City of the Weak Gives Some Disclosure On Themselves and Making Music

Mainly rock focused, City of the Weak combines catchy pop melodies with rhythmic riffs and moving bass lines to create a genre of their own. They are best known for their intensity on stage, as well as their big personalities off the stage. They have released an EP's and have their debut album under their belts with extensive touring and playing shows happening every chance they can receive. City of the Weak are the act to be on the look-out for because they got pure focus and dedication. They took the time to discuss that debut album and the details of the future.

1. Can I get a backstory on the band/ band biography?

Formed in St. Paul, MN, these five college-aged kids kickstarted their music career February 2012 with their first show and haven't slowed down.  A few lineup changes and 2 years later, they have since appeared on the bill of shows such as:

• 'Scream It Like You Mean It' Tour Milwaukee Location w/ Attack, Attack; We Came as Romans; Woe, Is Me and more
• Asking Alexandria; August Burns Red; We Came As Romans; Crown the Empire; Born of Osiris
• August Burns Red; Of Mice & Men
• The Color Morale; For All I Am

Mainly rock focused, City of the Weak combines catchy pop melodies with rhythmic riffs and moving bass lines to create a genre of their own. They are best known for their intensity on stage, as well as their big personalities off the stage. They released their debut EP 'White Fire Alarm' April 6, 2013, produced by Eric LaBrosse of Cherry Pit Studios. Their much-anticipated sophomore EP "Disclosure" was released April 23, 2014, also produced by Eric Labrosse. They are quickly gaining attention after the release of their first two music videos for "In a World of Bottles & Bedsores" and "White Fire Alarm," which were featured on Blank TV, Bryan Stars, & Rormix. They also have done well with licensing, and have had song placements on NFL & The Food Network. They recently kicked off a full year of tours, starting with The Bitches Get Stitches Tour opening for Gabriel & the Apocalypse April 23-May 3rd. Shortly after, they will embark on the "Paper Dolls Tour" with The Nearly Deads May 15-June 3rd,  & "Skeletour" with Stitched Up Heart June 4th-June 27th.

2. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

We are based out of Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN. The music scene is great for some genres, not so great for others. I think a big part of that has to do with the venues in each city, and the kinds of music that are able to get into them due to booker preference. Some really great locals I would recommend are The Phoenix Philosophy, Gabriel & the Apocalypse, & Household.

3. City of the Weak is your name of choice, why go with calling yourselves this and what does it mean and represent for you guys?

Well basically myself (Stef) & our first drummer were deciding between the names "Day of the Weak" & "Conquer the City." He shot me a text saying "City of the Weak" & we just knew that was it. It sounded good & had a ring to it. There really wasn't much meaning to it.

4. Who are your musical influences?

We definitely all have different influences, which is what makes us unique. Stef: Anything Catchy. Pop Music. Jackson (Guitar): Electronic Dance Music. Dubstep. & Sparta. Brent (Guitar): Pantera. Metal. Straight Up Rock 'n Roll. Cody (Bass): Progressive & Experimental Rock

5. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)

Yes. We definitely write our own music. Basically it usually starts with a guitar riff. We will sit around & jam on an idea, develop it, & whenever there is a guitar riff that really catches us, we continue to develop it. If it goes nowhere within a couple practices, we set it aside and work on something new. You can only be at a standstill for so long before you're just wasting time. Two of the songs on our new album "Disclosure" were literally written two weeks before recording, they weren't even ready for the album focus group. We wrote them on a whim, they kind of just happened naturally once we found a riff we liked.

6. What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)

The majority of our songs are either political, controversial, and/or powerful. On our first album, the song "The Difference Between You & Me…" criticizes conservative churches for diminishing homosexual marriage. The whole "Vote No" on preventing gay marriage was a hot topic in Minnesota at the time, & I thought it was an extremely relevant topic. I used Biblical language throughout and depict a child's suicide at the end to really paint a picture of how foolish the whole "cursing others for faith's sake" is. The song "Amateur Night VIP" is about artists selling their soul to the music industry, because they are so addicted to the fame, "I'm just starving to be right what you need." "White Fire Alarm" was a backlash to an outspoken atheist who criticized me publicly (Stef) for being Christian.

