City & Colour Dallas Green Interview On Starting Fresh With New Music

Canadian musician Dallas Green came onto the scene as the softer singer in heavy punk band Alexisonfire, but after five albums, his hard rocking days are over. You see, in 2011, Dallas Green announced that he would be leaving Alexisonfire to focus on his more critically acclaimed acoustic side project City & Colour. The news may have come as a shock to fans of his heavier work, and now with a new album The Hurry & The Harm hitting stores this week, Dallas Green has to prove to followers and himself that he made the right choice when he stepped away from his long time band. Real Style had the pleasure of talking to Dallas Green about the new album and the tough choices that he has had to make.

Real Style: Your bio says that you wanted to make an honest record this time. With so much going on in your life, was that a difficult task.

Dallas Green: I think that is how I have always tried to approach making records. I don’t think it is any different from my last bunch of records, even on the Alexisonfire records that is what we have always strived to do. We would try to make a record that we wanted to make and not think about what other people wanted. Fortunately, I am in a situation where I have creative control. Maybe it is harder when you have a big team of people telling you what songs to write. I put a lot on pressure on myself to make records that I enjoy and that I want to sing again and again. Plus it’s my fourth record as City & Colour, so I not only want to evolve as a musician and a song writer, but also stay true to myself.

Related: Check out Dallas Green’s Summer Playlist In Real Style Magazine

RS: Since you were writing this new album as Alexisonfire came to an end, is this album telling of the state of mind you were in?

DG: I think when I look back at the songs there is definitely a group of songs that, maybe I didn’t realize it at the time, but as I look back it has the longing for something else or searching for some sort of happiness. I think that is me singing about being in a situation where  I have these two successful creative outlets, but I don’t know how to enjoy either of them because I’m being strung in these two different directions. When I look back I think that is definitely where my head was at. There is definitely an overall theme of longing for something better than what I have put myself into.

RS: Was the pressure lifted once the news was out?

DG: I will always have pressure that I put on myself. When I made Little Hell, even though I knew that I had left Alexisonfire and the people around me knew that I had left, it still wasn’t public knowledge. In everyone else’s mind I was making this record, I was going to go tour with it and I would come back and do another Alexis record. When I started doing press for it, the news still hadn’t come out. Even though personally I was in a different spot, publically my mind and persona was still running between these two forces. This record is the first record that I’ve made where people truly know this is what I do now. This is where I am at. There is maybe some added pressure to prove to myself that I made the right decision. I think that I did. One of the main reasons that I wanted to leave the band is that I didn’t think at this time I had anything to add to the process of Alexisonfire. Whenever I picked up my guitar, the songs that would ultimately become Little Hell would come out. As I started touring and finished touring Little Hell, all of the songs I ended up writing were the songs that were on this new record. That proved to me that that is where my head is at creatively and I would have been forcing myself to create things for Alexis. That is not something that I want to do. I never want to just make a record because it’s time. If you had asked me last year, I honestly did not think that I would be making a new City & Colour record this soon.

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