“Program”, a new song from LIVING COLOUR, can be streamed below. The song is taken from the band’s sixth studio album, “Shade”, which will be released on September 8 via Megaforce Records. The disc’s cover artwork can be seen below.
Corey Glover, Vernon Reid, Doug Wimbish and Will Calhoun recorded the follow-up to 2009’s “The Chair In The Doorway” with producer Andre Betts.
“We spent a great deal of time fretting over a lot of stuff and trying to make sure it says exactly what we wanted to say and that we play it the way we wanted to play it,” Glover told Billboard. “We spent a great deal of time just laying these grooves and getting lyrical ideas and building on those. Then it was a matter of picking and choosing among all that stuff we had and what works and what was kind of fair to middling, what needed work and what doesn’t work and go from there. And during the process we have families and children and we have lives. It was a balancing act.”
In addition to LIVING COLOUR‘s original songs, “Shade” features covers of Robert Johnson‘s “Preachin’ Blues” — the song that inspired the album when LIVING COLOUR performed it during a 100th-birthday tribute to Robert Johnson at the Apollo Theater in Harlem — as well as The Notorious B.I.G.‘s “Who Shot Ya” and Marvin Gaye‘s “Inner City Blues”.
Reid told New Zealand’s Elsewhere about “Shade”: “A lot of the record was conceived around the idea of engaging what the blues is in a hard rock/metal context, so we got together with a hip-hop producer. So it was a bunch of different careening ideas. It’s also in the context of identity as an American. ‘What does it mean to be an American?’ and what if you are an African-American. That conversation. We deal with hard realities but also absurdity. There’s a moment of looking at this whole situation as a kind of weird, funhouse mirror. It’s been a very interesting experience.”
He continued: “‘Who Shot Ya?’ has a resonance. What happened to Notorious B.I.G.? He was making a conversation about what happened to Tupac who had been shot. He’d been shot and wounded and ‘Who Shot Ya?’ was the song that broke their friendship. That was a really funky time. Because B.I.G. put the song out when Tupac was recovering and he took it personally and that’s when the whole East Coast/West Coast scenario started happening. Then you are forced to consider what happened to both of these men, these young men. But then it is in the context of all kinds of shooting crime which outstrips any worries about terrorism. Terrorism is the least likely way you are going to die in America. The video didn’t leave anything off the table and we talk about gun violence with regard to accidental discharge and suicide.”