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  1. “There Is Always Darkness” : In The Studio with Anthony Green July 1, 2013 by TJ Horansky http://www.altpress....h_anthony_green Circa Survive frontman Anthony Green can be a difficult person to get a hold of these days. Between recording his new solo album, Young Legs, touring with his “day job,” and taking his two young boys to the playground, it’s easy to understand why the highly revered lead singer can seem so elusive. AP was lucky enough to catch up with Green for a few minutes and pick his brain on his new solo record, fatherhood and how to avoid getting “flabby.” Interview: TJ Horansky Where are you calling from today? Right now I’m home. I took the day off from the studio today. We pretty much have one day left tomorrow, so today we had a little extra time. Today has just been a little bit of regrouping and going over some last minute things I want to do. I have two acoustic songs to do tomorrow, so I’ve been putting off committing to a structure for those songs. Right now, I’m in the process of trying to figure those out. Young Legs is your first solo album with producer Will Yip. What went in to your decision to record with him? Will did Violent Waves for Circa, and when we worked together, I noticed how he was with everybody. I really loved his energy. He always came off as the type of dude who was down to try anything and was open to new methods. He takes every band on an individual basis and does what he thinks is necessary. Beautiful Things and Avalon had been fairly written for years before I recorded them. This was the first time I went in with a couple of songs like that, but it was mostly ideas that I wanted to advance on and build in the studio. Will and I would get together and pick the ideas we wanted to jam on. We then spent a week just listening to the ideas. We would sit around a piano to figure out chord structures and vocals. It was building the song around just the piano and the vocals. We would then track it live for a few hours until we were done making our little various changes. When that was done, we would move on and start from scratch on the next song. Was that a more organic recording process than on Avalon and Beautiful Things? For those records, I had a pretty clear vision of how I wanted the songs to sound before I went into the studio. With some of the ideas on this new album though, I would only have a chorus idea or a couple notes, but nothing was committed. This is the most off-the-grid album I’ve recorded since I was a little kid. Since Circa and other stuff over the past 10 years, budgets got bigger and time got different in the studio, so we would be more prepared. I have been really dying to just go into the studio with a handful of ideas and work with them on the spot. Mainly, writing vocals and lyrics on the spot. I wanted to let it direct itself and capture it fresh in the studio. I’ve wanted to do that since I was a little kid. We had to do it when we were younger because of time constraint, but now I’m used to going into the studio for months at a time. Will is such an awesome producer, and I think he was pretty scared coming into this process because he didn’t know what it would be like. All the times before, I would get together in a house down the shore or some place that is not a studio to get comfortable and chill. We took this really seriously. We came in and utilized every minute we had together. We really just tapped in to what felt good. We would have those “Oh shit!” moments where [we] would both look at each other and know that it’s right. We started from scratch, and we kept our antennas up for those moments in all of the songs. You posted a photo on Instagram recently of some strings being recorded for the record. Were there any other different instruments or techniques used that you had never used before? Pretty much all of the songs on this record are centered around the piano and the vocals. I never really listened to piano music before until about a year ago. I started to become really interested in the sound of the piano. I was on tour with the the Dear Hunter in Buffalo, New York, and there was a little upright piano backstage. Casey [Crescenzo] and I just started to jam to some weird chords he was making up on the spot. I was riffing off what he was doing, and we started singing and writing right there. It sounded so good. Right then, I started thinking that I wanted this record to have that feeling. I think from that realization onward, I started to come up with more of a vision. I wanted the album to be more classical instrument-based, rather than big, distorted guitars and super-trippy delay. I wanted to use violins and violas and piano and lots of percussion. That sounds much more orchestral than typical acoustic rock. Yeah. I was sort of over the whole “big drums and giant guitars and screamy vocals” rock thing. You can still be as powerful and moving, if not more. The sound of, like, a timpani and violin playing something degenerative and creepy, with a passionate vocal part can be just as archaic and visceral as any typical rock band atmosphere. I’ve been doing that for a while, and I love it, but I just felt like going further toward the spectrum of musicality and really trying to tap into those powerful moments without the same old tricks. What sort of outlet does your solo stuff provide you, compared to Circa? Circa have always been very much a collaboration of everyone in the group. We don’t say things or do things without everybody agreeing. To an extent, that is really awesome and it’s worked for us. I love it. It can also be limiting. I always want to be writing. Circa have time off sometimes, and my solo project was pretty much born out of having time off from Circa and having songs that the band didn’t want to use. I was able to continue playing music and play these songs that still meant something to me, but maybe didn’t get represented by Circa. It’s gone from that to a place where I need it now. At the beginning, I did it because I had songs and I wanted to keep working. I wanted to try and see how it went. Now, I need to do this. I write songs specifically for an Anthony Green album, as opposed to a Circa album. It gives me a feeling that I can directly communicate from myself and not have it be something that four other guys have to be represented in as well. When you have something you can control, and can decide when to give up control, it’s really beneficial. When I take time off, I get boring. When I keep writing, I just write better stuff. That’s one thing I think needs to change with bands. Back in the day, when people bought records, you would write a record, tour on it for two years and then go write a new one. You should be writing all the time. People need to not be focused on writing just 12 songs for an album and putting it out. Tour all the time, write all the time and put music out all the time. It’s like a muscle—you need to keep at it and keep exercising it to stay strong. That is a perfect analogy; it literally is a muscle. If you stop writing, it gets weak and flabby. [Laughs.] It’s been amazing to see the happiness that marriage and the birth of your two boys has given you. Has that stability in your personal life affected you as an artist in the creative process? I was just talking to my wife about this the other day. Before we had children, a lot of things were different in our lives. You can do whatever you want when you don’t have kids. You can be out the door for a party in two minutes. When you have kids, their lives are dependent on you. You can’t do that stuff. I’ve always been the type of person that just works whenever I feel like it. I could lie around and be lazy. Now that I don’t have that option, I have to manage my time. Like today, I’m going to work from nine until three, and then I’m going to take the kids to the playground. In that time, from nine until three, because I budgeted it out, I am mega-focused. I enjoy the time. There are also all these things constantly happening that are inspiring to write about that I don’t think I noticed before. I have notebooks from when I was 25 and 26 that are outlines of things to write songs about. I was brainstorming things that I thought would be cool to write about. Now, I don’t have to think about that. It’s definitely changed the way I manage my time, which in turn changes the way that I write. There is always darkness. Sometimes it’s darker than others, but you don’t always have to dwell in that. I’m battling the same demons that everybody is. Being happy and having all this amazing shit happen in my life has made it a lot easier for me to focus on making music and doing new things. The old feeling of “Oh, I’m going through this terrible break up right now, but it’s fine because it will be great for the songs” is fine, but how many fucking songs can you write about being pissed off or being lonely or being sad? You can’t do that forever. You need a spectrum, an ebb and flow of emotions. It seems like that makes better records. Yeah! And I think it makes better people. For me, this is my job and I love doing it, but writing an album and putting it out is not like writing a status update and posting it. When you do this for a living, you have this incredible opportunity to express yourself in one of the most primal and purest ways in existence. You can share that with people and get feedback from it. It’s this incredible gift, and I feel so lucky to be able to do it. Every day I worked on the record, I thought if everybody had this in their lives and had a way to build something beautiful and meaningful and possibly dark or hopeful, whatever represents them, people would be way less stressed out. They would be clear. There is so much stuff in my life that I understand from writing about it. Listening to other people and being inspired by it; it’s just this wonderful cycle. For a long time when I was really conflicted and only drawing from that, I felt like I was just constantly kicking myself in the foot. It’s painful to write about that stuff. When I sing songs about painful memories, I’m reliving those memories. I see guys on stage all the time that go up and just do their thing. You can tell there’s a lack of heart and you don’t connect with it as much. When I’m in that moment, I’m feeling all that stuff 100%. It hurts just as much as the moment I wrote it. It’s elating, too. It’s intoxicating. It makes you feel good at the same exact time, which is weird and confusing. When I was younger and had all this time to fuck around with, I don’t think I realized how lucky I was. This record was very much a therapeutic thing for me. I got to go in with a song that had nothing to it and write it in the studio that day. It’s the epitome of organic. I know people throw that word around a lot, like what really makes something “organic?” There are songs on the radio that you would think are the most organic things ever that were written by dudes in suits trying to figure out how [they were going to sell the song.]ß You seem to be at a point where you are okay writing about these painful things, but it wasn’t always that way. There is a feeling of isolation in some of your older songs from writing about painful experiences. “Your Friends Are Gone” from 2007’s On Letting Go specifically comes to mind. It’s weird because when I sing “Your Friends Are Gone,”I think about something completely different then what that song was probably intended for. When I wrote the song, I was processing something else. Songs grow. Their meaning and their words change to you over time. Going into the studio with a pretty idea that you’ve been humming along to for a while, and letting it just happen, it was such an exciting and new feeling for me. I can remember having that as a kid. It wasn’t that I was lazy, I just didn’t do it. I was just waiting until I had to commit to it before I would. I don’t know what these songs will represent to me in 10 years. A lot of these songs were written for specific people. None of them really have names, but there is a song I wrote for my mother-in-law. There is a song I wrote for Colin [Frangicetto, Circa Survive guitarist]. There is a song I wrote for [my wife] Meredith. I wrote a lot of these songs as notes to people. It’s often easier to communicate a feeling or sentiment through a song than try to describe that feeling to them. Yeah, absolutely! You know how when you’re talking to your mom and you say a specific word in a specific way, it gives a completely different connotation? When you write a song, you really play with words and change their meaning. The feeling of the song can be completely affected by just the melody, and the words can be almost opposite. You can do anything with communicating through music. You don’t even need words. Everything gets more colorful; everything takes on more life and more meaning. It’s always been easier for me to say things to people in a song. You can tell somebody to get the fuck over something in a song in a way that is still pretty and hopeful, as opposed to just saying “get the fuck over it,” which can be cold. Do you have any solo tour plans coming up? Yeah, I’m hoping to put out the album and go on tour shortly after Uproar. I want to do a full U.S. tour for as long as I can, and then try to get overseas. I want to try to play some small shows in the U.K. or Europe or Australia, which I’ve never done with my solo stuff. The Rockstar Uproar Festival with Alice In Chains, Jane’s Addiction and Coheed And Cambria starts in August. Congratulations on that. This is the first tour Circa have done in three or four years where people are congratulating us. [Laughs.]My aunts and uncles, who don’t even pay attention to our band, are like, “Oh wow, you’re going out with Alice In Chains, that’s great.” When the old folks start congratulating you, that’s how you know it’s real. [Laughs.]That’s right.
