Colleen Green
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Colleen Green

Los Angeles, CA | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | INDIE

Los Angeles, CA | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Rock Punk




"Chatting with Colleen Green"

Massachusetts native and L.A. resident Colleen Green is an inspiration to many. Known for her punk-DIY drum machine and stoner-pop, Colleen has been releasing the most relatable albums since 2010, because her planet is your planet and we all feel the same things and wanna be left alone to watch TV sometimes. Colleen returned to Cambridge this past Monday, and I was lucky enough to talk to her for a few minutes after her energy-packed and people-packed show. She talked L.A., self-recording, and her parents’ influence.

Boston Hassle: Were you involved in any music scenes when you lived in Massachusetts?

Colleen Green: Yeah, I interned for Fork In Hand Records when I was in high school. They were an old label, with like Big D and the Kids Table, it was their label. So I kinda knew those guys. I guess, I don’t know. I guess we were friends with a lot of New Hampshire bands. There were a few bands from New Hampshire that my old band would play with.

BH: Was the Colleen Green music your first time using a drum machine and recording yourself?

CG: Yes it was. I had recorded myself in the past, but friends had helped me with it, so it wasn’t just totally on my own.

BH: How did you teach yourself?

CG: Just by trying it out and experimenting and seeing what sounded good and what didn’t. And just having a lot of spare time to do that shit.

BH: When you first started releasing and performing where did you get the courage to share all of your thoughts and feelings?

CG: Well, it was actually incredibly scary, but I kind of just forced myself to do it anyway because I figured if it was something I thought was really scary but I could do it anyway then that would take away the scariness about it.

BH: How different do you think your life would be if you hadn’t moved to L.A.?

CG: Hmmm, I think it would be completely different. I don’t know. I just feel like L.A. is just such a magical place, because when I moved there good stuff started happening to me. Yeah, I think it would be completely different.

BH: Did you start working with Hardly Art as soon as you moved to L.A.?

CG: Well, I moved to L.A. in, it was like in a little less than a year. Yeah, I moved to L.A. in December of 2008. And then then I was signed to Hardly Art in.. oh no, 2009. And I was signed to Hardly Art in September of 2010. So it took like ten months. But I had also started going on tour already at that time, so I was giving a lot of people my music.

BH: Are any overlying themes of your albums conscious or do they emerge naturally?

CG: Definitely conscious.

BH: Do you try to make concept albums?

CG: I don’t know. I love the idea of concept albums, and there are a lot of concept albums that I really like, but I don’t know if I could do it. It seems really hard.

BH: Like a Colleen Green rock opera.

CG: Yeah! I just don’t know what to talk about. Yeah, I guess you just have to have that inspiration to do something like that, but I don’t think I have it at this point.

BH: Why, now, did you decide to stop self-recording and move into a studio with other musicians?

CG: I just wanted to try it out. See what would happen. Do something different, you know. I don’t know, I think it’s always good to try new things, and it was something I’d never really done before. Yeah, I just wanted to try it out.

BH: Do you think you’ll ever go back to self-recording?

CG: Yeah! Definitely, I want to do that for my next album actually, but I’m not sure.

BH: Is there anyone who has really inspired or influenced you throughout your life?

CG: Probably my parents. Right? Because just generally speaking they kinda like influence your personality and what your life path is gonna be. - Keeley Cormac, Boston Hassle

"Colleen Green: I Want to Grow Up"

