City of Heroes
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City of Heroes

Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa | MAJOR

Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa | MAJOR
Band Rock




"City of heroes – The Great Unknown - Bright Beginnings"

First impressions are not everything, but it helps to make an impact when your debut includes top-notch packaging and a DVD that includes a documentary featurette, music videos and acoustic versions of some of the songs.

6/10 CITY OF HEROES – THE GREAT UNKNOWN (LAMININ)? - First impressions are not everything, but it helps to make an impact when your debut includes top-notch packaging and a DVD that includes a documentary featurette, music videos and acoustic versions of some of the songs.

The imagery in the packaging and some of the song titles – The Masquerade, The Illusion, Whales & Wonders and The Great Unknown – suggest a concept built around the dark mystery of a travelling fair and its bizarre characters.

The style of the music the band perform – think the wordy, emo punk-rock of someone like Panic At The Disco – doesn’t allow for as full an explanation of such a theme as, for instance, the murky musings of a Tom Waits, but for that reason and others the project stands out in terms of freshness and ambition.

12 April 2011 | BRUCE DENNILL - The Citizen

"Next Big Thing – City of Heroes"

Genre: Post Punk/ Rock

Hometown: Pretoria

Years Performing: 1

Drink of Choice (for each member):

•Karl Müller (guitar and vocals) – Coffee
•Jéan Lombard (guitar and screams) – Hunters Gold
•Bernard Fisher (bass) – Iron Brew
•Stephen Wallace (drums and backing vocals) – Castle

“City of Heroes” is a pretty unique name for a band, which I guess is the point, but what’s the story behind it? Does it have anything to do with the online game City of Heroes?

Before doing anything musically we spoke a lot about what we wanted to do and say with this new band and how we would portray that in all aspects. We wanted to create something that was bigger than just the music. Through our music, we aim to create a culture and lifestyle that encourages self-belief and positive thinking as well as portray a message of hope.

So when it came to finding a name we wanted something that not just anyone could have. It had to portray that message of hope and have a larger-than-life feel. “City of Heroes” has that big feeling we wanted and was also a name that we could do a lot with, not only musically but also through other creative outlets.

The resemblance to the game is purely coincidental, we only found out about it after we launched.

Best gig you’ve played?

The George show of our “Storm the Coast Tour” on 7 January 2011; this was the penultimate show of our 6-show tour and each show got progressively better and better. This one was the best of the lot and the crowd were going crazy, singing along and getting really excited.

Is being City of Heroes a full-time job or are you only rock stars at night?

At this stage we all still have full-time day jobs, but hopefully that will change soon. Karl runs his own recording studio (Alive Recording Studios), Jéan is a graphic designer and also runs his own clothing label (New Hope Clothing), Stephen has his own illustration and design company (Wallace Illustration and Design) and Bernard works as an accountant.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever received for free just for being in a band?

Steri Stumpies.

How do you think you guys compare on an international scale?

We are definitely right up there. We worked really hard on the idea and music for City of Heroes for about 2 years before actually starting to play. We learnt a lot about the music industry; we are looking at the bigger picture and doing everything we can to achieve what we want.

We take professionalism very seriously and as a result we’ve found more people are taking us seriously and we’re doing all we can to be heard internationally as well as at home. Two of our singles have played on Rogues Radio an online UK-based station.

How do you think the rest of the world feels about South African talent?

I don’t think the world really knows what South Africa has to offer yet. Obviously with international bands coming over to play [the likes of] Oppikoppi and RAMfest, they are starting to get more of a feel for what we have to offer but there is still a lot that they haven’t seen.

Tell us about your new album?

The Great Unknown is an 11 track album and also comes with a DVD [featuring] a behind-the-scenes look at the start of the band.

The idea behind the name is a theme that runs throughout all our songs on the album; if you want to achieve something you have to venture into “The Great Unknown” and be brave enough to go for what you want, believe in yourself and push yourself to be great.

The whole album was recorded and mixed by Karl at Alive Recording Studios [and] we spent a lot of time on pre-production. We recorded the songs and worked on them until we were happy and then re-recorded everything.

