The Dear Hunter’s multi-instrumentalist
tunesmith Casey Crescenzo has always had
a penchant for grand things, including his
three-album conceptual journey in three
acts. Now he’s back with an even more
ambitious undertaking: The Color Spectrum
[Triple Crown], a collection of nine
EPs, each inspired by a different color of
the rainbow. The tunes paint Crescenzo’s
clever guitar playing, layering, and orchestrations
in a super-hip, multi-hued light.
Did you have a specific guitar approach for
Definitely. Each color differed greatly.
For Black, it was more textural and not
overly technical. Red was more straightforward
rock guitar, power-chorded riffbased
stuff. Orange—I grew up on Hendrix
big time, so the excuse to crank a Marshall
amp, throw in a wah-wah, and play
a ’70s-era Olympic White Strat was definitely
rewarding. I wanted Violet to be
more proper and sort of British sounding.
For White, I was definitely approaching it
in a shoegazing way—more ambient—textural
but in a totally different way from
Black. Aside from a little pedal steel and
a very sparse melody line that’s played on
electric, the Green EP is totally acoustic.
You obviously take a lot of care to arrange
the guitars on your records, but your live show
is really well orchestrated too. There are some-
times four guitars playing at once, but it never
We orchestrate the live guitars very
carefully. I try to apply the same mindset
when arranging anything, which is
there’s good space and there’s bad space.
Not everybody has to be playing with
full overdrive or fuzz and delay turned
to ten or anything like that. Everyone in
this band is really selfless as far as their
playing goes. There are moments everybody
gets to shine, but we all have a good
clear understanding of the sonic goal live.
That means not stepping on each other.
So when there are moments that need big
guitars, two of us will take the rhythm
and one of us will take the melody. For
those moments that require something
completely different, one of us will be
doing a soundscape—almost serving the
purpose of a synth pad—while someone’s
playing a melody and the other’s playing
chords. Because we don’t have an orchestra
live, the most organic way to recreate
the ambient vibe of a lot of the songs is
with guitar. Everybody in the band has a
really good knowledge of pedals and amps
and how to manipulate their guitar tones
to fit whatever the parts require.
What would you say is the heaviest color of
I think Black is heavy in substance
and in the tone of the lyrics. Red is heavy
in the sense that it’s very aggressive and
raw. I would guess that Orange would have
the most weight to it as far as being guitar-
driven rock. I think certain colors are
heavy for different reasons.