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City of Souls - Interview with Marcus from City of Souls

24 Apr 2019 // An interview by Steve Shyu

Over the years, City of Souls have carved their name deep into the alternative rock scene of Aotearoa, topping national charts and opening for countless international acts. With new music in the works, and a countrywide tour mapped out, the six-man band are certainly showing no signs of slowing.

Right before opening for alternative-metal giants Sevendust, guitarist Marcus Powell took some time out to yarn with Muzic.net.nz's Paul T Gheist about City of Souls' best show to date, the future of alternative-rock in Aotearoa, and shared some morsels of info on new City of Souls music - Read on!

First round's on me - What will you be having?

Jameson on the rocks!

Sum up City of Souls in five words or less - Go!

Auckland City Night Music.

How did the name City of Souls come about? Was it from a film or inspired by a book?

It came from an Indian poem. Steve found it one of those spiritual quote books and found this cool poem talking about how after you die, you go to the heavens, the "city of souls", which is as bright as 10,000 lanterns.

What's the most memorable show you guys have played so far?

Opening for Bring Me the Horizon was pretty epic. It was a real test for us to see if we could stand next to an international act and we did. The crowd response was just as epic!

What do you believe is the most important thing when it comes to writing City of Souls music?

I'm speaking for myself here but... Feel. It has to feel soulful and authentic. If it doesn't make me move or get an emotional response it doesn't get presented.

What is the song Wolf about? What inspired the lyrics and the music?

Richie: For me, the lyrics came from struggling with fear, controlling my actions, and having fear become a self-fulfilling prophecy; about feeding into that cycle. The wolf you feed is the one that grows, so you need to try and be aware of what's real and what you design for yourself, or you'll only find regret and death. Keep your eye on the wolf!

As a New Zealand rock/metal supergroup, have you felt pressure or experienced expectations to make City of Souls sound a particular way?

No, I haven't experienced external pressure. We put a lot of focus and expectations on ourselves to improve and evolve but not pressure. We take our craft very seriously and maintain a high level of rehearsal and technical improvements. Always learning from overseas acts and continuing to strive for the next level.

Where do you see the alt-rock/alt-metal scene in Aotearoa heading?

There has been an increase in exposure for bands in this current scene and the quality is outstanding. I hope to see it grow and push the mainstream media platforms to support more local acts in this way. We're not the only band heading offshore so I have no doubt the scene will come full circle again.

What can fans expect of your upcoming Ferryman tour of Australia and Aotearoa in July?

Songs we've not played live before!

Who are your favourite Kiwi artists and bands right now?

Coridian, Jakob, Seas of Conflict, Kerretta, Church & AP and Marlon Williams.

Which artist or band throughout all of music history would you most like to share a stage with?

Deftones, bro. Should be able to hear their influence in the songs I write, haha.

Speaking of sharing stages, City of Souls is opening for Sevendust pretty soon - On a scale of one to ten (ten being Over the Moon), how excited are you guys?

10! I'm so keen. They are in my top 10 favourite bands, so I'm pretty excited to see them on stage too.

Beyond the release of your next single Ferryman, what else can City of Souls fans expect?

We have three songs ready to drop before the album. Three more videos, tour announcements, and also more content - We're grinding and making it happen. A lot goes in to the brand and the release of our album! Trust me, it's gonna be worth the wait!

Photo Gallery: City of Souls supporting Sevendust, Auckland - 23/04/2019
Gig Review: City of Souls supporting Sevendust, Auckland - 23/04/2019

Photos 3 & 4: City of Souls supporting Sevendust, courtesy of Chris Morgan Photography.


About City of Souls


It is a word that Auckland six piece City of Souls were bound to deal with from their inception. Boasting members from bands that have etched their mark on the local and international hard rock and metal scene such as Blindspott, Blacklistt, 8 Foot Sativa, New Way Home, Cold By Winter, In Dread Response and Solstate, City of Souls was set to stir some interest, and stir they have.

Too often when something is hyped it is followed with disappointment, yet the first City Of Souls single Sleep arrives unashamedly explosive, touting emotive energy juxtaposed with a certain calm which will become this band’s signature. Recorded between Dreadstorm Media Auckland and Roundhead Studios, it was mixed by legendary engineer Clint Murphy, and mastered at Sterling Sound in New York.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for City of Souls


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Other Interviews By Steve Shyu

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Self-described "neo-soul-pop" duo Dillastrate from Christchurch very recently released their first full-length, self-titled album. Born from Kiwi acts AHoriBuzz and Soulsystem, the two have rocked thousands at local festivals Northern Bass, Rhythm & Vines and Electric Avenue, as well as opening for Kiwi greats Sons of Zion and Katchafire.
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The ever-ambitious multi-instrumentalist Daniel McClelland is continuing his musical mission of making pop music that rocks. His debut album Anxious Heart earned a nomination for Auckland Live Best Independent Debut Award at 2018's Taite Music Awards, and now Daniel is back with a brand new EP.
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BOKEH is the artistic alter-ego of New Zealand raised, Berlin based audio-visual artist, Chole Lewer. With her debut EP Don't Leave The Fire released in 2017, Chloe is also the director and producer for her own film production company, Ramona Ramona.
Interview with Coridian
25 Oct 2019 // by Steve Shyu
Coridian have become something of a household name in the Kiwi alternative-rock scene. Often regarded as local legends in Auckland, they’ve crafted two EP's and released half a dozen singles, the band have also opened for international acts like Fuel, P.
Interview with JP Carroll / Arrays
07 Oct 2019 // by Steve Shyu
Arrays is the current side-project of JP Carroll, the lead singer and songwriter of renowned hard-rockers Armed in Advance. The three-piece act enjoyed loads of airplay on The Rock with their hit singles Same Old Story and Stay, as well as supporting Villainy and I Am Giant live on the stage.
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Raised in West Auckland, Melodownz is making strides in the rap industry both in NZ and globally. He began creating spoken word and later discovered the art of freestyle and hip-hop, which led to the success of his 2017 EP Avontales, touring Europe and now working on his next album.
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Written by Wolves have been hailed as the princes of anthemic alternative rock in Aotearoa; blowing away audiences and fans alike with their energising and unforgettable live sets. For nigh on a decade, the five-piece group from Auckland have secured opening slots on tours with Devilskin and Blindspott, as well as dominating festival stages like Storm the Gates, Bay Dreams and Ohakune Mardi Gras, all to critical acclaim.
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