Our approach to writing the music for this album was not to limit ourselves to a specific genre [but to] open ourselves up to any influences we come across to make something completely new, something that even we hadn’t heard before.

What do you think you need to do/ have to make it in the SA music industry?

Hard work. But you also need to have something unique about your band; you have to offer people something more than just music.

What makes you proudly South African?

The content of our music as well as our message is just as relevant to South African’s as anyone else in the world. The social and political context of our country can leave a lot of people with feelings of negativity and hopelessness. We want people to see that there is more that they can do, for themselves and for others. Hope, positivity and self-belief are what we’re about and what we want to share with others.

What’s the one thing you wouldn’t do to succeed?

Make music that we hate just to sell albums or get signed somewhere, because then you lose the whole point of it all.

Interview by Bronwyn Westmore - Locally Whipped Magazine

"City of Heroes nie bang vir onbekende"

Die debuut-album van die punk-rock-band City of Heroes van Pretoria, The Great Unknown, is vandag op die rak en beslis die luister werd. Clarissa Grobler vertel hoekom jy dié band moet dophou.

City of Heroes se punk-rock-wortels lê diep. Dié groep, vertel Jean Lombard, kitaarspeler, was eers vier jaar saam as Just About Done en het min of meer in 2008 aan die konsep van City of Heroes begin werk.

"Ons het mooi gedink oor wat ons as band wou sê en doen, en toe verlede jaar in Junie die band amptelik ge-launch," sê Jean.
"Ons het ook vooraf besluit oor die image van die groep, sodat dit strook met die musiek wat ons maak en die boodskap wat ons uitdra en wie ons is.

"Ons push onsself om in daardie mindset te bly van positiewe musiek maak."
Hoewel die groep se musiek 'n sterk positiewe boodskap dra, vertel Jean dat dit nie noodwendig gospelmusiek is nie.
"Ons wil deur ons musiek positivity en self belief by mense inspireer.
"Ons het maar nog altyd 'n punk-rock-vibe gehad en word ook geïnspireer deur ouens in dié genre soos Blink 182 en My Chemical Romance.

"Nog 'n groot inspirasie is die energie van die musiek en die invloed daarvan. 'n Band soos Angels & Airwaves is ook vir ons 'n groot inspirasie omdat dit daardie epic gevoel in die musiek het."

'n DVD is ook deel van die volledige pakket van die groep se debuutalbum.
Dié DVD sluit musiekvideo's, meer oor die groep, 'n dokkie en akoestiese sessies in.

Die musiekvideo's is indrukwekkend. Die eerste, vir "Traces of Light", se boodskap is dié van uit jou comfort zone beweeg om ander te help en die kleiner goedjies in die lewe te waardeer.
Vir "Thief in the night" het Brendon Barnes, bekende tromspeler van CrashCarBurn, die regie gehanteer. In die video kom die band se lede voor as verskillende karakters.

Karl Müller, die groep se kitaarspeler en sanger, is 'n eksentrieke verkoper en storieverteller; Jean 'n boodskapper van goeie nuus; Bernard Fisher, die bassist, 'n uitvinder en wetenskaplike; en Stephen Wallace, die tromspeler, 'n avontuurlustige.

Jean vertel dat die ouens waarskynlik oor 'n paar maande nog 'n musiekvideo gaan maak.
"Vir ons is die groot boodskap met die nuwe album dat jy nie moet bang wees om in die great ­unknown in te gaan nie, anders gaan jy nie kan bereik wat jy moet bereik nie."

Besoek die groep se blad op Facebook vir meer inligting. Die groep se album-bekendstelling is op 19 Maart in Tings 'n
Times in Hatfield en hy speel saam met Finding Forever en We Shall Embrace.

Deur: Clarissa Grobler | Maandag 07 Maart 2011 55:30

"City Of Heroes – The Great Unknown"

Sergio reviews City of Heroes’ The Great Unknown.

Artist Name: City of Heroes
Album Name: The Great Unknown
Year: 2011
Genre: Post-Punk
Label: Independent

I honestly don’t think I’ve ever received a better local debut release than City of Heroes’ The Great Unknown. From the press kit to the album artwork to the actual production of the CD/DVD package, the boys from COH have proven to me that they aren’t just talented musicians, but also shrewd marketers. Considering that the band only officially launched in June 2010, this release shows that they’re already miles ahead of many of their contemporaries.

