Cities Apart
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Cities Apart

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"The Freshmen"

When I met up with the guys from Cities Apart at the Charlotte, NC Warped Tour stop, I was surprised that I actually knew where the backstage press area was before they did. Once we all convened there, Jacki and I were treated to the feeling of being seasoned pros at this business, knowing where we could and couldn’t go, who to step out of the way to let pass, etc. But it gave us a look into the type of guys they are: laid back, easy to talk to, just…real.


The Columbia, SC natives played only one date for Warped this summer on the Hot Topic stage, but I speak from experience when I say that they rocked the house with fill in bassist Drew LeClair. With their upbeat sound, strong melodies, and catchy hooks, the guys (now with permanent bass man Jake Yoon) had the crowd jumping and singing along with Jeff Smith’s powerful vocals. I’m not sure how many had heard of them before that day, but I know for a fact that their fan base has since grown due to the exposure that their Warped date provided. Here’s what they have to say about being Warped freshmen, and their upcoming album, Anniversary...

S!: What was your favorite thing about playing Warped?

Kiel Brink (guitar): Mine was personally all the bands we got to meet and look up to on a day to day basis...I guess it really helped with networking.

Jeff Smith (lead vocals): Watching Red Jumpsuit [Apparatus] from back stage…and having all access passes

Andy Hipp (guitar): My favorite thing about playing Warped was that we got to meet a lot of cool people including the two girls from SHOUT!...It was a great experience overall.

Eric Witteborg (drums): Everything about it was great for me. It was our first Warped Tour not only as a band, but as fans too. So it was a good first Warped experience overall.



S!: What made you want to play Warped?

Kiel: I think what really turned us on about playing Warped Tour is it's something we've all wanted to do, and all wanted to go to, and we didn't think any of our first times there would be our first time going AND first time playing, which it was for all of us.

Andy: I think just the simple fact of Warped Tour being so popular and getting our name out there to thousands of people who are interested in the same type of music we are is why I wanted to play Warped.



S!: Tell us a story about something crazy that happened while at Warped.

Andy: Do we have a crazy story?

Kiel: We helped build the stage!

Jeff: We had to help build the stage that we played on because there was no one there to build it. If we hadn't built the stage, we wouldn't have played.

Kiel : …and by we, we mean me and Eric.

Eric: We helped put it together because their crew didn't show up.

Jake: If you build it they will come!



S!: Recommend us a lesser-known band on the tour.

Eric: The Sunstreak

Andy: Motion City Soundtrack. They were awesome! But yeah definitely The Sunstreak.

Kiel: All Time Low.

Jeff: Valencia…oh yeah, The Sunstreak definitely!

Eric: We met them at the hotel we stayed at…

Andy: They were the first band we met at our hotel, and they gave us a lot of pointers about Warped Tour. He had curly hair like me so we got along.



S!: Who isn't on the tour that you wish was?

Andy: Kiel wants Saosin.

Kiel: Yes.

Jeff: They were, just not that date. I would have liked to see Bayside there.

Eric: I'd go with Saosin too, probably.

Andy: I'd go with Paramore because they didn't play our date and I really wanted to see them live...again.



S!: You have an album coming out. Tell us about it.

Andy: The new album is going to be called Anniversary, coming out mid November.

Kiel: It’s a culmination of everything we've done in the past year.



S!: What about the songs, tell us about them?

Kiel: Basically they are about events from the past year? Is that accurate?

Eric: Yeah, we lost a close friend / fan.

Kiel: Yeah, she was a close friend of the band, was at every home show.

Andy: Yeah she was awesome...she helped us out by telling people about our shows at the local high school and bringing a lot of people out there.



S!: Is there a song about her? Which one?

Kiel: Yup, number two on the album.



S!: I also hear that there might be an acoustic track?

Jeff: Probably no acoustic track.

Kiel: …but not completely out of the question.

