Safe and Sound
by Alysa Zavala
Alt-dance. It's another
genre name that seems to make little difference in terms of actually
differentiating what the hell kind of music any one band makes. In fact,
we're not even sure the term generally applies to the L.A.-based electronic
duo known as Capital Cities. It'll do, however, considering they make
some pretty spot-on and wholly danceable tunes, especially their hit
single, "Safe and Sound." And though for the past few years,
they've only released scant singles and two EPs to ever-devoted fans
of indie electronic, they're about to unleash a full-length album come
June and to really drive home the point that they're about to become
one of your favorite bands, they're making a stop in The Shelter this
Wednesday as well.
We got a chance to catch up with the dual-fronted duo and had a quite
nice little chat with Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian about the album,
the future and what you can expect from their set.
You’re releasing your debut album on 6/4(which is a really good
day, by the way, it’s my birthday), does it seem like it’s
been a long time coming for you guys? Or is everything still new and
exciting for you?
Sebu: Happy early birthday! We've been working on this album since 2010.
It has been a great 3 years of development and touring. That may seem
like a long time, but it flew by fast. The timing for the release couldn't
What can we expect from the album?
Sebu: The album will include
songs from our debut EP plus brand new songs.
What was your creative process like for the record? Any different than
for previous songs and EPs?
Sebu: Ryan and I collaborate on all aspects of creative process, including
programming, arranging and performing the parts, writing the lyrics,
and recording dual unison lead vocals and harmonies.
I hate asking the question “What’s your live show like”
because obviously you’ve never attended one of your own concerts.
But do you try to amp up the energy of a song when you’re performing
live? Basically, can I expect to get sweaty from dancing?
Sebu: At the very least, you will involuntary tap your feet, bob your
head and sing along. Will you break a sweat? Very likely.
BTW, how’s the tour going? Have you had a favorite show of the
tour yet? Anything crazy happen?
Sebu: The tour is going very well. I can honestly say every show has
been amazing. I crowd-surfed for the first time ever, although I don't
remember which city it was. I'm 34, so it has been a long time coming.
I tried it again in Philly, but they dropped me! I landed on my head,
but no harm, no foul. In the crowd's defense, we were drenched in sweat
so I was kinda slippery.
You’ve already sold out a few dates on this tour. Do you feel
any pressure to fulfill expectations? Or are you just stoked to play
Sebu: People have been so receptive, enthusiastic and encouraging since
day one, so I don't feel any pressure. We are embracing the love.
Have you been to Detroit before? If not, any expectations of the city?
Sebu: I am totally looking forward to seeing Detroit for the first time.
My impression of Detroit includes three of my favorite things: '89/'90
Bad Boy Pistons, cars, and pioneering electronica/dance music.
You’re just releasing your first record, but do you have a plan
for the future? For things you’d like to accomplish as Capital
Sebu: Lots of touring. More music videos. Subsequent releases of new
Are there bands or artists you’d like to work with? Or do you
kind of let the wind take you where it may?
Sebu: Janet Jackson
Last question: Batman or Superman? Why?
Sebu: Batman. Better sense of style. Likes to party.
Capital Cities w/ Gold Fields • 5/15, 7 p.m. • The Shelter
• 431 E. Congress, Detroit • livenation.com • $15