Violent Soho devotees, dry your tears! Citizen Rat is here, ready to fill the hole in your grunge-loving heart with their latest track, Don’t want to be American.
AFTER: WAAX: creative freedom and lyrical hair removal // DUNE RATS: dance classes and thinking outside the box // BRING ME THE HORIZON: Damn if they come back COMMENTS: THORNHILL: Heroin // ALEXISONFIRE: Otherness // GRAY STUN: The Phoenix // ATLANTIC STAND: TO FEAR // DUNE RATS: True rare whale // THE SWITCHES : In nature // WAX: At least I’m free
It came out of their next album, Look up and down, which will be released in October, and there is a hell of a backstory. We caught up with the band’s Dartanyon Hutchison to find out more.
Hysteria: How did the band form?
Dartanyon: Initially, we were under a different name and we had a sweet break. I got a new drummer, the original guitarist left, then I became the guitarist. For about two years we were a duo. Then we decided to change our name to Citizen Rat to give us a fresh start. And we also changed our style.
It was two or three years ago. And then, we said to ourselves that we could get more out of our music if we had more people and more dynamics. Initially, we were just going to get a bass player. The trial bassist was in the same band as our drummer. So we joked that we should just get their other member, Brendon, who played guitar. Then he showed up for training, and the four of us have been together ever since.
I don’t want to be American is so powerful. What prompted the band to write such a politically focused track?
It’s a nice story. My dad originally wrote it in the 90s. Because it was written so long ago, he couldn’t remember all the lyrics and everything. During BLM I was having fun with it and realized how relevant it was for the times.
I rewrote the song to reflect the fear of American politics being romanticized. Many world leaders seem to do so. They seem to fantasize about what America is doing. You see a lot of bad things happening there, and it’s scary to think it could happen here too. But it feels like it’s going in that direction, which is awful. It’s a proud song for me because of the connection with my father. It’s cool that I got to work with something he created.
We experienced what it’s like to make heavy music and the idea of what punk can be. Punk is not just a genre but a way of life.
[ Dartanyon Hutchison ]
Can we expect a similar vibe on your next album?
There’s a lot on the record sonically. Before, we were more thrash-punk, but now we are moving towards a more grungy sound. It ebbs and flows in so many ways. We have punk, thrash and grunge tracks. But we also have a jazz song and a country song. The bonus song is completely funk, like in the beginning peppers survey. We experienced what it’s like to make heavy music and the idea of what punk can be. Punk is not just a genre but a way of life. You can still write a punk song in the jazz and country style.
100% Punk is above all an attitude.
Exactly. It is these anarchic beliefs. We tried to focus on that and bend those genre boundaries.
Who would you most like to share the stage with – dead or alive, and why?
It’s hard! There are so many bands that inspire us. A continuing group would be Amyl and the sniffers. So it would have to be Nirvana for the dead band. It would be crazy.
Oh I have to mention Korn too. It would be phenomenal.
We’re releasing another single next month on the 15th. It’s called I’m lucky, and it’s more of an upbeat, positive vibe, but it’s still sad. Then we will release the first single from the album, love-hate, with the album itself. There will also be a film clip. There will be some movie clips and lots of cool stuff. I’m really excited.