Capital Cities Visits Nashville
Posted by: Clark Shelton Posted date: June 27, 2014

by Josh Belcher

Capital Cities are coming back to middle Tennessee. Recently performing at Bonnaroo the annual music festival in Manchester. Now they return tonight to Bridgestone Arena in support of Katy Perry’s “Prismatic Tour”. Capital Cities will have the opening spot for the first leg of the US tour. With the breakout hit “Safe and Sound” under their belt, Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian, the front men of the alt-dance group, Capital Cities have gained a following of loyal fans and their popularity continues to grow. The Los Angeles based group have scored a multi-format hit with their first single, plus an MTV Video Music Award a Grammy Nomination and two iHeartRadio Award nominations. Not bad for a freshman effort. Their debut album, In A Tidal Wave Of Mystery (Capital Records/Lazy Hooks), is available everywhere, with the release of current single “One Minute More” on the deluxe edition.

I spoke with Ryan Merchant on his band’s return to middle Tennessee in recent weeks. Merchant, who was born in raised in San Francisco California, began playing piano at age 10 and guitar at age 12, and eventually expanding to drums in high school. Fast forward to 2008 where he met partner Sebu Simonian after responding to an ad that Simonian had placed on Craigslist offering services to musicians looking for high-quality production. The rest as they say is history. You can learn more about the group at

WS: With two trips to middle Tennessee in recent weeks do you enjoy coming to Music City?

RM: I do. I enjoy it very much. We have spent a lot of time on the road in the last two years and it has really made me fall in love with all of the different parts of America thahave their own interesting unique culture. Having grown up in California on the coast, I didn’t really travel to the South that much or the Midwest and it has been really nice traveling those areas. I love Nashville it is a great city. Everything about the South I really enjoy a lot.

WS:How did you guys get linked up with Katy Perry for the first leg of her tour?

RM: I am not exactly sure how it went down but we have a couple of connections to Katy. First off our record label is the same, we are both on Capitol records. So we have the same team we have the me publicist and radio department so I think she had been aware of us from the radio and our booking agent knows her booking agent and manager so we had some connections. But I think also she had seen our show before and liked what we do and thought it would be a good fit for an opening act for her. So Katy reached out to us and asked if we would be down to do it and we are happy to do it.

WS: According to your bio you and Sebu Simonian had met on Craigslist, do you recommend other people pursuing musical ventures in the same fashion?

RM: I am a huge proponent of Craigslist. I think that at the end of the day it is just a bunch of people putting out their ads looking for collaborators. So anytime you are sifting thru tons of people on the site you are going to find bad stuff but on the same hand sometimes you are also going to find a diamond in the rough and that is kind of what happened with Sebu and I. Coincidentally, we found each other that way when he put out an ad and I was looking for a producer and brought us together and here we are six years later touring the world.

WS: Tell us about your new single ‘One Minute More’?

RM: Yes our new single is called One Minute More. We just re released our album, a deluxe version, that has a couple of extra tracks on it and one of them is this song . We had written it awhile ago but we didn’t put it initially on the album because the production was not quite right so we recently re-worked and mixed it and beefed it up a little bit into where we feel really strong about it. It has been released to radio for the past two months and it is doing really well. It has picked up on alternative radio and top 40 radio. I feel really good about it. It is a poppy song with a good message and it is really fun to play live. We actually just put out a video for the song and I encourage people to go check it out. It is a wild video about showing the contrast of a woman who is going thru a divorce and a bunch of young people having fun on a water craft on a lake. Its a weird video but its cool.