The album is labelled as post-punk, but it really is so much more than that. The basis of the band’s sound is definitely cemented in punk and alternative rock roots, but it’s the additional elements and traces of Jersey pogo punk (think of The Bouncing Souls and their “bouncy” characteristic), post-hardcore and folk that sets them apart from other local bands. To boot, guitarist/vocalist Karl Müller must’ve been exchanging mouthwash with Ben Kowalewicz from Billy Talent or something, because these two dudes sound like they came from the same sonic womb.

Fun, fun, fun is the order of the day on The Great Unknown, as this collection of songs will indisputably make you dance, skank, mosh and beg the barman for more drinks. Although, that’s not saying this is a one-night-in-a-bottle-of-brandy (suck on that, Paris Hilton) album, because, in reality, it’s a carefully calculated and well-thought out effort from a bunch of guys who knew what they were doing – it’s terrifically fun, yet every song still paints vivid imagery. The musical formula and structure might be awfully simple, but the songwriting is pure genius. The residing quality of tracks such as ‘Keeping Afloat’, ‘Thief in the Night’, ‘Traces of Light’ and ‘The Thought That Keeps Us Going’ cannot be understated; they are exceptional and hauntingly beautiful pieces of music.

The Great Unknown permeates with an underlying message of hope and positivity, and I can’t help but think the same of this band’s future. It’s official; after hearing The Great Unknown, City of Heroes are my new favourite local band.

Best Tracks: ‘The Illusion’, ‘Keeping Afloat’, ‘Thief in the Night’, and ‘The Thought That Keeps Us Going’


- Sergio Pereira - Music Review


The Great Unknown (2011)



Imagine a place where it’s never too late to believe. Where dreams can be followed. Where you find strength you’ve never known. Where the brave know what it’s like to truly live. A place that inspires hope. Welcome to the CITY OF HEROES.

Through our music we aim to encourage a culture of self-belief and positive thinking.

“Here we have a band that offers pure authenticity. City of Heroes has the makings of something epic.” Locally Whipped Magazine

City of Heroes along with our first single, “Traces of Light” launched to a great reception in June 2010. Interest grew rapidly with “likes” to our Facebook page and views to our Youtube videos.

“Traces of Light“ and “Thief in the Night”, the first two singles of our debut album, is playlisted on TuksFM, PukFM, KovsiesFM, MFM and has also played on Rogue Radio, an Online Station based in the UK. Traces of Light reached the no 3 position on TuksFM's Most Wanted Top 20 Chart as well as no 24 on their Top 107 played songs of 2010. Both music videos are also playlisted on MK. The “Thief in the Night” video, which we filmed with Brendan Barnes from Crash Car Burn was added to the A (high) rotation on MK and the M-Net HD channel, it was received extremely well by everyone. Our EPK is also playlisted on SABC 2.

For our debut album release entitled “The Great Unknown”, we signed up with Brettian Productions / Laminin Entertainment on the distribution and licensing for the album which was released nationwide in March 2011.

In Jan 2011 we toured from East London to Cape Town on the "Storm the Coast" tour with Don't Panic (Ex Finkelsteins) and Irvine. We also recently toured to down Natal on the "Seasons Wither" tour with THE NARROW and Knave.

Sergio Pereira from Music Review said “I honestly don’t think I’ve ever received a better local debut release than City of Heroes’ The Great Unknown. It’s a carefully calculated and well-thought out effort from a bunch of guys who knew what they were doing – it’s terrifically fun, yet every song still paints vivid imagery. The musical formula and structure might be awfully simple, but the songwriting is pure genius.”

The Narrow, Knave, Dance You're On Fire, Fire Through The Window, We Shall Embrace, Don't Panic (Ex Finkelsteins), Apollo 7 etc.

New Hope Clothing (Other artists on their list include The Narrow and Crash Car Burn)

Jéan Lombard
+2772 435 7793