Citizen Zero’s Josh LeMay on ‘State of Mind’ + Overcoming Odds


Story by Anne Erickson

Interview: Citizen Zero have worked their way to the top

Citizen Zero serve up an anthemic, cathartic hard rock sound that has as much heart as heaviness. The Detroit band – which includes Josh LeMay (vocals and guitar), Sammy Boller (lead guitar), John Dudley (drums) and Sam Collins (bass) – has a busy 2017 itinerary, including tours with Steel Panther and Black Stone Cherry, plus festival dates.

Fresh off their tour with Steel Panther, LeMay spoke with Anne about this band’s current album, “State of Mind,” what’s ahead of Citizen Zero and what he hopes people take away from his music.

Anne Erickson: Your debut album on Wind-Up Records, “State of Mind,” dropped last summer. What was it like releasing your first major-label set? So many bands dream of that.

Josh LeMay: I still don’t believe that it happened. It’s one of those things we all dreamed about. We are all third-generation musicians. Our grandfathers and dads played. It’s something they never got to do. It’s just a different time. There was a lot of anticipation growing up and dreaming of coming out with our first record on a label. It felt like we waited our entire lives for Aug. 12, 2016.

You guys are from Detroit. How would you describe the feel for music in Detroit right now?

It’s all over the place, and I love it. Detroit is a melting pot. It seems to be we’re gathering all this culture from a music standpoint. It’s cool to see everything from rock to metal to the crazy electronic scene here. There are so many different shows, and so many different venues to see shows. It was really hard to get kids down to Detroit for a long time, but now with the Masonic Temple being back to being full restored – Underoath and Bring Me the Horizon were there last night, and it was madness – Detroit has this crazy comeback story, and music is at the front lines. I love it!

Would you say there’s any theme to “State of Mind” or Citizen Zero’s music, in general?

I think State of Mind is written about a state of mind of overcoming impossible odds and letting what you want to do influence you over all else. It’s about having this record written over three years, and how we reacted during this period of wondering if this album would ever come out.

You’ve been touring a ton behind “State of Mind.” Does one show stand out?

Every show! We decided a little while ago that being a singer, sometimes you have your good shows and bad shows, but for us, we don’t have the luxury of having a bad show. If you’re not healthy, it doesn’t matter. People who come out to see you at a show with five people are going to get the same show as with 5,000 people. Everybody deserves the same show and the ability to lose themselves coming out to a show.

What do you hope people take away from your music?

As far as the music goes, we want to have a reaction. We want people to listen to it and feel something, even if it takes them back to a place or triggers something that makes them mad or happy or sad. We want anything that causes a reaction.

Courtesy photo

Follow Audio Ink Radio on Facebook here and Twitter @AudioInkRadio.