Interview by Robert Cavuoto
City of the Weak captures a modern rock ‘n roll sound that combines catchy melodies, aggressive guitar riffs, and haunting vocals. The band is also are known for their intensity and passion on stage, as well as their fearless personalities off the stage.
Their first full-length album will be available in June 2018, accompanied by their performance at Rocklahoma. The band had previous released two EPs; White Fire Alarm (2013) and Disclosure (2014).
I caught up with the talented vocalist for City of the Weak, Stef, to discuss the creation of the band’s upcoming LP.
Robert Cavuoto: Tell me about your upcoming CD and what we can expect from it?
Stef: It’s going to be called Pulling Teeth, and it’s our first full-length record as we have a couple of EPs outs. It’s been a few years in the making as we were waited to put it out when we had the best team behind us to push it out. It’s produced by Craig Owens.
Robert Cavuoto: What type of vibe does the CD have?
Stef: It’s commercialized alternative rock. We were all Emo kids growing up but it’s like we grew up but not quite yet out of that phase. It has an edgy modern rock feel while being catchy enough so to be on the radio. The first two singles have done well on the radio.
Robert Cavuoto: Tell me about how the band was formed?
Stef: I started the band in 2012 when I moved from Montana to Minnesota. I was going to Music College when I was 17 and realized I wanted to do this for a living. I jammed with a bunch of people; playing shows under the name City of the Weak. We got the right members, reformed our sound over time, and it brought us to who we are today.
Robert Cavuoto: What is the meaning behind the name?
Stef: City of the Weak means we are alone as musicians who are weak and there is not a lot you can do. Together we are important to the group, and it’s what makes us stronger. We are the underdogs because we all went to Music College as most rock bands don’t go to school to study music. We worked at it and became educated in our field to make the best songs that we can. What it means we are the underdogs, but together we are strong to create the city.
Robert Cavuoto: Where do you draw inspiration from when writing songs?
Stef: They are really about life; just going out to the store or for a walk. Thinking about what is going on in my life or what the band is going through. The things that get me worked up or something I can’t stop thinking about. Also, things in the news or on social media. It’s about what I’m passionate about.
Robert Cavuoto: What do you think has been your biggest challenge, both musically and professionally, so far in your career?
Stef: Musically – finding who we are as a group. Going from a 17-year-old to our 20s is the biggest developmental period of our life. Making the transition from being at home in high school to be an adult. From following our parent’s beliefs to having our own beliefs while we look for our place in the world. We are creating music for who we are and the challenges of growing up. You have to find yourself every record. We have it figured out and on the right path.
Professionally – that’s another animal. The hardest thing professionally is just being in the music industry; it’s the biggest garbage industry you can be in [laughing]. There are so many people that don’t know what they’re doing, every industry follows a model, a business plan, or a formula for their business but the music industry doesn’t do that at all. They do what they want to do, and in turn, it doesn’t work. A lot of labels are just throwing mud at the wall hoping something sticks. It’s a big shit show. That’s our biggest obstacle because we are all Type A personalities being organized behind the scenes.
Robert Cavuoto: Tell me about your upcoming tour?
Stef: A band called Echo Black from New York hit us up and asked if we wanted to join their tour and we agreed. We worked with them to each book our respective strongest markets. It was a lot of work, and we booked a 30-day tour with only two days off. We may be in over our heads, but that’s ok [laughing]. We like to play, and we work hard.
Robert Cavuoto: What does success look like to a new band?
Stef: Doing our art every day and seeing it change peoples’ live. It’s not about money obviously. If it were, we wouldn’t be in the music industry. There is no money to be made there.