City Reign – Interview

Monday 5th November 2012

When did you realise you had a talent for music, and at what moment did you decide you wanted to be in a band?

Myself and Chris have been writing songs ever since we first learnt to play the guitar. But it takes time to work on song craft and write something that sounds like yourself, something we hope to improve on with each album. We were in a band before that was pretty woeful, and we didn’t really do much. We started a new project about 3 years ago, City Reign and it’s been growing since then. The first song we wrote that we thought really sounded like us and our sound was Daybreak, and it feels like we’ve been developing our sound since then.

Listening to Out In The Cold I’m reminded of the likes of Oasis and R.E.M, but then detect hints of The Proclaimers in Ahead Of Ideas. What influences you when writing songs?

Can’t say we hear the proclaimers ourselves but thank you. It may be that Chris is often compared to Roddy Woomble of Idlewild in his vocal style. When writing we only try and write songs we’re proud of and if we don’t like an ideas we won’t pursue it.

You recorded your album at Sacred Trinity Church in Salford and it has given your album the atmospheric sound you were looking for; but I hear you guys had some set backs whilst doing it?

We had booked the string players to come along one evening to play. Due to conflicting schedules they could only do that evening. Not long after starting the door knocked and a group of gentleman asked what time the service was, we informed them they must have the wrong church. However it turned out the priest had double booked both of us. In the end we we’re kicked out for a few hours. Fortunately we were able to finish the strings in time.

You’ve set up your own record label Car Boot Records. There seems to be a lot of bands doing what they can to make as much of the music process as they can on their own at the moment, which is a great step forward but not without its challenges. What made you decide to start your own label?

We watch a documentary on The National, in which they talked about setting up their own label to release their first two albums. We figured that it would be the most logical step to get our album out into the world. It’s been challenging but very rewarding at the same time.

We hear Steve Lamacq is quite a fan of you guys. Have you had any airplay or mentions on other radio stations?

We’ve had great support from BBC Introducing as well as Lammo. Other than that Q and NME Radio have spun us which is really brilliant.

You’re spending November touring around the UK as well as Paris and Amsterdam; does this mean we can look forward to an album shortly after?

The album will surface in February and we we’ll be undertaking our biggest UK tour on it which we’re really buzzing about.

What about festivals in 2013? I think you guys have the perfect sound for an afternoon on an Introducing/Indie stage.

Thanks very much for the compliment. Nothing as of yet but there are plans.

Have you met many other bands whilst out on tour, and have you had any moments of being starstruck?

We supported Rod Jones’ The Birthday Suit this year. Idlewild were Chris’ favourite band so he had a moment there. For myself, I met Carlton Cole once which was brilliant as a West Ham fan.

Where do you hope to see yourselves in the next 5 years; what’s the ultimate aim for the band?

Hopefully will have released album number 3 and established ourselves a little more. We have fans over in the U.S, so it would be fantastic to play out there at some point.

You can visit City Reign’s Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/cityreign