For Ohio-based alternative rock group Citizen, being the underdog isn’t so bad. The band’s newest album Youth, released by Run for Cover Records this year, hit #171 on Billboard’s Top 200 list only a few weeks ago, as well as #9 on Heatseekers. As they wrap up their first Warped Tour, Citizen is spreading their fan base and making a few memories along the way. Check out our humorous interview with vocalist Mat Jefey and guitarist Nick Hamm as they dish on everything from horror stories to guilty pleasures to how they occupy their downtime.
By Becca Chavoya and Taylor Prewitt
ORANGE: How has your first Warped Tour been so far?
Nick: It’s been great. We all expected us to be an oddball, but lot of people said they came primarily for us. Which is crazy because it’s expensive to get in just to see one band.
ORANGE: Are there any bands on the tour that you look up to?
Nick: We’re friends with a lot of bands here. There’s a decent amount of bands here from Ohio: Hawthorne Heights, Relient K, Like Moths to Flames, Mixtapes. We already knew Mixtapes and a few of the guys from Moths. There are definitely a lot of bands that we we’re sort of friends with, and after the tour we’ve become better friends. That was probably the coolest aspect of the tour.
ORANGE: What is the band community like on Warped Tour?
Nick: It’s sick. Besides playing shows, we pretty much chill all day and get paid to do it.
ORANGE: What do you do in your free time?
Mat: I usually just hang out with The Story So Far and play NHL or Mortal Combat.
ORANGE: Who’s better, you or them?
Mat: I’m the best, by far. I just can’t be beat (he says with a laugh).
Nick: It’s funny, because on our bus I just kill him (Mat) at Mario Kart.
ORANGE: Have you guys been on other tours before?
Nick: This is our first Warped Tour, but in the spring we went on tour with The Story So Far and Man Overboard. That was the first large-scale tour. The biggest venue was 1,200, but it was sold out, so that was crazy. Before that we just did our own thing, smaller tours at punk venues. It’s fun to do things like this that you never know if you’ll be able to do again.
ORANGE: What is your craziest tour story?
Mat: We were in New Jersey and we were having a band meeting. It was really dark and I was mixing a protein shake. I didn’t realize I was mixing it with a piss bottle and I started drinking our bassist’s piss mixed with protein. I couldn’t waste the protein though, so I drank the rest of it.
Nick: It’s not really a horror story, because it was really sweet for the rest of us.
ORANGE: If you could describe your band in one word, what would it be?
Mat: I’d say young also, but I’d probably spell it a little differently. Like, y-u-n-g.
ORANGE: What’s your guilty pleasure song?
Nick: I really like If I Was Your Man by Bruno Mars. It’s probably one of the best songs I’ve heard on the radio in the last five years.
Mat: I really like Dance (A$$) by Big Sean. It makes me wanna dance. And fight.
ORANGE: What are your plans after Warped?
Nick: It’s a secret. I can tell you this: we have a new song that is going to be on a compilation that our friend William is putting together. It’s called Off The Board and it’s coming out Oct. 8th. We’ve heard some of it so far and it’s really sick. We’ll be on tour too, but I can’t spill the beans yet.
Citizen – The Summer