Motor City Cribs 

Citizen Smile's hallowed Roseville rehearsal space

When the Roseville power pop quartet Citizen Smile inquired if we wanted to photograph them at their church rehearsal space, we envisioned the classic setting of a group taking over an abandoned church like Plymouth's Chris Breest or R.E.M back in early '80s Athens, Ga. We realized something was up when we were given a phone call instructing us which door on which side of the church to enter.

See, Citizen Smile's space is an active, full-on mega house o' worship. Roseville's Cornerstone Baptist Church is where guitarist-vocalist Kory Kopchick has been wearing his Sunday best since he was a kid. When Kopchick and best friend and neighbor James Brown started Citizen Smile, it just made sense to practice at the church.

The Cornerstone had been a school when the church took it over in 1994 and proceeded to double its size. Today it's a thriving congregation of a couple thousand. You can only imagine how massive it sounds in the high-ceilinged auditorium when a service is in full swing — or when a rock and roll band takes over.

Given Smile's singsong, high-volume power pop, you'd expect the band to cite the usual inspirations — Big Star, Badfinger, Beatles, Sloan. Kopchick fesses up to differences: "We're actually more into Wilco, Weezer and Nada Surf. And the Who."

Citizen Smile plays the Lager House on Friday, Dec. 10, or see them at Cornerstone Baptist Church on Friday, Dec. 17. For more info go to the band's Facebook page:

Get the flash player here:


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation