Caleb Chapman of Colony House talks Europe tour, their drive-in movie, and his creative process


Credit: Eric Ryan Anderson

This weekend, Colony House returned to Nashville for Live on the Green Fest. They performed in 2018 at the same music festival, which is free entry for anyone who wishes to attend. Colony House is an alternative rock band from Franklin, Tennessee. Comprised of four members, this band has released 3 albums, with their most recent debut album being titled Leave What’s Lost Behind.  Known for their uplifting music with a unique vibe, Colony House has captivated over a million listeners on Spotify and continues to play music festivals and shows both in the United States and out of the country. After covid-19 put a pause on concerts and public events, they scheduled a North America Tour. Most recently, they traveled on a short European tour in early July. These guys continue to impress their current fans and captivate audience members who hadn’t listened to them before.

Last night, I was given the opportunity to sit down with Caleb Chapman, frontman of Colony House, for a chat before their performance.

You’ve been back from your European Tour for a couple of months. How was the experience?
That tour was crazy because we had seven days, four shows, and four different countries. I bet we slept maybe eight hours total on the trip. It felt like… play show, get back to the hotel, sleep for thirty minutes or an hour, go to the airport, fly. So other than being exhausted, it was fun! We didn’t have a lot of off time. It always is like, “I’d love to just hangout here and explore.” The first day was just trying to stay up all day, because you fly in at night, you get in in the morning, and then your clock is totally off. So we just went around Dublin doing different things to keep us awake. It was a blast. It was so fun being able to play music for people that have been asking us to play a show for a long time.

Is there anywhere you didn’t go that you would want to?
Oh yeah. When we first started booking it, it was going to be Amsterdam, Paris, Italy, Germany. And then with Covid being what it is, we felt like we were risking it a little bit. It’s just really expensive when you start cancelling shows over there. It’s a little different, you know? So we just got in, got out, and [are] hoping to go back and do the long run where we do a bunch of shows.

What inspired you guys to go on a long roadtrip and film music videos in some of the most beautiful places in the United States?
Well, we’re an independent band. Have been for a few years now… A lot of times you are waiting on someone to tell you what to do or like, “hey man, we are gonna need music videos. We are gonna need photos.” When you are independent, all of that is on you. You are kind of the master of your own destiny. So we were like, “what is something we can do that would just be kind of wild. We plan it loosely, but kind of let the roadtrip dictate what ends up happening with music, video, photos.” And so we loosely booked this tour that had stops where we thought “this would be an iconic place to film.” Anything that happens between point A and point B is off the cusp. So it is truly the roadtrip spirit. You’re with your best friends in a van exploring America and all the beautiful places out west. We thought this album had this southwestern, scenic thing in our mind’s eye, so we just went out there and found this story for our band. The music was done but the movie was not in the plans.  We were just going to make music videos and take photos. Then covid hit and that’s when I started going through the footage and was like, “I think we might be able to tell a story with all this extra footage we haven’t put out.”

What made you decide to do a drive-in movie/concert?
Well everyone was doing the drive-in concerts, because that was a safe way to do shows in the middle of the pandemic. So we were like, “let’s do a drive in movie, cause that’s what the whole idea came from. The classic drive-in movie. Let’s do it. I’ll try to put together this film and then we’ll play a concert and wrap it all into one big night with Colony House.” Everyone was doing drive-in shows so we wanted to up the ante to do a film and a concert. Spur of the moment. Felt like a cool idea, a lot of hard work, but it was probably one of the coolest things we have done as a band. It was super cool.

It has been two years since your debut album, Leave What’s Lost Behind was released. Is there anything coming up?
Yes… is the short answer. Probably can’t expand on it too much, but we have been working on a lot of new music. Kind of starting to pull everything together. Figure out what the next rollout for Colony House is, but things are looking good. Things are starting to come together. Same as Leave What’s Lost Behind. You can plan as much as you want but what we do is, at the end of the day, a creative venture. And if you try to plan something you are creating, it will always change. It just shifts and takes on a life of its own right as you are in the middle of it. So trying to, you know, continue to learn that discipline of waiting on the story to unfold as you are making it.

So your creative process is spontaneous and spur of the moment?
Yeah. What’s happening in our lives I think. We’ve always been observers looking around and every time I’ve tried to find something to talk about, it feels forced. I think the most special songs, music videos, or photos happen when the unexpected shows up. An out of focus photo that has life of its own, a video shot that you didn’t expect but the weather was perfect and the light was hitting right, or a song that came out of being bored with something else that you were working on.

Is there a song like that you guys have made?
On this new project we are working on, definitely. There’s several of those songs. “This Beautiful Life” is the last song on an album called Only the Lonely. That was one of those songs that kind of just wrote itself. Sometimes songs take years to write. Sometimes they take one day. And that was one of those where you are just like, “yeah. That was meant to be written.”

Stream Colony House’s album below:

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