By Ashley Altus
After a six-year hiatus, three Baylor faculty and staff have reunited to begin making music again.
“A few years older but less mature,” band member Brett Christenson, lecturer in the marketing department, said.
The journey began nine years ago when Sam Henderson, lecturer in the theater department; Stephen Bolech, an audiovisual digitization specialist in the Digital Projects Group at Baylor; Dr. Clayton Faulkner, a pastor in Houston; and Christenson teamed up to form the four-piece band Bright Size Life while working at Baylor.
Henderson said the band played together for two to three years before he “Yoko-ed” himself like the infamous Yoko Ono, dubbed the woman who broke up The Beatles, when he went to graduate school in 2006.
While the members said they kept in communication after going their separate ways, the band was able to live on as they eventually all came back to Baylor. The band started rehearsing together last November.
Christenson said it was the element of comaraderie that made him want to play with this particular band again. He said the members are good friends outside of music and share similar interests.
“There were a few bands I played regularly with, but there wasn’t anything that connected as much,” Christenson said. “The only band I would really want to play with full time anymore was this band.”
The new band name came from Henderson’s 4-year-old daughter who gave Bolech the nickname “ColorBox.”
“I don’t know why,” Henderson said. “I really don’t know why 4-year-olds do anything.”
Other than the name change from Bright Size Life to ColorBox, Henderson said one of the main differences between the bands is ColorBox is keyboard-led.
Bolech said Bright Size Life had more jazz influences and had a trumpet and sax player.
Besides the Dallas Cowboys football team, ColorBox said Radiohead, Dave Matthews Band and The Police are some of the band’s influences.
“We all have a common thread —groups and artists that we really like or inspired by — but we also have our own tastes as well that influences our parts,” Christenson said.
Henderson writes the songs and provides vocals/keyboard/guitar. Bolech, plays guitar and records the music. Faulkner plays bass and vocals. And Christenson contributes drums, vocals and backing tracks on his computer to enhance the band’s sound.
“I bring the songs to the guys and what ends up happening is all the rest of the members in a really good way end up pulling it in their direction, and I think that’s what makes the ColorBox sound,” Henderson said.
The band said its running tagline, “fresh yet familiar,” came from a tweet it received after its first show at Common Grounds.
“There will be at least a part of one song that connects with you either because you recognize it as something else you like, or you haven’t heard it done quite the same way we’re doing it,” Henderson said.
While the band said it still has an EP it never offically released back when it was Bright Size Life, ColorBox plans to release an EP with new songs in the fall online.
“The EP will represent the next step in this group — new sound, new vision, and who we are,” Henderson said.
The demo version of their songs will be released during the semester and the summer break.
They will be available on the band’s website until they officially start recording the EP.
Christenson said Bolech records rehearsals, which helps Faulkner add his part to songs in Houston. Faulkner joins the band once or twice a month for rehearsal from Houston.
“I’m just excited about putting new music out there again,” Bolech said. “I’ve been recording other people, but that’s a whole different ball game. There’s more ownership when you contributed to the music yourself.”