Phillip, Micah and Darah are three talented musicians from Texas, USA and together they are the alternative rock band This City Awaits (or TCA). Read the full in-depth interview below to discover their creative process for creating a track, what they’re currently working on and what it’s like living in Fort Worth, Texas.
Q: If you could classify your music in a genre or a number of genres what would it be?
Generally when people ask we simply answer alternative rock, but we also incorporate modern rock, experimental rock, pop-punk, and hardcore.
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
We are very passionate about living what we preach and we hope that is portrayed through our music.
Q: What is your musical background?
My (Micah’s) musical background starts a long time ago in a galaxy not so far away with my family which included very musical parents including a mother that sings and a dad who plays bass and taught me everything I know. This is generally the case for all of us, this coming from musical families. Also, Darah and I were involved in our school bands, and Phillip has been involved in a number of musical projects mostly with his family members. And we have all been involved in music at our respective churches.
Q: How was 2010 for you?
2010 was the dawning of a new era for us, mostly because we began making music in April of 2010. It required a lot of hard work to get started both to play gigs and also to write music that we could be proud of and that properly expressed us. But thanks to the hard work, 2010 was this creative explosion for us that allowed us to release an EP and build up a following in the Dallas/Ft Worth area.
Q: Who inspires you musically?
Inspirations for us are many and diverse. We are lovers of the simple and acoustic like Jon Foreman to the technical and raucous like For Today and everyone in between such as Thirty Seconds to Mars, House of Heroes, Project 86, Paramore, Blessthefall, and even Katy Perry.
Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
I’m sure as artists we all look up to different people, but for myself personally I look up to House of Heroes for first of all, their skill at all aspects of their music from the many harmonious vocal work to the sudden captivating guitar solos to the groovy bass riffs to the creative drumming. I also look up to them for being very cool and approachable people.
Also, Project 86 and specifically the singer Andrew Schwab whose vocals are versatile and whose writing is provocative and purposeful I idolize for his depth of personality.
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
We’d love to go on tour with Anberlin or that band Sent By Ravens. We’ve done several shows with Spoken. Great people, we’d love to tour with them a little more.
Q: What songs are on your iPod at the moment?
I’m afraid I’m one of those deprived souls who has a generic mp3 player and no iPod, but I do have a portable song player which has been playing “Don’t Bore Us, Get to the Chorus” by Emery, “Devastator” by For Today, and “Different Now” by The Classic Crime.
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
Our process generally always starts within two separate parts of Phillip’s mind. The first part is the part that writes his lyrics and expresses through words. The other is the part that writes guitar riffs and expresses musically. Usually Phillip has been known to disappear and have these two things work either separately or together, but happen within days of each other. He then comes to Darah and I with pretty much the acoustic version of a song. We then find ways to add the more rhythmic aspects of the song, as well as the harmonies and on occasion we’ll rewrite parts, but the main process is Darah and I building on a foundation largely created by Phillip.
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
Obviously the best thing to have is the perfect blending of those two things. If I had to pick between the two, I would say that lyrics are more important. The message behind a song is what makes people relate to it in the end.
Q: Where are you based?
We are based in FW part of the DFW (Dallas/Ft Worth) area of the great state of Texas.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Being from Texas in general is awesome. Being from Ft Worth is a lot of fun because Ft Worth has a very rich culture. There’s so many places to hear music. However, you only want to listen to music inside because if I can be awkward and talk about the weather for a minute, it is ridiculously hot here.
Q: What are you currently working on?
We are currently working on promoting our new album, Code Red: Urgency, which we released in June of this year. This means lots of shows and lots of pushing the album. Have you gotten a copy yet?
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
There have been many high points, but I would say that our career highlight would have to be our concert in January with House of Heroes in front of nearly 300 people. The crowd at that show was wild and, for us, huge. Not to mention we met a lot of cool people that night and got amazing reviews for our music and show.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?
2011 for us is all about Code Red: Urgency and building our fan base. We want to do all that we can to make sure as many people as possible have heard of This City Awaits. We’ve been keeping ourselves busy playing lots of shows. We’ve also got a couple songs for free download over at our Facebook so everyone can have a couple songs and hopefully after being blown away by those they’ll buy the whole album.
Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?
Yes, we do. First of all, we have a tour with some friends of ours called Shattered Pain. It’s starting in Texas and going all the way up to Tennessee where they live. That’s from August 17th through the 23rd.
Then we have a show on September 3rd with the band Parabelle that will be amazing, I’m sure. But of course, we love playing shows so we’re excited about all of them.
Q: What do you do to relax?
I’m a big movie buff, so I love watching just about any film I can get my hands on (except horror movies cause they make me cry). Phillip and I have actually been working our way through that tv show 24. We’re hooked. Phillip’s a big video game person and Darah likes to play with her dogs a lot.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
If you took the time to read this we want to do something special for you. You can get 50% off a shirt by emailing Phillip this code “TCA Rocks” his email is Phillip@thiscityawaits.com
Editor’s Note: Commercial vocals and memorable melodies definitely make This City Awaits one of Song Revelation’s “Bands to Watch” in 2011.
If you’d like to contact or check out more of This City Await’s musical material, just follow the links below:
Twitter link: www.twitter.com/thiscityawaits
Facebook link: www.facebook.com/thiscityawaits
Myspace link: www.myspace.com/thiscityawaits
Web page link: www.thiscityawaits.com
Reverbnation link: www.reverbnation.com/thiscityawaits