Our second album is less political, and more about taking control and power. We wanted to write an album that had more of a 'theme' or 'flow' you could say, than the first one. "The Blame Game" specifically talks about capturing an aggressor and choking them. "Just Another Eulogy" is the ultimate 'fuck you' song about a couple ex-members "Don't you know who the fuck I am?"  "Mannerisms" showcases child abuse and the fact that it is kept under wraps. "No one talks about, we're all sold the same lie." The album cover is tied to the song "Mannerisms," showcasing a perfect family on the front, but when you see the back cover you find it's not so perfect after all.

7. How has the band's sound evolved from the "White Fire Alarm" EP to "Disclosure"?

See #6 lol- We wanted to write an album that had more of a 'theme' or 'flow'. We sat down and carefully picked the songs for the album, rather than just throwing cool songs on one disc. We didn't really have a 'sound' on our first album, we were discovering who we were as a band. "Disclosure" is definitely more focused.

8. Was your songwriting and recording process any different than usual when it came to "Disclosure"?

See #6 & #7.

9. Who produced "Disclosure" and what was it like working with them?

Eric Labrosse @ Cherry Pit Studios. I love how quickly he works. We recorded the whole EP in 4 days. He really doesn't mess around. He catered to us & the changes we wanted. He rocks at licensing too- we've had placements on NFL & The Food Network thanks to him.

10. What inspired the album title? Is it a concept album?

"Disclosure" is based on the song "Mannerisms," on how things that are hidden eventually come to light. "No one talks about it, the truth will come out eventually." It's not a concept album.

11. Who did the cover art for "Disclosure" and how much input did you have on it?

We actually planned the cover art for the album ourselves. Trista Marie Photography did the photos, and it turned out better than what we originally thought, which was awesome.

12. Did you feel any pressure to do this follow-up release to the EP?

Not really. We knew that if people liked "White Fire Alarm," they were going to be blown away by "Disclosure." & so far, people are really digging it!

13. What are your expectations for the CD?

Honestly, I feel "Disclosure" will be the album that really takes us to the next level. Industry professionals are really noticing us, and contacts that we've had for awhile are starting to get in touch with us again. The first week we released "Disclosure" we had orders on our website from France, Canada, and states like South Carolina that we haven't toured to yet, which is awesome because we didn't even really promote the pre-release at all. We have so many tours coming up, that we've been promoting those live shows instead, which has been selling the album itself. I'd rather get out, play a show, and have people buy our record because they think we're fucking awesome, than just talk about how the album's going to come out for a few months. It's a solid record, well-produced, well-written, no bullshit, just fucking honest rock and roll that's really catchy.

14. Do you have an idea as to what singles will be off this CD and which will be made into a video?

"Just Another Eulogy" is the first one for sure! Some radio stations were already spinning it before the actual album release- & It's just so catchy! As for the other single we aren't quite sure yet.

15. What is it would like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

Catchy melodies. I want someone to hear a song for the first time, and have it be stuck in their head for the rest of the week. It'll drive them nuts, and they'll have to get the record then!

16. What are your upcoming tour plans and plans for this year?

Tour till we drop! We just got back from the Bitches Get Stitches Tour a couple days ago, and we leave for Paper Dolls Tour w/ The Nearly Deads this week. We will be on the road for 1.5 months straight, starting Skeletour w/ Stitched Up Heart June 4th, the day after Paper Dolls Tour. Then probably a week off before we head out again in mid-July. There's no stopping us, 2014 is our year!

17. Anything else you would like to add or want to say?

Be sure to catch us on tour!

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