When Living Colour returned out of hibernation with their 2003 reunion release, Collideøscope, fans probably assumed the group would return to their previous record-tour-record cycle. But this didn't prove to the case, as the band — singer Corey Glover, guitarist Vernon Reid, bassist Doug Wimbish and drummer Will Calhoun — has subsequently focused solely on live work. But that's all about to change with the release of the group's fifth full-length, The Chair in the Doorway, on September 15th.
"It's been a long time," Glover tells Rolling Stone. "We've been putting this thing together for a number of years now, off and on. Between gigs, soundchecks, going to several studios, cataloging it and deciding what we were going to use. We really got focused on it last year. We were playing in Europe, and we took a break and went into a studio in Prague [Sono Studios]. That was really good, because we had already been playing, and we had gotten into that groove of playing together. When we got into the studio, we were in a really good place."
"Burned Bridges," "DecaDance" and "Behind the Sun" prove the classic Living Colour sound is back on The Chair in the Doorway, which is also a much more focused from a songwriting standpoint than its predecessor. "I think we were a little more concerned about what needed to be on this record, and what needed to be said," Glover says.
Just don't ask Glover to compare The Chair in the Doorway to such earlier Living Colour classics as Vivid or Time's Up. "I can't compare it — I wouldn't even try to compare it. It would do a disservice to any of the other Living Colour records. Each one has its own distinct sort of thing about it, and its own idea that it's trying to put across."
With it now being nearly nine years since Living Colour members buried the hatchet and resuscitated the band (that lay dormant for a spell during the mid-late '90s), Glover points out that his mates are still seeing eye to eye. "We get along great — this is the best we've felt about each other in a long time. Back in the day, the animosity — whether it was real or imagined — sort of affected everything. Sometimes it was positive, sometimes it was negative. I think we have a genuine appreciation of what we are and who we are, and understand each other."
So what's next for Living Colour after The Chair in the Doorway drops? "We're going on the road. We start in September with North America, then we go to South America, then Europe, and we'll see happens from there. Right now, this is the most important thing to me."
Living Colour tour dates:
Aug. 10 - The Highline Ballroom | New York, NY (w/ The Roots)
Sept. 1 - The Birchmere | Alexandria, VA
Sept. 2 - Bottle & Cork | Dewey Beach, DE
Sept. 3 - World Cafe Live | Philadelphia, PA
Sept. 4 - The Crazy Donkey | Farmingdale, NY
Sept. 6 - Infinity Hall | Norfolk, CT
Sept. 8 - Tupelo Music Hall | Londonderry, NH
Sept. 9 - FTC @ Stage One | Farfield, CT
Sept. 10 - Johnny D's | Somerville, MA
Sept. 11 - Mexicali Live | Teaneck, NJ
Sept. 12 - Rams Head Tavern | Annapolis, MD
Sept. 14 - The Loft | Atlanta, GA
Sept. 15 - HOB Orlando | Lake Buena Vista, FL
Sept. 16 - Jannus Landing | St. Petersburg, FL
Sept. 18 - Emo's | Austin, TX
Sept. 19 - Granada Theatre | Dallas, TX
Sept. 20 - Warehouse Live | Houston, TX
Sept. 23 - Canes Bar and Grill | San Diego, CA
Sept. 24 - The Key Club | West Hollywood, CA
Sept. 25 - Regency Grand Ballroom | San Francicso, CA
Sept. 26 - Berbatis Pan | Portland, OR
Sept. 27 - Studio Seven | Seattle, WA
Sept. 30 - Fine Line Music Cafe | Minneapolis, MN
Oct. 2 - The Magic Bag | Detroit, MI
Oct. 3 - Lee's Palace | Toronto, Ontario
Oct. 4 - Double Door | Chicago, IL
Oct. 5 - The Grog Shop | Cleveland, OH
Oct. 30 - Highline Ballroom | New York, NY