The New Cities Interview

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of sitting down with the electro-pop band The New Cities. We talk about their major label debut album, their amazing live show, and lots of other things.

This also marks the debut of The Chase March Show. Please head on over there to download the podcast of this interview for free. You can also subscribe to it for free. My goal is to bring you monthly interviews from a variety of genres. I hope you enjoy the show.

Without further ado, here is part one of The New Cities Interview.

Chase: “Alright everybody, this is Chase March. I’m here with two members of The New Cities. You want to introduce yourselves?”

Julian: “I’m Julian.”

Nick: “I’m Nick.”

Chase: “Alright. We’re live on-location, well were not live but another on-location interview in London at Call the Office. So, how you guys doing?”

Nick: “Pretty good. I’m good. How are you feeling?”

Julian; “I’m okay. I’m okay. ‘Cause I just went to the walk-in clinic in London and I have a sinus infection, but it’s fine. I’ll get over it.”

Chase: “You’re the lead singer though aren’t you.”

Julian; “No I’m not. I actually do the harmonies and I play bass. It’s alright so I can manage to still play a show.”

Chase: “Okay, that’s great. I see that you guys are making quite the noise now, just being independent and just signed to a major label. So how is that being on a major label now?”

Nick: “Oh, it’s pretty good I guess. We have a lot of support now and I think what’s cool about it so far is that we still have our vision and our ideas but we have a team now that can help us do what we want to do and accomplish those ideas.”

Julian: “And we get to keep our artistic vision and have full creative control which is a great thing. So, we’re really happy, everything’s really cool these days.”

Nick: “And we get free promo CDs. It’s pretty awesome.”

Chase: “Excellent. ‘cause I just discovered you guys and I found your myspace page and I thought it was pretty interesting that you’re actually giving away your independent EP away for free as a free download. You’ve got a pretty strong web presence. You can find out a lot about you online. So I’m just wondering how important it is to you to be able to connect with your fans on that level.”

Julian: “It is really important to us, especially these days in 2009, you can’t neglect this side of things like the Internet, being able to connect with the fans so this is definitely a priority for us.”

Nick: “I think especially in the music industry, like, for a long time was kind of afraid of the whole online thing. And I think at one point everyone realized that you, kind of, have to use it as tool and not, kind of, fight it.”

Chase: “Alright, I just want to talk to you about your sound because you have a very consistent and I think a deliberate sound. And it hasn’t changed, ‘cause some people put out an indy CD and then they become major and it’s a completely different thing. But your sound, hasn’t changed like from the EP to the new album, you can tell that consistent sound there.”

Julian; “It’s a little different though. The pop aspect has taken a little more of a place, a little more space in it. But it’s basically the same synth driven.”

Nick: “And it’s the same basic idea of the band. I think we just pushed our limits a little more on every aspect of it, like the rock side is more rock, the electro’s more electro, and there’s been a lot more work on melodies. But I always see that as an improved version like the new album’s an improved version of the EP.”

Chase: “We’re with The New Cities and you’ve got a new video and single out right now called Dead End Countdown. What exactly is a Dead End countdown?”

Nick: “Well, it’s kind of hard to say. You have to read the whole song or the lyrics to kind of get it.”

Julian: “It’s like being at the end of a relationship that’s going really wrong and, you know, being at the dead end of something and there’s kind of a countdown going on, announcing the end of it or something. It has something to do with that but it’s more elaborate.”

Nick: “And I think that the biggest part is that usually dead end and countdown are separated. So it’s like two ideas and we put them together. Just read the lyrics, you’ll see it. It’s awesome.”

Julian: “Buy the album. Countdown to the dead end.”

Chase: “Alright, so I’d like to drop that track right now, so would you like to throw to it?’

Julian: “Alright, this is Dead End Countdown on 93.3 CFMU.”

Chase: “Alright we’re back. That was Dead End Countdown. I’m lucky enough to be sitting in front of The New Cities on-location in London at Call the Office. I just want to talk you about your sound there because you have a very distinct sound using electronic music with pop and it’s a whole kind of mixture. It’s hard to explain. How would you describe your sound?”

Julian: “I don’t know. We tried to come up with a word to describe the whole genre. But I guess it’s electrosynth-pop-punk, a blend of all those styles, I guess.”

Nick: “We should have a contest for people to name our sound, it’s kind of weird. No, yeah, it’s like you said, electro-rock-synth driven-party music.”

Julian: “Find a word for it, I guess, everybody.”

