For Fans Of: Hollow Front / Thousand Below / CASKETS
Isn’t it great when a band puts out an album that you can really sink your teeth into? With COMA, THECITYISOURS‘ second album, on repeat since release this past Friday, we were honoured to catch up with the boys to chat about it’s recording process. We also cause division in camp CITY (oops) by asking them to settle the argument, and they curate a killer playlist with a… twist?
Words: Renette van der Merwe
Let’s pretend you’re setting up a dating profile here – tell us about the band.
Are you the kind of person who used to stare out of the car window and pretend you were in the music video to the song you iPod was blasting into your ears, as the rain droplets cascaded across the windowpane? Do you like the idea of long walks on the beach with a margarita in hand, but are more likely to not make it out of the front door in the first place? Yes? Then I think we’re going to get on just fine.
THECITYISOURS are 5 sad lads with a dream of making a difference to those around us. Unapologetically ourselves, completely open about the trials and tribulations that make up being a human being in the 21st century, our main aim is to create a safe space for like minded people to be their truest selves, without fear of judgement. A place where troubles are shared and not burdened. A community there to support one another implicitly, no matter who you are.
“…newcomers to TCIO will find a solid entry point into an up-and-coming mainstay of the scene.”
Do you remember your first music-related goosebumps moment? Can you share it with us?
I’m not sure about first, but one that sticks in my head is watching Dave Grohl come out on a throne made of guitars at Milton Keynes Bowl after he broke his leg in Sweden.
The noise in the arena was absolutely breathtaking. Many people would likely have been put off performing with an injury like that, but if anything it seemed to invigorate Dave even more than usual! The man had tens of thousands of people eating out of the palm of his hand whilst being sat in a chair. I was absolutely in awe watching him & very grateful I got to experience something so unique.
If you could pick one artist as an honorary band member, who would it be?
I think somebody like Bimini would be an incredible addition to our band. We’re all in awe of her creative genius & desire to be presented as her truest self at all times. A total icon, with a badass attitude born from vulnerability and trauma, I think she’d fit in with this bunch of sad-lads, a treat.
What’s the coolest thing a fan’s ever done for you?
Our fans are absolutely unreal. They’ve supported us unconditionally for many years and helped us grow our band into a community that strives to be a safe place for everyone.
In 2019, one of our fans from Switzerland organised and collated a book, made up of memorabilia, notes & keepsakes from our fans over the years. We were on tour in the UK & our van had broken down when she suddenly presented us with the book she had been working on for months. I’m not afraid to admit I cried as I scrolled through the pages. We were in such a low place, but to see our music have such an impact on so many people, laid out in such an incredibly thoughtful way, was an amazing moment for myself and the rest of the band.
You’re about to release your album, In The Balance. Who did you work with and what was it like in the studio?
The recording process for COMA is something that will stay with us forever. We were scheduled to be going to the studio in late February 2020. 5 weeks before we were supposed to begin tracking, our previous vocalist Sam decided to step down from his role within CITY. Obviously this caused some unrest and distress around the whole process.
Our good friend Oz Craggs (Feed The Rhino, Neck Deep, Mallory Knox) was providing the record and he insisted that we should still go to the studio to work on the record and figure out a plan! Having worked with him before, we trusted his judgement implicitly and agreed.
Whilst in the studio, there was rumblings in the press that some kind of ‘Super Virus’ was making its way across the planet. I remember being sat in the control room tracking drums, when the WHO declared a global pandemic. We all frantically googled what that even meant which seems pretty wild now in hindsight.
We finished tracking the record about a week before the UK got out into national lockdown which meant our search for a new vocalist had to move online. We were fortunate enough to have a friend of the band, Oli Duncanson show interest, so we got to work with him via the internet initially, before returning to the studio to finish the record between lockdowns in the UK.
It was a high intensity, very stressful experience, but I truly believe we have created the best body of work CITY has produced to date as a result!
Settle an argument for us (and the rest of the world)… is a hotdog a sandwich?
This nearly caused a riot in our rehearsal room. The CITY camp was very much divided, but as I’m here I’m going to state that the only answer to this question is that a hotdog is not a sandwich. A culinary invention of such majesty is a thing of individual beauty and should be treated with the respect it deserves.
Rising to the challenge, THECITYISOURS have put together an electrifying collection of songs that best encapsulates the artists and music that inspire them as a band.
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