  2. Interview: Colin Frangicetto /// Circa Survive & Psychic Babble http://sonicxbloom.t...o-circa-survive Colin Frangicetto has always been a personal inspiration for me. It was right around my freshman year in high school when I first heard of him. It was at the beginning of the band Circa Survive’s life, a now thriving force in the music scene. Colin was regularly posting entries on the bands website, which was more of a tour diary it seemed. I remember feeling really connected to him and the band. I can recall him writing about life on tour, it was my first look into the “on the road” lifestyle and it enthralled me. It was the personal, in depth, honest writing that he and the rest of the band did that really made me fall in love with music. Eight years later I was lucky enough to get Colin on the phone and ask him what has been itching at me for years. This interview took place in March of 2012. Colin was juggling his successful art career, his solo music ventures under the moniker “Psychic Babble”, and at the time of the call had taken a break from tracking the now popular Circa album “Violent Waves”. Some of it may be a bit out dated, but the conversation went as follows. (Interview conducted by Tim Brown) First off, tell me your name and what bands or projects you’re involved with. My names Colin and I am in Circa Survive and I paint stuff and I have a solo thing called Psychic Babble. You’ve been involved music for a while; walk through how you got yourself into music. I think I was like 13 and I started playing my dads guitar, he had a guitar lying around, he used to be a band a long time ago when he was in his 20’s. He knew I was getting into rock and he was like “Use this.” It was a Strat I was just messing around with it and then I guess when I started middle school is when I met friends who were into music too. When I was in elementary school and I would start to get into Pearl Jam and stuff when they first came out with Ten. Everyone in elementary school was awesome at sports so I was kind of like, the weirdo and then once I got to middle school I met some other weirdo’s and we started jamming. One of them had a drum set; I think everyone had guitars and shit. I don’t think we even had a bass. But it kind of started to spiral from there. Everyone I had met started to be like “What are you listening to?” or “What do you play?” and then it’s like “Oh, you want to start a band?” and by the time I was 15 I was probably in like four bands at any given time. I think that’s just the way a lot of people get into it when you’re younger. I guess when it got serious was more like 16ish. The band I was in was called Yellow Five. Our guitar player’s dad was a friend with a guy who had a studio, which was kind of crazy for me, but yeah so we wound up recording our first set. And that was the first crazy experience that I had was going into the studio at like 15 or 16 and like having my mind blown about how to record stuff. By the time I was a junior in high school I was in This Day Forward. And I had gotten into Minor Threat and all that stuff like punk and more aggressive stuff. And some guys wanted to play like Converge style stuff and that’s what I wanted at the time. So like in gym class they had said they needed a drummer and I was like well I played snare drum in middle school so I could probably play drums. And plus my neighbor had given me a drum set for my birthday. So I just started learning how to play the set. And we were a band for like a year and you know the hardcore community was so easy to fall into. If you wanted to play you just had to like start e-mailing around and you find people who put on shows in halls and stuff. By the time it was graduation it was like go to school during the week and Friday would come and we would jump in our cars and drive to wherever it was we were playing. Sometimes that was all the way to Florida from Pennsylvania so we would drive Friday night Saturday during the day, get there Saturday night and play the show then drive all the way and miss a day of school, you know? It was crazy. It was an obsession. And all of us worked part time jobs during the week and saved up and when summer came we would just self-book all across the U.S. and it was how we spent our summers, and our money haha. And from then on it just kept growing you know, playing shows in Upstate New York and start catching the ears of people who put on Hell Fest and stuff like that. We were on some local label called Break Even and they like pressed a thousand tapes for us and we never thought we would sell more than a hundred and we ended up selling out within like 6 months. Then Eulogy came around with an actual record deal and from there it just took off. It was more serious and touring nonstop during the summer. By the time we were out of school it was just constantly on our minds like “Should we do this full time?”. We were thinking; Poison the Well and From Autumn to Ashes and Thursday all of our friends’ bands were going full time and hitting huge. And we were like “Yeah let’s go full time, not to get rich just to do it as a job. Make shitty money doing this and it’ll be great.” So we did that for a few years. That actually leads great into my next question; when was it clear to you that this would be a career for you? Well you know its weird because the first inclination to try it was certainly not confirmed with any amazing result. For This Day Forward, our last album was on Equal Vision. EV bought us out of our Eulogy deal and that’s when we decided to go full time. At that point I was in community college and doing This Day Forward part time and going to school full time and I was actually going to community college in Philly and wound up getting an internship working in NY for Roadrunner Records and I kind of finagled my way into getting double credits for it. So I got credits for that and some online courses and bam I was a full time student living in New York City getting a community college degree which felt like the biggest scam ever but I totally pulled it off. It was incredible I met so many people and the hunger to do music full time really blossomed. Seeing all these shitty bands doing it and being fine, I was like “Well we’re good, we can do this.” But touring a year straight for our last album wasn’t really received well by our fan base. They just wanted the chugging breakdowns and we were getting into more structured songwriting with melodies and stuff. That was the year we decided to get a booking agent and a lawyer and step it up but it was so daunting to be on the road. We were on the biggest tour we could ever imagine if you’re a hardcore fan. It was the Take Action Tour with Poison the Well and Shadows Fall and all these huge bands for like 2,500 people, but we sold like one cd and one t-shirt a night and it was like oh we can’t do this. So a year of that put a damper on it for everybody and at that point it was like well we’ve been a band for 6 or 7 years and only full time for a year but it was obvious that it was punishing us and completely ruining our friendships so we just decided to kill that band. It was pretty shattering. Putting all your time and all your soul into something and suddenly its gone. For me I was like I don’t know if I want to do something like that again. So I was writing music on the side and doing it for fun, and maybe 6 months later Anthony [Green] is calling me asking to hang out. We had been buds for a long time and he just popped the question of like “Hey I’m gonna quit my band that’s about to be huge and instead to a project with you, how does that sound?” And I was kind of like why the hell would you do that you idiot. Because to me, I was such a big supporter of him from day one. He was always one of my favorite singers since I met him and Audience of One, his first band; we played tons of tours with them. And after he was getting clean and stuff I was just like “Man, if he can get his shit together…” and when I heard the Saosin demos I was like “This is going to be massive, it’s going to be fucking huge” and when he told me he wanted to quit I was like dude just stick it out because the Anthony I knew was always getting scaring and bailing on things and stuff so I though it was one of those things. He was like “No, we don’t have a lot in common and they want different things from me and I just want to be home and make music with people I love” and he was like “if I quit though then you gotta do this for real with me.” and I didn’t even really give it a though I was like “Yup, okay.” I was kind of betting on him not doing it and less than a week later he totally quit mid flight going back to California to meet back with them, turned around and came home and we started Circa Survive the next day just me and him. And I think within a month or so we were signed to Equal Vision just the two of us without a band and we were getting members and stuff. Crazy. Life for a musician in that first early band can definitely be daunting at times, so how did it feel to experience the massive breakthrough of Circa, especially since it was made on a gamble in the first place. Right, it was probably one of the best feelings that I’ve ever had in my life. I mean basically like I said that whole situation with This Day Forward, getting the chance to have all we wanted and then it turned out no its just a band, it isn’t going to work like that was a huge sense of rejection. I remember being on the tour that we all dubbed the “Scrape Across America Tour” like the whole tour sucked. It was tanking, there was nobody coming to the shows. And then down in California we played Chain Reaction and it was sold out. We thought it was the best thing ever that could happen. And so they’re all in there and everybody’s watching the first band, and then the whole place empties out while we play. We played for like three people, you know. And that was just kind of like we couldn’t catch a break that was just the way things went. So then fast forward like a year and a half later, after Circa had made our first record [Juturna], but it wasn’t out yet. And we out on our first tour, we were with Bear vs. Shark and Gatsby’s American Dream and we were back at Chain Reaction. And we were the opening band and honestly, that same thing happened but in reverse. Everyone came, it was always sold out and we opened the shows, and they were the craziest shows that we had played to date at that point. And it felt like “Holy shit this is real, things are really happening”. We only had two songs out on the Internet that people even knew but you know the whole crowd was just going insane the entire time and as soon as we were done playing, everyone left. And it was like the complete reversal in the same exact spot that it had happened previously and it just felt like…I felt horrible for Bear vs. Shark and Gatsby’s but it felt so good to know that it was working and that just kind of escalated from then on. Our first two tours, we were just that band. We were the opening band getting paid like a hundred bucks a night but we were selling out the shows and people were just leaving after us. And it just felt really badass to be that band. Circa is known for having a really passionate fan base. When you were growing up did you feel that same way about any bands? Man, so many. I think the ones that have really stuck around for me are bands like Radiohead and Pearl Jam. There’s a lot more but it has kind of morphed because a lot of the bands that I was such a fan of when I was younger I’ve become peers with. Bands like Saves the Day and Thursday and stuff, bands that I’ve looked up to forever eventually became our schools in a way. I’m still a total fan of them, but not in the same way I look up to like Pearl Jam or Radiohead or like Bjork; artists that blow my mind consistently that I don’t have a personal relationship with. It’s the same thing with Dredg. We listened to El Cielo like everyday when we were writing Juturna. Never even imagining that our first big support tour would be opening for them. And again never imagining that five years after that we would take them out on tour. And then that I would do an art show with Drew, their bassist, who’s one of my favorite visual artists. It’s crazy the shit that can happen once you get a confidence and start to build on it and you have a fan base that follows you. It’s just a wild ride. Circa shows have gotten a good name for being really high energy and a bit crazy. What’s it like to be on the stage, on the other side of the craziness that you guys are creating? It’s really one of the things I’m most thankful for. As an artist and as a person. I look forward to those spans of time when we’re headlining to our crowds. Don’t get me wrong; opening for a bigger band is always cool and really exciting. But when I know we’re going out for like 6 weeks and we’re headlining so it’s just going to be mostly Circa fans, I know what to expect in a way. Like the energy that’s thrown at us every night. It is so amazingly supportive, passionate, and just dedicated. Every tour gets bigger, and any day where I’m nervous about like turnout or anything like that it always washes away. Like what was I ever worried about. Like now we don’t really worry, we just do our thing. It seems like things are just still in a natural steady incline of healthy growth. Nothing like “We’re going to become buzz band of the week!” or anything like that. And that’s what we want. We want to be that band that organically grows. It was fast at the beginning but now everything has sort of leveled out and I feel like it’s just a very natural thing that we have. But our shows are just so therapeutic. For us and I hope our fans. Like, when my wife was first coming to our shows she was like “Oh my god, I cant understand how people would subject themselves to that kind of shit on purpose. And love it so much.” And one step further she’s like “I can’t believe what Anthony does. Like, letting a million people touch him all the time and just being completely one with them” And I think know she has a total different appreciation where she sees that it is like that. We do try to let down all those barriers and sometimes it’s just a fun rock show but sometimes its borderline spiritual experience. That’s the best it can be. At its worst it’s a fucking wild ass good time. Of all the bad shows I’ve played being in different bands, Circa’s bad shows are most band’s good shows. Our standards have been relentlessly raised over and over again and I think now the confidence carries so much. You let go of the worry and become part of the show and make it something special for everyone involved. Were in a really good spot with it. Touring is something that artists strive for early on. After years it can get pretty daunting though. What’s something about touring that will never get old for you? For me, something that won’t get old is just performing. Because every show can have this unique identity as a stand out time like this is when this happened or that’s the night this happened but ultimately it never really feels bad to have that relief. But there is plenty of shit that does get old. But the release we get from performing will never. And I think just the activity and traveling the world with your best friends it pretty awesome regardless. Speaking of that, Circa recently went for a run down in Australia. How did that go? It was incredible. It was our second time there and the tour went so well, so much better than we ever could have imagined. Especially just looking at the line up at first was intimidating because it was all real heavy bands. We knew it was going to be fun because we had friends like Dredg and Saves the Day and Thursday on there and we knew some bands we wanted to check out. But we had dudes from all over, everywhere from like Slipknot and the Used all these bands you wouldn’t expect to be Circa fans coming up saying I love your band, we were like holy shit really? Haha So you guys are in the middle of recording your fourth studio album. With the past albums, your core sound seemed to change slightly with each new release. So far, is that what we can expect from the new album? Yeah I think so. I think its very fluid with Circa’s spirit. And I think that you would be able to tell that it’s us right away, of course. But there’s definitely a lot of new energy on the record, a lot of new things that we’re trying. This record feels the most free of all of them. It’s definitely the least painful record to make. I think were just in such a good place mentally and as a group just really tight and extremely understanding of each other’s stuff. And in a way we went back to the mentality of Juturna. There’s no focus on people flaws, unless they ask for it. There’s very little fighting. There’s not much debate going on, it’s just like “Yeah that’s fucking awesome, that’s what it should be”. It’s not the huge weight of “Everything’s