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q&a: the city and horses

With only two members listed on their facebook page, and 10 more “in the stable”, The City and Horses are something of a band of intrigue.

Singer and guitarist, Marc Cantone, sat down with Lip to shed some light on the indie pop NYC/Philly outfit.

Describe your sound in five words or less.
A bowl of indie-pop bouillabaisse.

Was there a particular moment or artist that made you want to pursue music?
I’ve always written songs but it probably wasn’t until I started listening to Sebadoh cassette tapes in the mid-90s that I really thought I could join the fray.

What inspires you? Has this and/or your songwriting process changed as the band has evolved?
Anxiety, fear, inadequacy, fuels a lot of what I write.  But I’m always pleasant about it. That’s important.

My girlfriend is mad that I don’t write her love songs.  The closest I’ve come is a new song about how nice she is to put up with me.

Listening to other bands also inspires me to write.  I actually wrote the song I just told you about after I heard Teenage Fanclub’s “Baby Lee.”

Who do you most admire?
People who do good things for others.  Everything else is bullshit.

What do you like/hate about New York City? Is it a good place to be fostering your sound?
Well, I moved from NYC to Philly a few months ago but I miss it.  The thing I love most about NYC is being able to go out at any time and get something to eat.  I think I’ve lost weight since I moved for that reason.  I don’t go out at 3AM anymore to get mozzarella and tomato sandwiches.

We also weren’t really part of a scene, either.  There were some awesome bands we played shows with like the Exeter Popes, Cheer!, the Secret History, Baby Teardrops and others but we never fit into a clique.  It’s probably my fault.  Scenes bore me and I bore them.  Not a good combination.  Plus, we’re too short to be noticed.  You have to be quite tall in Williamsburg to enter certain establishments.  We didn’t meet the height requirement.

Is it difficult to coordinate yourselves, given that it’s quite a large band?
Yes, it’s exceedingly difficult, especially now that we live in different cities.  We didn’t play many shows before and we’ve only played one since I moved. But we have a new album out now on Paper Garden Records and I’m sure we’ll saddle up for some shows.

When I was little I wanted to…
Be a fighter pilot…then I discovered I was claustrophobic and scared of heights.

What’s your guilty pleasure?
All pleasure gives me guilt so the list is quite long.

Do you think the music industry treats female musicians differently to male musicians? Do you think it’s more difficult for women to establish themselves?
I think the music industry treats everyone, male or female, like 15-year-old stock boys at Dairy Queen (I should know, I was one). The pay sucks, the floors are sticky and the ones handing out the ice cream cones get all the glory. While my analogy just melted like so much soft serve, I think you get the idea.

I also think it’s equally hard for anyone, regardless of gender, to establish themselves as a musician.  If you’re good, you’re good.  If you’re good and someone in a position of power casts a shining gaze down upon you, you’re more than good, you’re golden. And that’s what it really comes down to.  Talent and timing.

But what do I know?  I got fired from Dairy Queen.

What have you always wanted to be asked?
How long have you and Lindsay Lohan been together? (Apologies to my girlfriend Kennedy James.)  In all honesty, I could turn her career around.  We’d start by touring together in Noel Coward’s “Red Peppers” and shortly after co-direct a documentary about blind people who bowl.  That’d do the trick.

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