Among the illuminous map of micro-communities springing up in all corners of the world, the incorporated and unincorporated areas of the Midwest are enjoying also enjoying, 'a moment.' Observe the rises of Cherrycola Champions, Connections, Joie De Vivre, Kittyhawk, Their / They're / There, WVWhite, and more, and now Ashtabula, Ohio's CityCop are about to have their album The Hope In Forgiving & Giving Up Hope from 2011 re-released and pressed on vinyl May 6 compliments of Flannel Gurl. Premiering their song, “X”, that was originally released three plus years ahead of it's time; CityCop join us after the following listen to share details on the development of their new album Loner coming later this summer.
“X” pummels bags of angst and frustration toward unnaccepting and xenophobic mindsets, while formulating constructive solutions through the teeth grinding guitars. “If they can't accept the fact that everone's not like them, that everybody can express themselves in a way that they can, can we learn to co-exist in a place where all the cliques have their own thoughts, their own opinions being put in their heads.” The message of universal and local acceptance of all is illustrated in terms that move beyond the basics of general tolerance and toward co-operative possibilities, sung with open arms in the repeated phrase of, “Let's create something great.” Bottling up and spilling out an inclusive message for theuptight, unwelcoming, and uninviting folks gets a few things of CityCop's chest while extending open doors and bridges for chances of friendship, and maybe even a creative partnership.
CityCop talked with us about their upcoming releases coming up for Flannel Gurl, with the report from Ashtabula.
Give us the lowdown on Ashtabula, Ohio, how you all met, and what's been happening in the scenes there lately.
Ashtabula is our hometown, a pretty small city in Northeast Ohio near Pennsylvania. We all met in 8th grade and we were all really into music and skateboarding and what not, and we would frequently jam and play cover songs in our drummers basement. We started CityCop as an acoustic project between Max (Guitar) and myself, later adding bass and then drums and we started to take it more and more seriously. Ashtabula used to be huge into DIY shows, I used to book there and we had a few house venues and even a DIY spot called West End, run by Matt Barnum of Homewrecker. Everything kind of fizzled away, West End is no more, the house venues are gone, and as everybody got older they all either got uninterested or moved away. We recently have moved to Akron, Ohio and do shows out of our living room, it's called 'Fool House'. It is just a few streets away from It's a Kling Thing! House, so the scene in Akron has been picking up more and more lately and we are very excited about that and that we can offer a spot for bands to come play/crash, as small as it may be.
You have descirbed yourselves as “four dudes from Ohio who make people cry. Like the outpouring on “X”, what's the key to tapping into the vein in your sound that elicits this kind of empathetic response from your audience?
Oh man ha, ha. Well, we basically wrote that as a joke on our Facebook page because all of the aging metal bands from our hometown would post these elaborate descriptions about themselves in their bios, but they never really left the local bar scene. So it was just a little joke I suppose. But we do like to put all of our emotion into our live performance, as well as our sound and if we get a reaction and they can relate to what we are putting out there, that's awesome. We don't really want to make people cry though, we hope to make people happy if anything.
I have heard that you guys are very much into doing away with the whole genre label thing, but wanted to know what you all thought of all the chatter about various revivals of genres/sub-genres that you all seem to be sick of, you know, the emo revivalist talks, the post-hardcore talks, anything that uses punk in the prefix/suffix, etc.
Well, it's not so much that we want to 'do away' with genres as a whole. It's just getting to the point where it's getting a little over the top and certain genres have different meanings to different people. We don't really know what 'post-hardcore' defines as anymore. I have no idea what 'post-emo' means at all. We just got a little tired of it because people would try and label us with all these genres and argue about what we are, when in reality we don't even know what we play and I'm sure a lot of bands feel the same way about it. I feel that, If you are going to subject a band to one genre (Pop-Punk, Emo, Etc.) then it will be a lot easier to forget about that band once the 'trend' of that certain genre is over. Bands work really hard to get to a certain level, and if they fade away because they're not 'cool' anymore, then wheres the motivation in that? We just want to play and have fun and not really worry too much about what to define ourselves as. I think it works out a lot better that way.
Tell us what you guys have cooking up for us at Flannel Gurl, with the upcoming re-issue of The Hope In Forgiving & Giving Up Hope”, your follow-up EP to Seasons with Loner coming this summer.
We are extremely excited about the coming months. The Hope in Forgiving was originally released in 2011, and we never really got an opportunity to get it put on vinyl. A lot of people really wanted it to happen, and Flannel Gurl has finally helped us do it, three years or so later. I feel like our sound just keeps progressing with every release, Seasons and the split were both great for us and we are happy that people enjoyed listening to them. We have been working on Loner for over a year and it is finally complete. We had to re-record the entire album because we were not happy with it at all, we even cut a song and wrote a new one. We just weren't going to release it unless we personally felt that it was perfect. But, we are proud to say that it is 100% complete, and we can easily say that it is the most proud we've been of anything we've done. The sound is just what we wanted, and the dynamics, we feel, are better than ever. People will also notice a change in vocals on Loner, as well as everything just being a lot more aggressive, but also very dreary and haunting. It's the record we wanted to make for a long time. Flannel Gurl also just released a second pressing of Seasons. They are some of the best people we have ever met or worked with and we are extremely lucky to be working with them!
You have just hit up Kent, and Detroit, give us the low down on your big tour plans coming up.
Well, Kent and Detroit are just two of the places we went to on this tour with Free Throw, but we are currently on a Midwest / Central US tour with them. We can't really give any major details, but this summer we will be hitting everywhere, basically a full US tour. We haven't done a tour this big in a while and we can't wait to see our friends all over the place, especially in the West Coast, we haven't been there in a couple years and it's going to be great to go back. More details will come soon!
CityCop's 2011 album, The Hope In Forgiving & Giving Up Hope will be re-released on vinyl for the first time on May 6 from Flannel Gurl.
CityCop will follow-up their Seasons EP with Loner dropping in early summer, followed by their first big North American tour.