Wednesday Q&A: As The City Rumbles Underneath

Written by on March 5, 2014

It’s just a little over a month ago, when I featured Canadian based As The City Rumbles Underneath for the very first time with their awesome debut single ‘Hearts Expire‘. And after listening to their EP ‘Flowers From The Stars, are they in my personal & humble opinion, the modern day Eurythmics…

While working on their second music video, and between the Disney, the color pink and glitter talk (just don’t ask, but Ashton & I are watching our backs!), I actually managed to get to know them pretty well:

The Dutch Guy (TDG): Can I borrow 20 bucks?

As The City Rumbles Underneath (AsTheCity-A): If I give you 20 bucks what will I have to light my next cigar with?

TDG: Can you describe yourself in one sentence?

AsTheCity: Ashton = Complex, Cat = Not as complex as Ashton.

TDG: What are your roots?

AsTheCity-A: I started playing guitar when I was 16 because I loved Led Zeppelin. Cat has been singing since she was little and her background is classical piano, Madonna and The Police.

TDG: How did you guys hook up?

AsTheCity-C: I was looking for a producer in the summer of 2012, I googled some Toronto based studios and ultimately found Ashton on Twitter. One message and Taadaa! The rest is history.

TDG: How did you come up with the band name ‘As The City Rumbles Underneath’? What’s the story behind it?

AsTheCity-A: Cat and I really struggled with the name and went through a lot of different options. One day I was waiting outside the station to pick her up and as the subway underneath me rode away, the ground under me kind of shook. All of a sudden When the City Rumbles Underneath popped into my head and Cat loved it. We still love it but such a long name has turned out to be a bit problematic for our social media stuff and it’s had to be truncated on some of them.

TDG: How long have you been working on your debut EP?

AsTheCity-A: Just a bit over a year now. I could of done it faster but my career as a music producer was keeping me busy in spurts so it was easy to get sidetracked.

TDG: How would you describe your sound?

AsTheCity-A: A mix of swirly guitar and synths with heavy beats and pop songwriting.

TDG: What’s involved in your songwriting process?

AsTheCity-A: We’ve tried a few different things but our songs always work out best when we get them started together. Usually Cat and I will be hanging out and I’ll work out some music while she’s here. She’ll then have lyric melody ideas and so will I and we put them all together.

TDG: Which aspect did you enjoy the most while working on your EP?

AsTheCity-A: For me it was the writing process. The songs themselves got written very quickly, it’s the productions and mixing that took so long. I think I went up to mix version 20 on ‘I Am You Are‘.

AsTheCity-C: Songwriting for sure! I could write all day, never a shortage of ideas.

TDG: Who or what inspires you the most?

AsTheCity-C: I am Inspired by everything in this world, kind of passionate! Everything from film to nature, fashion to travel. I have too many ideas, that can be a problem. People wise who inspires me People that tell it like it is. Live with Gusto and are original. Originality and creativity in human beings is what inspires me most.

TDG: How important is connecting with fans for you? What kind of connection do you have or do you like to have with them?

AsTheCity-A: It’s very important to us. I’m a big believer in writing songs to express something to people and to do that you have to write in a way that makes them want to listen. There’s nothing worse than the musician who says, ‘I just write for me’ and comes up with some boring 8 minute opus that goes nowhere. If you’re just writing for yourself then there really isn’t a reason to release it to the public is there?

Right now we’re trying to connect with people through social media but honestly we are finding it hard to poke through the noise. There’s just so much material out there that it’s hard to get noticed. We’re going to continue our plan of releasing great music along with videos and hopefully we’ll have a breakthrough with people.

TDG: And social media is a big help in your opinion?

AsTheCity-A: I think social media can be a big help but you really have to be careful where you allocate your resources (ie time/money). You can spend so much time on Facebook and Twitter and at the end of the day if you didn’t do it properly it was a big waste. I’m always looking at the big goal which is to spread our music to as many receptive people as possible. If we had 20k fans on Facebook but no one actually listened or downloaded the music it really doesn’t benefit that goal.

TDG: What do you do to stand out from all the rest on social media?

AsTheCity-A: Well number one I really feel great about what we’re doing so when we do get someone to listen on our sites the response has been really positive. Aside from that we just try to be as entertaining as possible so people want to tune in to us. No one likes to hear self promotion all the time so we try to balance that out with some easily consumable funny stuff (ie funny pictures).

AsTheCity-C: And the music stands on it’s own, it really does!

TDG: What is the biggest misconception people have about you?

AsTheCity-C: That we live on another planet… Wait No… That’s the truth!

TDG: Who is currently on repeat on your iPod?

AsTheCity-A: I go through a lot of phases and usually what I’m listening to is the opposite of what I’m working on in the studio at any given time.

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of social media stuff and updating my production website so I’ve been listening to a lot of Chopin, Bach and Chet Baker. I find it very hard to write while I have pop music or songs with singing playing.

AsTheCity-C: Debussy, Beethoven, Curve… I make playlists on Youtube. I am a dork!

TDG: What’s the best piece of advice you ever got when you started out and you think it would help other aspiring artists/bands?

AsTheCity-C: Be who you are all the time, don’t conform!

TDG: 2014 is funky fresh, but what do you have in store for us this year?

AsTheCity-A: We’re going to be promoting the EP with a few more videos and then we’re going to launch back into music again very soon. The first thing we want to do is a really good cover of a song but we still haven’t decided what to do yet. After that more music and hopefully more licensing.

AsTheCity-C: Funky Fresh? I’m doing all kinds of stuff this year, I make music no matter what! But I’m also getting back into modelling a bit and doing my second audio book.

I plan on seeing more of this beautiful world and well, the rest is all as gorgeous mystery, ready to unfold…

TDG: Got any last words of wisdom you wanna lay down on us before we wrap this up?

AsTheCity-C: Just follow your heart! If you love it, breathe it, dream it? Keep Going!…

Check in with As The City Rumbles Underneath on:
Twitter: @AsTheCity
Facebook: /AsTheCityRumblesUnderneath
Bandcamp: As The City Rumbles Underneath’s EP ‘Flowers From The Stars’ (Free Download!)

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