Sunday, December 17, 2006


City Electric is a Chicago band with great potential and a promising EP - Five Easy Pieces - to boot. Scott Schaafsma tells us a little more about City Electric...

Why an EP instead of a full-length album?

We decided to record the EP first even though we had enough good songs for a full record. We want to save the full length for a larger unified statement. That’s why so many of our live staples did not make the EP. We were a trio at the time of recording and it was done mostly live with no pro-tools or computer in three days so we wanted to clearly document a sound we were excited about during the recording without disturbing our large plans for the full-length. However I will say that we’re most proud of what lies in the details of Five Easy Pieces. On first listen it’s a straightforward solid listen. But I believe repeated listenings will prove there’s more than meets the ear.

What do you hope to achieve with the EP?

Something classic but not cliché and unconventional. We don’t imagine City Electric as a short-term indie fad band. We’d like our records to sit on the same side of the shelf as the ones you’d never sell back no matter what music you’re currently into. You’re keeping ‘Teenage Riot’ You’re keeping ‘Sticky Fingers’ If in a few months you’re selling ‘Be Your Own Pet’ or ‘This Band has a Name that is Long and Obtuse Perhaps You’ve Forgotten’ we don’t want to go with it.

What would you say are the primary inspirations for the writing and recording of the songs?

All these songs were written on guitars tuned from modifications on Nick Drake or John Fahey acoustic tunings. Five Easy Pieces, much like the movie its named after, is a about quietly loving people and places and quietly letting them go –without the proper celebration. Whether it a girl, God or a bedroom in a city.

The recording process was directly influenced by a lot of our heroes in-and-out of the studio in a few days, first recordings. Just bare bones. Sonically, we were after similar sounds as Jeremy’s recordings with O’Rourke, etc. We love those records.

'Quiet Life" is more immediate than the other tracks, almost a melodic pop ballad, how does that sit with the stated experimental slant of the band? Is there even a conflict at all?

Good question. That is the conflict that drives City Electric. If you have something to say chances are people have heard it before. However, if you can find the right way to say it maybe someone will listen. The concepts on a City Electric record (or any rock record for that matter) aren’t new but we’d like to think folks might hear ‘em and relate cause we’re constantly searching experimenting for the best way to say ‘em. That’s City Electric in a handshake.

Where does City Electric go from here?

To the topper most of the poppermost, Kevin. Thanks for askin’.

More about City Electric at

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