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CITIZENS!: Interview

We spoke with keyboardist and guitarist Lawrence Diamond from London-based indie-pop outfit CITIZENS!. The Parklife music festival act has some weird shit in-store for their Australian performances.

Where are you and what are you wearing? I am currently backstage at a festival called Pont Du Gard in the south of France. We just saw Metronomy who were amazing, and The Kills are on right now in the background. I’m wearing a pair of brown brogues with navy blue socks. I got my classic Levi 501s on with a black and white polka-dot shirt from a company called Vanishing Elephant, who do some lovely stuff. I was very lucky to have been given this one actually (laughs).

Congrats on the release of your debut album. How is the ride to fame so far? Yeah, thanks. It is a never-ending roller-coaster. We call it the ‘flaming roller-coaster’ because it’s just like a big runaway train that has been set on fire and pushed off the edge of a cliff, whilst we hang on for dear life. But it has been really exciting, creative and fulfilling in so many ways. Also, there’s loads of free booze. That helps everyone (laughs).

We’ve been a fan of ‘True Romance’ for quite sometime now. We first came across its music video, which features footage from Indian movie Pasivadi Pranam. It looks like that dance was choreographed for the song! Oh man, I’ve got to confess, you’ve really done your research here. No one has done enough research on that. We usually say that it’s wedding footage that we found in a friend’s family wedding album (laughs). Clearly, that’s not going to cut it with you (laughs). What actually happened was, we were putting together a fan video of Bollywood kisses just for fun, and we thought we’d put some Bollywood dancing in there too. So we played this one movie and about 2 minutes in, we were like “oh my god this is weird and totally unreal.” We tried it with the song a few times and it just worked so amazingly well. What I like about it is that it seems to capture something of the song. Like it’s quite insane but I also find it quite moving as well (laughs).

Do have anything special planned for your Australian Parklife tour? I think Tom (vocalist) might try and turn into a reptile completely (laughs). We are definitely working on some sort of reptilian transformation. That may just involve make-up or it could mean giant suits made of fake lizard skin. We really want to put on a great show and impress (laughs). It’s all in the design phase at the moment but it’s going to make Batman’s new outfit look really last year (laughs). Actually, we watched the Superbowl a couple of weeks ago and Madonna’s half-time show was pretty good, so we may try to emulate that one (laughs).

Are there any other acts on the Parklife bill that you are looking forward to checking out? Yeah, I’m really looking forward to catching Chairlift. You will probably find me side of stage with my jaw firmly planted on the floor. I love that band. I’m also looking forward to seeing Tame Impala. We did a few shows with Pond earlier this year in London, so it will be great to hang with those guys again.

Late September will see the arrival of CITIZENS! for this year’s Parklife festival. Whilst in Oz, they have lined-up a few sideshows. Click here for all tour dates.

Here is the above mentioned music video for hit single ‘True Romance,’ featuring footage taken from 1987 Bollywood film Pasivadi Pranam:

We end with ‘Reptile’ – the track that has inspired their live stage costumes:

CitizensCitizens.com | Parklife.com

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