riding on this record.” That’s completely gone. I feel like we know who we are and we are confident to try new things and were confident that our fans will follow us down any road we tend to go down at this point. On the last record we tried some different ways of songwriting and then kind of split the difference with this one like some of the old stuff that we would do, stuff we learned on the last record and then this new shit that we can kind of experiment with. The last album [blue Sky Noise] was described by you guys as a new chapter for the band, is this one going to be a new chapter as well, or an extension of the last? I think this is a drastically new chapter as well. I think if you looked at our records from start to finish it would be like: Juturna is chapter one, On Letting Go is like the middle of chapter one, and then you have chapter two with Blue Sky Noise and this would be chapter three, in my book. But I’m sure that would be different for everyone. Over the last couple years there’s been so many big changes in all of our lives and I think we’ve come to grips with the idea that nothing lasts forever and that this band is so lucky and we so accomplished already that a lot of this is just bonus stuff now. We just want to do right by us and the legacy that we’ve created. We want to treat our fans with respect and write and perform music that means something to us. And when it seems like maybe that’s not the case, we’ll hang it up.I think there’s something really comforting in knowing that one day this will end so let’s give it everything we have now and not trip out over shit that doesn’t matter. Switching gears to your side project, Psychic Babble. How did that start? Psychic Babble was just a thing where I was writing songs on the side for a long time. Probably around the time of On Letting Go I would write something here and there that I knew was not really Circa-ish. It was just an exercise of continuing to record and do stuff on my own. I was like “Fuck I haven’t sang in a really long time.” All the bands I was in growing up, with the exception of This Day Forward, I would always sing and play guitar and I felt like doing that again so I started singing on these songs and you know after three or four years I was like well I have like 15 songs maybe I should do something with this. I found a gap in our schedule and I was like “fuck it, I’m going to go for this.” I took all the stuff I’ve been recording over the years and refined them. Redid tracks, and just kind of did it. I put it out myself and it was a great feeling. It was a great exercise of like, I don’t have to check with anyone else I don’t have to get a label or go through anything. It was very freeing. When you’re recording with a band it’s awesome and there’s a comfort there, which is great. But doing this there was a loneliness that I think was really important for me to feel to come back to appreciate what I have with a cooperation. Where would you like to see Psychic Babble end up? I really don’t even care. Whatever happens. For me, it’s cool to have a moniker to put music out under. I’m really into doing scoring type stuff. I did a really short score for a short film last year and loved it; it was such a good experience. And I feel like if I ever do that again I would just do it as Psychic Babble. It’s just something there. There’s not this huge goal for it or anything. I’ll definitely make more records, you know? It’s just good having another reason to do something and it’s a totally different vibe than what Circa is. You said before that you didn’t plan on touring PB anytime soon. If you were to, what would you want your show to be like? Well, revising that, I did say that and I stuck to it pretty hardcore in the beginning. I would say I had no plans of touring this. But now the more I have sat on it and the more people have started to appreciate the record and it’s gotten this huge response I definitely want to go out and play shows with it. It just has to be the right time. Basically what I would want it to be is one of those things where people walk away and want to come back the next time I’m there. That’s kind of the only thing I would want to feel. On top of being in Circa Survive and on your own with Psychic Babble, you’re also a visual artist. How do you find time to paint with such a busy schedule? You just have to make time. Right now I get up at 8:30 or 9:00 in the morning everyday. I go to the studio, get there by 11:00 and work there until about midnight. Come home and eat dinner with my wife then I’m usually painting until about 4:00 in the morning. That’s just how I roll right now, haha. I have my first solo gallery show in July, it’s just so important to me. It’s just as important to me as music. I just have to make time for it or it will just go away. Where can people see your art? Just my name dot com. colinfrangicetto.com or they could go to facebook.com/colinfrangicettoart. 12:42 pm • 11 May 2013
  3. [interview] Guitar Questions with Brendan Ekstrom of Circa Survive Posted on May 1, 2013 . by Steve Posted in Blog, Interviews http://livication.com/blog/guitar-questions-brendan-ekstrom-circa-survive Circa Survive released their fourth full-length studio album last year, and the guys have been busy on several different national and international tours ever since. We got the chance to sit down with Anthony Green during their last Orlando stop in September. It wasn’t long before they came back to Central Florida with Minus The Bear, on another tour that stopped through Tampa’s Ritz Ybor. This time we got to talk to Brendan Ekstrom, one of the low key guitar aficionados that provide Circa Survive with their signature sound. When did you first start playing guitar? I was in high school. I think I was 16 or 17 when I got my first guitar, and I learned a couple Nirvana riffs. High school was a really weird time for me, so I didn’t really dedicate myself to it at the time, but I was definitely interested. Then I think around 20 years old, maybe 21, I started to really kind of jam with some friends and do some more. Everything was like, punk rock, though. So I never had that sweet background where I went and learned all the Metallica records and knew how to shred or anything, I was just always sort of like, half-assing it. I wanted to do it, but was never great at it. Just kind of played around? Yeah, just kind of noodling, trying to make fun shapes with my fingers and stuff like that. Cool, that’s probably how you came up with such a signature sound. It’s possible. What do you remember about your first guitar? It’s called a Martin Stinger, and I don’t think it’s actually affiliated with Martin guitars at all, but it’s this red guitar that had a Grateful Dead “Paint Your Face” sticker on it that looked like it was just melting off the side of the guitar. It was a total piece of shit. I gave it to my nephew. My nephew was born — Not my nephew…my cousin’s son was born the same birthday as me, April 6th. So after I got a nicer guitar I gave him my guitar. He’s taking care of it somewhere. What do you like about your guitars now? Well, I started playing Melancon Guitars…I guess about 8 years ago, like right around when Circa Survive started, and they’re very lightweight and just feel really nice to me, I kind of got addicted to them. There’s a couple guitars…I never really did Fender or Gibson, never really did like, the sort of mainstream things. Which is weird ’cause, they obviously sound amazing, that’s why everybody uses them, but I don’t know. Girard has always been really good to me – that’s the guy that builds the guitars and helps me out. There’s a couple other kind of boutique guitars I plan on trying out soon but haven’t really done it yet. I’ve always thought that your guitar – the main one – the natural wood one, looks really beautiful. I’m just a little bit envious. The first one that I ever bought, it was like one-piece ash, all-natural looking, and a one-piece neck and fretboard, like it was all one-piece rosewood with no fret markers on it, and it was the most beautiful guitar I have ever seen in my life. It had like a built-in MIDI pickup and like, custom pickups and it was perfect condition, and I was just like “I can’t keep this. I beat the shit out of everything I own. This is too nice for me to own.” So I ended up trading it for some gear and another Melancon guitar, and now I’m like – I would fucking kill to have this guitar back. It was so gorgeous, I want it so bad. Yeah, but if you love something you’ve got to let it free, I guess…right? I suppose. Unless it’s a really nice guitar. Maybe it’ll come back to me. Maybe, just maybe. So were there any musicians or influences that you think shaped your guitar playing early on? Early on…like I said when I first started playing it was sort of the grunge era for me, I was 16 when, you know, all that shit was happening. And I learned by playing Silverchair’s first record, and The Toadies’ first record, and Clutch. Like, Clutch was really influential because the guitar player does a lot of sort of bluesy patterns, and like, sort of groove-oriented patterns around the drums, so I think that that really stuck with me a lot when I first started playing. But as far as just listening to stuff, like, Pink Floyd and Sunny Day Real Estate and Tool have always been probably like the most influential. And Led Zeppelin, stuff like that. Is there any one piece of gear that you really love, that you feel shapes or defines your sound more than any other piece of gear? I guess I really don’t know. I mean… They’ve all got their purposes, huh? It’s hard to say. I had this pedal for a long time that was in my chain, but to say that it shaped my sound would be like…insane, considering my amp and my guitar are probably the two biggest factors in what I really sound like. But I had this Durham Electronics Sex Drive pedal that… I’d put it in front of any amp and it would just sound like, sparkly and brighter and more alive in a way, and it died recently, and I bought a new one and it just doesn’t sound the same and I’m so bummed about it. Weird. Yeah, so… Maybe it was like a different version or something? Yeah, it’s like a newer pedal in a smaller box, and of course they say it sounds the same, but I don’t think any two pedals are going to sound exactly the same, you know what I mean? Yeah, I mean, down to individual wiring and stuff, I guess. You know? Yeah. But recently like, I’ve been playing a Strymon Timeline pedal, which is a delay pedal, and it’s been one of the most integral things because it’s easy for me to program multiple delay settings into that without having a rack unit or anything. So that’s really helped my live show a lot, and it’s really diverse. You can do a lot with it. And also, I’ve just been into like, using a lot of weird fuzz along with this bass octave pedal, that just…like on “Birth Of The Economic Hitman” on the new record, there’s a breakdown at the end of that song where I use a Keeley fuzz pedal with a low octave and it just sounds like it’s going to rip your head off. I really love that sound. Yeah, sounds pretty awesome. It seems like a lot of people really are inspired by how you guys use effects, and especially delays. Like, the delays you guys use create a lot of cool atmospheres and ambiences sometimes. I mean, it’s mostly just noodling. People are always like “How’d you come up with that?” and I’m like “Well first of all, don’t know what you’re doing. Go plug something in and start turning the knobs, and you’ll get somewhere. That’s another thing people, I think, are amazed at. Like, the way you and Colin, you don’t really have a set rhythm or lead guitarist. You guys just kinda – it almost like you’re just noodling but the noodling works and intertwines so well. I think we realized after the first two records, we were like, “Yo, like, every once in a while I’m going to play rhythm so you’re going to hear how cool that lead is, or that you’re doing there.” So over the years we’ve tried to do that a little bit more and just let some of the melodies shine out, because we had so many counter-melodies on the first two records, and we didn’t want that to die all together, but at the same time wanted to let some of them stand out a little bit more. Do you have any tips before we go for new guitarists that are starting out today that maybe are inspired by what you guys are doing in Circa Survive? I mean, for musicians in general I just feel like it’s important to take chances, you know? If some guys are touring in a band and they need somebody to fill in on guitar, even if you don’t love that, if that’s an opportunity for you to get out there and meet some people, then you’ve gotta take chances, because this whole business is so luck-related, and I think it’s just about being good to people and taking chances and working. And I think Circa was all about that from the beginning, like, we wanted to get together with other people that we knew were going to work and take this seriously, and as much as, you know, we have fun and we’re silly, we know this is really all we have outside of family, and it supports our family, so, you know. Right. You guys do amazing at it and I think you’ve got a real dedicated crowd, and we all love you guys, and keep doing your thing, man. I appreciate it, man. Thanks a lot. Great talking to you.
  4. Circa Survive On Going Independent & Backstage Rituals Hype Malaysia Interview http://hype.my/2013/...kstage-rituals/ May 02, 2013 Having recently gone independent for their fourth album, “Violent Waves”, American rock band Circa Survive definitely has some stories to tell. Fortunately, they were in town recently for Livescape Asia’s Rockawayfest Showcase held at Bentley Music Auditorium. We were lucky enough to have had the opportunity to interview Circa Survive frontman Anthony Green. Let’s hear it from the man himself! What were some of the challenges that Circa Survive faced after deciding to go independent? “It’s like any small business. You wanna keep a small overhead so that you’ll have a better chance at breaking even and eventually, making a profit. When you’re dealing with a major label, all they’re concerned about is making profit. Yet, they spend so much money – in excess, on your recording. When they’re bankrolling on your recording, they kinda feel like they can come in and whether or not you let them have a say, you’d kinda feel creatively obligated to them because they’re financially backing you. Whereas when you’re doing it yourself and you go into your friend’s studio and you’re managing the budget for your own album for..you know, very little money, and you can still make it sound like having your vision come true without having to spend the money that a major label would spend, you won’t put all that pressure on people to buy your record.” How did that work in Circa Survive’s advantage then, going independent? “We budget this album so that we didn’t have to go out and sell 100,000 copies to make 1,000,000 dollars back for the recording cost. Recording costs very little. And in my opinion, this is one of the best recordings that the band has ever had. So, we sacrificed zero creative, zero production value, and ended up with a better product and we were able to sell very little but still make a profit. Which is something we’ve never done!” Do you know if your next album is going to be better than this one or do you think that you could make it better than this one? “I think that in order to be a true artiste, you have to be in like..a perpetual state of arrival. You can’t ever think that you’ve gotten anywhere; you can’t ever think that this is the best album. This is not – it’s just the latest album. Regardless of what people say or critics say..you can’t ever think that you’ve gotten anywhere.” Do you still get nervous when you get on stage? What are some of the rituals that you do before you get on stage? “Every night! I tend to get very quiet for maybe an hour or two hours before we play. I’m usually just not engaging with anybody – I kinda just like to sit. Sometimes, I visualize myself already on stage and already enjoying it. You know, like I’m visualizing that it’s already happening, already going well, and I’m already feeling great about it. And that helps me put my anxiety or my nerves at rest. I also like to stare at people. I pick one or two people out in the crowd and they’ll be the only people..” What? How do your fans react when you do that? “They’re very weirded out by it! Very. It’s awkward – but for them, not me. I’d feel like I’m in control and they’re just like..what is he doing, why is he staring at me? (laughs)” Were you at their Rockawayfest Showcase gig? Did you catch Anthony Green staring at you? Were you “weirded out”? Drop us your comments if you were there! Special thanks to our awesome friends from Livescape Asia for making this interview happen, and much love to Anthony for taking time off to speak to us.
