The Color Wild’s brotherly pop
The Vacaville band on pranks, Taco Bell and the City of Trees festival
With the utmost seriousness, Jesse Crosson, 22, jots down the set list for his band’s biggest venue to date, Hollywood’s legendary Whisky a Go Go. Meanwhile, his bandmates of the Color Wild are trying to sabotage him—because they’re his little brothers. Drummer Jaden Crosson, 17, attempts to learn heavy metal by blasting a double bass pedal. Lead vocalist Kyle Crosson, 20, holds down a looping synth on the electric piano for several minutes.
“We were having a stupid war, and it was right in Jesse’s ear,” says the only non-Crosson, lead guitarist Josh Hansen, 20.
Aside from honing its indie electro-pop sound, the Color Wild’s main mission?
“Me or Jaden or Kyle just irritate Jesse,” Hansen says, adding that they’ve blasted air horns and screamed to wake him up on the tour van.
“I get startled easily, and they love it,” Jesse says. “It’s terrible.”
Vicious pranks aside, these Vacaville natives are a jolly bunch, and it shows in their music. Their merry contagion will appear on the local stage at the City of Trees festival on Saturday, September 10—alongside headliners Weezer, Panic! at the Disco and Phantogram—and it’s sure to get bodies moving. Danceable synths twinkle in the upper registers, reminiscent of Passion Pit. Kyle belts in a pop-punk style, often harmonizing with Jesse in a crisp, focused tone that recalls Jimmy Eat World.
“We try to do something that’s just weird or out of the ordinary that you wouldn’t hear on the radio,” Jesse says.
The Color Wild has been working up to this momentum for years. The three brothers originally started playing music together as a classic rock cover band—when they were just lads. The precocious musicians played Lynyrd Skynyrd, Def Leppard and the Rolling Stones live at Vacaville’s harvest festivals and Christmas parties.
No matter how big they make it, they hope to stay in the place where it all started.
“I love Vacaville,” Jaden says. “It’s the best big, little town in the world. Everyone’s so close.”
Jesse, meanwhile, appreciates the town’s world-class restaurants.
“I’m a big Taco Bell guy, and I find comfort in knowing that I can reach Taco Bell within a mile of any direction,” he says.
As the Color Wild ascends, the brothers hope to someday buy their mother her dream house in Vacaville. Until then, the Crossons and Haden are “pumped” for City of Trees, Jesse says.
“To see our name on a poster with Weezer and Panic! at the Disco is ridiculous to us,” he says.
“We have our things that we do, our day jobs and stuff,” Hansen says, “but this band is everything, and we’re trying to take it as far as we can.”
With so many disciplined hours of practice, Hansen has become an “honorary Crosson,” Jesse says. That, and they’ve pranked him. He, too, has awoken to the sounds of screaming and air horns—with less satisfying results.
“For some reason, whenever they scream in my ear, it peacefully wakes me up,” Hansen says.
Kyle playfully glares at him. “It’s ’cause you’re cuddling with our cat.”