We had the chance to talk to Marc Cantone, frontman of indie band The City and Horses about their upcoming album, RUINS which is set to release April 21st through Paper Garden Records. We also spoke of music he just can't get enough of and dream tours. See what Marc had to say below and check out their music video for "Re-Inking"!
What inspired you to create RUINS?
I've been saying that the album is about a love triangle between an ex-girlfriend, me and my OCD. And that's pretty much true. OCD ruins a lot, especially relationships. It's basically like another person in the relationship. And sometimes the OCD is more important than the real other person. And that doesn't sit well with said real person. Or me, for that matter!
What do you hope fans can take away from RUINS?
Good question! Hmmmm...I would say just a feeling of camaraderie for all the people who don't quite fit in for whatever reason. We don't really quite fit in. So we get what that's like.
What musicians are you currently listening to that you can't get enough of?
This is gonna sound like a plug for the album because they were involved with our record but I can't stop listening to White Shoes & the Couples Company. They're an awesome indie pop band from Indonesia. Ricky Virgana, the band's bass player and cellist, wrote and arranged the strings for two songs on Ruins ("Shades" and "Don't Love Me").
I've also been on a big Pogues kick recently. Every few years I circle back to them. Shane MacGowan is one of the great unsung modern Romantic poets. It's funny for a non-Irish, non-alcohol drinking, indie pop guy like me to be so obsessed with them. But his portraits of beaten down and broken characters really appeal to me. I've likened OCD to addiction before so when he says, "one summer evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless" I can relate. Not because I've ever been drunk to hell but because I've been so beaten down by OCD that I have sat in many places nearly lifeless.
We've also started covering "Oh, Girl" by the Chi-lites and so that's another band I definitely can't get enough of them. In fact, we're planning on recording an EP of old soul and Motown songs in our own indie way soonish. So keep an eye out for that!
What are you most looking forward to this year with The City and Horses?
While I have a full time job (producing videos and writing songs for a kids TV network), I want to do a little tour and play for people who don't know us (which is basically everyone in the world). It'd be wonderful to get in front of new audiences and connect with them. Just need the opportunity. Which brings us to...
What would be a dream tour for you?
I don't even have to think about this one. It has always been and always will be Belle and Sebastian. I'd probably quit my job to go out with them. Before B&S, the Smiths were my Smiths. But then B&S became my Smiths and I've never looked back. While they're not the reason I write songs, they're mostly the reason I have a band. They're the band I want to be for other people. Like how I can turn to them when I'm feeling down about love, worn out by work, beaten down by a boss, nervous about a new relationship, I want people to turn to us like that.
I doubt we'd ever get to tour with them, though. Our manager Amanda Van West reached our to their manager a while back letting him know that our new single, "Shades," references them but he never responded ("If all the girls are wearing headphones/How will they hear me singing Belle and Sebastian?/How will they know that I mean well?"). Brooklyn band Porches is supporting them on legs of their US tour this summer. I bet they've never written a song about Belle and Sebastian!
What's something that fans might not know about The City and Horses?
We got our name from the title of a screenplay I wrote in college.