2019 has been a big year for Dallas Green. Not only did Alexisonfire release their first new material since 2010 earlier in the year but this month also sees the release of his sixth studio album under the City and Colour banner, A Pill For Loneliness.
With such a vast discography under his belt now, it would be easy to assume that the creative and writing process has gotten easier over the years but Green admits that whilst that might be the case in some areas, it’s certainly isn’t in others.
“I guess it’s a bit of both in a way,” Green says. “It’s easier in the sense that I kind of have an idea of what it’s like make a record but harder because I’m always putting a lot of pressure on myself to make sure that I’m doing the best that I can do at that moment. I feel like I know what I’m doing. I feel confident that I can make a record and I don’t think I’m going to allow myself to make a bad one, as far as what I think.
"There’s just that sort of personal pressure, but I feel like I’ve done that to myself on every one. I’ve always made records just the way I want to make them and I’ve never really done it in a way where I thought “is anyone gonna like it?” because I feel like if I started to do that then I’m changing the thing that got people to appreciate what I was doing in the first place.”
A Pill Of Loneliness is a beautiful yet somewhat contradictory listen. Many of the songs feature sombre and heavy lyrics sitting atop vibrant and vast musical foundations. Green says that even though so much of his music has often come from a sombre or melancholic headspace in the past, he wanted to approach it differently this time around.
“When it comes to songwriting, I’m always leaning towards a melancholic headspace because that’s sort of where I am when I’m writing," says Green. "I write songs to get myself out of that headspace.
"When I started writing these new songs a couple of years ago, I kept stopping because I was just writing what felt like bleak songs. Maybe more bleak than what I would usually write. So I kept taking time away and seeing if something else would sort of creep in. When we went into the studio, I could have just made a really quiet, sombre record, but I felt like the way to bring them to life was to try to wrap them in like a comforting, beautiful blanket.
“When I sent the record to Nick Steinhardt, my friend who did the artwork I just said, “Nick, listen to the record and tell me what you see”. He wrote back and said “It’s gotta be colourful. Vibrant colours.” So when you look at artwork on the record it’s this burst of colour because that’s sort of what I think the record sounds like in a strange way.”
No matter how much success an artist might have in their career, it’s important to still have those surreal ‘pinch me’ moments. Green experienced that full on when he had the opportunity to tour with the band that made him fall in love with music earlier in the year, the legendary Alice In Chains.
“I can’t even believe it," gushes Green. "I mean, I haven’t really had an experience like that. I’ve met a lot of cool people and met some people that I listened to when I was younger but that band is the reason I fell in love with music and wanted to be in a band.
"When I was I was 13 years old I’d been playing guitar for a couple of years and I started to really listen to a lot more music. When grunge happened and I heard Dirt by Alice In Chains, that was it. Everybody has that band that unlocks the door and for me it was Alice In Chains. To be standing on stage 25 years later and singing ‘Nutshell’ with them. I don’t have the words to describe the feeling of that. I really don’t.”
A Pill For Loneliness is out Friday October 4 via Still Records/Cooking Vinyl Australia. City and Colour will return to Australia in April next year thanks to Chugg Entertainment. Tickets on sale now.