Chase: “Nice. So, you’re from Quebec and I know there’s a lot of artists that never make it outside of Quebec but just get huge. I’m mostly into hip hop and I know just from research that one f the biggest selling hip hop artists in Canada was Dubmatique, which nobody has ever heard of outside of Quebec. So, we’re wondering, like, you’ve obviously achieved some success in Quebec and now you’re trying to reach out further. So what’s the Quebec music culture like as opposed to the rest of Canada?”

Nick: “Well, the example you mentioned, the first difference is that they sing in French, which is probably why they were kind of… not stuck because they weren’t stuck in Quebec ‘cause they went to France as well. And they did a whole bunch of the francaphone countries in Europe. Yeah, that’s probably one of the main reasons. It’s a different culture as well but I think that in Quebec if you don’t sing in your first language, it’s hard to get out of Quebec.”

Julian: “Which is true. Ya know, if you sing in French, you’re not going to get marketed outside of Quebec, or France, or all of those countries in Europe. So that’s mainly the reason why we sing in English ‘cause you know, we want to make it outside of Quebec.”

Nick: “For sure, but I don’t think that the people don’t think it’s possible so they don’t try to get out and go on the road and go to Ontario, to the Maritimes, and to the West. That was our main goal at first. We just wanted to go everywhere. We love playing in Quebec but we also want to go everywhere and that’s the main part I think.”

Chase: “Nice, ‘cause you’ve been playing in bands collectively for some time now, isn’t that true?”

Julian: “Yup.”

Chase: “And this current formation has been together around, about three years?”

Julian: “This current line up here is for about a year and a half, I’d say, ‘cause me and Frank, the drummer, joined the band a little later. So it’s been about a year and a half that we’re all together, the six of us.”

Chase: “Alright, I wanted to talk to you about downloading and this current music culture ‘cause we don’t consume music the same way we used to. And I saw that your CD is actually on sale on iTunes for $6.99 and I’m wondering was that your decision, $6.99, where did that come from?”

Julian: “Yeah, well, we try to put more emphasis on the online side of things because obviously it’s predominate these days, 2009, and we thought it’d be cool to have it cheaper on the Internet because this is the main focus these days. So, yeah, it was our decision.”

Nick: “And I think the whole idea is to get the music out there, especially for a newer band to people’s ears. You want to get your stuff out there, and people don’t want to spend $25.00 to buy an album, like they wanna have a chance to buy multiple albums, so if you do it a little more cheap, you can buy a little more. And I think that putting it really cheap on iTunes gets people used to buying it there instead of just downloading it for free. And if they say, ‘It’s legal, and it’s good quality, and it’s just $6.99, then why wouldn’t I?’

Chase: “Yeah, that’s a definite plus ‘cause I know there’s a lot of people that don’t buy albums anymore. But I’m not one of them. I love albums. I’m not a single head at all, like I don’t wanna just buy songs here and there ‘cause I saw it on Much Music.”

Nick: “Same with me.”

Chase: ‘”Speaking of Much Music, you guys are getting a lot of play on there, eh?”

Julian: “Yeah, and we’ve just been nominated at the MMVA’s which is a great thing. So we’re really happy.”

Chase: “That’s awesome. So you’ve had a little bit of help from some big name artists that have helped get you into the spotlight, isn’t that true?”

Julian: “Oh yeah, totally. Greig Nori has always been there since the very beginning of this actual process of this album. So he gave a lot of support. He produced the album and he managed the band for a little bit too. So, yeah, it’s great for sure.”

Chase: “Nice. I wanted to talk to you about the song writing process. Do any of you write the songs or is that the other band members?”

Julian: “It’s very eclectic, like everybody brings their own ideas, everybody writes music, lyrics. Nick does a lot of the lyrics. Yeah, it’s very eclectic. Everybody writes.”

Nick: “I think the best way we found for us to write music is that someone comes up with a basic idea and then, like you said, everyone puts their little bit in. And that’s how we get to the sound we have. It usually ends up too that most of everyone is happy with the result, and it probably wouldn’t be the same if it was just one or two people writing for everyone.”

Chase: “Nice. I think we should drop another track right about now. So the album is called Lost in City Lights. What’s one of your favourite songs? What would you like to hear?”

Julian: “I like the first one Hypertronic Superstar. I think it’s a cool song.”

Chase: “It definitely is. Alright we’re gonna drop that right now and we’ll be back with more from The New Cities. Stay tuned.”

Read Part 2 of the interview here and don’t forget to download the podcast for free.  Thanks!

One response to “The New Cities Interview”

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