics and a killer band.

Can you recommend any guitar solos young guitarists should sink their teeth into?    That is a tough question. There are so many different approaches and tones that I wouldn’t know where to begin. Usually what inspired you to pick up a guitar in the first place will lead you on your own journey.  Some of my favorites for sure were played by Mike Campbell, Johnny Marr, Brian May, Billy Gibbons, David Gilmore, George Harrison, Joe Walsh and of course ‘Ace’ Pagey’. 

Do you still listen to LP / CD’s or are have you embraced music via the computer and phone with platforms like Spotify?  I still prefer listening to LPs. It is a ritual. Dropping the needle, checking out the cover and credits, flipping it over, it’s an interactive experience. Plus, I just think it sounds better. That said, I do listen on the phone and computer. I’m a music junkie but can’t always be near a turntable.

Outside of the SXSW bonanza, what can you tell us about the scene in Austin for bands looking to make in-roads in town or visitors looking to go pro for a night?  Austin is struggling to find itself musically as the tech sector takes over. The cost of living has forced venues to close and musicians to move. We are just beginning to navigate the inroads of the new landscape and we will keep you posted on how that goes. For those from out of town looking to play for a night and make some money …good luck.

If you had to make a list, has your favorite music come from England or here in the US of A?  My top ten is probably dominated by English bands but American bands would make up most of my top 100.

Through a series of unforeseen events you wind up at the Pearly Gates with a guitar and, as folks settle in, Saint Peter nods your direction and mouths “do something good!!”  …. What do you go with?  I imagine it would be a large and diverse crowd there so I would keep it instrumental. Perhaps “Bron-y-aur” or a Nick Drake inspired tune I’ve been working on. Chill, non-offensive, and hopefully impressive to the powers that be. Maybe they’d let me play with some of my heroes if I pass the audition?



1.0 How did Secret Colours come together as a band? We all grew up in the same town, pretty much.  I had a hand full of songs I had recorded but didn’t have a band to play them out, so I asked my friends if they would play them with me. Dylan and I had been jamming together since early high school. We met Dave and Justin later on in high school. Dave had played in other local bands and Justin hung around the crowd affiliated with Dave’s bands.  Once Dave left his previous band, he decided to start the band with me. About a month after the band started we brought Margaret in to play keys and sing backing vocals, to fill out our sound. – Tommy

2.0 How does the writing process work for you guys? Tommy usually brings in the structure and vocals of a new song. Earlier on in the band he wrote all of the songs, but now sometimes he’ll bring in just a chord progression and lyrics and we jam on it, as a group, until we get it where we like it.  We’ve progressed into a much more collaborative effort now.  We’re all finding our place in the band, and know how to compliment each other in the right ways. – Dave

3.0  If you had to pick a seminal influence for the band, who would it be? The Beatles.

4.0  What were your favorite bands growing up? The Beatles, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Blur, Gorillaz, Dandy Warhols, Spacemen 3, Stone Roses, Oasis.

5.0  Is Chicago a part of the bands sensibility? We love Chicago, we grew up with it, its our home. – Tommy

I think you can hear in our sound that we’re from Chicago, or at least not from the typical areas you’d find this style of music.  I think it’s evident we’re not from the West-Coast, or from Austin, or even from across the pond.  We’ve lived here our entire lives so I think there’s a certain quality to our music that reflects that Midwestern, dreary or droney sound. – Dave

6.0  How do Secret Colours approach playing live? We are pretty conventional as far as instrumentation. We are open to trying new things but we just can’t really afford to get theatrical, yet. – Tommy

7.0  How do you feel before shows? Depends on the show but for the most part exited. Its the most fun thing to do in the world. I used to vomit before every show but not so much any more. – Tommy

Drunk. – Dave

8.0  You have been singled-out as “a band to watch in 2011,” what are your plans for the new year? We have tons of shows to play as well as a few festivals. We are going to record a new full length album in the summer. – Tommy

Yea, we got invited to officially showcase SXSW this year, so we’ll be down there, and we’ll be playing a couple really exciting day parties as well.  This summer we’ll be bumming around Chicago recording, so we’ll probably stick close to home, but we’ve got some exciting shows already lined up for the summer time. – Dave

9.0  What’s your favorite SC song? Im not sure…it varies. I would have to say Love because it was the most collaborative song we did from our record. Plus its fun as hell to play live. – Tommy

You haven’t heard it yet! – Dave

10.0  Does a band have to get along well to succeed? Yes, unless you’re Oasis. When a band doesn’t get along it makes you feel like its pointless to keep going.