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The Graham Colton Interview
Posted by brandon on June 26, 2011

Graham Colton, an “Okie” whose hometown of Oklahoma City is surely proud to call him son, is currently touring heavily in support of his latest album, Pacific Coast Eyes. Colton has toured with artists from John Mayer and Gavin DeGraw to NeedtoBreathe and Maroon 5. I recently saw him perform an acoustic set with David Ryan Harris in Nashville and he nailed it. The guy’s a pro and is determined to organically grow his brand of music.

As for how I came across Graham Colton’s music, there was a time when my music discovery method was purchasing anything that Brendan O’Brien produced. O’Brien has produced some of the greatest rock albums of all time. His credits include Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Train, Bruce Springsteen, and Augustana. The list goes on and on. Through studying O’Brien’s productions, I stumbled across Graham Colton Band’s record, Drive. The songs on that album were (still are) killer and the vibe of the recording had O’Brien’s stamp. It quickly became a favorite and led to subsequent investments in Graham Colton’s works.

The latest of such works is consistent with what I’ve come to expect. Strong, catchy songs communicated through dynamic guitars and a unique vocal sound make for a signature Graham Colton release, and Pacific Coast Eyes falls in line. The enjoyment of this album inspired a few questions so I reached out to Graham for answers. From starting his own record label to his football past, Graham talks the topics that make him a jack-of-all-trades. The exchange is as follows. A big thanks goes out to Graham Colton.

The Daily Soundtrack: Fans will likely notice the label associated with your most recent release, Pacific Coast Eyes, is GC Recordings. Shall we assume this is your own venture? If so, what have you learned from releasing a project on your own imprint and do you foresee growing the artist roster?

Graham Colton: This is my first indie release since my first demo. This album really gets back to basics and I hope it feels that way. I had total creative control from start to finish with the help of my producer, Tommy Walter. I pulled tons of favors for studio time, slept on couches and cashed in a bunch of airline miles. It was the best time I’ve ever had in the studio. In terms of growing the roster…that’s a great idea and actually something I’ve thought about. I love finding and hearing new music. Maybe one day I’ll get to have my own label.

The Daily Soundtrack: One of the all time favorite albums at The Daily Soundtrack is Drive, your release as Graham Colton Band. Having worked with producer Brendan O’Brien on that album, you surely were in awe of his resume and the setting at Southern Tracks Recording Studio. What is your favorite moment from those sessions?

Graham Colton: Brendan was the 6th member of GCB and the band leader. That’s the way the sessions felt…like a band. He plays tons of instruments and really taught us how to be a band in the process. I am really now beginning to comprehend his genius. I am beyond proud of that album and think it still holds up.

The Daily Soundtrack: Your songs are usually driven by either a guitar or piano. Which instrument is usually your starting point when writing?

Graham Colton: My songs usually start with the guitar because it’s the only instrument I can ‘really’ play. My thought has always been, if the song cannot be played for people solo acoustic, the song isn’t any good.

The Daily Soundtrack: You’re an Oklahoma native, which means you were likely raised a fan of the Oklahoma Sooners or the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Where does your allegiance lie in regards to college football?

Graham Colton: Oklahoma. There’s only one. Period.

The Daily Soundtrack: How cool is it to see your high school football teammate, Wes Welker, having so much success in the NFL? If he was forced to answer, which would he say is his favorite quarterback; you or Tom Brady?

Graham Colton: It’s an amazing thing to not only see your best friend become a superstar but also fun for me to say ‘I told you so’ to everyone! He always had that thing that no one else had whether it was football or ping pong…he was gonna win. He better say Tom!