Many new bands come around the Boulder music scene, but few have the undeniable talent and effortless chemistry that Technicolor Tone Factory does. While setting up for a show at The Goose, a popular bar on the Hill, the band took a few minutes to chat with CUI about their roots and their sound.
The group is composed of six guys and their general manager who all hail from different areas. Most, however, are recent CU alumni. Some graduated last May and others plan to be students in the future. Together they share the ambition of playing live music, which makes their first headlining gig at The Lazy Dog on Sept. 24 a special achievement for the band.
Brian Boster, a 22-year-old member of Technicolor Tone Factory, had glowing remarks about his band mates. Boster, who graduated from CU in May with degree in geography, plays the guitar for the band.
“Bryan LeFever is a wizard on the drums. We are very lucky to have him,” Boster said. “Jarrod Guaderrama on guitar is the life of the party.”
The band sounds like an instrumental-rock jam band from the 1960s. According to Jarrod Guaderrama, a 23-year-old guitar player who moved here from El Paso, Texas, the band mixes many influences to create its own genre.
“It would be a fusion of everything, I guess,” Guaderrama said. “Honestly it would be considered funk, jazz, blues, rock, jam band and experimental. It’s Technicolor.”
Technicolor Tone Factory has played twice at the Fox Theatre since their collaboration began in April 2011. Zach Jackson, a 22-year-old bass player who graduated in May with a degree in advertising and a certificate in music technology, said he came up with the band name.
“We had a whole bunch of ideas and this one kind of stuck,” Jackson said. “The word Technicolor is cool, and I love alliteration. So ‘tone’ and then factory just kind of appeared.”
Originally from Stanford, Connecticut, Jackson now travels around the area playing with his band. As a founder of the band, Jackson was the original connection many of the band members had to each other. In particular, Duncan Bryant, a 22-year-old percussion player who graduated CU with an anthropology degree, credits Jackson for bringing him into the band.
“ZJ brought me to practice one time and I brought my conga,” Bryant said. “It was just a right place at the right time.”
“I’ve been in two other bands with Bryan LeFever, ‘Sonic Geometry’ and ‘Steven Quiry and the Ghost’ and I’ve been jamming with Greg ever since sophomore year,” Jackson said. “We started Technicolor in April and have been picking up steam since.”
LeFever, a 22-year-old drummer, was recruited by the CU Marching Band and has a lot of musical experience under his belt. When asked about his hopes for the band, particularly if they plan to record an album, LeFever was enthusiastic and optimistic.
“We are working with this program called Kickstarter, where we are trying to get our fans to donate anything they can, so they can help us record an album hopefully soon,” LeFever said. “Then we can use that to help make CDs and give them out at shows. We are still very new right now, we have some rough recordings but we are looking for the real deal.”
LeFever said his goal for the band is to get as much exposure and experience as they can. He said the band is looking to play live as much as possible and if a record label works out that would be fantastic.
The tight-knit group all live in close proximity to each other. Band practice is easy to coordinate as Bryant and Jackson live together and keyboard and organ player Greg Kallfa lives up the road.
Guaderrama said the input regarding the music is very collaborative among the band and each person brings his own influences.
“Umphrey’s McGee is an influence for sure,” he said. “I’m a big pop, John Mayer fan. We all have our influences, but when it comes together, it becomes a really cool jam between us. All because we bring out those influences in a good way.”
Jackson adds, “Everyone has their own specific style and it meshes so nicely, which is why Technicolor fits so perfectly as our band name.”
24-year-old Kallfa, who just graduated last May with a degree in MCDB, said these reasons are why he felt the band was right for him.
“I always keep an eye out for good musicians and these kids are pretty good,” Kallfa said.
When asked what the ultimate venue would be, the band unanimously answered “Red Rocks.” No one would love to see this dream happen more than J.T. Hammett, general manager of Technicolor Tone Factory and a CU graduate with a film degree.
“I am really proud of the progress these guys have made in really just the last few months,” Hammett said.
With the school year just beginning and the anticipation for their first headlining gig fast approaching, Hammett seems adamant about getting their name out there.
“We are in the process of working on a demo,” Hammett said. “It is a high priority.”
Listening to a few songs from the show, it is impressive how polished Technicolor Tone Factory sounds for being relatively new. There’s no question these amusing guys are a talented bunch. Fans should expect the Lazy Dog show to be full of engaging antics from a band that enjoys themselves onstage.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Victoria Vargas at Victoria.Vargas@colorado.edu.