Before I say anything, Tom Burke from Citizens! quickly informs me that he’s running on Greenwich Mean Time. Apparently this is very important.
"It's quarter past 11 in the morning. I'm sitting on my bed and we've just finished a European tour, so it's good to have someone to talk to."
As all Brits are now contractually obliged to do so, Tom ended this sentence not with a quick plug for Citizens!’ new album, but for the Olympics. What he doesn't realise is that being able to duck off for a quick tour of Europe is the envy of most Australian bands who find themselves still stuck on an island off the coast of Nauru, and basically nowhere near anything except Tasmania and a few whales.
"It's funny, Europe still feels like the edge of the world to us. But being on a French record label gives us access to that sort of thing, we're able to leave for beaches and better food in Southern France. It makes for a nice change, as I'm sure you can imagine."
Citizens! debut LP 'Here We Are' has garnered some favourable praise of late, particularly from the usual suspects at NME. Yet the band still seems mildly peeved at the amount of people mistaking their sound for a Franz Ferdinand prototype. When pressed about it, Tom feels content to put the comparisons down to laziness.
"Obviously we can't be surprised by that considering [Franz Ferdinand frontman] Alex Kapranos worked as our producer, and it's a very flattering comparison. The first two Franz albums are especially well made... but we are our own entity, and perhaps we want people to listen harder. The comparison can be made about certain songs, but there are lots of different influences. I think a lot of the Franz comparisons come down to lazy journalism.
"But sometimes it gets really weird, like we had this person come up to us in France and ask which Franz Ferdinand song it was we did a cover of. When we got together people were putting out a lot of stale pop music. We had a rule in the studio which we actually posted to a wall, saying that no two elements in one song could come from the same time period.”
Citizens! debut album ‘Here We Are’ is out now. They play Parklife at the Brisbane Riverstage and Botanic Gardens September 29.