Citizen Charlie: The Here & Now (NSFW language)

By Walter Price

It was about a week ago when I was having a chat with Alle Royale and he asked a very interesting question. “Are you still in contact with Citizen Charlie?”

That started a quest to find out why we haven’t heard from this Norwegian rocker in some time. We started checking Facebook, Twitter, Skype and the other places one would search in this modern social media world. What we discovered is that we couldn’t really find any activity from the CC camp in more than a year or so. 

We decided to take it to the public and published the following

Where In The World Is Citizen Charlie?! 


What ever happened to Norwegian rock act Citizen Charlie? Fronted by powerhouse vocalist/songwriter Christel Forsberg, CC seems to have just, poof, disappeared. 


I first ran into Citizen Charlie on MySpace back in 2006 and later aired the “Beer & Rock n Roll” track from her, not yet released, self titled debut album on my syndicated radio program in 2007. Since then CC has had three critically successful releases, ‘Citizen Charlie’, an EP called ‘Until The Day’ and 2010’s ‘Up Yours’ (Rocksector Records).

We’ve checked the band’s Facebook, Skype and Twitter accounts and they all look like they’ve been dormant for the past year or so and we can’t find an official website anyplace. 


If you know what happened to Citizen Charlie or Christel Forsberg, let us know. We’d love to catch up with this amazing voice from Norway!

Share with your friends and maybe we’ll eventually solve this musical mystery! 

This Is Now


It took a couple days but C. Price found Christel Forsberg’s Facebook page and we started a dialogue with the, found but never lost, Citizen Charlie.
This dialogue culminated into the following interview. That is an honest and no-holds barred look at the behind the scenes goings on of Citizen Charlie and the unpredictable business of a music artist.


First off, I’m happy we’ve re-connected. What was your first thought(s) when you saw our piece on your whereabouts?
I was taken aback for a moment, thinking oh no, what am I gonna say, as i don’t have any news for the time being. But then I was flattered that someone remembered my music and thought it important enough to write about.

What caused your break from the music scene the past year or so?
Well, i got pregnant in 2011 and had a son in july 2012. And even though i contemplated making a new album while on maternity leave, the reality is that record companies no longer pay for the recording sessions and touring alone is not enough to break even. I still have a need to express myself, so maybe i should start a bitch blog instead.

Haha, I think that would make you happy at the end of the day! After talking with you the other day I got the sense that maybe you had some animosity towards the record business or was it just too hard to make ends meet in general?
Uh, do I think it´s fair that bands and musicians are the last to make a buck, while managers, engineers, publicists etc seem to make a decent living? No! Animosity? Not really, I think it comes down to the fact that after a while the concept of pay to play loses its romance, and you realize that while most people struggle to get a job, you’re eating shit and living in rat infested buildings by choice. That´s just fucked up, and I had to admit to myself that I wanted more out of day to day life than credibility for being a rock chick. 

So, basically it was just too hard making ends meet, and I would gladly have continued if the cash flow situation was different.

It’s my/our opinion that the music you write and perform is beyond ‘rock chic’ status.

You’ve self released music before, do you think if you had the means you’d do another album and tour with more control over the money aspect of it? Say, your own label with a distribution deal or what have you?
Thanks, I really appreciate that.

I have my own label, and also have a digital distribution deal ( at least last I checked;)), so I had control over recording and manufacturing costs.  The problem is that you can’t predict sales and how many will show up at your gigs. For that you need a radio or Youtube hit or that someone with media clout picks you up. There’s just too many uncertainties. But hey, if someone said: “make a new album, we guarantee for the costs and promise that you’ll stay in decent hotels and will be able to pay your rent”, I wouldn’t think twice about doing it. 

After some time off do you have a new album of material ready to go? Your life has changed in major ways in this time and you’ve clearly had time to reflect on your past experiences.
Not really, I don’t work that way. I have ideas of what I wanna say and where i wanna go musically, but nothing’s definite until i sit down with my producer and we start jamming. Off course, things have changed and that will necessarily influence my writing, but if you ask if it has changed my style, i would have to say no. I just have more to rant about.

We’re ready to hear you rant once again!
Haha, I bet you are!

Since you’ve had these experiences, what advice would you give anyone wanting to get into this music business/game?
Either have a sugar daddy in your back pocket or play the lottery;) No, really, I don’t have the answers, and even if I did, musicians are not very likely to listen to reason anyway.

Well played.

I told you I wouldn’t keep you long so let me ask you this. Will you truly consider getting back into the mix and give the world another album and the chance to discover/rediscover what is Citizen Charlie?
Yes, and I think I do that every day. It´s not like I’ve totally dismissed it, It’s more like “should I make another album? Maybe, but not today”. That answer might change tomorrow, next month, or next year, who knows…

With great wisdom from this interviewer/friend, sooner the better!
(Sends happy face)

One more thing you can help me with. All day I’ve had a mental battle. Falco or Biz Markie?
Being European, I have to go with Falco. 

I knew it….

Thank you for talking with me and The GTC. We would love to hear you record again and we hope you do. Please keep us updated.
My pleasure, time will tell.  You’ll be the first to know!

Danke!

Find Citizen Charlie on Facebook, click HERE!


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