  5. Interview : Anthony Green of Circa Survive http://sightofsoundmagazine.com/2013/03/22/interview-anthony-green-of-circa-survive/ March 22, 2013 By Matt Christine After a short walk from the box office, where I had just picked up my photo pass for the night’s show, I found my way to a back parking lot behind the Sherman Theater to see Circa Survive‘s tour bus. I was scheduled to interview Anthony Green at 6:30PM that day, but both he and I were ready to go early so after a text to the tour manager we decided we would just go ahead and knock out earlier. As I climbed onto the fully packed bus I was greeted by Anthony and we headed to the back of the bus where we could sit down and get this interview started. As I set up my gear I noticed just how dark it was and we made the decision to just record the audio of the interview, luckily I had Henry Chung from Neostar Promotions along with me for the interview because he was able to snap a few photos using my camera to run along with the transcript and audio. I clicked the record button and Anthony and I got the interview started off. Matt Christine : Thank you for sitting down with Sight of Sound Magazine today Anthony. Anthony Green : No problem. Matt : Welcome home to a certain extent. Anthony : Sort of, yeah. Matt : Yeah, close enough. Have you guys ever played at the Sherman Theater before? Anthony : We played here once like a year or two ago with Taking Back Sunday, right when they got like all of the original members back in the band. It was really cool. Matt : That sounds awesome, well let’s talk about “Violent Waves.” It was self-released. Which I know was a really big deal for you as a band and the music industry as a whole reacted positively to that decision. Do you foresee the band continuing down this path in the future? Anthony : Yeah, there is no reason why would ever stray from that now. Unless we found a really perfect partner and the deal was really good you know? I can’t imagine why would release a record any other way. Matt : Well much respect to you guys for self-releasing that album, I know there is a certain degree of professionalism that comes along with doing that and it is a lot different than what most bands are doing. Anthony : Yeah, people don’t relieze how much is involved in releasing a record there is a lot - Da-da? - Heyy buddy, wanna come say hi? -Yeah - There is a lot that is involved in promoting and releasing an album and that is hard to do when you are also writing and recording it all. I think it would be difficult for a band that hasn’t been touring for 10 years and had a pretty dedicated and awesome following. Matt : Yeah, I would imagine that would help. So how does it feel to see a lot of the bands within the “local” scene grow and gain as much attention as it has? Bands like Title Fight and even Motionless In White. Anthony : It is always awesome seeing young bands from the area, you know like Balance and Composure and Title Fight, just killing it like they are doing. They make such good music, I love Title Fight and Balance and Composure so much and it is so awesome to see other people catching on. Matt : Yeah, Pennsylvania is really becoming a hot market for new music. Anthony : You know I feel there has always been a great like hardcore and punk rock scene here but it is cool to see it busting through. Matt : It is definetly making it’s impression on the world now. So a few years ago you put out the “Appendages – EP” on vinyl for Record Store Day. Will you guys be doing anything special for Record Store Day this year? Anthony : I don’t think we have anything - Daddy?! - I’m doing an interview buddy, you wanna come say hi? - I think we are just planning on releasing new music and we just didn’t have it ready in time for Record Store Day. Matt : It happens, well you guys just wrapped up a headlining tour in the fall, you did an acoustic tour with Geof and now you’re at the half-way point of a co-headlining tour with Minus the Bear. Whats in-store for summer? Anthony : Well we are going to Australia and Asia with Coheed and Cambria. We are going to do Hawaii, we are going to write and I’m going to do my next solo record, so a lot of stuff. Always busy. Matt : With nearly a decade’s worth of music, what would be your favorite song to perform live? Anthony : You can’t really pick favorites because there is so much and there is not a song that we ever have that I wouldn’t want to play that wouldn’t make me feel good to play. We have been closing the nights with “Get Out” and that as the last song to play kind of feels good, it is a great end to the set. Matt : I saw on Facebook that people were voting for the setlist, is that something you do often? Anthony : We actually just started that on this tour because the last tour was the first time we ever changed the set every night. Now that we have so much more material and so much to choose from it helps us sometimes to hear that a bunch of people want to hear “All your friends are gone” , so we do it. Matt : That is great, I haven’t seen many bands have that pre-show interaction with their fans before. Anthony : Technology is amazing if you use the right way. We are able to stay in contact and in touch with the main core of our fans. Those are the people who will come out and buy the record right when it comes or buy tickets right away, they just really love the band. Matt : So does anybody have day jobs when at home and not touring? Anthony : No, not that I know of. This is it. We’ve been making a living doing this for awhile now but we would probably be making more money working full time at 7/11. Its not about making a shitload of money as much as it is just doing what you love. Matt : What have you guys been listening to these days?c Anthony : Well I love that Title Fight record, they are really good. I love Balance and Composure, listen to that record a whole lot, the new Deftones gets put on almost every I time I put my headphones on before bed. I love that album. Matt : They were just here at the Sherman Theater actually. Anthony : Yeah, the lady out front was telling us about that. Matt : A few years ago, there was a piece in Alternative Press where you interviewed Perry Farrell from Jane’s Addiction. Have you two kept in touch since then? Anthony : No it was kind of a one off, it was cool though. There is a possibility that Circa might do something with them in the future. I don’t know if he would even remember of me, it would have been sweet if we were like best buds after that though. Matt : The deluxe version of last year’s ‘Beautiful Things‘ was one of the rare bonus editions in that there were some awesome songs left off of the regular edition. How did you get Chino from the Deftones, Nate from FUN., Lights and Ida Maria to appear on it? Anthony : We really just sent the songs out to the people we wanted to be on them and those were the people that responded. I sent Chino that song cause I wanted him to do it and luckily at the last minute he got back and was like I got this track and I like it. I thought he hadn’t gotten it or didn’t want to do it. Matt : Was there anyone who didn’t get back to you? Anthony : There was, John from Portugal the Man. We wanted him to be on “Get Yours While you Can” but he was too busy, so he better do it next time. Matt : Well that is all that I have for you, should be a good show tonight. Anthony : Dude it is going to be a great tonight, I love this town. Anytime we play around this area it is always fun. Matt : No doubt, well thanks again for sitting down with Sight of Sound Magazine today, I’ll see you later on from the photo pit for the first three songs. Anthony : No problem brother. Below is the original audio recording from the interview, there are a few “off topic” moments where Anthony, Henry and I had discussions during the interview as well as a few more interruptions and distractions that I edited out just for ease of reading. Don’t forget to check that out our photo and review coverage of Circa Survive‘s return to Pennsylvania.
  6. Interview: Brandan Ekstrom – Circa Survive http://cooltry.com.au/interview-brandan-ekstrom-circa-survive/ Friday, April 5, 2013 Circa Survive are an American rock Band from Doylestown, a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Formed in 2004 their lineup has remained the same since, consisting of members Anthony Green (Vocals), Brendan Ekstrom and Colin Frangicetto (Guitars), Nick Beard (Bass) and Stephen Clifford (Drums). After signing with Equal Vision Records almost immediately after their formation, they made the move to Atlantic Records in 2009. Once their contract with Atlantic was completed, the band decided to become a completely independent band for the production and release of their fourth album ‘Violent Waves’. Their sound incorporates genres such as indie/alternate, progressive, post-hardcore and psychedelic. With Four Albums, two EPs, a B-sides and most recently a benefit EP for victims of Hurricane Sandy, they are about to embark on their third visit to Australia this month with Coheed And Cambria. As a massive Circa fan, I was recently lucky enough to chat to Brendan about their upcoming tour and new found independence: I’m talking to Brendan Ekstrom, guitarist of Circa Survive. I’ve heard you described as the lead guitarist, would you agree with that or is the lead role pretty much shared by you and Colin? I think that it’s always going to go back and forth, you know, I always love when he does play leads and I appreciate them a lot. It seems like the first couple of albums we made both of us were playing leads throughout all of the songs, and then we decided to chill back a little bit and let the other persons melodies come though, and both of us discovered rhythms a little bit more over the past couple of records so I tend to think that we both play lead and rhythm when it calls for it. So you’re touring In April with Coheed And Cambria, a little over a year since your last visit to Australia and a much quicker turn around than after your 2007 shows here. What drove the decision to return a lot sooner this time? Well I think it just worked out as far as the ability to get over there, you know, working out with Coheed, like that they were going over at the same time and everything like that. We definitely have a great time over there and we know that it’s important to get back to places as soon as possible if you really want to try and keep people interested and try and build something so, yeah I mean last time we were over there I didn’t want to leave actually (laughter) I just had so much fun in Australia, so I think we all can’t wait to get back – except for the flight part, if we could figure out how to not have the flight we’d be happy about that. (laughter) I can imagine it’s a pretty exhausting flight? Yeah, but yeah, no we’re definitely looking forward to it and to hopefully be able to build a little bit more of a following over there. So did you guys feel you had built on your following form your first visit last time you were here? Because I did notice you had quite big crowds at a few of the Soundwave shows. Yeah I definitely think we could notice it last time, so you know, you could tell if you do the work to get over there and you know, keep reaching out to people to come out that they’re going to support you. So I think with us putting out this record ourselves it’s definitely interesting and different to tour overseas, so it’s all like sort of a learning curve figuring out where the money is coming from now that we don’t have tour support from a label so, yeah it’s all sort of us just figuring it out right now but it’s exciting. That’s awesome, so would this tour be classified as your Violent Waves tour for Australia? (laughter) Yeah I suppose it would be because I’m not sure if we’ll make it back on this record again. Yeah, so as you’ve just said With Violent Waves you guys made the decision to become a completely independent band, moving away from Atlantic records. What lead to this decision? And do you see yourselves remaining an independent band in the foreseeable future? Well, I feel like a lot of things led to it. One of those things was that we had always sort of discussed what it would be like to put something out on our own, to sort of be totally in control of that aspect of our band. We’ve always been very business oriented you know, outside of us being silly half the time (laughter). From the very beginning we wanted this to be a long term thing and we wanted to know that we could take it as far as we could and so you know, being fully in control of the business was always intriguing to us. So, it sort of came up as an opportunity to leave the label and (laughing) still take money from the label (laughter) that’s the easiest way I can put that and so, we just felt like it was a good opportunity for us to do it. I don’t think we would have been comfortable doing it too much earlier in our career like, all the stops along the way with Equal Vision Records, with Atlantic Records, really helped to build our band in a positive way and we learned a lot – with working with a major label and an independent label – we learned a lot of things from both of them and I think you know, having learned all that, that we’re much more prepared to do this by ourselves and I really don’t see us turning back from this at this point, it just doesn’t seem necessary for us, in our career, to be with a label. It doesn’t really seem necessary the way labels are going either (laughter) so we’re pretty happy with the way things turned out. There were definitely some speed bumps but again, you know, this whole thing is just a learning experience. How did you find the recording process to be different for Violent Waves – with regards to your previous albums – and being pretty much in charge of everything now that you are independent? Well it was much closer to home for one thing, you know, Anthony was able to go home and see his family at the end of the day and I think that there was a bit more just general… like comfortability [sic] you know, just that everybody felt more comfortable. We went in with a guy that we’d known for quite a while who was helping record the vocals, and a dude that we had just kind of met who was recording the music and both of them were just super down to earth. It was different for us to not have a producer because it seems like a lot more of the pressure was on us to make the call like – “Oh okay, how’s that delay going to sound in the final mix? Is it going to be too much delay? Or are you going to lose the way your instrument sounds? Or is it going to work?” – So, playing that role of the producer, that responsibility fell on us and it just seemed like the pressure shifted a little bit more like, we didn’t have other people to sort of help us call the shots and… I think overall it was just a really good experience and I can’t wait to do it like that again honestly. I think it worked out really well for you guys, I would say it’s your best album to date. I appreciate that, thank you. Yeah I mean, I think we went into it thinking – “We want this to be raw, we want it to sound way more raw and like Circa. We don’t want to go in with someone and change the songs around too much we just want to see what it’s like if we just write some songs, go in, and fuckin’ lay them down” – and, I feel like it came out a lot more with that emotion in it. Yeah definitely, so now that you are an independent band, can fans expect more frequent releases like EPs or stand alone singles? Or will you still be more like, album orientated? Well there’s a lot of discussion within the band about just trying different things and putting singles out more often and stuff like that, maybe even just recording something at the [creek] house and just having a buddy mix it or something like that. And at the same time it all revolves around us being able to tour and being able to make enough money to go home and record some songs at that time. So I think it’s all just sort of a timing issue, but this will be the first time since we made the first independent full length that we’ll be able to try some new things – and I think everybody wants us to try some new things – so we’ll see. You guys had Creature Club, which fans could become members of and receive previously unreleased material such as demos, videos of the band etc. and you decided to put that on hold for now. Was that a result of becoming independent and having to take on more responsibilities as a band? Yeah it was, we definitely didn’t want to just continue the Creature Club and have people feel short-changed, we just had a lot on our plate you know, putting out the record ourselves and a lot of different things we happening with us… figuring out who was going to press it, who was going to promote it and all those things. Also, with Atlantic Records, we had somebody who was sort of in charge of like, running the fan club and we lost that. So it was just sort of too much to handle while we were trying to record our record and then preparing for a tour and… I think the most important thing from that was just meeting a lot of our biggest supporters and now, when we go to shows, we can see them and recognize them. We go say “hi” to them and you know, still thank them and everything so I don’t think there’s much more of a gap between us except for we don’t have to worry about trying to keep up with sending them stuff here and there and making sure they feel like the money they paid to join the fan club was worth it, you know? Yeah, so, on that subject, as a band you seem to enjoy being quite interactive with your fans with live chats on youtube and through sites such as twitter and tumblr. How important is that interaction for you guys as a band? I think it was right around the time that we were starting to get together as a band that social media and the internet became extremely important in promoting, and promoting the band and staying in communication with your fans and we embraced it from the very beginning and I think that communication with fans has led people to just feel like they’re part of what we’re doing like, the amount of people that come up and just say ‘thank you for being so down to earth’ like last night… This kid was just saying so many bands like, you know, don’t talk to their fans and I was like “Dude, all of this ends. All of this comes to an end at some point and I’m just going to be another guy walking down the street” and like, it’d be silly to think that we’re anything more right now. So I think that it’s very important that we stay in touch with our fans like that and communicate, and I think it’s just really positive overall. So as an independent band now, what are your thoughts on Spotify and other streaming services like that? Well, Spotify… It’s just hard not to be conflicted about Spotify (laughter) because on one hand it’s like “man I wish I grew up with Spotify”… As a music listener and a person who enjoys music it is the most convenient thing that’s ever happened and… as a person who’s trying to make a living off it is just… it’s not helping things as far as I can tell. I mean It’s debatable too, that’s kind of the problem with all of these things is that all of these new things that are happening, no one really knows if it’s hurting or if it’s helping because on one hand someone can just be like “Circa Survive, I’ve heard that name a bunch but never really checked them out” and then they can just open up Spotify and check us out and maybe they hate it and maybe they like it, but if they really like it and they start coming out to our shows then that’s great and that’s a good thing and that might help wave the fact that you know… we’re making ten cents off of Spotify a year… It’s really hard to tell. So my last question was how do you find Australian crowds respond to your music compared to other countries? And what can fans expect performance wise from these upcoming shows? Well it’s kind of hard to say because some of it has been festivals, and festivals are very different than playing you know, smaller shows but we’ve done a couple of headlining shows over there and the crowds have been great you know, kids are having a great time and coming up and talking to us after the shows so it doesn’t really feel much different than playing back at home except for we don’t really get to put on our full show over there production wise and hopefully we’ll be able to bring some more element of that over there in the near future. I think that would definitely be fun for the fans over there. Awesome! Well thank you very much for your time and I look forward to seeing your shows when you play over here. Awesome man, well thanks a lot, I appreciate it. interviewed and written by Rory Fennell
  7. Interview with Anthony Green . Livication Media Interview . 09.22.2012 http://livication.com/blog/interviews/2012/10/23/live-video-interview-circa-survive-the-beacham-92212-orlando-fl/#more-809 Just first off, congratulations on you guys releasing another album last month. It must feel really great! Thanks! It does. It’s incredible and it was a lot of work, so its really a relief to have it be out there. And you guys recorded it all by yourselves this time? Yeah we produced it ourselves, we put it out ourselves, we did everything ourselves. That’s really cool, man. And you guys put together some really awesome limited packages for this album that had a lot of one-of-a-kind artwork made by you guys. Can you tell us a little bit about you guys’ experience with that and how that was? It was awesome, we got together for like two weeks and just painted these sleeves. We went and got the artwork printed on the sleeves for the vinyl, just the stencil drawings of them, and then painted everything in. Like, I painted all the ornaments in for the back of the CD. It’s actually the inside of the CD, but it’s on the back of the vinyl. I hand-painted all the little ornaments,Colin did sketches, and I wrote out all the lyrics for people. It was just fun, you know. It makes you feel connected with the people who are like, the most die-hard fans. You know what I mean? It’s a shared connection. It’s something I’m really grateful to have with this band. I feel like we’re in a day where the album itself just doesn’t have as much value because of the fact that people can just take it off the internet. So the more you can do to individualize something to make it something from you, you know, the more likely it is that they’re going to want to have something to hold on to like that. No one gives a shit anymore about the CD. So, give them a painting. Do you think being on a label limits a band at all, or did it just feel right to do it on your own this time? It all depends on what you want from your career. And for a band like us, and what we wanted from our career, it wouldn’t have been right to stay on Atlantic. But, you know, that being said, I’m sure that there’s tons of people that would be able to flourish and have an incredible music career while working with those people. Not us. So what are you singing about in Sharp Practice when you’re saying “we can’t sell our god damn souls anymore?” I’m talking about you guys. Everyone thinks we wrote that song about the record label. I’m talking about you guys. See, that’s why I wanted to ask, because… I don’t like talking about what the songs are about. …it’s up to us to make sense of it, right? (Referencing the line “It’s up to you to make sense of it” in Sharp Practice) Precisely. I grew up in the Philly area and I know you guys have an extremely personal connection when you play shows back up home. I was just wondering, what were some of your favorite local venues to play when you guys were first starting off, that maybe you guys have outgrown now, or you wish you could revisit? You never outgrow a venue. Never. No matter how big you get. You can always do whatever you want. There’s no rule that says you have to play bigger places every time. Circa’s been growing our fan base for 8 years and we can go and play a place like this (The Beacham), but then next tour come back and play two nights at The Social instead. You know. We’ve done that a bunch. We do it on this tour, there’s a couple places we decided, like, rather than play some giant room, we want to keep it really intimate. Bands feel like they can’t do that, I feel like, because they don’t want to appear to have to play, when we really don’t give a shit. We wanna have fun. The last time I saw you here was at House of Blues, and that’s like… Massive. …probably one of the biggest venues in Orlando. I like this place. Beacham’s pretty cool! Have you guys ever played here before? Yeah, I played here by myself, on my tour. That’s right, just back in January. We saw you here. With the dogs. That’s right. So, you guys just released the music video for Suitcase, and was that the first video that didn’t actually feature the band members in it? Yup. And what was it like creating something like that? How involved were you guys? It was incredible. I feel like having to involve a performance aspect of it really limits you. I actually came up with the idea for the video. Like, it was my concept. And the director had this other idea, and I sent him my treatment, and he was like “Hey, what if I did this, and that?” And I’m like…[makes a hesitant face]. He didn’t like the one aspect of it – like, what makes it, fuckin’, so weird. He wanted to change that a lot and we met in the middle. I feel like nobody else could have made it but this dude Dannel who directed it, and I sorta had to push him a little bit to go outside of his comfort zone, but he did such an incredible job, man. It couldn’t have been any better. It’s real weird. You don’t walk away from it going “Oh yeah, that’s about this.” Like, it’s about a lot of weird things. Are there any new cool treats coming for the Creature Club to go along with this new album? Ah, you know, I think we’re in the process of rebuilding the Creature Club. So, it was something that Atlantic set up with us, and I think it’s something we really want to do something very different with from what they had in mind. I think they really saw it as a way to get more money out of the people who were the biggest fans, and we really would rather – if we’re going to have a fan club, we want it to be something that’s a little bit more special than that, and not just about trying to make more money off of people. We’re trying to figure out how we’re going to maneuver the fan club into something that’s like, maybe even free, and isn’t necessarily so exclusive to whoever can afford it. I was actually one of the people that was up on stage singing with you guys. I think it was the first or second time you had done that. At the House of Blues. Yeah. Spirit Of The Stairwell. I think that was the first time we did that. It’s really cool that you guys can do something like that. Yeah, I mean, I still think we’d like to keep people being able to come in and see the sound checks and everything, but theres like a financial process around it that I think needs to be reevaluated and restructured. So, it’s been really great talking to you, man, and thanks for making your way to Florida once again. No problem dude, I love the shows here. I love them. I always have. Tonight’s going to be so fucking good. I already have, like – sometimes, you know, you have weird days where you’re not feeling that great, and you go up on stage and it’s a great show, and you’re like, “Aw, this is great, I really needed this!” and something else is weighing you down. Other days you just know from the second you wake up, like, “Today’s going to be a good day.” I knew that- I felt that today. Well we’re going to get a video of it, because we’ve got a couple people here with our crew and we’re going to shoot a live video, and I’m sure it will be amazing. Awesome! I can’t wait to see it. This is actually the first time I’ve interviewed a band before the show, so… Make sure I look good. You always look good my friend, let me tell you. I look like a fuckin’ crazy person. A little bit, but in a good way. Live Video – Circa Survive @ The Beacham in Orlando FL, 9/22/12 Here’s our live video of Circa Survive performing their songs “Get Out” and “The Difference Between Poison and Medicine Is In The Dose” at The Beacham in Orlando, FL on 9/22/12. As always, these guys put on a tight and incredibly entertaining show, playing many of their greatest songs from each album and blending them all very cleanly. If you get the chance to go see Circa Survive’s live show, here’s a little taste of the experience you’ll have.
