• Ellie McGuire

Interview - Rise Carmine


Rise Carmine is swinging the doors wide open on the psych-rock scene in a new genreless world. With an unabashedly eclectic sound equally rooted in 70s hard rock and new-age psychedelia, the band (led by frontman and songwriter Liam Colbert) is keen on leaning into genres outside of the rock and alternative sphere.

They return with their version of Smashing Pumpkins '1979'. The alternative indie track is a fresh new take on the nostalgic 90s classic.


We sat down with Liam from Rise Carmine to discuss his music and much more. Here is what he had to say:


Hey Liam of Rise Carmine, welcome to FLEX! How are you?

Hi, thanks for having me.

How did the band come together?

Rise Carmine is my (Liam) own band that I started mid-pandemic. I’m the songwriter and frontman for the band but I play shows with a group of friends that I’ve met through a music school in Toronto. I used to go by the name ‘Patiohawk’ and put out an album in 2017 that I recorded and mixed in my basement, but in 2021 I decided to shift slightly and change the name. I have one EP out that I released in 2022, and we’re now going into the studio to work on a full album together.

And what inspired the band's name Rise Carmine? The band name came from an image I had in my mind and two words that fit that image. I’m a big fan of horror movies, and the image in my mind was that of someone clawing their way out of a grave, two hands digging into soil and pulling themselves up. Rising out of the ground. So it’s a bit of a directive, “Rise, Carmine”. Get yourself up.

Congratulations on the release of your new track, '1979' - what inspired you to record this particular cover?

Thank you so much! I’ve been wanting to make a cover of 1979 for a while now. It’s one of my favorite songs from my childhood, and I have a lot of memories attached to it. I created the track along with a series of other covers over the span of a couple weeks when I was stuck at home with COVID earlier this year. I made a game out of the situation, and tried to create new versions of the songs only using things that were in arm's reach while I was stuck at home and sat at my desk. Limitations like this forced me to get things done and are great for my creativity. It also gave the song a simultaneously intimate feel, while also bursting at the seams, desperate to break out. All the songs on the forthcoming full length album of covers, due for release in early 2023, exhibit a sense of longing and nostalgia in their lyrics, which points to the situations that they were recorded in.

For viewers that don’t know Rise Carmine, how would you describe your sound?

Rise Carmine’s sound attempts to pull rock/alternative music into the future by giving it a deep groove and making it danceable. I grew up listening to 70s rock bands like Thin Lizzy and Led Zeppelin, and have been infatuated with psych rock artists like Tame Impala and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. So my music has become a blend of these influences. I write a lot of songs on bass guitar because I want to start with a solid foundation that grooves and that people are going to want to move to. That’s one of the most important aspects of my music. What’s the music scene like where you live?

The music scene in Toronto is world-class. It’s an incredibly lively and multi-cultural city that’s brimming with musicians and artists.It’s had its fair share of hardship because of COVID and we’ve seen quite a few historic venues close, but there are still so many places to play and many of the venues that were forced to shut their doors are slowly starting to open back up. Toronto has really put itself on the music map in the past couple decades, especially in the Hip-hop and pop world, and it looks like it’s going to continue to grow.

And what are some of those activities that you engage yourself in when you aren't writing or recording in the studio? I like to read, and I find that fuels my musical creativity. Writing and playing music is telling stories, and there’s no better way to get good at telling stories than by reading other people’s stories. That and cooking, and going out to see other bands.

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