Q and A with City LightsSeptember 21, 2012
City Lights is a five-piece band out of Columbus, OH. These guys have been taking it to the Pop Punk world and have been doing the work to make a name for themselves. This great and fun band deserves much more attention. BareBones got the privilege to sit down (sort of) with bassist Chase Clymer. Read ahead if you dare…
BS: If I understand this correctly was it a member of Mayday Parade that kind of discovered and helped you gain more attention? What was that like?
Chase: Brooks is a great guy. He’s still really good friends with the band. Mayday took us out on a tour a long time ago and it was the first ‘real’ tour we had ever gone on. We were so horrible, Haha. It was a good reality check. He helped us as much as he could and stepped down from managing us once around the same time we started working with The Artery Foundation.
BS: For readers that may have never heard of your band before, how would you best describe your music for them?
Chase: I would say we’re hardcore influenced pop punk. We write songs that are fun to play live. We’re all about our live show.
BS: Now I hope this isn’t viewed as an insult, but your guys’ sound reminds me of New Found Glory, but still unique to your band. So on that note what bands do you feel have influenced your music the most?
Chase: We love New Found Glory as well as all the old school pop punk we grew up listening to. Every band we listen to influences our band and our writing. The radio in the van is a constant rotation of every genre of music. We also love to discover new music.
BS: I saw in your bio that you were able to sell 5,000 copies of your EP without any help or promotion. That’s really good, what do you feel helped you to be able to sell so many by yourselves?
Chase: Following warped tour helped us gain a bigger fan base when we were starting out. It also showed us how hard touring can be and how much work actually goes into being in a band.
BS: Are there still a lot of requests from fans at your shows to hear some songs off of “Rock Like a Party Star”? What songs do you get the most requests for?
Chase: Rock Like A Party Star was a great EP, but we hardly play any songs off it anymore. Every once and a while we’ll play something if a kid really wants to hear it. Most people learned about our band when they heard In It To Win It, so when we play old stuff only the true original fans know what the hell is going on.
BS: “In It to Win It” came out in 2011 on InVogue Records, was there a different approach to creating this album to the approach you had with the EP?
Chase: In It To Win It was a nightmare to record. Oshie was so rushed in the studio. We did the whole album in 10 days! Even with this crazy schedule it turned out amazing.
BS: What has it been like working with InVogue Records and Nick Moore?
Chase: Nick Moore is a great guy. He really helped move our band to the next level. We have nothing but love for InVogue and Nick.
BS: Since that came out almost a year ago, are there any plans for a new album? What information can you give us on its development?
Chase: We’re recording our next album with Brian McTernan in Baltimore, MD starting at the end of Sept through October. We have a bunch of songs demoed and are still writing.
BS: What is the typical writing process like for you guys?
Chase: Come up with an idea, make Oshie make it better is the usually flow. He’s an amazing musician. He really helped to shape and hone our sound.
BS: I know you guys have done a lot of touring, so what has been your favorite tour that you’ve went on? Who did you tour with and why was it your favorite?
Chase: Every tour is fun. I don’t really have a favorite. Each has sometime special that stands out and makes it unique. Though we did have way too much fun on our last US headliner.
BS: Is there another tour in the works? Any details you may be able to tell us at this time on it?
Chase: We don’t really have anything in the works. We’re focusing on writing the album. We know we’ll hit up some familiar markets towards the end of the year but nothings set in stone yet.
BS: If you could tour with any band, who would it be and why?
Chase: This isn’t a band, but we’d love to do Warped Tour. It’s been something we’ve been wanting to do since the beginning of the band.
[I have always said you guys would be an amazing Warped band]
BS: What is your favorite song to play live and why?
Chase: Lawnmower. Its so high energy, and it’s pretty easy to play so I hardly fuck up.
BS: If someone is going out to their first City Lights show, what can they expect to see?
Chase: A high energy show filled with sing-a-longs and stage dives. WOOOOOO
BS: What made you guys want to make music as a career?
Chase: I didn’t like high school and playing shows was way cooler than college.
BS: Now I must say I absolutely love the song and music video for “Trophy Room”. Both are amazing, what inspired the song? And separately what inspired you guys to make the video like that? [Video at bottom]
Chase: A bottle of vodka and a deadline. It came together really fast. Some of the lyrics in the song always made me think of a serial killer or something. So why not pay tribute to Americas favorite serial killer?
[Points if you know who he’s talking about, comment your answer and I’ll let you know]
BS: Where would you like to see yourselves or any major tours/festivals you hope to be part of in the next year?
Chase: We really want to go overseas. We keep getting asked and we want to make it a reality soon.
BS: What caused the separation from InVogue records and when did this happen?
Chase: We signed on for a one-album deal for In It To Win It. We love what
Nick did for us on that record, but for the next one we are exploring other options.
BS: What is it like being an unsigned band in the music industry today?
Chase: It’s expensive. Everything costs money, and if a labels not paying, you are.
BS: Can you help explain the Kickstarter campaign to the readers? and how they can help?
[Straight from the bands Kickstarter video, courtesy of Chase Clymer]
“With the help of our families, friends and fans, known as backers, we hope to cover the remainder of our recording costs for our next record.
We have personally saved and invested all we can into the band and this project, but we need your help to make it happen. Though our goal is only $5000, the recording of the album and everything that goes with it cost well over that. We are only asking for enough to cover what we can’t.
We want to make our sophomore full length a special project that includes the participation of our amazing and supportive fans. Over the last four years we’ve had the opportunity to tour all over North
America and meet some truly amazing people who love and appreciate
City Lights. We wouldn’t be where we are today without all of the love and support from you guys, so we want to make a record that you will absolutely love. We have the opportunity to work with a top-notch producer, and record at an amazing studio for this next album, and we can’t wait to get started.
The catch is, our last tour saw us completely replacing the brake system in our van, repairing our trailer hitch, and to top it off replacing an entire side panel off the trailer that was ripped off by a gnarly blown tire. Despite these setbacks, we’re determined to get these new songs out to you all, because you deserve it. That’s where
Kickstarter comes in. We are currently free agents with no record label backing, and plan to fund the album ourselves. We have saved every penny we could, and as a band are investing as much as we personally can into this project. The amount of money we are funding through this Kickstarter ($5000) is just the last piece of the puzzle that we need to put this album together. It is the minimum amount that we need to cover the remaining recording costs.
We appreciate each one of you who has come out to a show, let us play in your basement, or picked up a shirt and sang along with us. All we’re asking of you guys is to give as little or as much as you can to help make this next record a reality, and we promise make it as awesome as possible. We’ve thought long and hard about the rewards that we are offering, and hopefully you guys think they are great. We really want to reward our backers with as much as we possibly can.
Hopefully together we can make this dream a reality, and we’ll be able to have an amazing album to share with you guys next year!”
BS: Anything else you’d like to say to your fans?
Chase: Keep your ears peeled for some new exciting news.
This is a very talented band that I am happy that I stumbled upon. I personally am excited to hear what is to come from this group in the near future. Go show this band some much deserved love on their Facebook page, and check out the video for “Trophy Room” below.