  8. Speaking with Circa Survive's Anthony Green: Time, changing approach made new disc a success Posted by John J. Moser at 01:30:00 AM on January 29, 2011 When Doylestown’s Circa Survive headed into the studio in late 2009 to begin work on its third album and first on a major label, it was a different paradigm from its earlier discs. For one, front man and singer Anthony Green, with a growing proficiency on guitar, had built some of the songs around acoustic playing and melody, as well as others written around almost all instrumentation before vocals were added. Secondly, with a major label, the experimental progressive/punk band had more studio time to create the songs it wanted, taking three months to write and record. The resulting disc, “Blue Sky Noise,” released last April, hit No. 11 on Billboard’s album chart — eclipsing the No. 24 chart position “On Letting Go” achieved. And it was ranked No. 9 on Myspace.com’s top albums of the year. Anthony Green calling from Cincinnati, Ohio. In a recent telephone call, Green talked about making the new disc and what the changes mean for Circa Survive. Lehigh Valley Music: We’re talking because you’re coming to Allentown’s Crocodile Rock Café. Green: “We’ve played Croc Rock before, and it’s pretty much like a hometown crowd for us over there, so it’s really exciting.” I'll jump right into this. After releasing 'Blue Sky Noise' in spring, why did you put out the “Appendage” EP in November already? “Well, it was a plan that we had set in action right when we went in to record ‘Blue Sky Noise,’ instead of trying to whittle the album down to just 12 songs, we really were a little more indecisive and went in there with, like, 17 songs. So we were like, ‘Let’s plan on putting out an EP so we don’t have to part ways with some of these songs just yet.” I also read there are still more songs left over that may come out. “There are a couple of those songs. Yeah, we wanted to keep them aside for stuff exclusive for charities or we have this fan club, The Creature Club, that we made for just kinda the diehard Circa fans on our website and keep some of the exclusive stuff for those guys. Little secret things to give them to make it special. Those songs will definitely see the light of day.” So tell me about the experience of doing your first album for Atlantic Records. “It was a pretty positive experience. It’s still pretty amazing being on that label and the people that are working there and the people that are working with us are incredible. We haven’t had to make any of the artistic sacrifices that you hear about or the horror stories that you hear about the major label world. If I wanted to, I could pick up the phone and call anybody at that label and get ahold of them. I think the music industry has gone through such a rough time that everybody’s sort of champing at the bit to find new ways to make it work. And we made sure before we signed with anyone that we were all very like-minded. And they were just as excited as us to try to make this weird music and bring it to the masses.” Tell me about the process. Was there any change in which you approached the recording? “We spent a lot more time recording. When we were on Equal Vision [Records] we never had the budget to be in the studio for as long as we were with this album. There was always a sense of rushing when you’re in the studio. You almost can never have enough time. But we spent three months recording and writing … whereas sometimes we would get not even half of that being in the studio for the other albums. So that was a plus for us, ‘cause more time, the better.” The disc topped out at No. 11 on some of the charts, so you have to be happy with its performance. “Oh, absolutely. I mean, for us, it’s more about the fact that we love it and we can play it for anybody. We could sit there and play it for our best friends, our family and be extremely happy about it. The Billboard thing is becoming less and less relevant in my opinion, although I can’t lie and say that it isn’t a cool thing to be like, ‘Holy s---, we were almost … we were in the Top 100 Billboard at 11 for that week.’ But like I said, in these days, it’s really more or less just about being happy with what you did and know that you didn’t have to placate this whole sort of false notion that you’re going to be like Nickleback or Switchfoot. Like, we were celebrating the weirdness of Circa Survive and also the weird accessibility of it, too. So it was pretty cool just to be excited and be happy with our record. I know as much as we love [previous albums] ‘Juturna’ and ‘On Letting Go,’ both of those records, I think, we would have loved to spend a little more time on. And having actually gotten to spend that time on ‘Blue Sky Noise,’ it was way easier to walk away with our hands in the air, happy knowing that we did the work.” Apart from the label change, or maybe along with it, do you sense any growth or maybe broadening any change in the way you approached writing these songs? “Oh yeah, of course. We really explore all the facets of writing. It’s not like we ever get a certain method that we stuck to. For this record, we ended up doing a lot more stripped-down stuff, where we would take an idea and put it to acoustic guitar and pretty just build the song off of the vocal melody and the acoustic guitar. But there were just as many songs on the record written almost all instrumentally before I even put vocals to it. There isn’t like a centralized idea of writing. We really try everything. People are always asking me about why it felt so different, and I think that we’re growing. It reflects us changing. You don’t sound the same when your 20 as you do when you’re 28. You don’t dress the same, you don’t think the same. So I think it would be kind of ridiculous to try to put out the same record that you did when you were 22.” Tell me how you hooked up with Anberlin. “We’ve known those guys for a while and we always thought it would be a really good fit. The music isn’t exactly, not too similar. But it’s also not too far off. I think that it was just a matter of time before we were able to go on tour with them. They’re great guys and I love their music. Their new album’s great. And I think that they definitely capture that sort of old-school, hard-core vibe and it’s very accessible and has that sort of pop edge to it that people can really grasp onto and I always thought that was really cool, when bands could do something like that. I think in that whole genre, there’s a lot of bands that have been trying to pull that sound off. And as far as I can see, they’re the best ones that have done it. But it was just kind of a matter of time.” You guys gonna play the Warped Tour this year? “Uh, no. We are 100 percent confirmed to not play Warped Tour this year [Laughs]. I would never say never about something at Warped Tour. We had a great experience in 2007, but it is 2011. And with the changing musical climate, I think that a lot of – not just the record labels are changing, but the concert industry is changing, too. And Warped Tour was all about just punk bands and showcasing new artists, and I think that in a lot of ways they still do that. But it seems like a different climate there now. There’s no real Rancid, there’s no real Pennywise of this generation. It all seems a lot more about just trying to sell as many tickets as possible. Maybe I’m just naïve and that’s the way it always was. Circa is very grateful to have been part of that tour but I think we’re just as grateful to try to find our niche somewhere else. ” “Now, more than ever, you have to be careful of being pigeonholed and typecast almost. And Circa Survive is really a unique band in my opinion, and not to just sound cocky. I think we spent the last couple of years, and every time we read a review the word ‘Emo’ and ‘Warped Tour’ come up in it [Laughs] And I don’t think that’s a mistake. I don’t think that’s an accident. I think a lot of times people just see, ‘OK, they did all of Warped Tour 2007, let’s see who they toured with … OK, they’re an emo band.’ And I’m not even necessarily saying that’s a bad thing, but we’re not an emo band. It’s a shame, but I think that name has a stigma to it that I can never attach us to. I feel like we’re a very working, versatile, growing, psychedelic pop band [laughs]. And unfortunately they have no title for Warped Tour.” OK, note to self: Don’t use the word ‘emo’ in my story. “Oh, no, no, no [Laughs]. One hundred percent your prerogative. I would never hold it against you for your opinion, or anybody’s opinion for that matter. But we are trying to be conscious of making decisions that will, hopefully, maybe break us out of that mold a little bit so that people won’t be scared to listen to our band that might not necessary like that stigma. But I would never hold it against you as a journalist if that was how you felt. I would just come to your house and hold a boom box under your window ala [the movie] ‘Say Anything.’ [Laughs]. I read you’re already writing a follow-up to your solo disc ‘Avalon’ “Yeah, I actually played about nine songs for Colin last night, our guitar player and co-founder of the band, and was so nervous for him hear the songs that I’ve recorded. I have nine songs on my laptop and like four or five more on the way. [Producer] Jason Cook, the guy who produced Maxim Atlases and Good Old War and countless other band, he actually came down the shore with and the guys from Gold Old War on New year’s Eve this year, and we spent from New year’s Eve till about the sixth or seventh of January just writing and recording, and we’ve recorded like 13 songs.” Do you still live most of your time in Doylestown? “Yeah, I actually just bought a house in Doylestown with my wife in August. It’s the first time I ever bought a house. It’s pretty crazy, actually. … After we did it, both of us had a mini panic attack, like we just gave away all our money and we bought this house. It’s just a crazy feeling. Like we’re in it for life or something.” Congratulations. “Thanks. It was a pretty weird feeling.” http://blogs.mcall.com/lehighvalleymusic/2011/01/speaking-with-circa-survives-anthony-green-time-changing-approch-made-new-disc-a-success.html
  9. SUB. FEATURE INTERVIEW: ANTHONY GREEN TALKS FATHERHOOD AND “BEAUTIFUL THINGS” posted by : Jameson Ketchum on Feb 20, 2012 • 2:47 AM You might look at the image Anthony Green and see the weight of the world on his shoulders. Never a stranger to controversy and the ensuing spotlight followed by a barrage of deeply personal questions, Green subscribes to the idea that its better to put his own positive message out there rather than to remain extremely private and closed off. This idea was heavily tested when he appeared on the cover of last month’s AP Magazine with his one year old son James. Green confesses it was a tough decision but when you see the pair together, it’s clear that there’s little Green wouldn’t do to preserve his son’s eternal protection and joy. James joins us for the first half of the interview in fact. Earmuffs placed firmly on his head, loving every flash of our photographer’s camera. There’s not many musicians like Green in music anymore; extremely friendly and personable, deeply honest and candid, while not coming off as a bleeding heart starving artist. He remembers me from a year earlier when I interviewed him just prior to the release of Blue Sky Noise (easily the strangest interview I’ve ever done). Off the record, Green reveals even more about himself, his seemingly irrational fears and his take on bands being interviewed in general. Talking with Green is like reconnecting with an old high school buddy. You want to remain professional yet you just want to take the guy out for a drink and BS. On stage, Green looks as if he’d be happy never leaving. He’s real with the crowd, joking, starting and stopping songs to tell a quick story, he’s just at home, even when it comes in a disciplinary form (Green stopped in the middle of his first song to tell a kid to stop pushing a girl against the stage and later on that he “wants to punch him in the face so bad” and that the kid has now “lost his singing along privileges”). Often between vocal breaks, Green will step past the mic and look out over the crowd with shifting eyes. It’s almost as if he believes he’s tricking the audience and any minute we’ll discover his secret and walk out the door. As evidenced by numerous sold out dates and the massively positive respond to his new record, its safe to say no one has left Green’s side yet. Substream Music Press: The new record is Beautiful Things. Talk to me about the line, “Now that I’m older I never steal, but I think about it all the time…” I’ve heard you say that that line encapsulates a lot. Anthony Green: I think it had more to do with doing bad shit. Now that you’re older you don’t do it, you just think about it. Which is worse? Thinking about it all the time or doing it? I sort of played around that idea, I’m not a better person I’m just a little better at hiding the darkness. James kicks off one of his shoes. Green spends the next minute or so grappling with his son, now on his back, to get the tiny shoe back on. James lays back and smiles for our photographer. SMP: I just watched the video for “Get Yours While You Can”. You mentioned on the “behind the scenes” that you liked just laying there and having other people carry the energy of it. AG: Yeah. My idea of the video was just having everybody dancing in the middle of it and not even have me be in it. But the label and director got involved and said “You have to be in the video”, and I was like “I don’t want to be in the video”. Videos…to me it’s just not interesting to see a dude singing to the camera, faking some performance. I wanted this video to be something a little different. When we did the “Dying to Reach You” video, we got super into it and we were singing the song super loud and we killed ourselves making that video. The dudes that directed that were incredible and I wanted to be able to do something different from that but still really interesting to watch. I didn’t want to be in it and it was an “over my dead body” type of thing and the director Isaac was like "Okay, alright”. The whole symbolism of me being dead in the video and other people giving the video motion and light was sort of something he kind of came up with from the idea of me not wanting to be in it. It’s a perfect metaphor for how I feel like people can take things out of context and they can start building whatever they want out of your song, your poem, your whatever. If you try to hold onto whatever it means to you too much, it’s going to be really difficult and you have to sort of let other people interpret it and bring it to life. James slides down from Green’s lap and onto the floor. “You want back up?” The father asks his son. “Timmy!” he replies. “You want to go find Timmy?” Green pulls him back up on his lap. SMP: What has James done for you as far as your creativity and your mental state in relation to what you do as an artist? AG: He sort of has helped me keep balance and focus. Green apologizes as his son makes a run for the door leading to the steep steps down to the stage. He then brings James downstairs to find his mother and returns to the green room. AG: Sometimes you and your self preservation isn’t enough to make good decisions. Good decisions meaning like things that aren’t going to put you or anyone who cares about you in harm’s way. I think that for awhile I just had a very difficult time with that, I was very reckless. It was difficult for me to tie a correlation between me being reckless and my personal life. How it affected the things I loved to do and the relationships in my life and James kind of becoming the focus of things helped me realize how silly I was being, how important life is, how important love is, how much I was really trying to escape from the fear of not having that type of love in my life. It’s a scary thing. I think a lot of times we’re so used to numbing ourselves so that we don’t have to face that idea that’s there’s possibly not love in your life and having to maybe look for it or need it. Just needing it is a scary vulnerable thing. He’s kind of taught me how to accept the fact that I need love in my life and that I need to nurture and respect people in a different way. So in that way…just like a 360…made me realize how important people are in my life and how important it is to just be happy. Not even just happy but just being positive and loving and nurturing of what you love. All the really hard shit is always going to be really hard so you don’t need to focus any more of your energy on what already takes it up. SMP: You’re probably having the realization of understanding your own parents a little better as well. AG: A little. My parents were from a different time. As much as I can try and see and understand, I can’t because I don’t know what it was like to be raised like that. They raised me different, more open minded. I know that school is going to be a different priority. I want to take care of him and get him an education and not have it based on like the public school system or private schools even. I just feel like the education system in this country is really fucked and I never want him to feel like he’s competing for intelligence with other people, in my mind or his mind. He is already perfect and he doesn’t need to go to school to become smarter. Man, I had the worst time in school when