EXCLUSIVE: Citizens talk SuperBowl XLVIII + Album II

by Sam Robinson

The Super Bowl isn’t something that Australians really get into. I had this realisation the other day as I was preparing for my radio show, The Watercooler. The Super Bowl airs live here on free-to-air television, but the lack of understanding of the game, and the airing of local ads rather than the multi-million dollar ones in the States means low interest.

Seeing that the Seattle Seahawks made Super Bowl XLVIII, I reached out to Seattle native Zach Bolen of Citizens for an explanation of the game. Little did I know that the band were in the last 36 hours of recording their second album, and that Seahawks fan and album producer Brian Eichelberger would join in, all in the middle of recording in the Mars Hill Music studio.

What was going to be solely a sports report turned into a very fun and loose chat about the game, Bruno Mars, Dorito hats, buffalos, and an exclusive peek into what to expect on Citizens Album #2. Considering you voted Citizens’ self-titled debut album your favourite of 2013, you might be interested to read what they shared.

On the Seahawks playing Super Bowl XLVIII:

BRIAN: Clearly it’s going to be the Seattle Seahawks this year.

SAM: I know you guys are obviously Seahawks fans, but what’s the word on the street about who might win?

BRIAN: The only word on the street is Seattle Seahawks. It’s going to be a great game. Basically the Seattle Seahawks have the number one defense in the NFL, and the Denver Broncos have the number one offense in the NFL so it’s going to be an exciting game for sure.

ZACH: The other thing you gotta keep in mind too is there’s a big thing here called the twelfth man, which is basically all of Seattle representing the twelfth man out in the field as far as just going crazy. So, the last game, they were breaking records for crowd noise. Seattle fans are pretty insane even if they don’t like football, they just go crazy and start burning stuff… I’ve heard some people refer to it as ‘the body’ which is a little crazy right there… You are part of the team.

Also, Zach and Brian let loose some information about what we can expect from Citizens’ forthcoming second album:

ZACH: We’re tracking vocals right now. We’re trying something a little bit different for this record and other Mars Hill Music records moving forward. And that’s that we’re trying to not throw so many original songs on an album. One of the things we’ve really seen that’s been a really cool thing in our churches is to be able to arrange or re-write a lot of old hymns, but also just an effort to support a lot of the great songs that have been written at Mars Hill or are being written. So we wanted to record some of those too as new arrangements.

So you’ll hear some originals, you’ll hear some hymn rewrites, some just hymn arrangements. We’re doing an arrangement of Oh! Great is Our God! by The Sing Team – the band that Brian leads. The Gospel will be another one, by Ghost Ship, we’re doing an arrangement of that. They’re both pretty fun. It’s going to be a lot of that kind of stuff. We just want it to be as much of a resource as possible to the church.

Hear more about the album, and Super Bowl, by listening to the entire chat with Zach and Brian below:

The yet-to-be-named second album from Citizens will be released later in 2014. We can expect to hear a lead single from the album in the coming months.

Related articles:

Interview: Citizens – Citizens (2013)

Interview: Citizens – Repeat the Sounding Joy EP (2013)


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