Colin Lake


“I grew up in Seattle but moved to New Orleans eight years ago and it has become a part of me. A big part of the reason I moved to New Orleans, besides music, was sunshine and climate. I am predisposed to depression and it was hard in Seattle when it was gray all day long. I visited New Orleans in the spring time and met my wife on that trip. The flowers, the tropicals, the air was warm and puffy. Everything was alive. The air between the earthly and spiritual is a lot thinner. My life in Seattle was divided up seasonally, but here it is more amoebic. Summer in the Northwest is amazing but really short. Here I get to experience it longer. My wife likes warm weather and we go to Costa Rica a lot and we are going to Panama next month. I have been learning Spanish and love the open, friendly people of Costa Rica and the variety of cultures and climates. I can write songs more easily there when there are no gigs and there is more freedom and ideas start falling out. Being in a foreign place where people are speaking different languages refocuses you and your senses come alive. When I am in gig mode, it is hard to write, but I am collecting lines and ideas and chord changes. When I feel wide open, I can synthesize all of that and drive it toward a meaning and sometimes a double meaning. I wish those times would come more often, but they have been coming. The style that I play is relatively simple, but there is depth to it. I want to combine the depth with lyrics that are meaningful and smart and embedded in the groove. I like a line says two things or makes a new use of a line that is familiar. It is like a math problem and you are solving for X. You know what you want to say and the last line is the solution. I have streaks of mania but I have found how to harness that and then let it go. It is about being in the moment, but not too attached to what you do, and letting it come.”

“I started taking music seriously after a breakup with a girlfriend when I was 22. It was devastating, but I am grateful because it launched me into the life I have now. I was waiting tables, bartending and drinking too much. That lost its luster.. Ten years ago, I didn’t see a way forward in life and realized I was going to have to dig in to music. Through this process, I have become the person I want to be. Some people are blessed to have that red tape cut for them so they hit the ground running with their talent or emotional IQ and they excel. The rest of us have to get there any way we can and beat ourselves up over mistakes. I learned how to troubleshoot some of that and transform it into a life I can grow into. Music has been a part of that. For a long time there was a hard line between me and the musician I wanted to be. I don’t feel that anymore. I have transcended more levels than I ever thought, but I still have so many to go and how great is that.”


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