"We didn't sweeten it up or make it easier to swallow. We won't ever do that. The music on this album is probably more raw and to-the-bone than on the first one."
Those words from Living Colour drummer William Calhoun must be music to the ears of fans of the power pop quartet that's breaking down musical and racial barriers with its unique sound.Fresh on the heels of a second consecutive Grammy in the category of Best Hard Rock Performance, Living Colour comes to Salt Lake City for one show only on Monday, March 18, at 7:30 p.m. at the State Fairpark Coliseum. General admission is $15. Tickets are available at the Salt Palace box office, all Sound-Off record stores, Smokey's Records, Graywhale CD stores and Toad Tape.
Living Colour burst on the music scene in 1989 with the album "Vivid," which featured the piledriver hit "Cult of Personality," which also spawned a video that was featured extensively on MTV.
The band is currently on tour to showcase its newest release, titled "TIMES UP," featuring songs ranging from dark, apocalyptic visions ("Times up"), to social commentary ("Under Cover of Darkness") to drug abuse ("New Jack Theme").
"We're in a funny time in the world," said guitarist Vernon Reid. "No one's sure where we're headed, where America's headed. This record is about living in a changing world, but we're not preaching from a mountaintop. What we do is present a situation and let you connect the dots. The songs are like letters to yourself - not so much about what to do, but how you feel. If that reaches people, then it becomes their song as well."
Born in England to West Indian parents, Reid grew up in New York City and picked up his first guitar at 15. He later studied with jazz musicians Ted Dunbar and Rodney Jones.
In 1985, after establishing himself in New York's alternative music scene, Reid heard Corey Glover sing "Happy Birthday" at a friend's party. Based on that unlikely audition, Reid asked Glover to join Living Colour. (Glover, an actor, played the smart-mouthed soldier in "Platoon.")
Calhoun, a 1986 graduate of the Berklee School of Music and winner of its Buddy Rich award as outstanding percussionist, had just returned from a tour with Harry Belafonte when Reid asked him to join.
The final member to join the group was Muzz Skillings a resident of Queens and music graduate of City College. Rumor has it that he turned down a job as a city firefighter to join Living Colour.
The band has opened for acts ranging from Robert Palmer to Cheap Trick to the Rolling Stones.