Face To Face With /// City Reign

City Reign is a familiar band for the readers of Rock Britain. This time we’re going face-to-face with the Manchester act and City Reign singer and guitarist Chris Bull speaks.

– Numbers For Street Names is officially out! Congratulations! How do you feel about the record?

– We’re very proud of it. It’s been quite a long time in the making so it was great to get it finished and out at last so people can start to see a bit more of what we’re about.

 – What were the key sources of inspiration for the songs on Numbers For Street Names?

– Musically we have been inspired by bands that do things their own way. We’ve talked a lot about bands like REM, The National, Doves, Idlewild. These are all bands that seem to have a strong sense of identity and it’s helped them endure and get better, rather than being just a flash in the pan. They’re not the kind of bands that anyone ever thought were ‘the next big thing’, but that was never what they were about. We’d like to think we’re of the same ilk. 

 – Who is the author of the artwork? Is there any connection between the cover and the philosophy of the songs?

– Mike Grice does all the artwork, except the Car Boot Records logo, which was designed by a friend of ours at uni, Dave Euinton. I don’t know if there is any specific connection, but I guess they have the same feel as the music.

– You’ve just played the tour to support the release. How did the tour go?

– The tour was absolutely brilliant, we had so much fun. We met a lot of great people, played some really good gigs and just generally had a good time. We just want to do it again now, and for longer!

– What are the most important things for you in your live shows?

– Live shows are all about energy and atmosphere, so having a good crowd is really important. You just have to give everything and people feed of that and let go a bit themselves, and then in the band feed of the crowd.

– How were you introduced to music? Do you remember the first album you bought?

– It’s a bit of a cliché but I was brought up surrounded by music, I remember loads of family holidays when I was a kid that were soundtracked by the Blue and Red Beatles compilation albums. I don’t remember the first album I bought myself, but my sister and I were bought (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? and I got Parklife for Christmas. I ended up stealing the Oasis album and listened to it pretty much non-stop for the next two or three years.

– What were your major musical influences? 

– I’ve mentioned the Beatles and Oasis, and for me personally they were both huge influences on me in the earlier years. We’re all massive fans of the great Motown sounds as well, some of the best pop songs.

– What do you like most of all about being in City Reign?

– Everything really. We all get on really well, we get to write and record music that we really love, and we’ve got to go to new places and meet new people through playing those songs. You can’t really ask for much more than that from life I don’t think.

– What can your listeners expect from City Reign in the nearest future?

– We are in the middle of planning the full length album, which we will hopefully be going in to record in early February. There’ll be a single out in April-ish time, with the album to follow in June/July.

– Where do you see City Reign in five years?

– Ideally we’d be on, I dunno, maybe our 3rd album? But let’s just see how people take to our first one, before we get too far ahead of ourselves?!

 More on City Reign

Getting To Know /// City Reign 

Independent Outlook /// City Reign “Numbers For Street Names” (EP, 2011)

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