Rise: Interview with Capital Cities
17 October 2013
By Julija Kaselyte
LA pop indie duo Capital
Cities are an effectively rising band. This year, Sebu Simonian and
Ryan Merchant released debut album In a Tidal Wave of Mystery that includes
captivating, easy vibe hits such as Safe and Sound and Kangaroo Court
that have captured the public’s imagination. We checked in with
Sebu to talk tours, dance moves and kangaroo courts...
I know that you just got back from Europe. What countries did you go
to and play shows?
Yeah, we were in Europe! It was our second European tour. We went to
Germany, France, UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Poland, Italy, Spain, and
What countries did you like
I loved them all, but particularly I have fond memories of Lisbon, because
we had a day off there and we got to explore the city – it’s
very beautiful. I also enjoyed Poland. The festival we played there
was called “Burn Selector” and it was really cool. We have
been touring pretty much non stop since April. But we love it, it’s
Your debut album In a Tidal Wave of Mystery came out in summer. Was
it always fun making it or did you have any difficulties?
It was all fun. It took a long time to record it. We started writing
and recording for the album in 2010 actually, so it took us almost three
years to do it, but, you know, we took our time and just kept writing
and as soon as we came up with 12 songs that we were really happy with
we tore up the album.
The album has such an interesting
title. What is the story behind it?
The title In a Tidal Wave of Mystery came from the line of lyrics of
Safe and Sound and when we were looking for a title for the album we
thought of that line from the song. We thought it was very appropriate
and descriptive for the entire album.
It’s such a popular
hit right now. How do you feel when you hear it on the radio?
I feel great!
Safe and Sound video features some good dance. Who did you work with
We worked with choreographer Mandy Moore who is a great choreographer.
She worked on So you think you can Dance and she was nominated for the
work that she did in the movie The Silver Linings Playbook.
Do you like dancing yourself?
Of course, absolutely!
What is your other single
Kangaroo Court about?
Kangaroo Court actually describes a mock trial in a corrupted society.
The song is about a character that feels judged and is looking for ways
to feel accepted. He adventures into the dark part of town where he
basically has the lyrics that say “dance these blues away”.
It’s a song about partying, dancing, letting go, and trying to
escape from the problems in your life.
Speaking of the video for
this song, was it Ryan who played the main character, zebra?
Yes, it was Ryan. I played the lion.
Tell me what you like the
most about being a musician.
I enjoy it all. I enjoy writing, producing, performing, and music videos
is kind of a new thing for us and I’m enjoying that as well.
Overall is it nice to be
recognized for your work?
Yes, it’s nice.
What music do you listen
to on the regular basis?
I listen to electronics, funk, and anything that has good melody. One
of my favorite artists of all the time is Pink Floyd. Current artist
that I’m listening to is Bei Ru.