The Colourist: Creepy is cool 

click to enlarge South Bay native Maya Tuttle, second from right, and The Colourist are bringing their dance-rock jams to The City. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • South Bay native Maya Tuttle, second from right, and The Colourist are bringing their dance-rock jams to The City.

The Lido Building, a windowless warehouse on a man-made island in Newport Beach, is about to get demolished to make way for condominiums.

Not too many people are likely to care about the demolition of the Cold War-era building, but among those who do are the members of Orange County groove-heavy dance-rock quartet The Colourist, who have used it as a practice space since the group's inception in 2010.

"It's kind of surreal because it's the place where we've really honed and grown this band," drummer-vocalist (and South Bay native) Maya Tuttle says.

When The Colourist, which includes vocalist-guitarist Adam Castilla, bassist Kollin Johannsen and keyboardist Justin Wagner, was deciding on a name for its debut EP, the members decided on an homage to their band's home, a "creepy" space close to the water they shared with a kind '80s metalhead. "Lido" was released a couple of weeks ago on Republic Records.

"We're all fascinated by ghost stories or ghost hunting: paranormal stuff," says Tuttle, whose band plays Popscene at the Rickshaw Stop on Thursday. "So creepy is kind of cool, in this case."

Tuttle took to drumming as a child and played percussion in the Saratoga High School Marching Band. She cites the school's performing arts director, Michael Boitz, as a major influence.

In 2005, Tuttle moved south to attend school at UC Irvine. In Orange County she met guitarist Castilla while playing in another band. After that band broke up, the two decided to continue making music together.

"We experimented with harmonizing out of necessity because we couldn't find a singer," she says. Wagner, a friend of both Tuttle and Castilla, and Johannsen, whom the pair "kind of stole" from another local band, joined soon after.

"Before (Wagner) joined The Colourist, he didn't really play any instruments — but he's an incredibly fast learner," Tuttle says. "Kollin's dad introduced him to Van Halen at a very young age, so he knows how to play all these crazy guitar solos. It's a secret influence. Adam is incredibly resourceful. I don't know if it's good luck or if it's a skill in finding things or making things work, (but) if we're in a bind, it's usually him who finds the way."

It was Castilla who finagled their practice space at the Lido Building thanks to a former co-worker, "Spirit."

"He has long, flowing gray hair, and he resembles Raiden from "Mortal Kombat," Tuttle says. "He's a very kind-hearted metalhead. His band is called Scarlet Red, and blood drips from his (logo). He was kind enough to make us our own logo with blood dripping off 'The Colourist.'"


The Colourist

Where: Popscene at the Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St., S.F.

When: 9:30 p.m. Thursday

Tickets: $10


About The Author

Roman Gokhman

Roman Gokhman

Roman Gokhman has been writing about the music scene in the Bay Area since 2006, with a focus on indie rock, world music and the local scene. He's also seen U2 live more than 50 times and expects to add to that total in 2014, if their next album finally comes out.
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