When done honestly, rock ‘n’ roll can stick with you for a lifetime. It rides shotgun for the whole way, soundtracking those big moments and memories. Once you hear a Citizen Zero song, you remember it.
The Detroit rock outfit—Josh LeMay [vocals], Sammy Boller [lead guitar], John Dudley [drums], and Sam Collins [bass]—deliver arena-size anthems fueled by intricate musicianship on their full-length debut album, State of Mind [Wind-up Records]. Striking a balance between edgy grunge attitude a la Stone Temple Pilots and bluesy alternative expanse reminiscent of Kings of Leon, their knack for a hook immediately resonated with a growing national fan base.
“Go (Let Me Save You)” premiered exclusively on Guitar World. The song builds from an eerie melody into an overpowering refrain punctuated by an incendiary guitar lead and hypnotic vocal. “It’s actually the first song Sammy and I wrote together,” Josh remembers. “It happened right after the Sandy Hook tragedy. I was watching the news, and I couldn’t believe how the cameramen were consciously filming crying parents. It was so wrong. Having gone through tragedy, it made me really angry. I had to say something.”
The single is the first song from the band since they recently announced that they had signed to Wind-up Records. Their new record, State of Mind will arrive late Summer.
Since the release of their first independent EP Life Explodes in 2012, the band has played alongside heavyweights such as Kid Rock, ZZ Top, Halestorm, Royal Blood, Highly Suspect, and more. “Life Explodes” would win the Detroit Music Award for “Outstanding Rock/Pop Recording” in 2013. As their profile rose regionally, they signed to Wind-up Records in early 2016.
Along the way, they cut State of Mind. The record heralds their arrival with a bang.
“I think the best music comes from the most honest place,” continues Josh. “Being from Detroit, there’s a no fly zone for bullshit. You have to be real, or the people will know. State of Mind is one-hundred percent who we are.”
“Citizen Zero represents the faceless citizen. It’s the everyday person no better than any of us. However, that any one individual can change the world.”
“We can be the Citizen Zero in rock ‘n’ roll,” John leaves off. “We can be the guys who help bring back musicianship and unforgettable live shows.”
Hey, thanks for taking some time to answer some questions so us Aussies can get to know you! How did you guys all meet? A typical met at high school band?
We started off as a typical high school band and ended up with a very untypical story. CZ was started by the Dudley bros and Josh LeMay in 2010. After playing locally in Detroit for a couple years, tragedy struck in 2012 when our guitarist Matt Dudley committed suicide. We regrouped and found Sammy Boller on YouTube. Our first single, Go (Let Me Save You) is the first song we wrote together after Sammy joined the band. We finished our debut record in Detroit and with the addition of Sam Collins on bass, we signed with Wind Up Records in early 2016.
Sorry to hear that. Can you tell us the story behind how you got signed with them?
We had a few labels pass over the years because of variables out of our control and were beginning to wonder if our record would ever see the light of day. After a series of cosmic events, we met Wind Up at the end of last year. We couldn’t be happier about working with them.
I listened to your song Go (Let Me Save You) on the way to work a few days ago and it stuck in my head all day. This was one of the reason I was keen to interview you. I really like it when songs do this in a good way, not in an Achy Breaky Heart Way though! You wrote this song after the Sandy Hook tragedy, I lost family members in a bushfire tragedy and I was filmed at the funeral and show on the TV crying that night. The presence of media in times like this makes me so angry. So this is why you write this song? Can you talk a little about what you went through?
This song definitely came about specifically because of the Sandy Hook tragedy here in the states, but has unfortunately developed to apply to way more than just Sandy Hook tragedy. We all see it all the time from the attacks in Paris to your situation in Australia… television media not respecting boundaries operating with their own political agendas, fighting and clawing their way to the top of a pyramid having no regard for ethics of any kind.
Recently you have been touring with P.O.D. Can you tell us any funny stories or some mischief you have gotten up to on this tour?
We’ve lived a lot of life the couple weeks we were out with them. The tour ended on Sunday at Rocklahoma in Pryor, OK. After partying through a rain delay with some of the local radio stations, one of the stage hands, Jamie, took us on a golf cart ride through the campgrounds. We ended up meeting some locals and partied until the sun came up. Turns out people down south give our beer like water. It was a great way to end the tour for sure.
‘State of Mind’, will be released late summer for you, so late winter for us, is it all done and dusted or are you still finishing it up?
Our record has been done for almost a year, but it just got remixed and remastered. We just heard the final version for the first time a couple weeks ago. The new mixes really brought the album to life and it sounds better than we could have ever anticipated. We’re very excited for you all to hear it.
What can we expect from this album, more rock and roll guitar hooks like Go (Let Me Save You)?
In one word, YES! In two words, YES YES!
Are you planning on shooting a Music video for Go (Let Me Save You) or leaving it as the lyric video? Which is a really good video by the way.
Thanks! We’re shooting a full music video in a few weeks and it’ll be out soon. We’re really excited to put a visual storyline behind the song. You played at Rock on the Range, and received some sweet as feedback from people on facebook. How important to you is the positive feedback?
It always feels good to have a positive reaction after working for so long and so hard. It means the world. Have you experienced any negative feedback and if so have you strategies to cope with it?
As our song “Home” says, “We’re not looking to be everything to everybody, but all things to just a few.” We know we’re never going to please everybody, so we always take everything in stride.
What was your experience playing at Rock on the Range like? Was it something that you always wanted to do?
We’ve been fans of the festival and have been going on and off since it started 10 years ago. It was definitely a highlight of our career so far.
Did you have time to enjoy the rest of the festival?
Was a pretty cool line up! We stuck around after we played and saw some of great bands. Lamb of God and Bring Me The Horizon were both highlights for us.
So after the P. O. D. tour what is next for you guys?
We’re going on a US nationwide tour starting in July and hitting all the big radio markets that have been spinning our single. Other than that, we’ll be practicing hard for when we jump the pond and hit Australia.
Really looking forward to the album, I wish you well for it’s release and maybe we shall see you down here in Australia in the future!