John Wittlinger ~ City Under Siege
Before City Under Siege’s tour of the East Coast and Midwest, John Wittlinger (lead vocals) took time out to meet with me and share insight into the band’s back story and current projects. City Under Siege has a kickoff show in Buffalo, NY on September 27. Then, on October 2, they hit the road. Starting in Rochester, NY, they plan to hit up the entire East Coast down to Jacksonville and Tampa Bay, FL. Catch them in New York City, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago and more!
I listened to all City Under Siege’s songs on ReverbNation and Shake is my favorite. John admitted that’s one of the band’s favorite songs to play too.
I love how City Under Siege maintains a unique sound, yet each song could be described as a different music genre. When I asked John Wittlinger how he’d describe the band’s music, he told me: “We are mainly pop, but we are alternative pop. We try to blend a few styles together and try to keep it interesting, but we mainly are trying to be a pop band right now.”
City Under Siege credits many music influences: “We like a lot of early 2000’s pop punk bands, like Blink-182 and Sum 41. Some of my biggest influences are bands like Relient K and Brand New. We also listen to a lot of Weezer and classic rock, like The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, when we’re on tour. I don’t know if those influences come through our music so much right now.”
In addition to John Wittlinger on vocals, Matt Buscarino plays guitar and Carl Morse plays bass. When I asked John how the band got together, he told me: “When I was back in high school, I worked at a coffee shop that Matt Buscarino’s dad owns. His dad put us together, and we’ve been in bands together ever since. Matt’s the only person that I write well with. Most of our songs are written by me, him or me and him together. Carl Morse came along a bit later. Carl was in one of Matt’s other bands in high school, and we asked him to join our band when we started to write this new EP we just released. We’ve been together for a long time, and there’s good chemistry in the band.”
The band’s new EP is self-titled City Under Siege; it has seven songs. Five songs were produced down in Atlanta with Matt Malpass and two songs were produced in Buffalo with Jay Zurbrucky, who works with the Goo Goo Dolls and Every Time I Die. The first five songs are a bit more pop and polished. The last two songs are more organic and indie sounding. John says, “I think there’s a really nice mix of songs on the EP, something for everybody.”
The City Under Siege EP is available on iTunes, Amazon and Xbox Live. You can listen to it on Spotify, Pandora. You can stream the entire EP on ReverbNation and buy the songs there. You can also watch music videos for the songs Believe and Shake on YouTube.
The band primarily uses Facebook and ReverbNation as their websites. On the social media side, John explained, “We’re trying to be more consistent with posting and keeping people interested. We post something every day or two. ReverbNation is great, because we have an email list on there. If you get on our email list, we automatically email all our fans every time we go on tour. We really like using that to keep fans updated. We know fans don’t check into our sites every day, so it’s really nice to have a direct email source to send to people. We try to keep it fun and interesting.”
John Wittlinger advises other artists: “The key thing is persistence. Never give up. I can’t tell you how many I’ve been told ‘No’ or doors shut. I feel the bands that make it and the bands that continue to make it are the bands that don’t take ‘No’ for an answer. The market is super-saturated with really good pop bands. Stay persistent and true to yourself and create music that you know is great. Sooner or later, you’re going to push up through the cracks and somebody’s going to find you; because sooner or later, all the other bands who are not as persistent will fall by the wayside.”
I like that: Don’t take ‘No’ for an answer.
Watch the complete video interview on the Amused Now YouTube channel: http://youtu.be/GAXtaFVlno0
The Amused Now Featured Artist Series