Anthony Green on Life’s ‘Beautiful Things’
By: Amanda Ventura, College Times
Published: Wednesday, February 1, 2012
It seems like a musician with a sleeved heart would thrive more as a solo artist, but the voice of Circa Survive, Anthony Green, admits he's more collaborative by nature and needs both a band and his solo work for fulfillment. That said, the outspoken (and optimistic) songwriter has quite the year ahead of him, kicking off 2012 with a North American tour in support of Beautiful Things and plans to drop another solo record, Young Legs, after the new Circa Survive album is released later this year.
Through the crackles of poor Nashville reception, College Times chatted with Green about boobs, babies and Beautiful Things. Or at least we think we did.
College Times: Hey, how's the tour going?
Anthony Green: Tour's going really good so far. It's so much fun. Good Old War and I haven't been on tour together since our Avalon tour, so it's just been good times.
Any touring traditions you guys have?
Well, just warming up with those three guys every night is really fun. They're incredible singers and really good with harmonies. Before we go onstage every night, we'll be singing together and that always makes me feel really optimistic about the show.
The tour t-shirts are really groovy! It's you and [Dear Hunters'] Casey C. chillin' on the moon. The proceeds go to Keep A Breast Foundation, which you've been working with for a while now. When did that start?
Keep A Breast came out on a tour Circa did with Alternative Press a number of years ago and ever since then we've been working closely with them.
Beautiful Things is definitely a lot more collaborative [than Avalon] as far as guest vocalists go. Why do you think you were more comfortable with collaborations on this album?
I think the little bit of experience I got from recording and not having a whole band to bounce my ideas off of in the experience of doing Avalon helped me on what I want to do on this new record. As far as working with different producers […] and as far as collaborations, I just always wanted to sing with these people and I saw no better opportunity than now to make it work.
Is there a marked difference between working with a producer like Jason Cupps and Emile [Haynie], who is more of a hip-hopproducer?
I've noticed everyone I work with is different. With guys like Jason and guys like Emile, they all operate in a different way that makes you feel comfortable and enthusiastic and elevated as you watch the song develop into something bigger than you envisioned.
You mentioned earlier that you enjoyed bouncing ideas off band mates while you're writing. Do you think that's one of the biggest challenges as a solo artist?
It's never been difficult for me to surrender an idea. I'm not that big of a perfectionist. I feel like the best material I've ever produced are things that people had made comments on and it shows the benefit of other people sharing their opinion. It always helps to have outside input. It's a personal experience, writing songs, and I know a lot of people don't enjoy that. It always made me feel safe being around people I care about and their opinion. It makes me feel more confident.
Is there any difference writing solo and for Circa?
I think when I write songs for this project that they represent a different side of me that doesn't get represented in Circa or isn't fully represented in Circa. […] I think it's easier to write more personal stuff for my solo project than Circa because with Circa I'm speaking for four other individuals. I can't be as unfiltered as I am with my solo project.
You wrote a song for your son, James, on this album. Has he helped inspire a shift from cathartic lyrics?
He's sort of been my inspiration for everything since he was born. He's the most important thing in my world. I've written so many more songs for him than I'll ever be able to record. I have a song that I sing for him when I'm changing his diaper. It's actually just the hokey-pokey, but I'm singing, "You put your diapee on, you put your diapee off, you put your diapee on so you don't poop all over yourself." […] Since he's been born, he's made my personal and creative life a lot easier.
Touring has to be tough, as a dad. This is your first tour since James was born, right?
That's right. No, actually. He was born and then Circa went on tour five days after he was born. I immediately left him. The thing that sucks about it now is that I had the last couple months off and Circa was writing and I was getting my record together. He's old enough now he knows that I'm leaving and he's like, "Bye?" It's sad for me, but I'm lucky that Meredith has good friends and I'm actually thinking about flying him out.
Can you tell me anything about Young Legs?
It's gonna be really weird.
Honestly, all of the songs are on an iPad. There are no real instruments. I'm only on the demos. I don't know how that's going to change, but I definitely think it's going to be the weirdest solo album anyone has ever released. [laughs] It's gonna be a really fun experiment.
Given that the name of the album is Beautiful Things, what's one of the most beautiful things you can think of?
One of the most beautiful things that I experience is when I wake up in the morning and my son is waking up and I go and take him out of his bed, get him up, get ready and spend my day with him. And he's waking up and I can go in and he sees me and he smiles and it's one of the most beautiful things in my life. I think about it when I'm away from him. […] There's nothing more beautiful in my life than that right now.
You sound like a really good dad.
Thanks. I try. I'm trying really hard.
Anthony Green: College Times Interview . (02.01.2012)AG Interview
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