Los Angeles-based electro-poppers, Capital Cities, sometimes channel the ‘80s with their vibrant musical personalities and onstage style, but mostly the band creates sounds based on the weird, unique perspective on life. Green—but not so green.

Co-frontment Sebu Simonian and Ryan Merchant met each other on Craigslist for various artistic reasons, started writing commercial jingles, and eventually a band manifested from their “weird experience” of writing different genres for ad supervisors who didn’t completely understand the musical process.

Many people compare Capital Cities to ‘80s electro-pop artists and while the pair does mention Depeche Mode, New Order, and Madonna as influences, Simonian says they are huge Pink Floyd fans. They even did a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Breathe” with a hip-hop twist using a Tupac Shakur verse.

When it comes to Pink Floyd, Simonian says one should just close their eyes “and listen to the music paint colors and pictures.”

Capital Cities’ music evokes that same feeling and they even have a fittingly-titled song named “Chartreuse” (side note: they were wearing chartreuse blazers during the interview) that plays up the band’s love of color.

“Chartreuse is a kind of off-the-wall green, it’s more fluorescent, it’s got a little yellow in there,” describes Simonian saying that they’re the same as band.

“We’re green with a little bit of pizazz,” continued the musician. To show off some of their pizazz, we encouraged them to do their Capital Cities shuffle dance, which you can see below.


When asked what kinds of things make them feel “safe and sound” as inspired by their hit single, Merchant chimed in naming an “iced Americano in the morning.” Simonian cited “good Peruvian ceviche.”

“What about your wife Sebu?” countered Merchant. Simonian’s wife laughed in the background.

“My wife Tamar–I love her. She makes me feel safe and sound. Thanks for reminding me, Ryan.”

–Nadia Noir, KROQ Los Angeles

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