A City Serene: Perseverance and Art

The story of A City Serene from San Diego is powerful and inspirational.  Road accidents are fairly common with touring acts, however the one A City Serene was involved in was so devastating in scope that it made news all across the country.  Fans and strangers pulled together to help the band through the difficult time.  Although the healing process continues today, A City Serene is ready to go back out on the road once again.  Dedicated to their fan base and their art, these San Diego musicians have persevered and their story is truly inspiring.  Due to record their debut full length at the end of the year with Tommy Denney from A Day To Remember, we decided it was high time to check in with A City Serene for an update on the band…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in A City Serene, and how long the band has been together.
I’m Carly Baker I’m 20 and I’d say we’ve been playing together a little over 2 years now but started A City Serene in February of 2009.

Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
We’re based out of San Diego, CA.   Scene is a little different down here, since a lot of kids would rather go to the beach than go to a show, but the kids that are into the scene are super loyal. We just headlined at SOMA last weekend and sold out the show and it was amazing! Couldn’t ask for better hometown fans…

The big news is you will soon be recording your full length with Tommy Denney from A Day To Remember. How did that come about?
We just kind of threw it out there randomly as a “wouldn’t it be cool to record this album with Tom from ADTR” and our manager took it seriously. We didn’t really take anything from it until he called us and told us that Tom was into the songs and asked if we could confirm.  Obviously we were going to say yes!

Do you have a working title for your new CD and how will these songs compare to the ones of your new EP?
Knowing us we’ll have a title the day it comes out…but the new songs have a little bit more BANG to them, heavier with big catchy sing along choruses, lots of dynamic, and hopefully a little more memorable. We want this to be more of a record as opposed to just some songs put together…

Pick two songs from the upcoming record and tell me what inspired you to write the lyrics.
Still kind of piecing out the theme of the record but so far most of the songs are about personal struggle and overcoming….inner demons, etc…you know, stuff that everybody including ourselves deal with, and hopefully kids will be able to relate to it.

Many bands have been in accidents on the road, but yours was one of the worst. What are your memories of the accident and what exactly happened?
Well, Kris and Xander remember mostly everything, which is pretty scary, but the rest of us were all unconscious and don’t remember any of it. Basically, an F-250 Pick Up Truck traveling the opposite way ended up airborne, flew over the center divider and hit us head on. Luckily for us, a bunch of people who came up to the accident site afterwards helped in any way they could to make sure we got medical attention as quick as possible. We all got airlifted to different hospitals and it was almost two months until all of us finally got out and back home…

You received so much support from the music community after the accident. How surprised were you to find out that so many people knew about it and wanted to help?
All the support we’ve received since the accident is a godsend and we thank everyone so much who has supported us in anyway after hearing about it. Its one of the biggest reasons we keep doing this. Its so amazing and really keeps us wanting to pursue this even more.

Has everyone fully recovered from the accident?
Definitely not. We’ll all be dealing with this for the rest of our lives, some more than others but we’re never going to let it stop us from doing what we want to do, which is playing music and touring.  Kris’ leg is literally going to be permanently broken, so he’s rocking out on stage every night in terrible pain but you would never know…unfortunately, Mike B has had to leave the band for now because he is still in outpatient therapy on a pretty regular basis. Our good friend Joe has stepped in on drums and doing great!

How nerve wracking was/is the idea of getting back on the road again and doing shows and touring?
Playing shows and touring is all we really want to do, and we couldn’t wait to get back out on the road. When we started practicing for shows again, we realized how much live shows demand of us physically and ran into some issues with the areas of our bodies that were injured, but we just work through it and do whatever we need to make sure we put on a great show. First show back was really nerve wracking, we could barely even walk out on stage. But once we got past that, it was like riding a bike.

For those who have not seen your band, what could we expect from a live A City Serene show?
We try to put as much energy into our performance as we possibly can, and we like when the crowd can show some energy back! Open the pit and we’ll love you forever.

You have such a beautiful voice. What kind of vocal training have you had and who are some of your vocal influences?
Thank you so much! I was in the choral department from middle to high school and I had a vocal teacher outside of school as well…I know, not really what you would expect from a girl in a screamo band.  Influenced by anybody that’s out their living their dreams and doing what they want to do…

How did the No Bummer Summer Tour with Gwen Stacy and Lower Definition come about and what could we expect from this tour?
Our agent also books Lower Definition and Jamies Elsewhere, and was nice enough to throw us on…thanks, Zac!

Do you have any messages for your fans here in the Los Angeles/OC area?
Come see us whenever we’re there! We want to meet all of you! Learn the lyrics to our songs and sing along…and most importantly, tell your friends! It means so much to meet you guys and get to know you.

A City Serene’s EP entitled The Art Of Deceiving Perception is now available on Itunes…

(Interview by Kenneth Morton)

A City Serene on Myspace

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