Bittersweet: Angelina Torreano of Citris

Get your dancing shoes ready kids, this is DIY at its finest.

Joanna Harkins

March 31, 2014 | Gold | April 2014

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A little psychedelic, a little garage, the four piece rock group Citris (not “Citrus”) hails from Purchase, New York. We had the chance to chat with the band’s frontwoman, Angelina Torreano.  She shared a little bit about the process and growth behind their upcoming self-released album Half Smile (Out April 18th). If it’s even half as relatable as their previous album, Blank Girl Project, we can promise you’ll have it playing on repeat.

Tell us about the process of making this album. What makes it different from Blank Girl Project? Lyrically, musically etc.

Angelina: The process of this album was a really, long, drawn out one. We went from engineer to engineer trying to get the right sounding recording and eventually we ended up having our lead guitarist, Chris Krasnow, produce/engineer the whole thing and that ended up working out really well. We would have had this album done a year ago if we decided to keep the other versions of the songs we ended up scrapping. But all and all, I’d say this album is a lot less abrasive as the last one. Not that we lost the edginess of the last album but I think there’s a much more refined, pop, yet more psychedelic vibe and attitude throughout the whole record. There’s still that grunginess to it as well as that hard-rock intensity but all and all there’s a sense maturity in the songs as well as just a general chilled-out and relaxed energy. I think there’s a good balance of what we had in our last album and what we have now. Lyrically, it’s still very honest. I think some songs like, “All The Right Reasons” I went for a more literal and almost conversational approach. Some of the lyrics are just very straight forward and a little quirky/funny. Then there are the more serious ones, of course. I think with Blank Girl Project there was a sense of more angry, sarcastic, and almost narcissistic character (sometimes very humorous) and then on Half Smile the character is more vulnerable. Still angry, but expressing that anger in a more honest and almost more hopeful way.

What do you like to write about?

I like to write about details of past relationships (of course). I like to share my experiences with certain people who’ve helped shape into who I am. I like to write about the before and after affects of relationships. And not just love relationships but with family and friends and all sorts of other relationships you could think of. I like detail. I think if you had your own detail into your writing, your story is more unique and less cliche than your typical love song. Sometimes, I write about really abstract things that I actually have no idea what I’m writing about, just stream of consciousness and then eventually it may or may not mean something.

What are some of your favorite venues to play?

I’ve played the Knitting Factory before and really enjoyed the energy of the place. I also really enjoyed The Living Room. I haven’t played those venues in a while but from what I remember, they are still my favorite places out of any of the other places we’ve played. And that wasn’t when I was with Citris. With Citris, I think we have to explore more venues that we can call our favorite because so far, the best show in the city (besides playing at Purchase a lot) were, in my opinion, The Trash Bar. Good people, nice atmosphere, but it all really depends on a lot of things. i think our favorite venues will show themselves to us in the future.

Something in your voice reminds me of early 2000’s female pop-punk musicians like Avril Lavigne and Fefe Dobson (more so on Blank Girl Project than on the new single and I mean that as a compliment). Did you go through that phase in middle school like the rest of us? This is really just a roundabout way for me to ask you how you got started making music.

I hate to say it because I really don’t listen to those people any more but I DID go through that stage like most of us have and I have to admit, they were very inspiring… until I found more influential and thought provoking music. I’m not ashamed to admit that I have listened to them but at the same time, I don’t think of my writing or songs to be anything like that now. I could understand how some people would think that though.

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What can we expect from the band after the album is out?

We will definitely be playing shows and possibly touring at some point. And hopefully, if all goes well, we’ll end up having a showcase of some sort. But that’s all in the works and nothing is for sure right now. But you’ll definitely be hearing from us whether we tour, play a show, etc.

If you could have five people over for dinner, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you eat?

John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Elliot Smith, Thom Yorke, and Trent Reznor. We would all eat bacon egg and cheeses (basically all diner food options) and have endless amounts of coffee.

What was the most memorable show you’ve ever been to?

I honestly have to say, one of the most memorable shows that I’ve experienced was at Purchase when Mac Demarco played at the Stood (Student Center) on the MainStage. First of all, because it was free. Second, people I knew where in the crowd and it was fun to be pushed around in a friendly/playful way. Three, I’ve never seen someone with such a presence like his. I just honestly love his performance and the things he says between songs. It was pretty inspirational for me as a performer. Also the fact that his songs are just really good and just as exciting live as on the record, perhaps even more.

What do you want people to take away from your music?

I guess I would want people to feel inspired themselves. For me personally, whenever I hear music I like and never heard before, I just automatically am inspired. And that’s a good feeling, obviously. I like music that makes me feel bittersweet. I like music that is intense but at the same time, if you wanted to, you could put it in your car and listen to it on a long drive down the highway. I like music that makes me feel nostalgic and then at the same time, is moody and atmospheric. So I hope that my music can do either one or all of those things for people.

Since this issue of inconnu is the Gold issue – what does “staying golden” mean to you?

Staying true, staying you.

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NEW ALBUM NOW OUT.
CHECK OUT THEIR BANDCAMP HERE.
LISTEN TO THE FULL NEW ALBUM BELOW (AND CONSIDER BUYING IT CAUSE WE GOTTA SUPPORT EACH OTHER, RIGHT?):

Joanna Harkins

Joanna just graduated from NYU with a degree in Food Studies and French. She hopes to one day be a big fancy restaurant critic/food writer/ the next Oprah. Her interests include Elvis Costello, diners and hoarding magazines.

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