By Erika Kellerman, Staff Writer
“Plan B is Plan A. Plan A will always be the band. We’re all very dedicated to this and are putting in the time and energy to make it happen.”- Max Kovalchuk
Pittsburgh is the mixing pot of cultures and industries. The black and gold nation is known for their sports and their food, but it is surprising for most to learn that Pittsburgh has a thriving music scene. One band in this music scene is called Nevada Color.
In 2012, Pittsburgh area natives Quinn Wirth, Max Kovalchuk, Chris Cichra, Adam Valen, and Jeremy Westhead formed the band.
Adam Valen and Max Kovalchuk were able to give some insight on what it’s like to be a band in 2016.
The band members have been playing music for years. All have different background in the music scene. Valen’s stepfather introduced him to classic rock, which inspired him to pick up a guitar. Kovalchuk’s father was in a barbershop quartet and Wirth was in a church group. They all had passion for the music that they listened to as kids.
When asked about the moment that he knew he wanted to do music for the rest of his life, Valen replied, “This has been something I’ve wanted to do my whole life. Since I started going to concerts regularly in high school, I already wanted to be a part of a band and make music.” As a group, once they realized people were “backing what [we] believed in,” Nevada Color realized that they had something worth dedicating a lot of time and effort to.
Nevada Color has done two tours of the Northeast and Midwest over the last four years, but has spent the majority of the last two writing their upcoming album. They’ve shared the stage with Panic at the Disco, Cold War Kids, Bad Suns, Rusted Root, and PVRIS, among others.
The quartet currently has a song featured in Aerie’s new “Show Your Spark” campaign.
Kovalchuk is credited as the main writer for Nevada Color. Inspiration for his writing comes from everywhere. He says that he “tries to be observant, conscious, and open to thinking other than [my] own.” Then, inspiration finds its own way in.
He adds, “Honesty is key and the only way to attain that is by paying attention to everything that surrounds you. I enjoy storytelling. Some songs are more narrative and visual than others, but yes, all of them are thematic or topical.”
Kovalchuk’s favorite song from Nevada Color’s new album is “Brother.” He says that “Sometimes songs just come to you and you write it in a couple of hours; that happened with this song.” Brother is about being together as an entire species, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or anything else. He adds, “That song is definitely lyrically driven and I see it
as a culmination of what our overall message as a band is. The line ’trust in the faith of our own human kind’” just as the song climaxes still gets me every time.”
On Their Music and Performing Live
Valen describes Nevada Color’s music as up tempo (and sometimes downbeat) pop. He describes their lyrics as honest and meaningful. The five guys love to be performers as well as musicians. They have fun on stage and love getting everyone to dance. He said,“We’re all different people once we hit the stage.”
Not only does Nevada Color love performing for crowds, but they love seeing the reaction from the audience.
Kovalchuk said, “When we play [Brother] live, I see folks listening intently to the lyrics and when that line hits and the instrumental explodes into the biggest part of the song, the look in eyes let’s me know that they get it. They get what I’m saying and they can relate. They get what I’m saying and they understand. They get what I’m saying and they want the same thing for everyone else. For me, that is the most satisfying thing that I’ve ever experienced as a writer.”
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