Seeing Colorblind



Dara Sander

If one is looking for an alternative indie-rock band, look no further than “Colorblind.”

Colorblind has been together for only two years, but they’re getting ready to release their second EP on ReverbNation and are playing at “Thawed Out Fest” on Feb. 27, 2015 at 6 p.m. at the Outpost Concert Club in Kent.

The band’s name, “Colorblind,” came out of an excuse for driving through red lights, said Fletcher Dunham, a sophomore electronic media production major at Kent State. He said growing up together, he and some of the band members got their licenses around the same time and would “drive around together and get into mischief.”

“We ran a lot of red lights as early drivers. One of the jokes we would always say was ‘If a cop pulled us over, oh we could say we’re colorblind, and didn’t see the red light at all’,” Dunham said.

Lead singer Dunham and lead guitarist Ryan Betts, a sophomore mechanical engineering major at Youngstown State, started the band from a childhood dream.

“We were best friends since the third grade. We learned to play guitar around the same time and always liked the same music,” Dunham said. “It didn’t really become a ‘thing’ until our senior year. Our senior year we started a band and that’s become Colorblind.”

Even though Colorblind is a young band, they’ve had to deal with the loss and gain of band members.

Dunham and Betts are the only two original band members. The original bass guitarist went to school in Miami, Ohio, making it too far for him to be dedicated to the band, while the original drummer enlisted in the army and is currently stationed in Texas.

The current bass guitarist, Nick Ficocelli, a sophomore digital media production major joined the band at the beginning of this school year and has since played five shows with the other Colorblind members. Ficocelli met Dunham through a class his freshman year at Kent State.

Drummer Alex Welsh, a junior biology major at Youngstown State, started playing in Colorblind a year ago. He said he was introduced to Betts through a mutual friend “right about the time they needed a drummer.” 

The change of members has had little effect on Colorblind’s sound. As a whole they are staying true to their core sound, but still branching out creatively.

Ficocelli described the band’s sound as “a mix between pop-punk and indie.”

He said the older stuff on their first EP, which he was not a part of recording, has a more pop-punk sound. With the new EP that he was part of, there is more of an indie feel to it.

“We started off as a Blink 182-style band and have developed into an alternative-indie rock,” Dunham said. “Kind of our own style I suppose.”

All the band members have played music for years.

Dunham played the trumpet in band and sang in the chorus during his junior high years, but he said he didn’t seriously pick up the guitar until his sophomore year of high school. 

Ficocelli played concert band during high school and picked up the bass guitar the summer before his junior year of high school, following his dad’s passion for it back when he was in high school and college himself. 

Welsh played piano and clarinet for a few years when he was younger, but for the last eight years and has been playing the drums. Welsh said he has always been drawn to music because he thought it was one of the coolest things people could create.

Their extensive music experience is obvious in their two EP recordings and stage presence.

EP recording, which stands for extended play, is a musical recording that contains more music than a single, but is too short to be a album.

“We are working on the final stretch of our second EP,” Dunham said. “We just finished recording, and it’s being mixed and mastered right now. We’re working with our audio technician to finalize things with that.”

Colorblind is still finalizing their date of release for their second EP on ReverbNation but believe it will be out March or April of this year.

“Compared to other bands, the edge we kind of have is we’re fun to watch. We always have a really good time playing together. We just go all out and have as much fun as possible at every show,” Welsh said. “People usually get into what we’re doing because of our attitudes on stage.”

This “edge” caught the attention of the promoter at the Outpost Concert Club, a venue the band has played at the most.

“We were at a show and talked to the promoter, the guy who organizes the shows, and just said ‘hey we’re in a band, check out our stuff, we want to play shows,’ ” Dunham said. “He checked us out, liked us, and then messaged us and got our show there. Since then, they invite us back for different shows and events. They’ve been pretty good about that.”

The band said they are excited for “Thawed Out Fest” because it’s a “whole rock-theme night where many other great local bands such as “Sleeping with the Giants” and “The Service Monkeys” will be playing with them.”

“You’re getting a lot of music. It will be a good show, I think the ten dollars is worth it for how much music you’re getting and the experience,” Dunham said.

Colorblind said they are always looking ahead to what is the next step for their band; playing shows, creating buzz with new merchandise and expanding their audience.

Dunham said they’re planning on playing shows non-stop in the summer, they’ll have merchandise such as t-shirts, CDs and stickers to sell. 

“Our biggest goal right now is to play shows at the rate we are right now, but start branching out location-wise,” Welsh said. “Normally, we go back-and-forth between Kent and Youngstown; we’d like to hit up other major cities in the Ohio/Pennsylvania area. Spreading out so more people hear us in different areas.”

You can buy tickets for “Thawed Out Fest” from Dunham or Ficocelli for $10 or $12 at the door at the Outpost Concert Club. The Outpost Concert Club is located at 4962 State Route 43 Kent, Ohio 44240.

You can stay connected with Colorblind news and their music with their social media.

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Contact Dara Sanders at [email protected].