Interview: Color Theory Talks Depeche Mode, 'The Sound', and Working On 'Adjustments Pt. 3' EP

American singer-keyboardist Brian Hazard goes by Color Theory most days, and is busy with a career marked by eight studio electronica albums, eight EPs, and a tribute collection to his early muse, Depeche Mode.

Today, Hazard is cranking out his latest hits for "Adjustments Pt. 3," and telling Empty Lighthouse all about it.

You have your roots in piano. When did you begin creating Electronic Dance Music? What was the spark?

Actually, I was playing Depeche Mode at the piano from the very beginning! I've still got a calligraphy-laden manuscript of "Satellite" that I somewhat loosely transcribed.

Believe it or not, I even had a keyboard controller, a really expensive and heavy thing that connected to my Apple computer.

Can you pick a favorite or most-loved album from your discography?

That would have to be The Sound, my most recent full-length. At least, I'm under the illusion that I'm still getting better.

"Color Theory presents Depeche Mode" was probably the best possible reaction to the "Ponytail Girl" mislabel. Can you tell me a little more about the mislabeling debacle? How did it start/how was the air cleared?

Mine was one of several tracks mislabeled as Depeche Mode on Napster in the months before their Exciter album was released.

Apparently it was one of the most convincing, because it ended up being released on several bootleg compilations, and depechemode.com mentioned it by name in their FAQ.

I actually logged into Napster myself and told people it was my track, which probably sounded like egotistical bravado in retrospect.

One person told me he knew for a fact that it was Martin Gore singing. Hard to argue with that!

Who are your recent inspirations?

It's funny - I haven't really been listening to music for pleasure lately. For the most part, I let the creative process inspire me.

But there was a period where I was really getting into EDM, and falling in love with tracks from Zedd, Madeon, Deadmau5, etc.

Now I'm drifting back towards more indie stuff like Baths, on the rare occasion I find time to listen.

I'm a mastering engineer "by day," so I tend to spend a lot more time with my clients' music than my own.

What can fans expect from you in the future?

The Adjustments Pt. 3 EP, in the next few months. I just finished the third out of five songs this morning.

The three Adjustments EPs each feature five original tracks, with five remixes of those same tracks.

The full-length Adjustments album to follow will contain the best 10-11 originals from the three EPs. It's been a fun and worthwhile experiment, but after nearly four years, I'm excited to try something different.

Do you have any live performances or shows coming up?

I'm strictly a recording artist, though I did perform for a few years before I got married. Despite having a degree in piano performance, I never much cared for performing. Making records is a lot more fun.