Detroit Rock City Is Alive! Whoever Said Rock Was Dead Hasn't Heard Citizen Zero

Citizen Zero has been making waves in the indie rock community since they released their debut EP in 2012. 

I recently got a chance to speak to these Detroit rockers about their first full-length album, State of Mind, and how their home town influences their sound. 

Read on to find out why you should make Citizen Zero your next download, and why their-live act is a can't miss.

"Every album has a story, and this was ours."

Lead guitarist Sammy Boller is nonchalant when I ask about the details of what brought the band here today. 

It's August, 4th 2016 and they are about to play their first New York gig to promote the release of their debut album. 

The details behind what brought them here are the stuff of rock dreams, and they've got the goods to back it up.


"From Motown to Seger... It's a great Blues town, a great Jazz town. Every style of music has made it's way. You can pull from so many different things." 

And it's apparent upon listening to Citizen Zero's album that the band is inspired by more than just hard rock. 

I asked the guys about one track that really stuck out to me as being a departure from their signature sound: "Home."

"It's on the cusp of country rock" says drummer John Dudley. " "Home" is a product, especially with this album, we made a pact to not hinder any songwriting...You can't start writing something and already say "this isn't us" because it is something. 

Josh nods in agreement, "Its important not to fake it. You don't think about it, It just happens."

One thing that long-time fans of Citizen Zero will know (and that fans of Detroit rock will love) is that the band was discovered by Kid Rock's recording engineer who got them in the studio for 2 years to record their debut EP. 


Obviously I had to learn more about this. The guys call it their "college experience" because as Sam puts it, "None of us went to college... but you can't teach what we learned in the studio during that time." 

Josh adds: "those guys are very good at putting you in an uncomfortable state where creativity really breeds." See everyone, you don't have to go to college to follow your dreams! You do have to play an instrument super well though... Anyway, don't go to college if you don't want to. BAM.


The time had come for me to see the guys play live! I went into the show with high hopes of course, because earlier in the day in speaking to Josh, Sammy, John, and Sam they were all in agreement that "everything you do is in support of when you go out to perform live." 

It was clear from talking to Citizen Zero that as important as songwriting and recording is to them, playing live is when they feel they really get to connect with their audience. 

I asked what I could expect to see at a Citizen Zero show and was quickly told "guitar solos." I was not disappointed.


People, you need to see this band play live! They killed their New York debut and my ears just stopped ringing which means I might be old now? 

Josh LeMay holds the crowd with his vocals and Sammy Boller's guitar solos are insane. 

Bring your friends who love rock, bring your friends who don't love rock in an effort to convert them.

Check out their tour here and stream "State of Mind" on August 12th here!

[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram] 

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