City & Colour: An Exclusive Behind The Scenes
Last night former Alexisonfire singer Dallas Green as City & Colour sold out his first show of the week at Club Nokia. But an audience of 2,300, including several die hard fans who started lining up for the best spot in the venue at the crack of dawn isn't what keeps the Canadian singer/songwriter going. He plays for himself–a way to remain true to his craft—and as a result is his biggest critic.
Green kicked off the show with "Golden State," a track from his fourth and latest album The Hurry and the Harm, in which he continously asks "Why's everyone still singing about California? Haven't we heard enough about the Golden State?" Despite the diggs at the west coast hub and overall irony of the tune, Green fans sang along gleefully—cheering once after he sang "Sure there are beautiful people in the city of lost angels," and quickly after the tune ended. He may never live in California, but as far as the audience was concerned, they had Green, his angelic voice and raw lyrics for the next two hours.
The sincerity in Green's lyics is what draws fans to his music. And while they flow, sharing his various experiences, all while making listeners swoon, Green is quick to say they're very difficult to come by.
"It just takes me a while to write lyrics because I don't want them to suck...I have a hard time rhyming for the sake of rhyming—like you listen to a lot of songs and you can tell that the words weren't mostly important to people and that's fine because some people are just writing for the melody or writing for the hit but the words are very very important to me. Most of the time I'm talking about something from my own life not just writing a song to write it."
Over a decade with Alexisonfire and eight years as a solo artist, he's had a lot of time to develop a writing style. The amount of changes in Green's life—like getting married and breaking away from his closest friends to branch out on his own, have provided him with tons of material—much of what he sings about on the new album. No matter what, his number one goal is to remain authentic.
"I still approach songwriting the same, I still want it to be an honest version of what I'm feeling in the moment. I'm never going to write a song or release a record because I think that that's how somebody wants to hear it."
Green breaks and creates his own rules. As fans sang along to old acoustics like "What Makes A Man" and "Sleeping Sickness," it was clear they're on board with whatever direction he plans to head in.
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