Interview: Citadel talk new single, influences and holy metal

Credit: Nick Hargans

Brisbane melodic metalcore band Citadel are one of the country’s most promising heavy acts to emerge in recent times. With their latest single “Parasyte” out in the world, we caught up with them to chat all things about the track and what else they have in store.

“Parasyte” touches on some deeply personal topics and the music matches the emotion of the lyrics. Has it been a cathartic experience to release and perform the song?

Nat (guitar): It really has. Hearing feedback and being told that the song was connecting with people has been very cathartic for me, and I’m so glad people are taking something from it.

Russell (vocals): It’s been a lot of fun as well showing the delicate side of what we can do and allowing space for people to connect in that kind of atmosphere.

Dane (drums): I joined the band after this was recorded. Being the first song I heard, I was drawn to the themes the song was about. The traumatic events in this song suggest the ending of something important and through the catharsis, after the rain, something beautiful blooms.

The contrast of delicate piano and vocals with big riffs and drums as the song progresses really make it something special. How did it come together that way?

Nat: Right back when I was first writing the demo, I had the idea that the song would stay as an instrumental interlude kinda thing. I felt that having the 3 distinct sections would keep a vocal-less track interesting and tight, but after I wrote lyrics and Russell crafted the melodies it really came together nicely as one of my personal favourite tracks that we’ve done. Once Dane became involved, he really helped me build out the intro and softer half of the song with the drums gradually building and the subtle synth layers underneath the piano.

Russell: Once we had a real vision for this song it came together quite effortlessly to be honest. The subtleties took some work, but it all flowed well once we knew what we wanted to do. When Nat decided he wanted vocals on the song and he started writing about some very personal things, he wrote an awful lot of lyrics because he had so much to get out. He was gracious enough to let me whittle some of it down and we decided to stick with some key imagery and themes which helped me connect with the song.

The video has beautiful set design and a cool narrative. What was it like to shoot it in such a nice venue?

Liam (guitar):  We were fortunate enough to shoot the video for “Parasyte” in a local church, the same building that we shot the video for “Sundered Souls” in. It’s a little daunting shooting in a church, it adds an extra level of cautiousness to everything you do due needing to respect other peoples’ place of worship.

Dane: It was definitely concerning performing metal with murderous themes in a church. In contrast to this, have you heard my snare drum in a giant church? Not a snare drum, MY snare drum. Some would say it’s godly.

You’ve cited bands like Sleep Token, Holding Absence and even U2 as major influences for the song among others. What are you each jamming right now?

Nat: Since seeing them live a few weeks ago, I cannot stop listening to Dayseeker and their vocalist’s other project Hurtwave. I’ve also been dipping into old school metalcore like Parkway Drive, Killswitch Engage and Atreyu lately.

Liam: Windwaker’s debut has been on repeat recently, along with the most recent Ocean Grove and ERRA albums.

Russell: The U2 thing is definitely a bit of a meme just to put it out there. At the moment my listening rotation is a lot of Don Broco, Dayseeker, Sleep Token, Trash Boat, Belmont and Joji.

Dane: I get influenced by lots of things. Mountains on foggy mornings are pretty dope. In terms of music I’m jamming right now, I love Spiritbox, Jinjer, Massive Attack, Portishead and Bring Me The Horizon.

You performed a killer set at the Zoo for Burnt Out recently. How was it to play the new songs and some unreleased tracks for your hometown?

Liam: It was incredible! This was our second show at The Zoo but we all felt that it was the performance where we were really locked in together and honestly, we had a great time. The reception we got was really positive which is always validating as a band trying to get yourselves out there and put on a good performance.

Dane: I love The Zoo, I love my band and I live for playing live. It was pretty awesome to play these tunes and have total trust in those I share the stage with… even if the vocalist is messing with my in-ear mix actively trying to decimate my ear drums. I guess he thought “Dane hits drums hard – I guess I’ll hit his ear drums with equal passion”.

You’re supporting Voyager at The Triffid on 21 August alongside Acolyte, The Stranger and Mass Sky Raid. What are you looking forward to most about the show?

Nat: Honestly, I am really keen to play a set at such an iconic venue! Taking our songs to a bigger stage like The Triffid is both exciting and kind of intimidating, but I’m definitely leaning more towards excitement.

Russell: I feel like we’re all very keen to make a bit of a statement on a bigger stage. It’s a different crowd to who we would normally perform to, but we think our sound translates to a lot of different tastes. We’re looking forward to it being a huge day!

Dane: Voyager is what I’m looking forward to the most. A close second is The Triffid’s green room. It’s actually green. Lastly, I’m just looking forward to expressing our tunes to an appreciative audience.

You can follow Citadel on Facebook and Instagram for regular updates. Get your tickets to the show supporting Voyager at The Triffid on 21 August HERE.