I was a kid so I won’t ever put him through that. SMP: Not to mention the fact that the arts are going down the drain in our school system but the cool thing is that he’s going to grow up with his dad as an artist. AG: We’re gonna have so much fun as little partners! Painting and writing songs together, singing and dancing. I think he’s going to grow up in a really progressive household where he’s loved, he’s not going to be put in competition with other kids. I hope that. SMP: Switching gears a bit. The new record feels really diverse, especially compared to Avalon. Are you more free with your solo stuff than you are with Circa? AG: Yeah. Just because my solo stuff is whatever I want it to be. I don’t have to bounce any ideas off anybody if I don’t want to. That being said, there’s a lot of what I do with my solo stuff that is extremely collaborative with the Good Old War guys. It’s just a different kind of collaboration. I absolutely love Circa, it’s my baby, my first love. While me having a little bit more freedom in a project is nice, I think the thing that makes Circa great is that everyone is able to have their input and we can work together, make decisions together and make something greater than what you make on your own. SMP: You kind of touched on this, but the fact that you can do what you love for a living, and now more importantly, support a family with it, is incredible and something that so many people out there don’t get to experience. Is that still an every day shock? AG: Any days that stresses come up with this job or whatever, it’s just like a job in that it has stresses and things that fuck you up. Every once in awhile things will bum me out or something will be freaking me out but its such a great experience, its such a great opportunity that I can’t believe its still happening, to be honest. Every tour I do, every record I put out, I feel like I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop. With this record specifically, I was ready for my solo career to be cut. Because the record is really weird and it’s not like anything. I didn’t expect people to respond to such a drastic change. I was very braced for a backlash. I feel like people who have liked my solo stuff have really liked the record and that’s just from the people coming to shows and the shows being sold out all over the place and it just been crazy awesome. I mean, I don’t know what people say on their comments on the internet but I know from these shows that it’s been way better than I expected, I don’t really understand it (laughs). SMP: Maybe the response is because you’re so bold with your solo stuff. A lot of singers “go solo” then just write stripped down versions of their band’s songs. I was at the Where’s the Band Tour the other night and don’t get me wrong those guys are amazing writers, but it made me think when I heard how different your solo stuff was on this last record. AG: I want to be on that Where’s the Band Tour. I want to do a tour that’s just me and an acoustic guitar. SMP: So this tour is for Keep a Breast. What does that charity mean to you? Any close to home stories? AG: I have a few personal family connections with cancer and breast cancer, people that I don’t necessarily want to talk about their stories but Circa has been working with them since 2006. It’s just been a great experience to work with a charity that is so centered on awareness, not just breast cancer but cancer in general. They’re really good people who spread a really good message. It’s a pleasure to be out on tour spreading positivity and to be aligned with a charity like them. It’s a dream come true. My son and I are painting a cast of the girl who is at the booth tonight, which is odd because we’ve been on tour with her for six weeks. When they casted her boobs, they brought it on the bus and I was like “I don’t want those things in here”, there’s already two more boobs than I need on the bus (laughs). But she’s like the greatest girl ever but I just feel uncomfortable with those boobs around. Then they were like “Do you mind painting them?” so Meredith, James and I will be painting them. I’ll tell James when he’s older that he painted boobs (laughs). SMP: He’ll discover them sooner or later. Anything else you’d like to add? AG: I really hate Valentines Day but I’m really stoked to be here on Valentines Day. I fucking hate it and I’ve been married for years. I have lots of love in my life, I just hate corporate holidays. That being said, when I was a teenager and I had a girlfriend, which was very rare, and it was Valentines Day, I went all out. I was fucking romantic. It was everything: the standard, flowers, chocolate, heart shit and plus totally “me” type shit. I would hand make something, make dinner, go somewhere and do something fun. SMP: What was the weirdest thing you gave someone? AG: I had a girlfriend and we had a whole Valentines Day where we were trying to gross each other out. I took her to go see this move that was playing an hour and a half away from my parents’ house at some weird theater. It’s a movie about a doctor who falls in love with this woman who got into a car crash and so that she can’t run away, he cuts her arms and legs off. Then he makes her watch him have sex with prostitutes and stuff. I won that contest. She loved the movie then we went home and drank my parents’ red wine and did it on their couch. It was great though. I think she got me a pig’s heart and I didn’t even know what it was. That was nothing. Later on stage, Green reveals that one of his worst Valentines Days happened before he could even drive. He invited a girl out to see the movie Beethoven. Her curfew was before the movie ended so Green, the girl, and his father had to leave the movie early to take her home. On the way to her house, Green pooped his pants, therefore foregoing the possibly romantic walk to the front door. SMP: I hope you don’t do that kind of stuff with your wife now (laughs). AG: (Laughs) We’re going to go out to dinner tonight. We’re very aware of romance in our lives and like not letting children and life changing things strip that away. We stay up really late burning the midnight oil. It doesn’t hurt that there’s times where I’ll be gone for two weeks and I won’t see her. Although it sucks, its nice for a couple to have a little break from each other sometimes. You have to keep that in mind, you can’t forget it. Sometimes you forget to eat. Interview by Jameson Ketchum Photos by Macy Langley of Riot Photography http://www.substream...autiful-things/
  10. TUNED IN to CIRCA SURVIVE Sunday, May 09, 2010 Our featured Tuned In band this week is Circa Survive. They are a popular Rock band from Doylestown PA signed to Atlantic Records. We caught up with them during a special performance at Siren Records in Doylestown. This special homecoming show was part of their Record Store Tour, in which they played at various local record stores throughout the country to show support for local businesses. Please enjoy their biography courtesy of their label, Atlantic Records. Nick Beard (Bass) . Steve Clifford (Drums) . Brendan Ekstrom (Guitar) . Colin Frangicetto (Guitar) . Anthony Green (Vocals) Whatever you think Circa Survive's new album means, you're right. However you understand the lyrics, in whichever way you construe the melodies, whatever emotions rise within you, whether it generates nostalgia or pain or hope or something you can't name, Blue Sky Noise expands to encompass any possible perception of itself. The Doylestown, PA-based band's multi-faceted sound has always allowed infinite space for interpretation, melding intricate prog and mind-bending psychedelia with massive riffs and singer Anthony Green's reflective, intimate lyricism. With Blue Sky Noise, Circa Survive have crystallized their complex sound and equally involved ideas about the world around them into their most confident and focused collection to date. Songs like "Imaginary Enemy" and "Get Out" are elaborately orchestrated and intensely powerful, offering the purest expression thus far of Circa Survive's singular identity. Hailed as a remarkably visceral live act since their 2004 foundation, Circa Survive followed 2007's acclaimed second album, On Letting Go, with nearly two years of non-stop touring, roadwork which saw the band bridging a diverse range of audiences with its idiosyncratic sonic vision. In addition to treks alongside bands such as Coheed & Cambria, Thrice, Pelican, and My Chemical Romance, Circa Survive dropped jaws at such dissimilar music festivals as Vans Warped Tour and Coachella. Upon returning home to the house they shared in Doylestown, the band took a brief but much-needed pause in order to readjust and revive their energies. It wasn't long before the five musicians began allowing ideas to gestate for a new record. In October of 2008, the band acquired a cottage-like house that bordered a stream and a nature preserve. They called it "The Creek House" and in one of its rooms, with a large picture window looking out into the world, they wrote nearly every day for several months. The process had its ups and down. The band, then unsigned, struggled with a tumultuous internal pressure to create something they were proud of, something that elevated their music to a new level of skill and innovation. Green, in particular, was consumed with uncertainty and felt unable to live up to his own expectations. Mid-way through the writing process, the singer had a breakdown, going what he calls "mentally bankrupt and ruined with self-doubt." With the band's support, he checked himself into a mental institution, where he spent a period of time recovering his sense of balance and unearthing a new perspective. "I just wanted to get better," Green explains. "People should know that when they get to their wit's end they should get help. I went to the local crisis center. I had to do that in order to make this record." When Green returned, although some of the problems remained, he found himself better able to confront the challenge of crafting this record with his bandmates. Circa Survive returned to writing every day in The Creek House. They eschewed any formula for songwriting. Every musical idea had its own method of creation, its own unique path of maturing into songs. For the first time in Circa Survive, guitarist Colin Frangicetto contributed lyrics and melodies for two songs"I Felt Free" and "Imaginary Enemy"and the band worked collaboratively to build a unified record piece by piece, song by song. "Frozen Creek," a haunting track written by Green and guitarist Brendan Ekstrom (the two also collaborated on "Get Out"), marked the first time the musicians felt they were on the right track during the writing process, and from there the group constructed the songs into an integrated whole, book-ended by surging opener "Strange Terrain" and shyly hopeful closer "Dyed In the Wool." "We really wanted to make sure we were writing a cohesive full-length album," says Ekstrom. "We wanted people to listen to our record from front to back, with all the songs flowing together seamlessly. A lot of it is a reflection of our personalities and what we went through, but also a reflection of the state of music and our reaction to the disintegration of the album." In the spring of 2009, the band, now signed with Atlantic Records, made a list of possible producers. They met with several, all dream scenarios, and immediately felt a connection with David Bottrill (Muse, Tool, King Crimson). The band sent songs to Bottrill from The Creek House throughout the spring and by the time they arrived in Toronto in July to begin preproduction, that communication had grown into a supportive discourse that helped the songs grow into the best versions of themselves. Circa Survive spent three and a half months in Toronto, recording in several different spaces, always reminding each other of the common goal they were working toward: making the best album possible. "We wanted to make a record with an element of patience," Frangicetto explains. "One where you might not discover something until the third or even thirtieth listen. David was the perfect guy for that. He was very intent on preserving the artist's vision. He wanted to take what we did and make it better. It was the most peaceful recording session we've ever had. He kept us in a team mentality. He told us on our last day, 'I don't think you guys could have made a better record.'" The twelve songs on Blue Sky Noise swell and dissolve into each other. The fervor and desperate force of "Get Out" as Green howls "Locked myself up in a room without a window/ Just to see if it was any easier to breathe" find equal strength in his bandmates' impassioned instrumentals. The urgent liberation of "I Felt Free" is reflected in its propulsive guitars, soaring melodies and the throb of an underlying beat. Layers of sound, built with revving guitars, patterned rhythms and the ardor of Green's vocals, allow the record to intensify and suspend, sprawling into vast atmospheric spaces and surging together into dramatic climaxes. Every track stands alone, but each stands taller beside its companions. It offers a profound sense of catharsis and represents a collective healing process for the musicians who birthed it. It is a segment of a greater whole, another stride toward an ultimate realization. "I feel like it says a million things," Green says. "It's all in the album. And it's all in the other albums. It's a bunch of unsaid stuff that I haven't recorded yet. Every album is a chapter and a step toward the truth. And you're never going to get there, you just have to keep going and going. I want this record to be in the world. It only makes sense out there. I'm like a pregnant mother about to explode. I just want it out there. It's weighing me down and I love it so much and I just want it to be alive so I can put it to my teat." Segment
  11. Circa Survive . 12.2012 . Inked Magazine . Interview/Article
  12. An Interview with Colin Frangicetto from Circa Survive: Making Waves —by Alessandra Donnelly, October 25, 2012 Acclaimed and seasoned rock outfit Circa Survive are no strangers to the process of music making. With two EPs and four full-length albums in their past, the group’s latest musical evolutionary step has been dubbed Violent Waves. The self-produced work was recorded in an organic environment close to the homes of the band’s members, with “Suitcase” being the first single, as well as video, to be released. The album dropped on Aug. 28 and was received with open arms, garnering positive feedback on all ends. The guys seem to have strengthened their control over creating addicting melodies, flavorful guitar parts, and songwriting in general. This act has a strong following, a dedicated fanbase, and the guys continue to flourish as musicians. Circa Survive have embarked on a U.S. tour spanning throughout the fall with O’Brother, Balance And Composure, and Touché Amoré. Having accomplished much within the lifetime of the band, the boys have many more endeavors ahead of them. Their guitarist, Colin Frangicetto, took a moment while on the road in Arizona to speak with The Aquarian about all things Circa Survive. This is what he had to say: The band’s latest record, Violent Waves, is distinctly different from your previous release, Blue Sky Noise. How did you approach the recording process this time around? The actual recording process was quite different because we chose to self-produce [the album] and we did it in a studio that was pretty close to our homes. We were home every night whereas every other record we’ve made, we made away from home. Twice we were in the Baltimore area, another time we were in Toronto. This was a much different feeling, you know, kind of going there in the morning, meeting, and then going back to our homes at night and kind of resting up. In general, we have just been in a much healthier space, you know, because at this point, we are all a bit older and Anthony [Green, vocalist] has a family. A few of us are married and there is just a pretty large kind of comfort that comes from being able to keep that intact while doing our thing on the record. Then, of course, there is just the day-to-day working at a pace that we decided every step of the way; calling all the shots ourselves was a huge change. As far as writing it, it was very similar to how we wrote all the other records as far as what we had in mind. You go into every record with a mindset of trying to make the best record possible in the most honest and creativity-inducing kind of environment. “Phantasmagoria” is a particularly cool song with thought provoking lyrics. Where did this track come from and can you explain what it’s all about? I wouldn’t really be able to explain the lyrics; that’s definitely more Anthony’s territory in a sense. On this record especially, he was very pure; there was really no outside input from any of us about his lyrics this time around because I think all of us just felt the lyrics just came from a very cool place. I felt they were really inspired and kind of unquestionable. My interpretation of it is things that you pine over and want; you place value and desire in the wrong places. It is obviously pretty multi-layered in meaning. The song itself came from… that was one of the ones that Anthony just brought in and it had a full structure of chords, and just a very interesting song structure, with no real, like, jump-out-at-you chorus or anything. Needless to say, it is one of the more