Citizen heads for ‘Suppy Nation Tour’Written by Mike Bauman | | firstname.lastname@example.org
While the summer after high school graduation is seen by many as a last bastion of juvenile freedom prior to adulthood, Toledo native and 2012 Start High School graduate Nick Hamm experienced a different kind of freedom.
Instead of running amok in Northwest Ohio and putting thoughts of a looming fall semester of college courses in the back of his mind, Hamm traveled across the country this past summer with his brother Eric as part of their first national tour in local indie punk outfit Citizen.
“That first tour, it was pretty crazy because I don’t think we had traveled west as a band,” Hamm said. “I think the furthest we had been was, like, Chicago, so it was a lot of our first times seeing the country, and that was pretty crazy in itself.”
Though it was Citizen’s first time making it across the country, it wasn’t the first time its music had reached a national audience, something Hamm and his bandmates discovered while on tour.
“There was one specific show where in California there was 200 people there, and it’s so crazy because that’s a similar crowd that we draw in Toledo,” Hamm said.
“So it’s pretty crazy to go out to a state that far for the first time and be playing for that many people that already know who you are and know your words and sing along.
“It’s pretty wild, especially coming out of high school.”
Citizen — Hamm (guitar), his brother Eric (bass), Ryland Oehlers (guitar), Cray Wilson (drums) and Mat Kerekes (vocals) — spent the better part of 2012 getting its name out to as many fans as possible. Since touring with Turnover and Light Years during the summer, the band has continued playing shows across the United States and even made its way into Canada. That live experience will continue in 2013 with what Hamm said will be Citizen’s biggest tour yet. “The Suppy Nation Tour” kicks off in March with The Story So Far, Man Overboard, Tonight Alive and The American Scene.
“It’s going to be pretty crazy,” Hamm said of “The Suppy Nation Tour.” “There’s going to be hundreds of people there every night and it won’t, like, come down on us if a show’s not good, but I don’t think we’re going to have to worry about it at all for this tour.
“The Story So Far and Man Overboard both have huge fan bases, so it’s going to be really cool to support a tour like that rather than headline or be one of the bands that the draws are determined by.”
Prior to heading out on the road again for “The Suppy Nation Tour,” Citizen will play a hometown gig at Frankie’s Inner City on Feb. 3. That performance will be followed by a trip to Conshohocken, Pa., on Feb. 9, where the band will begin recording its debut, full-length album with producer Will Yip (CKY, Papa Roach, The Wonder Years).
“He’s got so much experience and it’s cool that he’s still helping out smaller bands because his production quality is good enough to be doing whatever he wants to, so it’s really cool,” Hamm said of Yip. “And the studio that he works at is pretty legendary. It’s had anywhere from Bob Dylan to Boys II Men record there, so it’s pretty crazy.”
Hamm said Citizen will record with Yip from Feb. 9 until March 1 before getting ready to head out on “The Suppy Nation Tour,” which will close at Headlines on April 13 as part of Jamboree.
“I think it’s going to be an early summer release, and we’ve got a lot of songs ready for it,” Hamm said of Citizen’s forthcoming full-length album. “I think it’s definitely the best music we’ve written thus far, so we’re all excited about it.”
Having done the amount of touring Citizen has in the past year, Hamm said, road experiences like seeing the Grand Canyon and traveling the country together have only made the band stronger and brought its members closer.
“We drove 10 hours out of the way to go and we got there right as the sun was rising,” Hamm said of Citizen’s visit to the Grand Canyon. “So it was really insane to see something that you only see on TV and all that, so that was pretty crazy.”
On Feb. 3, Citizen will perform at a show that also features Dead End Path, Build and Destroy, Freedom and Arrows at Frankie’s, 308 Main St. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Advance tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, as well as locally at Culture Clash Records (419-536-LOVE) and RamaLama Records (419-531-ROCK). Doors are at 6 p.m. and all ages are welcome.