Interview: Citizens!

TB: We did a show in Paris for a party and this organizer came back afterwards and, you know, people always go, ‘could you do this, or this, or this.’ He’s like, “Guys, I’m so sorry to bother you after the show, but someone just wants to say hello and well done, if it’s not too much hassle for you guys.” We say, “Sure, who is it?” “Alicia Keys and the Princess of Monaco.” So, yes, Alicia Keys, sure. Or eating frog porridge after the show in Kuala Lumpur – that was pretty good. Tastes kind of – froggy.

DA: I know each concert is different and there are things that happen sometimes and don’t other times, so what’s your favorite accidental thing ever to happen onstage?

TB: Thom [Rhoades] and Lawrence [Diamond] do this game every night in the middle of a particular song – there’s a point where they shout something at each other which is somehow relevant to what happened that day or the day before, and I think only once have they both shouted the same thing at one another. And when that happens, we know that we are completely synchronized. Telepathically, psychologically.

DA: So, since you’re so synchronized, are you already planning another album?

TB: Yes, actually – we’re writing the album now, and recording a single at the moment with a well-known DJ.  So that’s exciting, hopefully that will be out soon.

DA: Now for some more interesting questions: If you could pick any three historical figures to attend a cocktail party with, who would you choose?

TB: You know, people always say Nelson Mandela, but I think you’d have to think about it practically. I mean, we’re going to a cocktail party. I’d go with Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, and Nico, because I think they’d be fun to go to a party with.

DA: Well, we all know you’re musically talented, but what are your strangest other talents?

Lawrence Diamond (keyboards): I can read a bus from 200 yards, read the front of a bus. Useful skill to have in London.

TB: He has the sight of a hawk.

LD: Tom Burke is a remarkably good climber. It’s insane. He’s like cliffhanger.

TB: Lawrence is the king of banter – what do they call it over here? Oh! Lawrence got game.

DA: What’s a song that makes you happy whenever you hear it?

TB: We listened to “Baba O’Riley” in the van today. It made me happy, but it also made me angry. For some reason, The Who always makes me angry. Jay-Z’s “Ni**as In Paris” makes me happy. Whenever we go to Paris we start listening to that, humming it.

DA: What is the best decision you’ve made in your life so far?

Martyn Richmond (bass): Getting a bag with wheels and a handle. Last year I had a massive bag that had no wheels and I had to carry it over my shoulder – it was awful.

LD: Not becoming a lawyer. That’s mine. I was like, two weeks from starting a law course when I joined the band.

MR: Now he’s tendered goods. The bar won’t have him.

DA: Last actual interview question: if you could broadcast any message to the entire world population right now, regardless of language barriers or anything, what would it be?

LD: It’s okay to have gay and lesbian couples kissing on Youtube.

DA: You’re talking about your video for True Romance, right? It’s a beautiful video, what happened?

MR: It got censored – you can only see it if you’re over 18, I think.

LD: There are other videos of couples kissing on Youtube, so we’re pretty sure it was the gay thing.

MR: There was a lot of debate in the comments section, homophobes getting shut down by some of our fans, so that was good.

Citizens! are on tour for all of March. See if they’re in your city, and don’t forget to buy their album here!

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