Thursday, 21 September 2017

Podcast: Interview with CITIZEN ZERO

Photo: James Geiser

Antihero: Tell me about how the tour has been going and how you got into this.

Josh LeMay: Steel Panther fans are music lovers, through and through. The band, Steel Panther, is so talented and, like, players … And we grew up being players. So, it’s cool to be out with guys that are, you know, kind of pushing you to be better every single night. So, we’ve really had to bring it every single night, because otherwise they’ll see through it pretty quick. So, that’s how we kind of relate.

And then, it just happened that our manager kind of talked to their manager and was just like, “Hey, what do you think about these guys?” And we had met Steel Panther prior to at Oklahoma or Rocklahoma? The big festival. And it just kind of worked out. It was great. We’re happy to be out here.

Antihero: And talking about festivals, you guys are actually playing Carolina Rebellion in a couple weeks.

Josh LeMay: We are.

Antihero: The tour’s winding down and you’re coming back to North Carolina. How’s that feel for you to be playing at a big festival like that?

Josh LeMay: So, we did Rock on the Range, we did Rocklahoma, and those were great. I’m telling you right now, between Greensboro, now Raleigh, that we’ve been to and now we’re going to play Charlotte obviously tonight. North Carolina, you guys are a hell of a rock state. Like you guys … the fans here are awesome. Yeah, I love it. I think it’s going to be good. I mean, I tweeted something out the other day that, like, as we’re driving through the state, like, the Rebellion’s in the air here. Like, you can feel it. You can feel how close, like, when we played Raleigh like people were mentioning it and talking about it like already. So, it’s … We know it’s coming and we’re ready.

Antihero: You guys just released an album last year. That was your debut. You had a couple EPs before that. Tell me a little bit about the success of the album and how it’s put you guys out there up on the main stage a little bit more.

Josh LeMay: You know, it’s crazy dude. We … Like I said, we grew up playing music. Sammy said it best one time, like, he said, “We’ve been waiting out entire lives to release our first record.” And it came out and all of a sudden, you know, we go from sitting on our hands and waiting and waiting and waiting as a kid growing up and working at it doesn’t ever seem like it’s going to happen. And then when it does happen, it just, like, it goes. You’re just … We’re just on the road and doing it every single night which is all we’ve ever wanted to do. So, it feels amazing. I haven’t even … I’ll let you know when it clicks.

Sam Collins: It’s also funny because I’m the last person to join. Like, I joined like a year and a half ago and so I kind of walked in on this whole process going on. Like, I didn’t know how I would end up getting to this point either. But, it just worked out and it’s even more surreal for me I feel like just cause, you know

Josh LeMay: Yeah, it’s real for a bunch of different reasons, but yeah. I mean, this record we wrote over a long period of time and we wrote it a while ago. And it was just a chapter of our lives at that point and now we’ve gone from writing a record at home, you know, going to work every day, trying to just, like, you know … All that work was just to come out here and do this and now we get to live it every single day. So, it’s crazy.

Antihero: As up-and-comers breaking into the scene with the state that the rock music genre is in right now, how tough has it been for you guys to break through?

Josh LeMay: I don’t know. That’s a good question. I mean, I think being different is just kind of in our nature. Just in general. You know, we’re … Constantly, we’re always kind of paying attention to our surroundings and whatnot, and we’re just weird dudes, I think. We’re just pretty weird guys. So, I think it’s kind of interesting how that plays into, like, the music and how that plays into how, whether or not we fit in or not. You know? I mean, everyone’s playing music and we’re all out here trying to do the same job, so…

Sam Collins: It’s also interesting, now that the songs are out, so people are hearing them. We get to see so many more reactions from people. It’s just interesting to see what kind of music is really going to reach out to people and we’re seeing, you know, we’ve had the chance to tour with so many bands and see what they do to interact with their fans. And, I don’t know, it’s always like a learning process to just fit in and do what we can.

Antihero: You guys recently released a video with an orchestra. Something totally different. What lead you guys to want to do something like that?

Josh LeMay: It was crazy, yeah.

John Dudley: We had a couple songs that had, like, big massive choirs on the them. You know, on the album. We were kind of just sitting around, throwing around the idea of doing that, alone, with the choir, and then I guess along with that idea came the whole orchestra thing and Josh got on the phone and made it happen.

Josh LeMay: Yeah. We started doing some, just, over the years being in Detroit, you know, it’s kind of a tight niche music, you now, market, you know, kind of place, so eventually you’ll rub elbows with somebody who knows somebody who know somebody. And we just started … I mean, we literally came up with the idea in early December and 30 days later we were doing it in a giant warehouse at Thunder Audio in Detroit. It was just like … It was the longest day ever. Like, it just … Ridiculous. But, by the end of it, like, it was weird. We were moving so fast I think we got a chance to capture lightning in a bottle. I think if we had time to think about it more it would have been overwhelming because it was overwhelming.

Antihero: As newer band, what music kind of inspired your sound?

Josh LeMay: Dude, we’re kind of old school dudes. I mean, our dads grew up playing music, our grandpas grew up playing music and, I mean, like for me personally, when I grew up and that’s how we kind of … We bonded right away from a band called King’s X. Which was, you know, they started in actually ’89 or something like that, but in the early ’90s, you know growing up, they were a three-piece band and just bad ass. I mean, just ridiculous players, singer’s unbelievable. So, that was, like, one of mine right off the bat. But, I mean, Stone Temple Pilots, Sound Garden, Van Halen, Sabbath, I mean… Zeppelin. You know, newer stuff, I remember us 14 years old and that Alter Bridge album came out with Myles Kennedy and, at 14, I heard that voice and I was like … I got to do that.

Antihero: You guys had a lot of success off the album. Any plans on going back into the studio any time soon?

Josh LeMay: We’ve actually already been back in doing some stuff. And already kind of starting. We’re underway. So, yeah. I mean, the sooner the better, man. We’re ready to get back in and do it. This is fun. So, it’s kind of hard to, you know, say, “Okay. We’re going to stop and go sit indoors for three months and make a new record.” You know, but I think it’s probably time. I think we’re ready to go.

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