8:19 pm - Thu, Jun 6, 2013
Interview - Capital Cities

Sebu Simonian
6/5/2013 by Cathy Wagner

Cathy: You’ll be heading to Tennessee in a few weeks to perform at the first day of the Bonnaroo Music Festival. What are you most looking forward to at this year’s fest?
Sebu: The late night, unknown electronica acts.

C: Do you have much experience playing music festivals? Considering you are one of many artists playing the festival, what will you do to stand out amongst the crowd during your performance?
S: We have some experience. One recent standout was our first-act-of-the-day set on the main stage at Sasquatch - the Gorge Amphitheatre is breathtaking. After the show, the stage manager said that was the best 1 p.m. set he’d ever seen. I hope our 1 a.m. set at Bonnaroo will have the same effect!

C: Your debut full length release, In a Tidal Wave of Mystery, was released this week. What was the recording experience like for the album? Any memorable studio stories?
S: The recording of the album was a long, gradual, 3-year process. We produced about 10 different versions of “Safe and Sound” until we arrived at the latest production that’s out now.

C: Can we talk about that album art for a second? In a word, I would describe it as ‘epic.’ I read that it (as well as the Safe & Sound Remix EP art) was designed by João Lauro Fonte. How did the opportunity for João to design your album artwork come about? How much artistic input did you have on it, and what sort of description did you give him as far as what you were looking for?
S: We reached out to João after discovering one of his cool t-shirt designs on a trendy online t-shirt store. The only direction we gave him was the songs themselves.

C: You just came out with a new song called “Farrah Fawcett Hair” which features, among others, both André 3000 and Frank Tavares. How did the opportunity come about to have them make appearances on the track? Did you always picture André 3000 for that role in the song? What about Frank Tavares?
S: We thought about asking Frank Tavares, the funding credits voice on NPR, over a year before we actually got him to do it. With André 3000, his appearance was a lot more spontaneous and recent. We were almost done with the song, but wanted to fill in a barren section of the song with a rap vocal. We contacted him, sent him the track, and to our delight, he agreed to write something over it. He emailed us a demo of his idea and then hopped on the phone for a creative call, during which he hypnotized us with his soothing voice.

C: You guys have had massive support from radio in exposing audiences to your music. In today’s digital world, do you think online publicity or radio backing is more beneficial to a band’s success? Why?
S: Both. But if you want to do it independently, start with the blogs. Good blog reviews help build a loyal fan base.

C: If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be and why?
S: Radio programmers should make programming choices more by their gut and less by research.

C: You have the opportunity to put together your own tour featuring you and the three bands of your choice. Who do you pick to join you on the road & why?
S: Two Door Cinema Club, St. Lucia, Gold Fields. Oh, wait - that’s already happening!

C: This year, as an April Fool’s joke you told your Facebook followers that you’d have to switch your name due to legal reasons. Clearly, that’s not happening. But, what if it was? What would you name the band if you were forced to re-name?
S: Tiny Villages

C: Closing Statements?
S: It’s A Bonnaroo Court