Adam Valen, Chris Cichra, Jeremy Westhead, Max Kovalchuk, and Quinn Wirth came together to form the band Nevada Color in 2012. The up and coming Pittsburgh based indie pop/rock band released their first album and went on a headlining tour throughout the East Coast in May of 2014. You can find their music on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Spotify. Nevada Color will be playing at the 105.9 The X Studio on April 29th at 7 P.M. and at The Altar Bar on May 4th at 8 P.M.
How did you meet?
Chris: Point Park mostly.
Max: Chris and I met each other when we first started working together with another band and then we started this band. I knew Jeremy and he knew Quinn and asked the both of them to join the band. I knew Adam. So basically, Chris and I started it and brought new people in.
Chris: We were playing in like a folk pop band before Nevada Color and it wasn’t what we wanted to do.
Adam: I played two shows with them. They had me playing weird instruments. I played a cardboard box and then I played paint cans at the other shows. I never really moved up to a real instrument.
Chris: Our (Chris, Max, and Adam) first show was actually here (Beehive Coffee House). It was like an acoustic thing.
How did you come up with the name Nevada Color?
Quinn: It was a collective effort. We decided first on the word “color”. We wanted to pick something that represented childhood. When you think of color you don’t think of black and white, you think of bright color, and I’d say, if you classified our music as a color, it would be a very bright color.
Max: We really liked color. We wanted to do something with that. Quinn went onto a racehorse generator…
Chris: This is the worst story
Jeremy: We got Nevada Sound Wave for our “horse”. I would bet on Nevada Sound Wave honestly. And then we were like, “What about Nevada Color?” and then that was it.
So you’ve never been to the state?
Jeremy: Never been to Nevada; never been to New Mexico (one of their songs).
How did you get the name for “New Mexico”?
Max: I was flying over New Mexico when I wrote the song.
Quinn: The point of that song is that no one has been there. It talks about the troubled life of a pilot and how you can’t stop and smell the roses.
What is your biggest accomplishment as a band?
Max: Probably funding the full-length album and being able to put that out. That was a pretty big accomplishment.
Adam: We raised around three grand in a month and I never thought we would be able to achieve that. We have a very loyal fan base.
Max: I would say that is our biggest one, but everything we do is smaller accomplishments that lead up to bigger ones, but it’s always going to be a continuous building process. I don’t think we’ll ever be at a point where we’ve accomplished this one thing and now we’re happy. I don’t think it’s ever going to get to that point, but we’ve played with a lot of cool bands recently. We opened for some bigger shows and opened for some national touring bands that we liked. I think those were all personal accomplishments.
Chris: I mean, when we opened for Tokyo Police Club that was a big moment for me because I’m a big fan of them.
Quinn: Yeah, playing with Tokyo Police Club.
Max: Being able to go on tour and having people show up to shows and having it go well and having everything run smoothly. I think that’s an accomplishment in itself. No matter what size stager you’re on, if you’re able to travel from city to city each day and get that all coordinated and together and make enough money where you can continue to keep doing that, I think that’s an accomplishment. It’s a lot of little ones that will hopefully lead up to bigger ones.
Quinn: Our songs (“New Mexico” and “Face to Face”) played on three major radio stations in Pittsburgh, WYEP 93.1, WDVE 102.5, and 105.9 The X.
Who are your major music inspirations?
Chris: Probably a lot of Vampire Weekend, Two Door Cinema Club, Young the Giant, The Killers. The Killers have been a big influence.
Quinn: We all come from different musical backgrounds, so a big thing that creates our sound is that we all come together. But personally, a big one is The Killers (Brandon Flowers). I also started playing piano because of my mother, so Jamie Cullumn is a big one as well. I didn’t really find out about all these bands that these guys listen to until I found the band.
When can we expect new music?
Jeremy: We were just in the studio recording new demos. That’s just right now, though, it’s what we’re shopping around with.
Chris: We did that internally so we can let people know what we’re working on.
Max: This way, different producers can see where we’re going once we actually record it, which brings it back to the expansion of bringing in new team members, like a record label, and they’re going to want to hear new music so they can see what we can put out.. Our goal is to have music out every year, but hopefully we can put some out earlier than that.
Jeremy: But we do plan on releasing new music!