While Colleen Green's first LP for Hardly Art, Sock It to Me, was a slice of breezy, self-aware stoner bubblegum that insisted on a shallow read—perhaps to force us to turn away from deeper truths—its follow-up, I Want to Grow Up, is weed paralysis and paranoia in a sugary glaze. (In keeping with her first record, Milo Goes to Compton, Green named I Want To Grow Up after another Descendents album.) On this record, Green has managed to capture in very real and human terms the existential terror that everything is futile and that our lives will never amount to much: no small feat. She is keenly aware of her own limitations and has turned her reflection on those limitations into strengths.
Green’s got a knack for songwriting. While the Ramones taught us all that we only need a few chords to make an endless number of perfect pop songs, most bands that have followed that model to the letter don’t have the ear for hooks, structure, or wordplay that their heroes did. Green does. She is also extremely effective at manipulating the studio to get the hidden depths of her seemingly simple songs—the sharks, jellyfish and other prehistoric monsters beneath the sunny surface of the beach waves—to become evident.
"Deeper Than Love", for instance, is an existential meditation on the human capacity for connection and disconnection. Driven by heavily processed bass, a metronomic drum machine, and a twinkling, haunting guitar melody, Green’s soft voice, doubled, asks persistently: "Will I find a love that lasts as long as my life or will I die before ever becoming a wife? And I’m wondering if I’m even the marrying kind. How can I give you my life when I know you’re just gonna die?" It is intensely claustrophobic, the kind of stream of mundane self-reflective horror that we all run away from by tapping at our phones or flipping channels. Then it turns in on itself, Green’s voice nearly a whisper as she recounts the reasons she holds potential partners at arm’s length: "'Cause I’m shitty and I’m lame and I’m dumb and I’m a bore/ And once you get to know me you won’t like me anymore." The coda, repeated, a shiver in the spine, guitar and synth spiraling around it: "Further than fantasy, deeper than love ever could be." The fear of intimacy triumphs over the fear of death.
Green isn’t complacent to just identify her problems and stare them calmly in the face, though. On the title track and the twin stars that are "Things That Are Bad For Me (Part 1)" and "Things That Are Bad For Me (Part 2)", she rhetorically kicks herself in the butt to take responsibility for her actions, whether that be getting on a proper schedule or getting away from a boyfriend who brings out the worst in her, despite her acknowledgment that her anxiety drives her bad behavior. She doesn’t just want to grow up—she is growing up, and she’s doing it in elegantly wry, acerbic, hooky pop style. Her blasé delivery might seem impenetrable at first, but there is warmth and wit to her work that rewards those who are patient enough to hear its message. - Jes Skolnik, Pitchfork

"I Want to Grow Up"

After making her name with a string of home-recorded releases — boasting excellent titles like Milo Goes to Compton — Los Angeles songwriter Colleen Green takes her wispy, lovelorn vignettes into a real studio on I Want to Grow Up. She kisses off her twenties with fuzz-pop guitars and breathy sighs in the Nineties mode of Juliana Hatfield or the Muffs. The boy she yearns for is a "Wild One," but when she grabs hold of him, she finds she can't "Pay Attention." So she'd rather spend her nights with "TV." Her best shot is the punked-up "Grind My Teeth" — it turns out the only one of these boys worth her time is the one who stresses her out all night. - Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone


Cujo (2011)

  1. u + me 
  2. Mike 
  3. rabid love
  4. end of time
  5. jesse has a new girl
  6. cujo
Green One (2011)
  1. Dance the Night Away 
  2. Green One 
  3. Leaving It Up To You
  4. Why'd You Call Me 
Milo Goes to Compton (2012) 
  1. Good Good Things
  2. I Wanna Be Degraded
  3. Goldmine
  4. I Will Follow Him
  5. Always On My Mind 
  6. Nice Boy (I Want A)
  7. Worship You
  8. The Day I Fell In Love With You
Sock It to Me (2013)
  1. Only One 
  2. Time In the World 
  3. You're So Cool 
  4. Close To You 
  5. Sock It To Me 
  6. Darkest Eyes 
  7. Heavy Shit
  8. Every Boy Wants A Normal Girl
  9. Taxi Driver 
  10. Number One 
I Want to Grow Up (2015)
  1. I Want To Grow Up 
  2. Wild One 
  3. TV 
  4. Pay Attention 
  5. Deeper Than Love
  6. Things That Are Bad For Me (Pt. I) 
  7. Things That Are Bad For Me (Pt. 2) 
  8. Some People 
  9. Grind My Teeth 
  10. Whatever I Want 



In 2009 Colleen Green was living in Oakland, California sick as dog and recently diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Then her brother called her down to Los Angeles. With a free place to live and nothing else to do, and only a drum machine, guitar, and herself Colleen Green started to make music in her room. And then magically things started to happen.

In 2010, Green signed with Hardly Art and has since had five releases. On every release
Massachusetts native, Green, draws influences from her teenage favorites Sublime and the Descendants. Known for her punk-DIY drum machine and lo-fi stoner-pop, Colleen has been releasing the most relatable albums of her generation, because her planet is your planet and we all feel the same things and wanna be left alone to watch TV sometimes. Colleen Green has become synonymous with her simple live presence of always wearing sunglasses, playing her guitar, and programming her drum machine. 

On her latest album, I Want to Grow Up, Colleen has made an effort. All of her releases have shown progression, but this album was the most drastic. She took a step back by not mixing, mastering, and recording this record solo, instead made it a collaboration with friends and included a real drummer and bassist for the first time. The themes of the album cover figuring out what her problem is, getting healthy, and even dying alone. It digs deeper, but maintains the fun pop-punk charm. Because once you figure out what you're problem is, the only thing you can do from there is fix it.