December 3, 2018 Interview – Jordan Wright of City of Sound
In music, there is sometimes a stagnancy where everything starts to sound the same. The result of following the wave of whatever is popular at the time, identities are lost, originality is thin, and the people yearn for something new. That is where a completely independent band such as City of Sound come in, ready to do things their own way. Very much in the Alternative Rock realm, City of Sound may not be a household name just yet, but with a passionate, emotional sound filled with ambiance and melody, they are certainly on the rise.
Led by Jordan Wright, together with Andrew Leigh and Lacey Ammar, they create a wall of sound that is both lively and unique to what others are doing at this time. So, the question is, are you ready for change? Anxious to make their next big move, Vocalist/Keyboardist Jordan Wright sat down to talk the premise behind the band’s sound, what to expect from their forthcoming debut album, Silent Empire, plus more.
CrypticRock.com – City of Sound is an exciting, relatively new band out of Southern California. Being this is an introduction to many, tell us a little bit of the backstory behind the band’s formation.
Jordan Wright – I moved out to LA to start my own band and to write and produce for some artists. I had been looking for people for about three years when I met Andrew sleeping on the balcony of an apartment that I was sleeping on the floor of! (Laughs) I met Lacey in Muay Thai gym actually. I had a really specific vision of what I wanted ‘City of Sound’ to be and I could not have found better people that wanted to jump on board.
CrypticRock.com – That is pretty interesting how you all met one another. Most certainly in the Alternative Rock realm, City of Sound offers something fresh to the scene that features wonderful songwriting, an energetic vibe, and atmospheric sound. How important is it to the band to offer something a little bit different than what is out there right now?
Jordan Wright – Thank you for saying that! We don’t really think about doing anything different, the only thing we focus on is being raw and genuine. We have one rule in our studio, if it doesn’t punch you in the face with hope, we don’t use it. We just want to give something epic to people that makes them want to conquer the world and beat the shit out of life.
CrypticRock.com – That is a good goal to have. City of Sound is configured as a three piece. What is interesting about this is you have a really enormous sound. As musicians and songwriters, how would you describe the chemistry you three share?
Jordan Wright – We’re family and each of us brings a sort of epic, fantasy-like vision for the band. We also just allow each other to be ourselves, we genuinely care and love each other. We look out for each other in every avenue of life, we don’t just play together, we basically live together! (Laughs)
I think what’s most interesting is how different all of us are politically, ideologically and religiously. We truly appreciate the differences we have and it makes us appreciate even more what we share in common… sorry, I’m a man of too many words…
CrypticRock.com – Don’t be sorry, it is refreshing to hear, especially in a time when it seems like people cannot accept other’s differences all too well anymore. Back to the music though. Gearing up for the release of your debut album, Silent Empire, in 2018, you have released several songs including “Odyssey.” What can you tell us about Silent Empire?
Jordan Wright – The album follows this central-character ‘Empire’ and her journey of self-reflection. It begins with her world destroyed by her own created-chaos, leaving her to remain broken or face herself and find out what she can become.
CrypticRock.com – Wow, it sounds like a fascinating concept. Listening to songs like “Odyssey,” “The Madhouse,” and “Coat of Arms,” there is a sense of wonderful production, but still retaining a human feel. In enough worlds, a lot of modern recordings these days seem too digital and over-processed. Was it important for City of Sound to be sure to keep these songs sounding human and real?
Jordan Wright – Really appreciate that you took that from each song; we produce, mix, and master all of our own music. One reason for that is because I selfishly don’t want anyone touching our music! (Laughs) But the real answer is exactly that, we want the music to connect to people. We don’t want it to be an escape, we want it to make someone want to be present and find joy in the miracle of being human. We don’t care about what is “modern” or “in.” What we care about is what makes someone believe in hope, what makes someone choose to live instead of just exist, what stirs someones heart so strong that they wake up and want to kick ass. If we can somehow find that sound some day, it will all be worth it.
CrypticRock.com – It certainly seems like you are on the right path. The band operates as an independent entity. What challenges do you face as an independent band?
Jordan Wright – Oh geez, well I guess I would preface with this: we chose to be independent, so we can’t complain about the hardships that come with it because… we asked for it. (Laughs) I mean we book all our own shows, we make all our merch, and as I said before, we create, produce, mix, master and distribute all our own music, make all our own promotion, pay for everything, and pretty much have zero-power in the industry! (Laughs) We wouldn’t trade it for any record deal.
CrypticRock.com – Sometimes you cannot beat the freedom to do what you want artistically. With Silent Empire on the horizon, can we expect City of Sound to expand to some wide-spread US touring?
Jordan Wright – Absolutely, we’re headlining at our collective home on Nov. 29th at The Federal in North Hollywood! We got the chance to tour the West Coast earlier this year and we’re dying to get to the East Coast, and my personal-love, the Midwest. We’ve got a lot of listeners over in Europe also, so we’re hoping to make all roads meet so we can do a lot of touring next year. Our fans have been such an incredible support to us and our bedrock, the least we could do is show up and party with them.
CrypticRock.com – That would be great to see you do some touring! Seeing the band’s unique sound, what are some of your personal musical influences?
Jordan Wright – We all have similar influences and there’s also a lot. Myles Kennedy, U2, Muse, Chevelle, In Flames, M83, Evanescence (Lacey especially), Hanz Zimmer, James Horner, John Williams, Alter Bridge, Celtic Frost, Rage Against the Machine, Killswitch Engage… and more.
CrypticRock.com – Wow, that really is a diverse mix of artists. Last question. On Cryptic Rock, we also cover movies, particularly Horror and Sci-Fi. If you are a fan of these genres, what are some of your favorites and why?
Jordan Wright – Horror and Sci-Fi are my loves. For Sci-Fi, Star Wars (1977), of course, The Fifth Element (1997), Blade Runner (1982), Aliens (1986), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), Die Hard (1988), it’s not Sci-Fi, but it belongs in every genre no matter what. In Horror, The Strangers (2008), Halloween (1978), Hush (2016), REC (2007), The Last Exorcism (2010), Alien (1979), The Thing (1982), the first short from V/H/S (2012). (Laughs) I’d put why, but it would end up being a really long answer… and I think I’ve already said too much.