Music Interviews

3 Colours Red’s Pete Vuckovic: “The minute you get out and people love your band, that moment you can’t beat” – Interview

3 Colours Red

3 Colours Red

Indie favourites 3 Colours Red tell musicOMH about their new political awareness, education and why they decided on a low key reformation. From their dramatic split in 2000, which culminated in an emotional finale at the Carling Weekend, 3 Colours Red have reformed, albeit low-key. Only the odd festival date and brief tour has showcased the new 3CR.

It’s early evening in the student squalor of Manchester. While Europe’s second largest student population zip by idly, Pete Vuckovic entertains musicOMH in a dressing room of a niche student union, reflecting on what got the band back together.

“Our agent Jim phoned us up individually and suggested we just get on with it really…stop pissing about,” says Vuckovic. “It was a case of somebody else being the instigator, ‘cos if it was down to me or Chris (McCormack) it wouldn’t have happened.”

“I think having a few years away kind of gives you the hunger. You play to a lot of people you don’t want to – playing the Radio 1 roadshow singing to a bunch of pre-pubescent teenage girls, you think what the fuck am I doing? It’s in the name of publicity, you find yourself in all sorts of compromising positions which believe me, contributes to the shit part of it. Now, just playing tours like this is why you do it. The minute you get out and people love your fucking band – that moment you can’t beat.”

The band have been holed up working on their third album which Vuckovic concedes, is quite a way off from completion. “We’re probably about halfway through with ideas. It’s sounding good. We’re just gonna take a bit of time and make sure we get it right.”

What sort of shape is the new material taking?

“I think having a few years away kind of gives you the hunger” – Pete Vuckovic, 3 Colours Red

“It’s heavier. We said from day one that we’d come out with a raw album like ‘Pure’, then try and grow. I think the second album did that, though a lot of people thought that it was overproduced. They thought we had lost the plot a bit.”

Far from it. Vuckovic reveals a fresh appetite for current affairs, which he admits is influencing his writing: “Since September 11th the world must have turned round and seen how fucking scary it is.” He seems rattled by the threat of a terrorist attack. “I just read that there’s an Al-Qaeda terrorist locked up, and he said that 9/11 was just the beginning. How scary is that?”

On the Gulf War II: “Depleted uranium and starving 500,000 children is just gonna raise the anti-western hatred that’s already developed. I don’t know why other people aren’t fucking saying anything. We’re just getting these introverted pop-rock songs that mean fuck all. We have a new song called Land Of Debris. It’s about US foreign policy: You reinstate your own leader, wipe out half the population of a country, set up labour camps, and fucking Bob’s you uncle, you end buying clothes like this (points to a chic pair of Adidas canvas he’s wearing)… that are made by people that can’t afford the fucking laces.”

Sighing and appearing irritated, Vuckovic remarks on the current state of rock: “It’s really, really boring. To me it’s style over content. Maybe being the age I am (32)… I’ve seen those bands before. Bands aren’t getting signed as easily as they were. After Oasis hundreds of bands were signed. You stick a guitar on and look the part and you’d get a deal. Whereas now you’ve got the whole fucking pop sensation. It really has saturated everything.”

Surely major labels have come knocking? “On paper it would look easy but the logistics are pop bands sell records. It kind of edges little bands out.”

“It’s really, really boring. To me it’s style over content.”
– Vuckovic on the current music scene

For all the rewards and rigours of rock ‘n’ roll, Vuckovic divulges something pretty unexpected: “I’m actually considering university now. I’m tired of being a fucking thick cunt. I was going to start an Open University course recently – social sciences, economics, infrastructure – didn’t the guy from Weezer do it?”

Indeed he did, Rivers Cuomo left Weezer for for years to study at Harvard.

“I don’t think I’ve got time to do that! But I don’t really wanna be around doing this for too long, I mean who wants to see a fucking 40-year-old up there? I see this as one last fucking chance to have a go.” Flinching when asked what he hopes to achieve with a third album he hesitates, “Maybe consolidate that we’re an alright band. Maybe to see if we could do better.”

Friendly and humbly realistic, Vuckovic remains focused, and with the band back to basics, things look promising – if somewhat political.

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More on 3 Colours Red
3 Colours Red @ Islington Academy, London
3 Colours Red’s Pete Vuckovic: “The minute you get out and people love your band, that moment you can’t beat” – Interview
3 Colours Red – The Union Of Souls
3 Colours Red @ University, Manchester