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By music writer, Jonathan Rimmer
OBAN hard rock quintet Citizen9 are ready to unleash a new EP, with guitarist Ruaridh Galbraith proudly calling some of the composition sessions ’pretty special’. The project, which was recorded in a converted barn, is current being and mixed and will be released in the next couple of months.
Describing themselves as ‘stoner-rock with blues influences’, Citizen9 initially formed as a covers band. That changed in 2013 when, as Galbraith puts it, ‘we realised that our favourite covers were the ones where we’d basically rewritten most of the instruments’.
Having developed their own sound, the band’s new project is set to showcase their wide array of influences.
‘There’s a lot of variety and we’re pretty proud of how it’s all coming together,’ says Galbraith. ‘We’ve recorded four tracks in John Hausrath’s converted barn, known as Dunbeg Studios, and worked with our good friend Mike Hogg for the production.
‘The songs showcase our sound pretty well. In terms of influences, we cover a broad spectrum. Bands like Truckfighters and Clutch [heavy blues-inspired bands from US] are a huge influence, but we sometimes mess around with time signatures and pretend we are in Tool or Porcupine Tree.’
Citizen9 have already built up a formidable live reputation, having been regulars at the ‘Oban Mic’ sessions until the host venue O’Donnell’s recent closure, but have struggled to play regular shows for various reasons.
‘We’ve only played about four gigs in the last year,’ says Galbraith. ‘It’s not for lack of trying. Organising gigs when members are frequently scattered around the country is no small feat.
‘It’s also a difficult market in Oban. As a small town, there isn’t a huge demand for live bands who aren’t playing covers. There is a small circle of people, albeit mostly friends, who appreciate a night of original live music, whether it be bands or DJ sets.
‘In a way it makes it a bit more special when we do put on a gig every few months in Oban because it feels like a proper event.’
The band are planning gigs in Glasgow and Edinburgh this year, as well as a few festivals. After their lively performance at K9 Kev’s launch party two weeks ago, don’t be surprised to see them headlining a few Oban bills in the near future as well.