Tom Weir and Chris Boyle started their musical careers in State College and are hoping to break back in to the local scene with their newest project, Modern Colour.
Weir (drums) and Boyle (bass) met at Penn State in 2006 and played in several bands locally before graduating in 2008. The economic downturn at that time made it difficult for them to find jobs so they moved into Weir’s parents’ home in Lancaster and decided to give music another shot.
After a series of failed bands, the pair moved to Philadelphia and had a chance meeting with 19-year-old guitarist Stephan Sirochman, who already had national touring experience.
“We had pretty much quit again and were ready to start law school and grad school when this young kid walk through the door when we were practicing to a Black Keys track,” Weir said. “He grew up down the street from us and had just gotten back from touring so we thought we’d give it another shot.”
The band’s debut EP, “Rally at the Summit,” was released last year and produced by Dave Clauss, who has worked with U2, Wyclef Jean and Shakira. Weir said the band hopes to raise enough money to have Clauss produce a full-length album for them.
The EP is full of fuzzy guitar riffs and vocals reminiscent of the Black Keys and Jack White. Weir said the band’s other influences include Led Zeppelin, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Irish guitarist Rory Gallagher.
Weir and Boyle also hope to bring Modern Colour to State College this year. Though they’ve played shows throughout Philadelphia and New York, booking gigs in the town where they got started has proved difficult.
“We really want to grow an original fan base in State College,” Weir said. “We think our music would go over really well there and the fact that we met there, people would really respond to it.”
Though they initially thought they would be signed to a record label after their EP was released, Weir said they quickly realized it would take much more legwork to get the group off the ground — a challenge they’re willing to accept.
“We’ve all given up careers, grad school and girlfriends multiple times for this,” he said. “We really enjoy what we do and we’re not stopping until we succeed.”