Colton Ford has been an actor (in mainstream, off-Broadway and adult features) as well as singer, but he had been out of the spotlight for a few yearsuntil now.
Ford (who's openly gay) is back with the four-song EP Unity (with the tracks "Unity," "Modern World," "Stronger" and "Free"), and he's released the first single, "Stronger"a personal ballad about staying the course when times get tough. He recently talked about the single, his personal life and politics. (Hint: He's not exactly a big fan of the outgoing president.)
Windy City Times: So how has 2020 been for you?
Colton Ford: It's been … a lot, and think that's been true for everybody. Obviously, we've had to process and digest what we're witnessingall the dysfunction. [Millions] voted for this deranged motherfucker [President Trump], so obviously those on our side knew this wouldn't be good.
However, challenges and struggles are very powerful sources of creative inspiration for most artists, creatively, for artists, and my creative partners and I took full advantage of having a lot of down time with the quarantine.. And certainly having a lot of down time helps. Me and my two creative partnersRon Schrader and Spin Sista, known collectively as Woop Woop Productionshave created at least 30 songs in our catalog. It's not only material for me, but potentially for other artists as well. Woop Woop Productions is positioned to be a creative resource to create and develop material for other artists. So, creatively, 2020 has been very productive and profound. But I think of the human toll it's taken: After all of our history, this is where we are in the 21st century? Disappointing. In that sense, I think it's been a really difficult year to stay optimisticand I think that's why the results of this [presidential] election were so powerful.
I was out in the streets of New York City right around the time we got the information that [President-Elect] Biden got the electoral votesand everyone was losing their minds! It reminded me of when Obama was elected. We were all connecting because we were seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. The magnitude of [Trump's] narcissismand the fact that these people the Republican Party is essentially are trying to pacifying himis unconscionable. No! Get the fuck out, deal with it and let's get on with the business at hand. Just to not have to hear this man spew his BS on a daily is going to be brilliant!
[Trump's] the quintessential big baby, and the quintessential example of narcissistic personality disorder. So he needs to get over itand the fact that these fucking Republicans are coddling him… Let's put his defeat behind us and try to come together. And Mitch McConnellhe should be out, period; he has been derelict in his responsibilities, with the only thing is he's been put pushing through are these conservative [Supreme Court] judgesshame on him.
WCT: Then, I can imagine what you think of members of the LGBTQ community who voted for Trump.
CF: Anybody who supports this manespecially at this stageI just don't get. I have nothing to say to you, and I have nothing in common with you. I just don't get it. It's as baffling as it can possibly be. Why would any immigrant support Donald Trump?
But how come the polls were so wrong? Like with Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham, the polls were so wrong compared to the actual outcomes. We have no ability to trust anything. It was funny when [newest U.S. Supreme Court Justice] Amy Coney Barrett said, "I just wish you guys could trust my commitment to follow the law." I wish someone would say, "Girlthe fact that you were nominated by this guy who has obliterated our ability to trust anyone… Do you think we would be able to trust YOU? You've got to prove yourself to us." She should've recused herself from the nomination. If you're a good Christian, wouldn't you do the Christian thing and recuse so you don't amplify this discord?
When you look at Biden and [Vice President-Elect Kamala] Harris and these crusaders in support of the people and in support of democracy, and with consideration with our well-being, there's no question where we need to go in order to change our path. You can say what you want about Biden, but you feel his empathy, commitment and concern; Harris is just amazing. With Trump, everything has been negative since he took office.
WCT: Let me ask you something I've been asking people for a little while now: If you could ask President Trump one questionand be guaranteed to get the truthwhat would it be?
CF: [Pauses] I think the problem is that there's no possibilityeven in a fantasy worldthat you'd get the truth from him. I can't even pretend that anything truthful or empathetic would come from him. When you meet him, there's no working it out or negotiating. I have nothing to ask him. [Laughs] He's the worst representation of the human race. When you're talking about the devil, you're looking at himwith a spray tan.
WCT: I appreciate your passion about politics. So you're back with new music. Why did you take a break?
CF: I took a step back over the last six or seven years. I've released an EP, an LP and a bunch of singlesbut I haven't been busy promoting them like I had before. That was due in part to a lot of life stuff that hit me in my 50sof which the most impactful was the death of my mother. She and I were extremely close, and she was only 69; we didn't know she was terminally ill until shortly before she passed.
But I was also going through a difficult and hurtful breakup. I was also dealing with the change of life; guys don't talk about it that much, but I found myself depressed, sweating (even in front of the air conditioner)and was told this was similar to what women go through. Even though you don't lose that youthful zest, your body will say, "Your body is not so young anymore." Then I had a couple health issues pop up, and those took about two years.
WCT: So "Stronger" represents a new era of your life?
CF: My two creative partners made the tracks that I write the melody and lyrics to. And I got this amazing track from one of the partners. My writing process has me going in as an open slate; I have an idea of the narrative but I'm open. With this song, the hook came to me immediately, so I created lyrics that were more or less self-speakwhat I would say to myself when I'm feeling frustrated or dealing with the roller-coaster ride of this business.
I wrote "Stronger" at the beginning of the year, before the pandemic happened. Then the pandemic happened as well as the [awareness of] the social injustice that has taken place the epic social injustice that we've been witnessing not only this year, but throughout our history, that has been at play for way way too long. The challenges of my career have been applicable was the initial inspiration of to the song as wellall this negativity that we're trying to overcome. With , but with everything that's happened this year, it grew the narrative grew beyond what I was initially relating to when I wrote it. The tracks song became even more relevant in light of current events.
I wrote "Modern World" a year ago; I wrote "Unity" three different times, but I wrote the hook a year ago. When I looked over the catalog, these four tracks popped out; they related so nicely to one another and they all spoke to the same narrative. Hopefully, people will be repeating these lyrics in their heads with the difficult things we have. These songs are about unification, internal strength and our right to be free.
WCT: And are you getting back into acting as well? People have been talking about bring back The Lair [a show in which Ford co-starred].
CF: I've been hearing about that. When I was out in LA, I did a playAnd All the Dead, Lie Downand I love to act, so I'd love to get into some more that. I've acted all my life and it's an extension of the creative in me.
WCT: You've talked about what you've been through the past few years. What would the 2020 Colton Ford tell the 2000 Colton Ford about the next couple of decades?
CF: He would probably tell him to do what he feels is bestwhich is what I've done. I've been doing the therapy thing since I was 30, so it's been 28 years. I take a look at everything and how I've dealt with itand if there are better ways for me to process things. It's about staying the course.
If you've been bitten by this creative bug and you can't walk away from it, then you have to see it through. There are a lot of gifted and talented people who can walk away, and that's great. Just keep doing your thang! [Laughs] I never want to look back and have any regrets. Otherwise, I wouldn't have given myself permission to do porn for 10 months.
Unity is out now.