ELECTRIC CITIZEN

ELECTRIC CITIZEN is a really cool doom metal band from the US. Answers from Laura. Anders Ekdahl ©2018

Let’s start with your latest recording. When you look back at it now what kind of feelings do you have for it?
-I’m happy with it. We took our time writing, creating demos, editing, and recording. For this album, much like the first, we made the record we wanted to make – a fun, tough, gritty rock n’ roll album.

I am fascinated by band names. What was it that made you settle on the one you have and what does it mean to you?
-We named our band after a song by Edgar Broughton Band called Death of an Electric Citizen. We love the band, the song and especially liked that the name could take on different meanings. My favorite line of the song – “this is my heaven, you can make it if you try”.

What does it mean to you that there are people out there that actually appreciate and look forward to what you are doing?
-We started this band for fun; to selfishly make music like we wanted to hear. To have people respond to what we are doing is monumental; It keeps us creating. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you we expected no one to care about our band, and our only method for success was to write great music. What’s come since continues to surprise us, and we are grateful people care.

How important is image to the band? What impression do you want the fans to get of the band?
-I think the image of a band should be looked at with intention. Whatever you are trying to say, that’s part of it. We’re artistic people, so we use every avenue of this band to express that. While we can’t control what people perceive, we do hope our individuality shows. We tried once to rely on outside advice for a photoshoot, and
it failed us – we still get made fun of for that photo, and hell, we make fun of ourselves for that photo. We’re an authentic, USA made, rust belt rock ‘n’ roll band. We don’t follow trends, and we try not to take ourselves too seriously.

I am a huge fan of LP art work. How important is it to have the right art work for your album?
-We are not in control of the artwork that the record label concepts for us, but we do get a say, and we think it’s very important. We love what they’ve come up with for this album, and we love that they are
always trying to set us apart with something different.

We live in a superficial world today where you don’t exist if you are not on Youtube and Facebook. Has social media been only beneficial in socializing with the fans or is there a down side to it too?
-I’m a futurist at heart, I fully embrace the modern world for better or worse. It’s fascinating to be alive in such a pivotal time for the human race. Of course we get the occasional trolling, but I have to laugh – these people take our music more seriously than we do. I’m not out here claiming to be Andrea Bocelli, you know. If you try to create music that pleases everyone, you will quickly fail yourself.
The internet has given way to hive mind cultures, something mainstream had more or less washed away in recent times. Now individuals can find things that really resonate with them, and there’s an entire community
ready to welcome them and share their knowledge. This can be beautiful, and at the same time dangerous – just look at our president.

When you play in a band does it feel like you are a part of a massive community? That you belong to something that gives meaning to your life?
-Yes and no, I have this dreadful, inborn need to be different. I’m unabashedly myself, and that can be off putting to some people, endearing to others – take it or leave it. Being female in this scene certainly doesn’t help my case but I do see that gap quickly closing. I do feel like I’ve found a lot of individuals in this community that I can identify with, and that’s something I’m grateful for. Music absolutely gives meaning to my life, at this point, I’m not sure who I’d be without it.

When you are in the middle of it do you notice what state our beloved music scene is in? Is the scene healthy or does it suffer from some ailment?
-Everyone on the outside says rock is dead, I say it’s gone to the underground where it thrives. There is incredibly good rock music being made right now. Bands just need to be cautious of becoming a “copy of a copy of a copy”; a diluted version of what they admire. Drawing inspiration from different forms (and timeframes) of music (and art) helps you create something authentic.

How much of a touring band are you guys? How hard is it to get gigs outside of your borders?
-Since 2014, we’ve had years where all we did was tour, then years where we didn’t tour much at all (to focus on writing). We can’t do both at the same time, at least not while also working a job. It’s not hard for us to book tours, but we’ve become more selective to what’s really worth our time and sacrifice. We’ve toured all over the world
and have been fortunate to partner with some great booking agents. We’ve gotten to support tours with musical heroes like The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Pentagram, and Fu Manchu. We’re supporting Monster Magnet on their upcoming US tour in September/October, which will be another to add to that list. We’ve opened one-off shows for King Diamond, Joan Jett, Charles Bradly, and The Cult. 5 years ago, If you’d told me this would happen, I would have laughed in your face.

What will the future bring?
-I hope the 4 of us get to do this for a long time. Maybe we won’t get famous, but if we can grow old making music together I think that would be a bigger reward than any amount of money can bring. Maybe the projects will change, maybe people will stop caring, but I will make music as long as my body lets me.

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