Quinn: Definitely before the end of this year.
Chris: We have plenty of new music to get out, but you just have to come to shows. We always play new music at our shows.
What’s your favorite song that you have written?
Chris: Mine’s probably “Dreamer”.
Adam: Probably “Atlantis”.
Max: I don’t really think that I have a favorite. Every song really means something to me individually so none of them are more important to me than the other songs.
Jeremy: I don’t know, “Monsters” maybe? We’ve been working with that since the very beginning so it’s really cool to have that out there and released.
What was touring like?
Chris: We have some crazy stories from being on tour. Most just us messing with him (Adam).
Jeremy: Yeah it just really passes the time.
What is your favorite part of performing?
Chris: Just getting up on the stage.
Jeremy: If the crowd likes it, that’s the best.
Chris: And there’s this thing when you performing called the “pocket”. Whenever you’re playing a song, you can feel that everyone is on the same tempo and grooving the same way. That the best feeling in the world.
What’s the craziest thing that has ever happened during a show?
Adam: Well for me personally, it was probably our third show ever. We were on stage and my friend bought a huge pair of panties for some reason and threw them on my mic stand it was really weird.
Jeremy: It hit me in the face.
Max: He (Adam) used to herky on stage. Everyone loved it.
Adam: I got brittle bones man.
Max: Everyone loved it. You should do it again.
Jeremy: When we were playing at CMU, we had this big stage outside and the crowd was like forty yards away. They didn’t come close and Quinn wanted to get them more into it. He had a long part where he didn’t have to sing so he jumped off of the stage and like ran to them to get them up and dancing and we were like, ‘Shit you’re going to have to sing real soon’ and then he ran back.
Chris: Yeah, he jumped straight up didn’t he?
Jeremy: Yeah! He didn’t use his hands!
Chris: In his skinny jeans too!
Max: Yeah, I guess crazy stuff never really happens to us. Fun? Yes. Crazy? No.
Adam: Yeah, but we’ll be working on pyrotechnics pretty soon.
Chris: And that’s when things go bad!
Where is your favorite place to play in Pittsburgh?
Adam: Stage AE.
Max: We play the Smiling Moose a lot, it’s alright, but Stage AE is cool.
Chris: Alter Bar
Max: Alter Bar is cool as well. There’s not one spot where we feel like we have to play all the time so we move around a lot and try to branch out. We have a lot of respect for the venues in Pittsburgh.
What is the general feel of your shows?
Chris: A lot of energy.
Max: Yeah, just having fun bust some moves, just dancing around.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Chris: Oh, yeah, we always go and sing “Monsters”. We always warm up to that even if we’re not playing it that night. It gets a lot of energy building and we’re all trying to get in the pocket before we go on.
Adam: Chris does like a hundred one handed pushups and everything just gets crazy.
Jeremy: A lot of calf raises.
Adam: No it’s cool; it’s like a very unifying experience.
Max: Usually like 15 minutes before the show, we’ll go and warm up, stretch out a bit and just get in the right mind set to perform.
Chris: Smack Adam in the face…
Adam: What? That never happens!
Max: Maybe once or twice…
What type of genre would you classify your music under?
Adam: Genres are weird.
Jeremy: I always say alternative.
Chris: I usually say indie pop/rock.
Max: Yeah, it’s got elements of pop for sure. Some rock too.
Chris: Whenever we do it on iTunes and stuff, we put it under alternative.
Are you all from Pittsburgh?
Max: Yes, but Quinn and I are a little farther out.
Quinn: I’m from a small town called Mt. Pleasant, which is an hour from West Virginia and Pittsburgh both ways.
When did you start playing instruments?
Max: I started playing trumpet in 4th grade and I started the guitar 8th grade.
Adam: I played piano for two years and I started playing guitar at 13.
Chris: I’ve been playing guitar since 6th grade and about a year before the band started, I picked up a bass. It’s the same thing honestly.
Jeremy: I got a drum set for Christmas in 6th grade.
Quinn: When I was two years old, I was singing Queen at this talent show, “We Will Rock You”. I grew up singing in church and started doing youth group stuff when I was 15. When I graduated, I was singing at Sunday morning services, Saturday nights, and Wednesday nights. I didn’t perform in a band in a band for anybody outside of church until I was a junior in high school.