The creation of music is a process of power and mystery. Not that rock bands are mysterious
anymore – by now, anyone can imagine four lads in a basement, throwing ideas back and forth at
one another, sharing guitar licks and steadying arrangements. There’s little mystery in that.
The mystery lies in a deeper part of the process, the part we cannot see. Here is the point at
which notes, chords, lyrics, sounds and even mistakes gel, and a song comes forward out of the
chaos. At this point, music still seems a form of alchemy.
The process can be so inexplicable that even those involved may not know where the music comes
from. Cities in Dust know the elements, the ingredients that go into their music – but the
outcome cannot be broken back down into those elements and traced back to the source. In other
words, when the four members of Cities in Dust write a song, it comes out sounding like Cities
in Dust – but exactly how and why is beyond their ken.
Vocalist Zach Frank met guitarist Simon Toye and the other band members separately and eventually
coaxed them all to form a band. When they first met in bassist Craig Nordemann's basement, it was a
first-time meeting for Nordemann, Toye and drummer Matt Winters. Four near-strangers in a basement
with instruments, ideas and opinions…naturally, it could have gone badly. Simply put, it did not.
Cities in Dust found some common ground in dance punk and dance rock, sharing an appreciation for
the likes of Le Tigre and The Rapture; yet each individual fed their own flavours into this already
murky cocktail of influence. The music grew quicker, choppier, and more kinetic. Drummer Matt Winters
and bassist Craig Nordemann establish a solid and thunderous bottom end that acts as ballast for
Simon Toye’s wiry guitar that crisscrosses above; meanwhile, Zach Frank’s tightly wound vocal
springs like an elastic band, threatening to snap should it stretch any further.
The energy of the music and the performance began to draw interest from management and labels
alike. Interest only intensified their drive and shortly afterward, Cities in Dust struck up a
friendship with Paper Bag Records, playing shows with Paper Bag artists such as Controller.Controller,
Uncut and Magneta Lane. As he had coaxed the band members together, Frank charmed the label before
any of them had seen the band play. Once they had, it wasn't long before details were hatched on
recording the debut Cities in Dust album.
That album, Night Creatures, captures every electron volt of energy generated at a Cities in Dust show,
and focuses that energy into a Tyson-like belt across the jaw. The album was recorded with Jon Drew of Uncut
at Signal to Noise in downtown Toronto, and from the bass-heavy bounce of "Chop Chop" to the melodic
"Some of My Best Friends are Cheaters," this is the sound of Cities in Dust.
After May 29th, the release date for Night Creatures, that crowd will explode. Take to the streets.
Riot. And leave our cities…ah, you know where this is going, but let's go there anyway.…in Dust.
"these songs aren't about love, they're about lust."