Launching their vision within the confines of a Durango, Colorado basement, Octopus Tree bassist/vocalist Spencer Church and drummer/backing vocalist Joe Colomb made the ambitious decision to pack up to Denver. After relocating the duo saw themselves sharpening their murky version of punk and metal combination, leading them to play sets all around the eastern part of Colfax Avenue. Church and Colomb soon started seeing their musical tendencies shifting after the time spent on Colfax’s stages. Ideas that chordal and harmonic began swaying towards playing riffs that were compelling and striking. Another change musically that emerged was longtime friend Nick Valdez entering Octopus Tree. His writing soon sent them on a more exposed progressive and all-encompassing journey that offered listeners an experience Church and Colomb hadn’t tapped into yet.
With Valdez now in the fold permanently, the recording of Octopus Tree’s debut Every Light is a Sun (out now)began. The recording process took place at a cabin within the La Plata Mountain region, which isn’t far from the band’s origins. Today, Octopus Tree has released the video for the track “Spinning Out.” Representing the bold culmination of sound the band has produced so far, the lyrics for “Spinning Out” stir up feelings of loss and disorientation along with intense vision and purpose. Octopus Tree collaborated with DigitalMyle, a Denver-based production company, under Kyle Lamar and Model/Actor Reighan Kirklin’s support.
During this pandemic, have you found yourselves writing more frequently than you have previously?
The first month of the pandemic was really slow for us. I don’t think any of us had a clue what to do with ourselves; we had just finished a US tour when the shutdown happened, and we had a number of shows in Denver booked that were all canceled at once; it took us a while to adjust. We did eventually get back to work, however, and since then, we’ve written an album’s worth of material.
What could you pinpoint was the inspiration behind the production of the album?
In a lot of ways, this album is about moving forward in life. Accepting what’s happened but realizing that those past regrets and mistakes don’t define you. Three songs on this album became the inspiration for all the other tracks. “Spinning Out” is one of these. Spencer wrote the song almost completely on the spot for some people at a little party. The song came together almost immediately from a place of pure emotion.
What did the move to Denver help with finding the band’s signature sound?
The move to Denver completely redefined Octopus Tree. Playing bars on Colfax and South Broadway will undoubtedly have an influence on your sound! The move to a city from a small town gave the music more edge, certainly. Plus living in a major city and being surrounded by talented musicians and incredible bands will push you past your limits as a songwriter.
How did the concept of the video for “Spinning Out” come to be?
Nick really took the reins with the music video project. He worked closely with Kyle at DigitalMyle to come up with the concept for the video. The themes for the video developed through the meaning of the song. Themes of awakening, purpose, direction, and love.
What is fantastic about “Spinning Out” is the tug and pull instrumentally. Having the sense that the song will lead to an explosion, yet it stays within the lines. How important was it for the band to find that balance within the production?
During jam sessions, we explored some explosive ideas, but every time it became apparent that keeping this song more contained, more internalized brought greater power to the result. Spencer and Nick were fairly obsessed with taking musical themes and developing them, and creating variations on them throughout all the songs on Every Light is a Sun. “Spinning Out” is essentially a single theme being reworked and given a new dimension as the tune progresses.
What are the upcoming plans for the band?
We have a number of shows booked in the Denver area, and we are setting about recording new music. We just took a trip to a cabin for a long weekend to write and develop new material. Octopus Tree has always focused on evolving the sound of the band, and we’re excited to share these ideas. Joe is a talented audio engineer, so we’re planning on self-producing everything on our new releases. Expect new music from us soon.
Photo Credit: Matt Corbin