Thursday, December 24, 2009

Bands in the Neighborhood: Citizen*

This almost Christmas installment of Bands in the Neighborhood features the foursome of Citizen*. The guys play on December 26th at Jammin' Java and then January 9th at Iota in Arlington. Here's what they had to say: How did the band form?
Jimmy, Brian and Lane all played in a band called Everyone But Pete. The original guitarist left and VH came on board with that band. We were all feeling a new vibe with the songs we were writing as a new band, so we did a big regroup and spent several months hashing out songs in the basement. We came out of the "woodshed," if you will, with Citizen*.  

How did you all come up with the band name?
It was the first name we all thought sounded cool that we could all agree on. The name's the hardest part, really. It took months.  

Why the asterisk? 
  Haha, we're just missing a footnote.  

How many members live in Columbia Heights? Whereabouts? VH lives in Columbia Heights, around 16th and Monroe, right on the cusp of MtP. He's like our ambassador to the District. Lane and the twins (Jimmy and Brian are twins, by the way) live in Fairfax.  

Do you practice in CH? How about play any gigs in the neighborhood?
We practice in Fairfax, since we can make a lot more noise out there, although they're starting to build McMansions all around the house, so it's only a matter of time. We've played Midtown Loft and 930 Club, but so far nowhere in CH proper.  

What are your band's influences?
Our sound is pretty much pop-rock, and we like a lot of those acts. We all have Pretty varied influences from pop to post-rock, but we really just love a well-crafted song. Some bands we're all into are Kings of Leon, Butch Walker, Foo Fighters, The Killers and MGMT.  

Any crazy and terrible tour stories?
We got caught in a tropical storm on the way back from North Carolina once, and the windshield wipers on our old van broke. To make matters worse, the windows and windshield were fogging up because the air didn't work, so we had to roll the windows down. It was like 3am and we were driving in gale-force winds with raincoats on because the rain was pouring in. It took us 18 hours to get home.  

What's your take on the local music scene in Columbia Heights and DC?
There is some serious dedication here. Fans come out show after show and support all the local bands (and bands from out-of-town), which is really awesome. Bands here really stick together regardless of style, supporting one another and coming out to each other's shows.  

And if you had to rename your band for something in Columbia Heights, what would it be?
 VH always heard, possibly incorrectly, that Fugazi's bassist lived in Columbia Heights, and he always wanted to know where, so "Stalking Lally." Barring that, "Mission of Target."  

You can hear more of Citizen* at their website (player in the upper right corner).

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