Capital Cities’ ‘Swimming Pool Summer’ EP is exactly what you’ll want to listen to as you chill and grill (and everything in between.) Just add water!
We caught up with Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian of Capital Cities at Firefly Festival in June 2017 to talk about their new music and more! This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
We’ll talk about Firefly, but first, how was Coachella?
Ryan Merchant: Coachella crowd was really good. We played in a tent this year, which is great because I feel like it’s more intimate and the sound is tighter. I’d rather have a smaller crowd with a good, sonic experience.
Sebu Simonian: Yeah. It was different this time because it was at night, too, so it was more of a dance party. Crowd was great. Couldn’t be happier.
Do you try to catch other sets at festivals?
Sebu: We like to, but it’s difficult. We like to see other acts. This year, one of my favorite acts at Coachella was Röyksopp. I got to see them again.
You’re sort of opening for Bob Dylan today, too…
Sebu: I’ll definitely catch Bob Dylan. I can’t believe he’s playing right after us!
Ryan: The Weeknd is playing after us, too.
What’s the first thing you’re thinking about when you get onstage?
Sebu: “Does it sound good out there?”
Ryan: “Is the crowd feeling it?” I can usually tell within the first couple beats of the music. Then the anxiety subsides. There’s always healthy nerves before a show.
That being said, I feel like festivals are your domain.
Ryan: Yes, I think our set is very much geared towards the festival, because people are loose and in a certain mindset, so they respond to dance music.
Let’s talk about the Swimming Pool Summer EP. You debuted some of the songs at Coachella, which is cool.
Sebu: We’ve been playing tracks from [the EP] live. It’s good to play tracks before you release them because you get a sense of how people are going to respond to it. So far it’s been going over well!
What’s the song “Swimming Pool Summer” about?
Ryan: It’s a fictional tale…
Because pools don’t exist? Kidding.
Ryan: Yeah, because pools definitely don’t exist. Especially in Los Angeles. No, a lot of times we write songs that create stories about fictional characters and situations. We like to use our imagination that way, so that one is a fictional encounter. It’s going to a fancy party and encountering a woman who takes your breath away, and she’s both glamorous and inaccessible but also somehow kind, someone you can connect with. It captures the spirit of summertime in Los Angeles, going to pool parties and the Chateau Marmont [Hotel] and surfing.
Will you surf in the video?
Ryan: I would like to. Although I would probably see video of myself surfing and I’d be like, “Cut it.” I would look awkward.
Last fall, we also talked about the possible Rick Ross collaboration, and it happened!
Sebu: He’s on “Girl Friday,” which is insane. We didn’t get in a room for this recording, because with this modern technology called the Internet, we were able to exchange ideas and files and collaborate that way. It’s cool.
Sebu, have you seen the “American Apparel Ad Girls” parody of “Farrah Fawcett Hair” since we spoke?
Sebu: I have seen it. I think it’s amazing. It’s truly entertaining.
Sebu: Hopefully the full-length will be out before the end of the summer, so we’re going to keep recording and once it’s out we’ll do music videos and touring.
Stream the Swimming Pool Summer EP: