Citizen Soldier exploded onto the scene in 2017 with their debut EP Caroline. It brings together infectious pop elements, an atmospheric rock sound and an impressive lyrical depth. These are the foundations that each track is built on. It also features a vocalist who delivers a captivating emotion and fire with his tone.
The opening track “Buried Alive” shows off all of these elements and talks about struggling with mental illness. They explained that this was created after “someone on Facebook posting about how those struggling with mental illness are nothing more than attention seekers. We didn’t agree, so much in fact, that we wrote a song about it.”
Citizen Soldier are made up by Jake Segura (vocals), Matt Duffney (lead guitar), Kooper Hanosky (rhythm guitar), Wonitta Rivero (bass), and Kyle Persell (drums). They share a similar goal of “Reaching the hearts and souls of others through rock music.” Indie Band Guru got the opportunity to talk to these guys.
Indie Band Guru: How did Citizen Soldier come together and is there a story behind the name?
Citizen Soldier: Jake had recorded a ton of demos. He then used them to look for musicians with a similar vision and after a few different attempts at getting together a full band he ended up with the 5 members we have now in late 2016 early 2017. We then dug through those 40+ demos and completed 5 of them to create what you now hear on our EP Caroline. The story behind the name was mainly Jake coming to the rest of us and saying I want the project to be called Citizen Soldier very early on. We all agreed and then later he told us the meaning was an attempt to personify the battles waged inside and the band’s goal to shine a light on the everyday struggles of those who feel overlooked and unappreciated. Which goes along great with the messages we’ve shared so far in our music.
Which musicians have helped to influence your music and its sound?
If we went through each member we would be naming hundreds of artists that have influenced our own personal playing. However, I think as a band together we definitely pull from bands like Shinedown, 10 years, Alter Bridge, Red, Breaking Benjamin, and Skillet.
Your EP ‘Caroline’ has been getting a lot of great press, can you tell us a bit about it?
Like I said before the EP basically started as 40+ demos we narrowed down to what we felt were the 5 best songs. If you count the time it took Jake to do all those demos this EP took over 3 years to make. As a full band though it took us about 10 months. It is an EP that was really emotionally exhausting to make and so personal but definitely worth it. It’s hard to relive dark moments in your life but we feel it is worth it if it is helping others get through theirs.
If there were a movie to be made about the band, who would you each choose to play youselves?
Jake Segura: Steve Carrell
Matt Duffney: Ryan Reynolds
Kooper Hanosky: Jim Carrey
Wonitta Rivero: Wilmer Valderrama
Tyler Nichols: Keanu Reeves
What are the future plans/goals for you and your music?
Well since we released Caroline we’ve been playing every show we have been offered. Which is a lot when we all work full time and do the band on the side. We have finally decided to start slowing down a bit and actually focus on new music which is exciting. We love the studio and the creative process so that’s always a lot of fun. As far as goals go we’ve always just been trying to take this band as far as it will go. The huge milestone of a million Spotify streams is coming up here probably within the next couple months. That’s a huge accomplishment we are very proud of.
Citizen Soldier know how to create a rock track that packs an emotional punch
During the interview, the band did mention that they were focusing on new material. From this, the new track “Found” has been created. It keeps their winning combination of creating a rock song that packs an emotional punch. Its positive message is clear, to stay strong when it feels like there is no hope. The chorus “Like a candle in the night / fighting just to stay alive / I know you still can’t see / but hold onto me you will be found” says it all.
There is something special about the music that Citizen Soldier produce. It has the balance of an infectious radio friendly sound with emotional depth. With a talent like theirs, they will become a name that everyone will know.