Monday, 3 March 2014

The Citradels: Interivew

Hailing from Australia, drone-psych rockers, The Citradels, have been prolifically putting out music for the 4 years. Their ability to quickly write and put together songs is uncanny, and with their latest album just released, Droned And Rethroned, it can be seen as yet another improvement upon their sound. We caught up with the Citradels to hear more about how they put together their new experimental album... 

The Citadels at the FBI Social.

So, guys, who is in the band and who plays what?
Thomas De Vries - Guitar and Vocals
Curtis Goodfellow - Guitar and Vocals
Sam Heathcote - Bass
Archer Moore - Organ and Vocals
Connor Tolson - Drums

This is how the band performs live, however when it comes to recording it's whoever can give the best performance, as everyone in the band is capable of playing several instruments. When we were recording Droned and Rethroned, one of us may have had only a basic idea for a song, recording a bare scratch track and leaving space for other people's input. However some songs were almost entirely written and tracked by one person.

Where do you guys hail from?
The band was originally based in Geelong (Australia) but after about a year and several lineup changes the band relocated to Melbourne, were we've been for the past year and a half.

What guitars were used on the album?
We mainly used three different electrics; A 1966 Vox Phantom 12 string, a late '60s Tokai (a Gibson 335 copy) and a copy of a Vox Teardrop which was made by this guy in Melbourne. Some tracks also had a Yamaha acoustic on them, and the bass we used was a modified P bass with a jazz pickup and neck.

What amps and effects pedals were used on the album?
Vox Phantom 12-String
We used a Vox AC30VR, a Fender London Verb, a Fender Deville and an Alembic F1-X preamp for the bass. Some of the pedals used are EHX Hummingbird, Freeze and Holy Grail, Crossfire Tremolo, Boss RV3 Digital Reverb/Delay and OD3 Overdrive, ZVex Lo-Fi Loop Junkie and some other fuzz pedals, I know I've missed some. Curt has this really old analogue delay unit which is super cool and I have this D.I.Y. fuzzbox that's completely broken and makes all these fucked up squeals when you turn it on, so we used that bad boy as well. We did also do a heap of experimentation and explored different ways of recording guitar on this album, like running it straight into the desk with the gain flat out to try get that White Light/White Heat Sterling Morrison type sound.

What other instruments were used on the album?
We had a clear idea of how we wanted this album to sound. We picked twelve or so tracks that we believed best worked together and then worked on them each in detail. It kind of meant that some of the tracks that would have had a broader instrumental scope got left out this time around. So apart from the usual guitar, bass and drums, we used our Farfisa Bravo running through a heap of different effects and also a really old Gem upright organ for two tracks in particular. Sam laid down a fair bit of violin which was often manipulated in post-production to create drones and feedback. We also used a pungi (snake charmer), glockenspiel, harmonium and an array of percussion instruments.

Where was the album recorded?
Almost the entire of the album was recorded in one room at my house in Melbourne. It's a living room and shared practice space with my housemate's band. We have pretty much just done it this way since the first album. It's kind of the base for most of the things we do, we have all that is needed for us to record then and there, so it makes sense. On a couple of the tracks some additional overdubs for were done at Archie and Sam's place.

What have you learnt after recording the album?
Recording for this album was great. It's probably been our most collaborative album to date, but also the most refined and focused in terms of the overall sound. It's always great recording from home but after three albums in a row it seems like I've been recording and mixing an album for the last two years. We are going to move all our gear down to Curt's parent's beach house in June to record our fourth album. So it will have a pretty different sound and feel, but we're looking forward to the change. It also means that the entire band will be present for the recording sessions, whereas as at the moment it's very rare to have everyone there whilst we're tracking individual parts.

What is next for The Citradels?
We're currently finishing up writing tracks that will feature on the fourth album. At the same time we also have what could be called the fifth album or maybe an EP in the works. It's will be made up of acoustic tracks, so a lot of sitar, some tabla and more alternate instrumentation, maybe even a country song or two. This is something we're slowly putting together. As much as I'm glad to be taking a break from recording I also get edgy if I feel like I'm doing nothing, so it's going to be a slow process. About four songs are almost complete, I might upload one soon depending on how it's sounding. We are just looking forward to doing that and working on our live show. We have some really cool gigs coming up and will hopefully have a more extensive interstate tour later this year. We also have this little collab idea with our brothers (and sister), The Grease Arrestor that I want to see get up and running by midyear. I wont say to much but this idea is pretty new for us and I haven't seen it done before, so it's exciting.

Do you even psychedelic? would like to thank the band for taking the time to do this interview. 

Interview conducted by Dan Sharman on 03/03/2014.

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