Capital Cities knows how to write a damn good pop song (heard of ‘Safe and Sound’?) and the duo is back after a few years of studio silence. Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian stopped by HollywoodLife.com to discuss their much-needed followup to 2013’s ‘In a Tidal Wave of Mystery’, a possible Rick Ross collaboration, and Sebu’s beard.
“We’re working diligently on music right now,” Ryan Merchant tells me. “We have a new album that’s going to be coming out pretty soon.” In the meantime, I asked a bunch of burning questions. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
For your next album, will you change up the sound, or stay in In A Tidal Wave of Mystery‘s lane?
Ryan Merchant: We’re just re-recording all the songs with kazoo instead of trumpet, because kazoo is sexy.
Is a Rick Ross collaboration still on the table?
Sebu Simonian: It’s on the table. It’s in the middle of the table. It’s teetering on the edge.
What’s your advice to humanity?
SS: Eat seasonal and local.
RM: Drink good coffee.
SS: Drink a lot of water.
What was it like when Safe and Sound blew up?
RM: It happened over such a long period of time. It seems like an overnight thing, but it was a long journey. It’s very exciting when a song starts to do this thing — you start to hit these milestones. You’re getting booked for Coachella, you’re doing TV shows. You start doing all these bucket list rights of passage for a band that’s kind of making it. You get to travel throughout the world. It’s incredible.
Drag Race superstars parodied “Farrah Fawcett Hair”. Have you seen the “American Apparel Ad Girls” video?
RM: Sebu didn’t know about it!
SS: I live in a bubble.
RM: I sent it to you.
SS: I don’t check his emails.
Sebu has a very impressive beard. What’s the relationship between the band and the beard?
RM: I always keep mine cut. I’m not even gonna mess with that beard.
SS: He’s being humble about it. If he let it go, he could compete with me. I’m waiting for that day so he can take over and I can shave the damn thing off.
Have you ever thought about sticking stuff in the beard?
RM: Yeah, I’ve thought about it.
SS: I store food away for the winter.
What are you watching right now? [Ed. note: I should have been more specific.]
RM: Bird watching. I live by a marsh and there are a lot of birds.
What’s the weirdest or most unique venue you’ve ever played?
SS: My friend’s house. He has a very weird place.
RM: We played a corporate event at the Statue of Liberty once. That was surreal.
Have you met anyone who really made you starstruck?
SS: Stevie Wonder.
RM: Andie MacDowell. I love Andie MacDowell. Always have, always will. She’s a beauty.
SS: Jennifer Connelly. I like her a lot.
Any style phases you regret?
SS: No. We’re very hip. Our fashion sensibility is spot on.
RM: That is not true.
SS: I’m going to be regretting this slick-backed hair thing in a few months.
You can watch our Facebook Live interview above!