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Interview with Capital Cities: 'Kangaroo Court'

By Markos Papadatos
Sep 8, 2013

Musical duo Capital Cities is comprised of Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian. They are signed to Capitol Records which is home to such artists as Katy Perry, Sick Puppies and Midnight Red.

Their single “Safe and Sound” has reached the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and it has sold over one million digital downloads.
Simonian took some time from his European tour schedule to talk about their new video for “Kangaroo Court,” as well as their recent MTV award win, and the duo’s future plans, which includes a show at Roseland Ballroom in New York City.

On September 5, the duo released their music video for “Kangaroo Court,” whose concept was an extension of the story in song’s lyrics. “We follow a Zebra into the dark part of town where he is not accepted. He returns disguised as a mustang, but when it is revealed that he is an impostor, he is tried in court and found guilty. We have poodles, kangaroos and woolly mammoths in this dark-noir party video,” Simonian stated.

The video features cameos from such actors as Darren Criss from “Glee” and Shannon Woodward from “Raising Hope,” both of which happen to be fans of Capital Cities. “Their involvement felt natural and genuine. They are both amazing actors and their performances in the video really shine,” he said.

Capital Cities is expected to perform on “Ellen” and they will co-headline the “Bright Futures” tour in October. “We love Ellen and are honored to be a part of that show. The ‘Bright Futures’ tour is a co-headlining gig with the amazing Fitz and The Tantrums. We expect every night to be a joyous celebration of fun with danceable, yet thought-provoking music,” Simonian said.

One of those tour stops will be at New York’s Roseland Ballroom on October 23. “The show will involve lots of singing, dancing and sweating,” he shared.

Simonian subsequently added that playing in New York is dear to their hearts since it is a city that has supported them from the very start, when they used to play at a smaller venue called Pianos on the Lower East Side section of Manhattan.

Capital Cities’ music video for “Safe and Sound” earned them two MTV Video Music Award (VMA) nominations for “Best Art Direction” and “Best Visual Effects,” and their video garnered a win in the latter category at this year’s ceremony that was held on August 25 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. “It felt great to see the director of the video, Grady Hall, and his team at Motion Theory get the credit they deserve,” he acknowledged.

The duo has no plans to slow down anytime soon and Simonian revealed that their future is expected to be bright with more touring and more music videos in the works.

Staying connected with their fans in any way possible is of utmost importance to Capital Cities. “We read every message and comment that our fans send us via social media, and try to respond to them. We post pictures online from our experiences on the road and interactions with fans. We are very grateful for all the positive words they send our way,” he said appreciatively.

For the Capital Cities fans, Simonian concluded, “Half of 1000 is 500” and he paid tribute to the memory of his grandfather by stating “R.I.P. Grandpa Sarkis.”

For more information on Capital Cities, visit their official website.


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