Citizen owe their values to hardcore punk

Citizen admit they “occupy a lot more spaces” than other bands due to their sound and years of involvement in hardcore punk.

The Michigan indie-rock band, who released their second full-length Everybody Is Going To Heaven last year, say that their stint on the Warped Tour made them realise how important it is for bands to stay true to their roots.

Guitarist Nick Hamm tells TeamRock: “We are involved with hardcore at home. We owe a lot to Toledo and Detroit hardcore scenes. Last year we were doing the Warped Tour, which definitely has no trace of those ethics or anything like that.

“There were certain bands on the Warped Tour that said to us, ‘Man, it’s just so cool that you guys dress however on stage.’ We were like, ‘That’s crazy,’ because why wouldn’t we dress how we normally do? But that’s a real thing, bands having uniforms.

“That’s just not us, so I think it’s cool that we’re able to show bands that you can be normal and be yourself. I think being real and authentic is massively important and we get that from our respective scenes.”

On the side, Hamm and drummer Jake Duhaime are in straight-edge hardcore band Freedom. Citizen frontman Mat Kerekes also launched side-project Power Wrench, who released a three-way split with The Story So Far’s Parker Cannon band Snarl and skate-punk band Spitback last year.

Hamm adds: “I feel like we occupy a lot more spaces than most of our peers. We’re kind of interested in the idea of taking certain attributes from one place and exposing them to another. I think it’s important for a band to be there to do that, because otherwise a lot of those kids will forever go without knowing about that.”

Former TeamRock news desk member Christina joined our team in late 2015, and although her time working on online rock news was fairly brief, she made a huge impact by contributing close to 1500 stories. Christina also interviewed artists including Deftones frontman Chino Moreno and worked at the Download festival. In late 2016, Christina left rock journalism to pursue a career in current affairs. In 2021, she was named Local Weekly Feature Writer of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards.