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Interview with City Lights Bassist Chase Clymer

City Lights is a pop/punk band from Columbus, Ohio. The band consists of lead singer Oshie Bichar, drummer Sean Smith, bassist Chase Clymer, and guitar players Jeremy Smith and Kamron Bradbury. The band formed in 2008 and have had a lot of success since then. They worked with Brooks Betts, guitar player for Mayday Parade, and self released and promoted their EP and sold over 5,000 copies. They are currently in the studio working on their second album. You can follow the band and all its members on twitter, like them on Facebook, or just learn more about them at http://www.citylightspoppunk.com/.
What is the local music scene like in Columbus? In other words, was it hard to try and be successful as a band coming from there?

Columbus is a very, very big city. It’s the 15th largest in the US. There is a lot of competition coming from Columbus, not just musically, but event wise. On any given night there is a bunch of shit going on. It’s a lot of hard work to make your event stand out. We take a lot of time and effort to dedicate into our hometown shows to try to give our fans a reason to come see us instead of doing one of the other billion things going on in Columbus. The music scene here is strong, and very supportive. It’s also very vast. We have a lot of metal / hardcore coming from here, as we’ll as indie and more straight forward radio stuff. The pop punk scene is really up and coming.

How did you meet Brooks Betts?

I meet Brooks a long time ago before I even joined the band. We hung out at Bamboozle like 4 years ago and I made a fool of myself. I joined the band about a year after that. He helped out a ton with landing us tours and introducing us to the right people and really helped take us from shitty local band to shitty touring band.

What do you attribute your success with self releasing your EP to?

That EP sold well because we hustled our ass off and talked to everybody we could about it at about a dozen Warped Tour dates and a dozen Blink 182 dates. We had a fire under our ass to get the word out their about our music!

When you tour, what is your favorite city to play?

Any city that we have friends in. If we had a reason behind being in this band other than our love for music, it would be our love of traveling. We love seeing the country, and we have made a million friends along the way, so it’s awesome when you come back through town and see a familiar face!

How did you guys meet each other/when did you form the band?

Growing up, Oshie and Sean played in like 36 local bands together. Oshie found out about a new pop punk project that Sean and the other members were starting and forced his way into the band by declaring ‘When’s practice, I’ll be there. I’m in the band.’ I met Oshie at a restaurant we both worked at together. We’ve gone through a few guitar players since we started, but Kamron and Jeremy are here for the long haul. Jeremy was met when he toured with City Lights way back when he was with Freshman 15. He played guitar in that band for a hot minute. Kamron played guitar in an Underoath cover band called Though She Wrote for like 8 years, and then they broke up and he took our old guitarist Joey’s spot, who left to pursue his college education.

You just had a kick starter going, how fast did you hit your $5,000 goal/ what is the money being used for?

We hit our goal in only a week. It’s got like 48 hours left now I think. All the money is going to pay for the expenses associated with our sophomore album. Oh, and paying for the cost of the prizes / rewards we set up via kickstarter.

If you could describe your music as a combination of two different bands, what bands would you choose?

Earth Crisis meets Maroon 5.

Ideally, in 5 years, where do you see the band?

We’ll probably turn into a cover band and you’ll see us on Friday nights playing ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ to a bunch of rednecks during happy hour.

How did you guys get signed to InVogue records?

We were toying around with the idea of releasing new music, and I texted Nick to see if he wanted to put it out. 24 hours later we had a contract and the rest is history!

If you could describe your fans in one word, what would it be?

Supportive. They helped us out a ton with this kickstarter project and coming and seeing us play on tour. We’ve played all over America and it’s amazing to see the support we get from all our fans. Thank you guys so much!

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