Colin Meloy, lead singer of The Decemberists, was born in Helena, Montana. His sister is Maile Meloy, an author who is often published in The New Yorker.
Colin Meloy from The Decemberists attended the University of Montana before moving to Portland to form the band. He graduated from the creative writing program in 1998.
In 2007, The Decemberists had the rare chance to play a handful of tour dates with a full orchestra. They performed at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles (their first time at the venue) with the help of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
In March 2005, The Decemberists band trailer containing all of their gear was stolen. Fans pitched in to help pay for the stolen equipment and the band also raised money via eBay auctions. One auction featured rare copies of Colin Meloy Sings Morrissey, a cover solo album that lead singer Colin Meloy recorded for his solo tour.
The Decemberists' name comes from the 1825 Decemberist revolt, an uprising in Imperial Russia that singer Colin Meloy believes was an attempt at a communist revolution.
The Decemberists are huge supporters of US President Barrack Obama. The band performed at an Obama rally at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in their hometown of Portland, Oregon, although the name "The Decemberists" did not appear in advertising for the event.
In 2011, The Decemberists announced that they would be taking a lengthy hiatus after their current tour ended. The band cited exhaustion from years of recording and touring as the reason for the break and that it would be a "multi-year" hiatus.
The Decemberists ended their hiatus with the announcement on March 5, 2014 of two headlining shows at Portland's Crystal Ballroom, their first shows in three years.
Colin Melroy is The Decemberists' songwriter. He explained his writing process to American Songwriter Magazine: "It's mostly me sitting in a quiet space where nobody has to listen to my wailings and I can sit and strum at the guitar and work through some chord progressions," he said. "Often a chord progression will suggest a melody, and a melody will suggest a voice for the song and tell me who is singing it."
"Is this my story? Is it somebody else's? I think those three parts end up informing themselves, but it is a lot of shooting in the dark and a lot of finding dead ends," Melroy continued. "Or thinking, 'This is the one!' and getting stuck on a verse and having to give up. My notebook is littered with half-attempts at songs, which sometimes become songs later on. It's a messy process. Not very clean."