Interview With This City - 24th February 2010
Photo Of This CityBen caught up with This City backstage in Manchester before their show support the fantastic Haouken! to talk about how the tour has been going so far, the Orange unsigned competition and so much more.

Tonight sees you on the Manchester leg of your support tour for Hadouken! How has the tour been so far?
(Chris) Yeah, absolutely awesome, the crowd have been crazy every night, well ridiculously crazy every night! We know the Hadouken! guys anyway, so it’s just nice to be on a proper tour with them rather than the odd show here and there. Good times generally, good vibes!

How have their fans been taking to you?
(Grant) Really, really well. We’re picking up quite a lot of new fans. Obviously it’s a different kind of music, but it’s been really good.

Do you think it’s your versatility that makes you, you?
(Chris) Yeah, our music’s kind of a mixture of things. It’s got its harder moments but it also has its poppy moments, so I think that helps. Hadouken! are really heavy in places and also poppy.

(Grant) It can be a bit like Marmite for some people.

(Chris) Yeah, love it or hate it.

(Grant) It’s how we roll!

Having listened to the album many times, I still find it difficult to describe the This City sound, is this something that you did intentionally to avoid being pigeonholed?
(Chris) We still find it difficult too! Our sound kind of came through by accident. We didn’t plan it, but it worked so we went with it and it seems to have worked out pretty well!

Your debut album We Were Like Sharks received excellent press, are you happy with the way it was received?
(Chris) Yeah, really happy.

(Grant) Couldn’t be happier really.

(Chris) We were obviously pretty nervous when the first lot of reviews came through. We were expecting some mixed reviews, but even the people that didn’t like it said it wasn’t that bad!

(Grant) Yeah, some reviews were saying, “well this is rubbish about it, and so is this, but at the end it’s a really good album, four out of five!”

(Chris) It’s all been pretty positive, so we’re pretty stoked about it.

You’ve been lucky enough to play with some amazing bands (TBS, A). Has there been a particular favourite tour that you’ve taken part in?
(Chris) This tour’s been incredible so far. We toured with ‘A’ just before Christmas and they’re really, really nice guys. They were really easy to get along with. Obviously they’ve been in the game a while and they’ve got loads of cool stories.

(Grant) Touring with Biffy Clyro was amazing for me, I kind of grew up on them and they’re such heroes of mine, so to play with them was incredible.

(Chris) We played at a festival in Belgium called Pukkelpop, and we played with a load of Epitaph bands such as Thursday who are one of my all time favourite bands, so hanging out with them was amazing. Bring Me The Horizon were pretty cool, they were really quiet guys.

Having seen you live quite a few times, you put on a very energetic show, what’s your favourite thing about playing live?

(Grant) You can let out a lot of tension.

(Chris) I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t love being up on stage, it’s always great when you get a good reaction from a crowd and the more you give, the more you get back, you can definitely respond to that.

(Grant) Playing live is pretty much the whole point of it.

(Chris) Yeah, you have to put up with a lot of shit, there’s a lot of waiting around and lots of crap to deal with, but for that half hour or whatever, it’s definitely worth it.

Here comes the inevitable question, a few years back you took part in the Orange Unsigned Act competition, do you ever regret dropping out of the competition?
(Chris) There it is!

(Grant) Not at all – it was the best decision we have ever made. We were young, thought we’d go and see what it was all about, realised it wasn’t for us, we got through the first round, then went on stage and basically dropped out!

(Chris) It wasn’t the kind of thing we wanted to be involved with, it was too corporate and turned out to be something it wasn’t. The contracts you had to sign to go through to the next round were complete bullshit. We wanted to do it properly rather than that way. I think the winning band got fucked over a bit, the next contract was the final contract, they wanted to give you management and stuff, so we just got a booking agent…

(Grant) We had one of those already.

(Chris) Yeah, we had management for about a year before that I think.

How were things going in general before this?
(Chris) Everything was going fine, it was just pretty random.

(Grant) We were just so young. Weird things were happening, like they wanted to use our video for a promo. They were like, “Well you have to come and do it.” And we just said, “Well it’s not really our kind of thing.” And then they kept hassling us, so we thought we might as well go up.

(Chris) Yeah, there were a certain amount of voted bands on, and then some industry picked bands, we were one of the industry picked bands so they wanted us to join. It was a mistake.

How do you think your lives would have been different if you’d have gone on to win the competition?
(Arran) Who was it who finally won in the end?

(Chris) You watched it all!

(Grant) Yeah, you watched it religiously! Envy & Other Sins? Didn’t they get kicked out and brought back in though?

(Arran) Didn’t they do a tour with The Hoosiers, and now they aren’t around anymore?

(Chris) It was just another one of those things for people to make money off wasn’t it? They don’t care about the bands – just the ratings.

What’s your opinion on shows of a similar ilk to this?
(Chris) They can be entertaining, but that’s about it.

(Grant) The X Factor and stuff has bought out some really good artists, a few die out, but Leona Lewis is still around and she’s an amazing singer. So they have those benefits about them where artists didn’t know how to get into the industry can do it that way.

(Chris) But most of the time it is a lot of shit!

(Grant) The first couple of rounds are good where everyone’s a bit crazy!

(Chris) Yeah, but that’s just about making money out of embarrassing people.

(Grant) But that’s the British humour isn’t it?

What are your plans for the rest of this year?
(Grant) New album.

(Chris) Yeah, a new album. We’ve been writing and we’ve got a few ideas ready. All we’ve been talking about on this tour is how we can’t wait to get back and start writing.

So it’s going to be quite a quick turnaround between your first album and your second?
(Chris) Yeah, hopefully.

(Grant) Hopefully we’ll get to do some festivals too. We’re going to do some over in Europe.

(Chris) We might be doing some over here too, we’re not quite sure which ones though, our agent tends not to tell us until right before it so we don’t get our hopes up! But we’re going to be around doing a lot of stuff, so it’s going to be a busy year!

Interview By Ben Connell
 Band Members

Arran (Guitar)
George (Bass, Vocals)
Chris (Vocals)
Grant (Guitar, Vocals)
Nick (Drums)
 Latest Releases

This City - We Were Like Sharks
Release Date - 2010
1. We Move
2. Black And Blue
3. With Loaded Guns
4. Romantic
5. Picture This
6. No Hero
7. Moving parts
8. Colours
9. Kids With Fireworks
10. Middleground

 Band Related Links
This City Myspace