Jake: But a rap song yes.

Kiel: [laughs] Maybe a bonus rap song on MySpace for a day!

Eric: Rap song will be released later on, for sure.



(You can visit the guys on MySpace or their new site, and look for their tour, running from November 15th through December 12th!) - SHOUT! Magazine


Discography

EPs

"Anniversary" EP (to be released November 15, 2006)

DEMOS

Cities Apart (Self titled demo 2005)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Building a stage at Warped Tour 06’ in 100+ degree weather is no easy task - especially without a stage crew at hand. So when the star struck outfit of Cities Apart showed up this year at their Charlotte date at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, they gladly jumped in to lend a helping hand to construct the Hot Topic stage they would be playing on later that day. Reflecting on the blur of events in the past 9 months since their inception, it’s no wonder that Cities Apart has quickly created a rapidly-growing buzz in cities across the nation.

Cities Apart was formed in late August of 2005, comprised of guitarists Andy Hipp, Kiel Brink, and drummer Eric Witteborg. After finalizing their first official lineup in October of 2005, with the additions of vocalist Jeff Smith and bassist Shawn Kottmeyer, the band was ready to begin perfecting their live show. First recordings and early demos were met with resounding popular success, gaining them thousands of plays and fans on myspace, label interest, and receiving a large amount local and regional support.

After headlining many local and a few regional shows, gaining even more exposure via myspace and self promotion, the band delved back into writing new material, in hopes of putting out an EP in the latter part of 2006. In the middle of the process, they were offered a spot on the Hot Topic stage for the Charlotte date of the 2006 Van’s Warped Tour. Writing the then-unnamed EP was to be put on hold to prepare for the show. In the midst of getting ready, there was an amicable split with bassist Shawn Kottmeyer, who left the band for personal reasons. Drew LeClair, the band’s engineer, would go on to fill in at Warped Tour. Hundreds upon hundreds of demos and flyers were passed out before and after the band’s set, resulting in a large crowd during the show and mass influx of emails, plays, and comments to the band’s myspace site the following weeks. The band even began to network with some of the biggest acts on the tour, including Armor for Sleep, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and Gym Class Heroes, just to name a few.

Upon returning from Warped, the band got right back to work on their EP, now entitled “Anniversary” due to the significance of the events that had happened to them as a family over the course of the past year. It was at this point it was decided to book an east coast tour starting the day of their CD release. After many tryouts and much deliberation, the band chose Kingsport, TN native Jake Yoon to permanently fill the position for bass. The chemistry was immediate, and the lineup was now complete again. Thus begins the final stages of completing their first album, as well as booking their first tour. The band now hopes to spark label interest with the release, and continue to write, record, and tour professionally as to make this their career.

THE SOUND of Cities Apart is an eclectic one. Each member of the band has their own style and musical ambition. However, the band as a whole has definitely constructed a distinctive sound that recognizably multifaceted. Drawing influences from a deep well of rock, pop, and post-hardcore, the band has a listener friendly sound while remaining devastatingly unique. Guitarists Kiel and Andy mix and match their powerful and melodic riffs with Jeff’s strong, yet hauntingly catchy vocals, while Eric and Jake provide the core of the sound on drums and bass.

THE ALBUM entitled “Anniversary” is a amalgam of the events, both good and bad, of the past year that have affected the band on a personal and professional level. It is, in a sense, a closer look at the band’s inner circle. From getups to breakdowns, the album aims to tell a story of the hardships and also the advancements that the band has come to know over the past 12 months. The 6-song debut EP “Anniversary” is slated for a November 15th release with a tour in support to follow.

THE LIVE EXPERIENCE of Cities Apart can simply be described as energetic and fun. Powerful onstage performances keep the crowd entertained and involved at all times, as well as catchy sing-along vocal arrangements. The guys aim to steal the show with their performance each and every time they play, pouring their hearts into every single song they belt out each night, and it shows.