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City of Souls - Interview with City of Souls

27 Oct 2020 // An interview by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo

City of Souls are one of New Zealand's few superbands, with members coming 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. With a new and highly-anticipated debut album recently released, City of Souls are ready to take the world by storm. Marcus spoke to Gaby from Muzic.net.nz about how it all started, the new album and the idea behind their music.

City of Souls are a true mix of great artists from several classic NZ bands. How did you guys meet, come up with the band name, and come to form the group you are now?

City of Souls is another name for Heaven. Steve brought that to the table and we all dug it. I felt like it was a good representation of the music being so dynamic and melodic. At the time for me, Blacklistt was coming to an end. I wanted to continue writing so just reached out and found these guys. They showed me a demo of Tying Tongues and that was that...

Congratulations on your incredible new album Synaesthesia! This album has made a lot of noise so far. Excluding the single release of Love Will Tear Us Apart, this is your first big release in a while. What is something you all love about your new stuff, and maybe want to leave behind with your old stuff? 

I don't want to leave anything behind really as that is a snapshot of a time in my life. It holds memory and can transport me back there. Whether good or bad, that still holds value for me. This new album however is perfect to showcase where we are in our lives. Tight friendship, same musical tastes, less stress, more fun... This album is so full of love that it shows when we play live. Come see us at the Tuning Fork on Nov 21st! Feel what Lifeblood feels like when we play that live. Fuckin'     killer!

We all know music can often be created in our darkest moments. Without disclosing your soul, do you remember the times in your life that gifted you with the inspiration to create the way you do? And if so, what messages do you have for someone getting into playing music for the first time ever?

Like the answer above... Just express authentically. You don't need to do anything else except play what's inside of you. That is what your soul sounds like. Forget other shit, or trying to sound like someone else coz that guy is already doing it. A big show was meant to happen for you guys this year.

The Deftones cancellation must have been rough news. What did you all do to bounce back from that? 

We engaged with our fans online. We created a new family in the City Of Souls street team. We released the album anyway. Life is full of obstacles, that was just another. And Deftones will be back!

Your music has become very artistic. The guitar playthrough music video for Lifeblood has beautifully simplistic and clean visuals. The music video for Shimmer is also very compelling. I see something of a geometric matrix, with themes of space, DNA and atoms. I’m not sure if that was the idea. What was the real inspiration behind Shimmer?

That is the idea. In some of our artwork you need to zoom in really really close and we have hidden messages all throughout it. These messages are all about raising your vibration. The frequencies in the fractal imagery are there to do the same. We are very big on what we push out to encourage shifts in people's lives. It's all love.

What are some bands you’ve been listening to in the last 2-3 years that you, perhaps, wouldn't have listened to when you were younger? 

Monuments, Chaos Divine, Kadinja... Simply because they weren't around ha ha!

Lastly, in a few words, what are a couple of crucial messages you’d like to convey about your current creative process, and your new album?

This album is very much a portrait of each member. You can hear distinctly each of us and what we contribute. Listen to the panning of guitars. I'm in the right ear and Trajan is on the left. Steve goes up the middle, Dan holds the team together, Corey drives it home and Rich carries the theme and soul of the band. I can literally hear everyone when I put it on. It's an honour to be in a band with these guys and also be a fan of them too.

Live photos courtesy of Triebels Photography and Jenny Feaver. 


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


Year: 2020
Type: Album

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