Interview with Gary Pihl of Boston and Color Three


Interview by Woody

Gary Pihl, guitarist with the legendary AOR band Boston has a new band Color Three. Woody caught up with him to discuss his latest musical venture.


Color Three


Hi Gary, I hope you are well! You have a new band called Color Three how did the band get together?

The three of us met as members of Boston. Actually, Tom Scholz and I found Kimberley Dahme in 2001 when she was performing with Tom Hambridge. We were looking for a drummer who can sing and friends had recommended Tom Hambridge. We had Hambridge play with us for a one-off radio show but the longer term addition has been Kimberley on bass guitar.

Tom Scholz found Jeff Neal performing with a band in Maine. Jeff plays drums and is a great singer. His first tour with BOSTON was in 2003.

Kimberley and I have performed a bunch of shows together where we were playing her songs from her solo albums. Most of the shows were just the two of us on acoustic guitars but sometimes we had a full band. We were asked to play at an outdoor festival in Chicago and the promoter suggested we bring along a band so we’d have a big sound for the show. Kimberley and I got to thinking about who to call and we both realized that our BOSTON drummer, Jeff Neal, would be perfect. He sings and plays great, writes cool songs and we’d worked with him for 10 years in BOSTON.

What’s the story behind the unusual band name, Color Three?

Kimberley’s son, Kenny, came up with it.

So what do Color Three sound like, can fans expect a sound akin to BOSTON?

We don’t sound like BOSTON at all. Kimberley does most of the lead vocals and her style and our sound has been compared to Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders. I agree that we’re in that minimalist raw rock space, but I hope we’ve got our own sound. We didn’t use any extra instruments or vocal tracks for the Paint By Numbers CD – just one guitar, one bass, drums and three vocalists. I didn’t play any guitar solos on this CD, it’s all power riffs with three part vocal harmony.

I believe the debut Color Three album is out soon, can you give us any details about it and when it’s scheduled for release?

They tell me its official due date is September 1st and it’s on RMI Records. A limited number of CDs will be on sale at and of course, downloads can be found on the usual outlets.

Can you tell us about a few of the songs that may feature on the album, how they were written, what they are about or any stories behind the songs?

We wanted to write songs with a positive message. We’ve all suffered through some bad times but at this point in our lives, we feel that the positive outweighs the negative. If our songs can help to lift someone else’s spirits, then we’ve done our job. Besides the songs we’ve written with the three of us, we had the good fortune to write with some platinum selling songwriters on this CD. As noted on the back of the CD, we wrote a couple of songs each with Kelly Keagy (Night Ranger), Mark Slaughter (Slaughter), David Lauser and Robert Berry (Sammy Hagar Band) and alternative country artist Anthony Smith.

You have recently postponed your UK tour, can you confirm when the band will be back to play the UK and will you use the same venues as you had already scheduled to play?

We do hope to play those venues where we were scheduled, although I don’t have firm dates, and perhaps some festivals next summer.

Do you plan to play many BOSTON songs in your live sets or is the plan to showcase as much Color Three material as possible?

Actually, no BOSTON songs are in our set list. We love playing those songs with Tom and the rest BOSTON, but we couldn’t do them justice with our three piece band. We hope our fans will give us a chance to play our Color Three songs where we really have a grasp on the style and power of the sparse delivery.

You have worked with some very famous names in your career so far, who else would you like to work with who you haven’t yet?

There are so many great musicians from the past and present that we would love to work with. We saw that KT Tunstall was playing one of the same venues we were scheduled at in the UK. We would have loved to have her join us for any song she’d like to play, either hers or maybe something she liked as she was growing up. Also, we’ve jammed on some old Badfinger songs at practice. Joey Molland is welcome anytime!

Is there anything else you would like to add or say to our readers?

The three of us feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to play our music for millions of fans around the world. We hope the joy we feel while playing is passed on to the folks that come see us.