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By Jeff Marzolf

Citizen Zero: You Can’t Keep a Good Band Down

it takes to fill arenas here and around the world. Citizen Zero’s music is melodic while at the same time being hard rocking and full The music business is a matter of survival of hooks. Many of the songs sound like rock of the fittest. It’s a business in which only anthems. Songs like the unreleased, “What the strong survive. Many bands are here A Feeling,” for example, which the band today and then gone tomorrow. But the four played during its set at the Fillmore Theatre members of Citizen Zero have proven that in Detroit in December when it opened for they’re up for the challenge. Having endured The Rockets. personal tragedy and events that would have caused other artists to quit and throw Despite the band’s initial success the in the towel, Citizen Zero keeps on swinging. members collectively are thoughtful, But it’s no surprise that a band that’s cut its accessible and grateful to have accomplished teeth on Detroit Rock n’ Roll is poised and what they have so far. The four were ready to conquer the music world. pumped getting the chance to open for Kid Rock at D.T.E. last summer. John Dudley The lineup that includes Greg Dudley (Bass), tells of his father’s dream for the group to John Dudley (Drums), Sammy Boller (Guitar) someday play the venue before he dies. John and Josh Mayle (Vocals and Guitar) has a smiles when he says, “Well, we’ve checked collective vision. It’s to be the next musical that off our list and Dad is still here.” If the act that hails from Detroit—the city that experience of playing D.T.E. wasn’t enough, the rest of world owes a debt of musical the band was getting the thumbs up from gratitude. It’s a lofty goal for sure, but one the members of “ZZ Top” as they performed. that the members insist that keeps the band focused. They agree that it’s time for Mayle emphatically states that the group is another Eminem or Kid Rock or The White a “live” band. That’s how the group works Stripes; music that truly embodies the city best and how it records its tracks. No Pro that is the self-proclaimed Home of Rock n’ Tools allowed. Citizen Zero spends a lot of Roll. time in the studio jamming. Mayle says, “Our philosophy is to make our best eight songs It’s easy to imagine Citizen Zero reaching our worst eight songs—to continue evolve legendary status like many of the Detroit and get better.” Most nights the band can artists who have come before them. The be found working on new material at Rust band has an incredible stage presence, a Belt Studios in Royal Oak. The band’s selfhuge sound, and great songs—exactly what titled first E.P. “Citizen Zero,” was as a paying 16 LIVE


customer at Rust Belt. But since then the band signed a production deal with The Rust Brothers—and it now has free reign over Studio B to record. The band continually tries to top itself when it comes to its recordings. And all members admit that they’re their own worst critics. Mayle points out that, “A good song is a good song. It’s undeniable.” The band wants to create songs that are considered classics. Pop Music is not a dirty term to these guys. “Pop” means popular to us,” adds lead guitarist Boller. The band is not ashamed to admit that it wants its music heard by the masses. The band has received airplay on WRIF for, “DOA Sunday.” Greg Dudley recalls the first time he heard the song on the radio. He was working in a machine shop when he got a heads up from Mayle that the song was in the queue. “Here I am all covered in grease and oil—working my day job and then our song comes on the radio.” Dudley admits that, “It was cool and strange all at the same time.” The band’s second E.P., “Life Explodes” consists of six straight ahead hard rocking tunes, à la The Foo Fighters. The entire disc has an aggressive sound. The intro to the opening cut, “Crooked,” quickly lets the listener know what’s in store from the record. From Greg Dudley’s menacing bass

Detroit Live Magazine  
Detroit Live Magazine