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In Words: Citizen Charlie

- Charlie - Nov. 2010 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

Citizen Charlie
© Citizen Charlie

Charlie - November 30th 2010 (by email)

Fans of female-fronted heavy rock might came across Citizen Charlie, but what do you know about Charlie? Well, to change that got a few questions answered by Charlie!

Many music loves won't know Citizen Charlie, so please tell us a bit about yourself and the beginning of the band!

Citizen Charlie is my solo project that I started after my first band, Charlie's Drugstore split up. It was a bit numbing to be on my own after so many years in a band, and then I met long-time producer, Arvid Solvang. Arvid is a well-known pop-producer in Norway, having several hits with Maria Meña and Christel Alsos. What most people don't know is that he's a great rock guitarist as well. We sat down and wrote my debut-album Citizen Charlie and the collaboration was so giving that we did the same on the second album Up Yours.

In 2008 you had a self-titled debut, have you been satisfied with the response to your debut?

I got a great review in Classic Rock Magazine which I will never forget, and with the help of that and Dave Watts of CRMK Radio in England, I landed a management contract with Rocksector Records. That has resulted in 3 UK tours so far and a license deal with Rocksector for the second album Up Yours. Given that I didn't have a record deal on the first album, the sales and promo obviously could've been better, but all in all I'm happy with the response I got.

Now 2 year later Up Yours made it into the stores. As I don't know the debut, please tell us, what's the difference for you between the 2 albums?

Citizen Charlie is a bit more rough around the edges, and a bit more punk in its expression while Up Yours is a bit heavier. But I think the biggest difference is the change in my voice. The touring naturally evolved my voice, and to me there's a huge difference in the two records, but I still love them both.

Your songs have this rock'n'roll feeling, they sound dirty but with a modern production. it seems that some 70's / 80's hard rock bands influenced you... Which bands have influenced you?

Well, I grew up in the late 80's / early 90's, so naturally I listened to the bands of that era like Guns'n'Roses, Ozzy, Skid Row etc, but I hung out with people slightly older than me and they introduced me to Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Motörhead and so on. I guess they've all influenced me in some way but I've never been conscious of that, so I can't really tell.

Sometimes you are compared to Courtney Love, some name Joan Jett. What do you think about this comparisons?

It's absolutely flattering, and I did listen to Joan Jett when I was younger. I actually never listened to Courtney Love until I was compared to her, but I see the point. They are both very independent artists who are not afraid to speak their mind, and I think it's that attitude that people find similar.

Which songs represent the Citizen Charlie sound best in your opinion? And which do you enjoy most playing live?

I don't know really, 'coz they're all so personal to me and therefore they all represent the Citizen Charlie sound to me. I love playing All In All live because of the groove and attitude. To me there's so much energy driving forward in that song.

Do you write songs as a band? Or are you the main song writer? Are you already work on new songs?

I've written all of the songs with Arvid Solvang. I usually write the melodies and the lyrics, but sometimes Arvid will bring up a melody and a guitar riff or a beat. All In All started out with the beat and me coming up with the siren riff.

You played a short tour in the UK. Did the tour went well? Can we expect you to hit the road again in 2011?

I've actually done 3 UK tours since February 2009, with the last in July 2010. We did 9 shows on this last tour and overall it went great. There's always that one gig that really sucks, but the rest was a blast. We toured with Falling Red for the second time and they are great guys to hang on tour with.
The plan is to do another tour of the UK in 2011, maybe two.

There are a few videos available on YouTube which fans did. I'm not talking about a pro video, just something which has a decent quality and which shows the band live... Any chance you record something at a show?

Actually that has been done, I'm just a bit slow when it comes to getting stuff like that done. But I promise to get something out before Christmas. :)

What's next on your schedule?

Musically, I'm gonna keep promoting this album until the next tour. Aside from that I'm responsible for the artist accreditation and accommodation on ByLarm in February 2011, which is a huge music convention / festival in Oslo, so my work on that starts in December and ends February 19th.

Looks like Charlie will be pretty busy the next months, and hopefully she can tour with her band all over Europe in 2011 to introduce more people to Citizen Charlie!

Claudia Ehrhardt


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