Caleb Chapman of Tennessee-based alternative rock outfit Colony House calls Athens the "most fun place in the whole United States of America to play." (Photo: Shubham Kadam)

Tennessee-based alternative indie rock outfit Colony House will return to the Georgia Theatre on Feb. 14 in support of its newest studio release, “Leave What’s Lost Behind.”

Released on Jan. 24, “Leave What’s Lost Behind” is Colony House’s third album since the band’s formation in 2009 at Franklin, Tennessee. The band first gained traction after releasing its 2014 debut album "When I Was Younger,” and previously performed in Athens in March and October 2018.

The Red & Black spoke with the band’s lead singer Caleb Chapman to discuss the new release, memories in Athens and Colony House’s upcoming tour.

The Red & Black: Is there anything new or different the band is bringing to this album that you’re excited to debut?

Caleb Chapman: Yes, I think so. I think that this is an album of no rules for us. If we have fun with it and if it’s making us smile and get pumped about it in the studio, we’re doing it. We’re not gonna worry about how we’re going to pull this off later. It was a free-for-all in the creative process. We went super big on string arrangements and I wrote a lot more on piano for a lot of these songs, which is a new world for me. It’s kind of all over the place. I think we somehow tied a thread throughout the whole record and I hope the people listening to it feel the same way. We really wanted it to be where you could start the record and if it was on vinyl, you could just drop the needle wherever and you would get a different experience. Without saying too much, I think it’s a super fun listen.

R&B: Since this is your third album, would you say each album has their own distinct theme, or is your sound consistent across albums?

CC: I think there’s always a thread that ties everything together because it’s a continuation of my life and our lives as four guys who write about the things that are happening. With that said, we all go through seasons and different chapters of life and live differently. This [album] does have a distinct theme. The first album was a lot about growing up, facing the harsh realities of life, losing loved ones and learning how to grow through all that. The second one is about being on tour and the feeling of leaving and life going on for all the people back home and having to come back to play catch up. There’s kind of this loneliness that happens with that and watching a lot of friends and relationships struggle through that time. I’m still learning how to consolidate all my thoughts about this album because it’s so new. A personal side of it from a writing standpoint is this feeling of trying and continuing to fall short of the goals and of the expectations you set for yourself or other people have for you and wrestling with the insecurities of not feeling good enough, whether it’s with music or just in life. I used some characters to tell that story and how we have a responsibility as humans and as friends to notice that people around us might be in a hurting place and how something so small could change the course of someone’s life. Even a hug, a smile or just a thoughtful question can make someone feel the worthiness that they deserve. That’s one side of the album where I think there’s a theme of hope, trials and struggles.

"Athens is the most fun place in the whole United States of America to play, or at least for us."

Caleb Chapman

R&B: You share the spotlight with your brother, Will Chapman. What’s it like being in a band with your sibling?

CC: Oh, it's awesome. I would feel so lonely without family in the band. I’ve thought about it a lot. I don’t know if it would be worth it without my brother here. We’ve done everything together. We’re 16 months apart, so growing up all the sports he did, he would play up in my age group, which made him way better at most everything than me. We always were the Chapman brothers, it was never Caleb or Will. Whether it was playing soccer, playing baseball or in a band. I love being in a band with my brother. It has its challenges, but they’re worth it.

R&B: As a band who has performed in both Atlanta and Athens, what made you guys choose to perform in Athens for this upcoming tour?

CC: Athens is the most fun place in the whole United States of America to play, or at least for us. We played there for the first time with Judah & The Lion, and they were like “guys, just get ready. They go so hard in Athens.” Sure enough, that was the truth. We’ve come back and headlined once. We thought it would be a great way to start this tour. We wanted to put a bunch of wind in our sails to move us through the tour. Atlanta and Athens have both been really supportive markets for our band so we just kind of hop back and forth between them. We’ll be back in Atlanta either in the fall or sometime soon.

R&B: Apart from doing shows, what are some fun things you and the band have done while in Athens?

CC: Honestly, when we’re on tour, we just get a day at most in the city, so we haven’t explored Athens to its full potential. After the Judah show, we went to a cafe by day, bar by night that has a stage in it, like a coffee house type thing. I don’t know what it’s called but we went there and had a talent show at 1 o'clock in the morning, so that was really fun. I wish I could remember the spot because it was really awesome. It’s walking distance from the venue. We’ve walked around town usually at 1 o'clock in the morning after a show which is a fun people-watching experience. None of us went to college, so we’re just trying to soak it in. We went to a really popular breakfast spot in Athens, and it was packed.

R&B: How would you compare the atmosphere of performing in a college town to everywhere else you guys have toured?

CC: College towns, there’s just always an energy about them. You would think that college kids would try to contain themselves and make sure they don’t look too foolish, but it’s not the case. College kids just love to jump around and are so supportive. So, I love playing college towns, it’s just fun. Like I said, no one takes themselves too seriously but there’s a respect for what we’re doing, so I’ll take a college town any day.

R&B: Is there a particular song on “Leave What’s Lost Behind” that you can’t wait to perform on tour?

CC: Honestly, whenever you have a new album, they all kind of feel exciting because none of them have been performed yet. There’s so many left hand turns and crazy hooks in the album that you don’t expect and I’m curious to see how it plays off live. We’re playing the whole thing in Nashville on Saturday so we’ll get to see how every single one of them plays out.

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