Pin It

Talking Points 

Living Colour made waves 25 years ago, and still plays with that same passion today

click to enlarge Rockers Living Colour will play their debut album Vivid in its entirety Saturday.
  • Rockers Living Colour will play their debut album Vivid in its entirety Saturday.

Doug Wimbish talks a lot about talking. Or at least "conversations" — a word he uses to describe his relationship with his longtime bandmates in the Grammy Award-winning rock outfit, Living Colour. It's a term he uses to talk about his work with Mick Jagger, with legendary hip-hop outfit the Sugarhill Gang, with Madonna, George Clinton, Depeche Mode. The music they made together — those were just conversations.

Over the phone from his Hartford, Conn., recording studio, Wimbish says that the music he's made over the past 25 years has largely been spawned from chats he's had. Those simple connections with people became the backbone for his career.

Perhaps the deepest, longest-lived conversation he continues to have is with his bandmates. They're the New York City-based band that wrote and recorded the song "Cult of Personality" in 1988. The track would win the band a Grammy for "Best Hard Rock Performance" the following year, and found renewed life in Guitar Hero III and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Living Colour was hardly a one-hit wonder. The band released a handful of hard rock gems before splitting in 1995, and then went right back at it when they reassembled in 2000. The band has always had something special, Wimbish says.

"We have four guys that get together and have a conversation, and the conversation leads to many different avenues, streams and valleys," he says. "We nest on a particular vibe that becomes re-occurring."

Apart from synchronicity, what's given Living Colour so much longevity is its reliance on making social commentary. But the band's songs are also reflections of how they've viewed and experienced the world.

"The songs that we've done come from our conversation, how we've lived, what we've experienced, and how we've collectively chose to put a documentation together," Wimbish says. "We're not waving a flag or anything like that."

Wimbish, who plays bass, says the band still gets funny looks, even after all this time. They're an all-black hard rock band — and he says even rock 'n' roll has color barriers.

"Rock was a sacred, guarded category," he says. "And when Living Colour was able to crack it, those walls went right back up quickly."

But while their skin color came into play for them in a way that it didn't with other rock bands in the '80s and '90s, Wimbish says they never stopped believing that their "conversation" was one people would want to hear.

"We've managed to deal with that stuff and just get onstage and hit it." ♦

[email protected]

Living Colour: 25th anniversary of Vivid, with Vial 8 • Sat, Oct. 19 at 8:30 pm • Knitting Factory • 919 W. Sprague Ave. • $20 • All-ages • • 244-3279

Tags: , ,

  • Pin It

Latest in Music

  • Meet 
the Sun
  • Meet the Sun

    Karrie O'Neill is finally ready to take her music full time, complete with a brand-new album and upcoming tour
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • Party like it's 1975
  • Party like it's 1975

    The latest British pop sensation invades Spokane
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • Act Naturally
  • Act Naturally

    After a brain tumor, one local man's recovery was aided by listening to classic rock. This weekend, he gets to meet Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band
    • Oct 13, 2016
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Young Frankenstein

Young Frankenstein @ Bing Crosby Theater

Mon., Oct. 24, 7 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Leah Sottile

  • Imaginary Friends
  • Imaginary Friends

    The very real role that fantasy plays in our everyday lives
    • Aug 13, 2014
  • Expert Advice
  • Expert Advice

    Dab? Vape? Indica? Sativa? A few tips for beginners
    • Jul 9, 2014
  • In the Veginning
  • In the Veginning

    At the first Spokane VegFest, you'll get a bellyful, not an earful
    • Jun 18, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • The Kids Aren't Alright

    Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children can't quite strike the balance between whimsy and darkness
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
Music & Film

indigo girls

spokane symphony

Readers also liked…

  • No Relic
  • No Relic

    Duran Duran is coming to Spokane; the band continues to work in high style
    • Sep 1, 2016
  • Magic in Six Strings
  • Magic in Six Strings

    The story of Sir Richard Bishop, an old guitar and Tangier Sessions
    • Mar 25, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation