• Wednesday , 19 September 2018

Get To Know – City On Down

SCMG – Who are the members of your band?

Greg Keys- Lead Vocalist/Pianist, Ian Giancursio- Vocalist/Drummer, Alden Sayre- Guitar, and Rob Corrigan- Bass.

SCMG – What genre do you consider yourself?

We consider ourselves under the Synth Pop/Alternative Genre. We compare ourselves to bands like The 1975 and Imagine Dragons. We try and incorporate original instrumentation alongside newer synth sounds to create an upbeat, pop-friendly style of music that is publicly appealing both in sound and lyrics. We believe we have a relatable story and want our music to express that.

SCMG – What was your biggest accomplishment in 2017?

Our biggest accomplishment was forming our group and really getting the beginning of our upcoming EP started. 2017 was an amazing year that saw us win two awards at the Independent Tone Awards as well as perform at the Charleston Music Confab. We firmly believe that our new EP will be a big hit and every second we spend in the studio recording it seems like a blessing. We are extremely excited for its release and are thankful for what we’ve accomplished after coming together as a group just last July of 2017.

SCMG – What are your plans for 2018?

We have a lot in store for this year, with our biggest plans revolving around the release of our EP Late March/Early April. We will be releasing a music video for our song All on You leading up to it, and then we will have an incredible EP release event featuring some of Charleston’s top artists with us headlining and performing our new music for all our fans. Immediately following that we begin our Southeast Summer Tour, with plans of a College Tour in the works for the Fall Season. 2018 has so much in store for us, it really is our first big year integrating ourselves as a popular upcoming band and we couldn’t be more ecstatic for what this year has to offer.

SCMG – Where and when can we find you?

We have several upcoming shows scheduled: We currently can be seen downtown at King Street Public House every Saturday night at 10 PM, where we play a really high energy and exciting set that’s truly allowing us to get our name out into the Charleston scene. We’re scheduling more shows as we speak, so stay tuned for more dates!

SCMG – Who would you consider your biggest local influence?

It’s impossible to say who is our “biggest” influence; we have several local musical influences that shape our approach and sound. One would have to be Stoplight Observations, as their experimentation and diversity inspires us to create and take risks. Watching their growth and success really gives us insight into which steps to take on this journey. Two other huge influences are Mark Bryan and Darius Rucker. Obviously anyone from Charleston knows them, and it’s so awesome to see the impact they continue to have on the music scene here. Watching their rise from Charleston to national fame shows us the endless potential we have, and learning from their experiences will definitely help to shape our journey.

SCMG – What would they say about you?

We’re still working our way into the local music scene here, and we’ve met Stoplight as well as many other local bands such as SondorBlue, Little Stranger and Glass Mansions. We’d hope they would say that we’re an exciting and engaging band whose joy and passion really shines through in our music, and that we capture the audience just by being ourselves and letting our fun-loving personalities take over.

SCMG – Who would you like to work with but haven’t yet had the chance?

We really would love the opportunity to work with local artists like Stoplight Observations and SondorBlue. We admire their work ethic and the polish of their performances. It would also be incredible to play with Little Stranger, as we feel their general style and vibe fits extremely well with the energy and personality we infuse our music and performances with.

SCMG – What are your favorite albums of all time from any musician?

Ian- One of my favorite albums is Led Zeppelin IV. It’s just such an incredible mix of classic songs by one of my favorite bands that showcases how talented and pioneering Led Zeppelin was. I also give an obvious nod to The Beatles with Seargeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. That album is just so different and experiments with new forms of recording, sound, and technology that was so revolutionary. And musically the Beatles were so far ahead of their time it’s incredible. Thriller is easily a favorite of mine: nearly every single song on it is a classic hit and there’s not a more iconic artist than MJ. I loved Kanye’s debut College Dropout; he blasted into the rap game so powerfully and his artistry is ridiculous. I still vibe to that and Late Registration today. And my favorite band is South Carolina’s own Needtobreathe, so I’ve gotta say my favorite album of theirs which is The Outsiders. I love everything about them: what they stand for, their message, and their whole mission as a group.

Greg- My favorite album of all time would have to be the all-time hits of Frank Sinatra. Something about his voice and his swagger always made me feel like it was a blessing to hear him sing. He’s timeless and I really hope the modern generation still takes interest in legends like him and Nat King Cole. Another favorite would be Thriller by Michael Jackson, obvious choice but he changed the game with that record. He brought in a whole new style of popular music and redefined the idea of a multitalented superstar. The world hadn’t seen a true pop star like that since Elvis Presley.

Alden- My favorite all-time favorite album would be The Velvet Underground & Nico. Velvet Underground’s sounds they used in 1967 can be attributed to millions of new innovative ways bands today sound and the birthplace of all alternative music. No one used guitar feedback as a key instrument in their songs until the Velvet Underground. Moving a bit later in time, I have to agree with Ian that Led Zeppelin IV was so pioneering and was the first album I learned (or attempted to learn) every guitar solo on that album. I am also a huge fan of new wave and emulate a lot of the same guitar effects heard in “Disintegration” by the Cure, along with the movement of Joy Division into New Order. My favorite album of the early 2000’s is by far “Is this it” by the Strokes, and Rob and I share the same love of “The Days We Had” by Day Wave. As a synth-pop nerd, I would have to go with “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming” by M83 as one of the best.

Rob- A personal long-time favorite of mine is “Temple of the Dog” (self-titled). It’s essentially a supergroup combining Soundgarden and Pearl Jam, and was released prior to either band becoming famous. Not only is the album a memorial to the late Andrew Wood (Pearl Jam’s original vocalist), which you can feel with the album, but it also servers a precursor to that 90’s grunge/alt rock sound which I loved and grew up on. My most favorite recent albums are “The Days We Had” by Day Wave and “Antisocialities” by Alvvays. Both artists are incredible and bring a modern take on some vintage guitar and synth effects. Occasionally I delve into Hip-Hop, and hands down my favorite album there is “Like Water for Chocolate” by Common. Old school bars and spacey, yet tight beats by the master J Dilla.

SCMG – If you could meet any of your favorite musicians, who would you choose and why?

Ian – Hard to choose just one, but I would’ve loved to meet Michael Jackson. Some say he just made “Pop” music, but it was so impactful and spoke to millions of people. His love for others and spreading joy to everyone is exactly what I want from my music career. I’d also want to just to try to get inside his head and learn his creative process, how he created and built such incredible songs and then translated them into even better, out-of-this-world performances.

Greg- I would have to choose Frank Sinatra, I would have a ton of questions to ask and things to learn, so hopefully I would make it count. His knowledge, confidence, and style is something to be admired.

Rob- I would go with David Bowie. The way he defied an era, graced the stage with such style and talent, and went against the norms made him both a genius and a legend. It would be great to talk to him.

Alden- I would choose John Mayer. He’s kind of a muse for me as a guitarist, his ability to blend his style into the genre of popular music makes him a true original and an incredible talent. We’d jam a little and talk about his experiences with Dead and Co.

Stephanie Smith
A lifetime of music addiction and appreciation has led Stephanie to her passion of live music photography and the entertainment industry. Having a particular interest in exceptional guitar work, she is best known for introducing her kids to Steve Vai’s and Yngwie Malmsteen’s talent in an effort to promote musical discovery to a new generation.

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