catchy songs on the album. It is one of the more oddball songs on the album as well. It kind of sticks out pretty largely. Oddly enough, it was kind of one of the ones that I was in question about for a while, but it’s interesting to see how it plays out live. It’s such a sing-a-long song; it’s definitely a fan favorite already. The first time we played it live on this tour it was kind of mind-blowing to see how the song really came to life in a live setting. Now it is one of my favorite songs, so it’s interesting how that happened. It’s definitely a journey. The video for “Suitcase” is the first one that you have released. Where did the idea for that video come from? That was pretty much a brainstorm session that started with an idea that Anthony had. We had this idea of a girl opening a suitcase and her traveling with this guy and witnessing some stuff that was more on the dark side. We were a little nervous about finding someone who could accomplish that vision. The guy who worked on the video, he is a close friend of the band, he just nailed it. Collectively, it is our favorite video that we’ve made so far. In general, it is challenging to make a music video that is captivating without any band performance in it. It felt really unique and really thought provoking, if you ask me. What did you guys want to bring to the table this fall, as far as a live performance goes, on your tour cycle? Every time we try to step up our game, production wise. We try to make it visually interesting, obviously not as much as sounding good and all that stuff. The one major difference in this tour for us has been we chose to play a different setlist every night. We rehearsed a pool of about 50 songs before we left; we have a pretty large pool of songs to pull from. It’s really gratifying to really change that. I think we are probably much better musicians for it. I find that every night I go on stage, the less and less anxious [i get] about it. I’m really excited about it, to see how songs translate live. Were you previously acquainted, prior to the tour, with the bands that you have brought along? We knew O’Brother from a smaller tour we did with them; we stayed really close friends with them. They’re just really good guys and we’re just kindred spirits with those guys. We were hoping that we could do a big tour with them so we were glad that this worked out. We have a lot of mutual friends with Balance And Composure and we also recorded with some of the same people as them. Anthony has been out on tour with them before and we also really wanted to make this happen. Touché Amoré are kind of a new band that, as far as for us, we’ve never played with them before. I think them and Balance And Composure have actually worked together before this. Most of the bands knew each other one way or the other. Everyone is very friendly and we hang out as much as possible. What musicians do you look up to? I guess the guitar players that I keep going back to are Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin, Radiohead—there’s endless amounts of artists that I’m inspired by. Ultimately, I think the guys that I’m in the band with, those are definitely the people that inspire me the most. They are the ones I get to watch and experience their creativity and their skill. Is it possible for you to pick a favorite track off of Violent Waves? Uh, it really changes every day. It’s weird. I think at the moment, I really love playing the first song off of the album [“Birth Of The Economic Hit Man”]. There are two songs that I really love just to listen to—“Brother Song” and “Blood From A Stone.” Those things make me feel really good. What’s in the near future, besides touring, for Circa Survive? There always is [touring] but a lot of the times, I’m not always really aware of it until we talk about it. Hopefully, you can expect us to tour a little more, go overseas, do that kind of stuff, and then eventually come up with another album, you know. http://www.theaquari...e-making-waves/
  13. The PureVolume Q&A: Circa Survive's Anthony Green On DIY, Staying Weird, and the Core of Success By: Alyssa Coluccio . 08.27.2012 When change occurs, it's not uncommon to search for ways to reject it. Sometimes though, a select few embrace it with open arms, and without fear or thought for consequences. Circa Survive chose the latter route when, eight years into their exceptional career, they made the decision to self-release their new album, Violent Waves. As frontman Anthony Green will tell you, the result has been nothing short of rewarding. Violent Waves, which officially drops tomorrow [August 28], showcases the band's incredible depth of musicality and thought, presenting an effort that speaks as much to their past as it does to their future. Here, we catch up with Green for an inspiring chat about breaking molds, making emotionally-charged music, staying weird, and what it really means to be successful. PureVolume: It's an interesting move to self-release an album at this point in your career. What was the breaking point in this decision? Anthony Green: We really approached the idea a long time ago, before we had even signed to Atlantic Records, but we figured we might as well try doing it with a label and see how it works. We tried it with them and, for us, it was a great experience. We got to use all of their resources and they were really great partners as far as never expecting us to compromise with our creativity. But the thing with a label is that they’re like any other business and they need to make money. They spend a lot of money on bands and I don’t think they saw the return coming in quick enough. We didn’t return as much money in the first year as they wanted us to, so they wanted to move on, and the thing about our career is that we’re not going to stop making music because we didn’t make enough money. And I think that the breaking point was really just having the opportunity [to self-release]. When we decided that we weren’t going to re-sign with them and we weren’t going to do the record with them, there was a really interesting thing that happened. They contacted us in the beginning of our writing and told us that they wanted to offer us less money than they’re contractually obligated to give us in the record contract we had with them, because they didn’t make as much money back. But because of the contract, in offering that, that offered us an out. So that was really the breaking point. It was like, well, if you’re not going to let the band grow, and grow in time, than we’re going to take this opportunity to really try to do this on our own. Every day the last couple of months that I’ve been preparing for the record, (laughs) I thank our lucky stars that they came to us. This just felt like the right move for us. PV: In “Sharp Practice” the lines “you get what you pay for/we can’t sell our god damn souls anymore” seems to resonate with that. Was this your way of expressing disdain for the industry and what had happened? AG: I think that had more or less to do with the fact that music is available for free if you can somehow get it online. It’s not necessarily a direct stab at the industry, I think it’s just more the fact that we’re trying to make money off of something that is free [laughs], and asking people to buy something that they can very easily get. It wasn’t necessarily directed at the label but I can see now how there are themes that had to do with working with Atlantic, and working with people trying to create a market for a band like ours which is a little bit weirder, and create an audience therein for something that’s a little bit more off beat. PV: In light of that, was it particularly difficult for you to deal with the album leaking a few weeks ago? AG: It was a bum out at first. When I heard about it I got kind of scared, because we all expected it to leak, but I think that we expected it to leak a little bit closer to the release date. But then when you think about it a little bit, and you really accept the fact that this band has always been carried by the passion of our fans, and the fact that they have the record and they can digest it for a little while, it’s really positive. That really helped us. It’s going to happen anyway and it doesn’t change anything. If anything, it just gives people something to talk about and it gives them the actual audio to start listening to and go around and start talking about. So, at first I was kind of bummed because a lot is riding on this, but then I realized you have to try to find the silver lining. PV: You mentioned that your decision to release independently has made you deeply involved in every aspect of this process. Aside from writing, recording, and distributing, how does this album represent the people you are as a band and as individuals? AG: There are a lot of tasks involved in putting out an album on a label, and the label helps in the decision making. I think that doing it this way really helped our band come together to figure out ways to compromise with each other. We run our band very much like a democracy. We all want everyone to be happy, but you have to make a decision on some things. It really forced us to figure out how to compromise when it involved decisions regarding our music, and how we represent the band, and how we market the band in a way where we're not trying to market it as so much of a product, like a t-shirt or a CD, but really put ourselves out there as artists who are trying to pass a message on to people. The music is very personal, the songs are extremely personal. We’re not passive people, we can’t not like something we put out. So it’s really put us in a place where we decide ‘this is what the band is,’ and try to make decisions that send out the message of our band, which is the fact that if you go towards what you’re passionate about in your life, you can accomplish things because of your passion. We were focusing on that rather than trying to just find a brand. It’s really been important to us. PV: Being that these songs are so personal, and maybe even more personal than any you’ve written in the past, did your songwriting process differ? AG: You know, I still think it’s a lot of practice makes perfect. There hasn’t been a label, or any people that we’ve worked with, that have assessed the way we write, or have assessed our music and our lyrics. It’s always come straight from us. And in that respect, it’s more like giving the voice tuning — don’t just hear it, but hone in and figure out that it gets better and better if you're introspective, and use it in an almost therapeutic way to express whatever may be happening in your life. This being our fourth album, we’ve had a lot of experience working with each other and writing songs together, and I think the more we do it the better we get at it. The deeper we’re in it, the deeper we’re able to go. We really focused on the aesthetic of the band. And the people that like the band will like [the record] as long as we’re doing it for the right reasons, we’re doing it for ourselves, and we’re doing it as a therapeutic process. They can see through bullshit. We’ve never done that, we’ll never be that, and I think we’ve gotten better and better at going as far as possible and really coming straight from our hearts. PV: That genuine quality definitely seems to be one of the main things that draws Circa fans in. AG: You can tell. I know that the people who listen to our music are epic fans and they’re the people who like the same kind of really passionate, emotional art — the kind that has dark and light. We’re never going to be that kind of giant, marketable band. I feel like we’re the kind of band that are more of the outcast type, the artist type, for people that are a little more eccentric. I could be totally wrong (laughs) but that’s how it seems to me! That’s always been what I’ve been trying to do. We’ve always tried to work with people who would market the band’s weirdness, and I don’t want to market [the music] and put it out so that it makes the top 50 countdown. I want the people who are weird to feel [connected to it]. PV: Like you had mentioned before, this album does go back and forth between heavier moods and lighter, almost atmospheric tones. It’s a great balance you’ve found. AG: That’s awesome. I think if there was any goal I had for the album, it was to have a balance. I wanted it to be just as much of a question of itself as an answer, and I feel like closing the album out with the song “I’ll Find A Way” speaks to that. It’s kind of like, ‘I’ll find a way, I’ll figure it out.’ Sometimes we don’t know the answer, but we don’t have to stop trying to look for it. PV: You’ve been in the game for a while now. What have you learned about the industry and being a successful band? What do you think defines success? AG: You know, it’s a weird thing. The industry is so fucked, and you can’t really define success in numbers. You can’t really define it based on Facebook friends or Twitter followers. It’s about being able to sit there.... and really love what you’ve done. If you’ve been able to really exercise something, or create something, there’s a feeling you get there. It’s a rush, it’s like a drug rush. And if you have that, if you have a feeling like that about something you’ve done, that is an accomplishment. That is success to me. And I can’t say whether or not this record is going to help the band to go on, if it will feed my kid, I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I know that it gives me that feeling. To me, that’s success. http://www.purevolum...usive-Interview http://www.purevolum...case-Live-Video
  14. Backstage interview with Anthony Green of Circa Survive October 5, 2012By Jessie Frary Pre-Show Treat My friend, Marissa, and I were amongst the growing mass of fans that showed up early to hang outside of the Center Stage venue in downtown Atlanta to see the sold-out Circa Survive show (she and I were probably a little more giddy than the rest, because we were waiting for a one-on-one interview with Anthony Green himself). Everyone’s eagerness paid off- all of a sudden, on the front steps of the venue, there appeared all of the guys from Circa to play a mini acoustic set for a website called NervousEnergies.com. Some reward. They played “Sharp Practice” and “Suitcase” from their new album, Violent Waves, and everyone, including me, was taking videos and snapping pictures like mad. Shortly after this, their tour manager, Jeffery, called us in, and we waited to interview Anthony in a small room in the basement. More on that later. The Show The first to kick off the show was Balance and Composure, and they immediately got into it. The lead singer even got a little “over-animated” and knocked over a couple of the drummers’ symbols. If you haven’t listened to them before, you need to, and you need to see them live (side note: they remind me a lot of Brand New). Next up was Touché Amoré, and they threw down a little harder than B&C. The lead singer was all over the place getting the crowd hyped up. For those who are unfamiliar with them, they sound a great deal like La Dispute (which might explain why they have a split record with them). Bottom line: these bands are touring with Circa, so you know they have to be legit. And finally, what everyone had been waiting for- Circa Survive. Anthony Green walked on stage. Everyone (including the men) started screaming like little schoolgirls. I was super lucky to have a photo pass, so I got to be right in the photo pit. The place was packed. Frantically crowd surfing, everyone hoping to get close enough for a handshake from Anthony, who was working the crowd as hard as he could (including some seductive gestures and comments that sent everyone into a frenzy). Their set was beautifully lit with tall, rectangular boxes of light and mirrors backlighting the band. They played new material from Violent Waves, such as “Suitcase”, “Birth of the Economic Hit Man”, and “The Lottery”, as well as a few older favorites like “The Glorious Nosebleed”, “Strange Terrain”, “Stop the F*ckin’ Car””, and “The Great Golden Baby”. Right before Anthony got down, I raised my fist and got a fist bump from him (as if the interview wasn’t enough). They encored with “Get Out” and “Lazarus”, to the delight of the entire crowd. The Interview VM: Why did you choose to write the album [so quickly], then self produce it? AG: It was written over a couple months, but it was definitely the fastest-written album that Circa’s ever done, and the self producing thing…whenever we write songs we just demo them ourselves, and it got to the point that the demos were sounding really, really good…so we just decided [to] try to find a studio in the area, and we have buddies of ours that work in this great studio…called Studio 4…all these legends have recorded there, and they let us get some really cheap time and we went in… they managed to do the record in like two and a half weeks. So it was like the best thing ever. VM: I bet it was kind of hell trying to do that all [so quickly] though. AG: I mean, it wasn’t that hard…We worked really long hours, just because of all of our attention spans. I felt like we had to do that. We enjoy it- it wasn’t like, hellish. Not doing this with a producer sort of gave us the freedom to try a bunch of different things, and we were on our own dime, so if we stayed real late, or if we needed to we didn’t feel reluctant to keep going. VM: I’ve noticed that you guys are definitely trying to hone in on more of the raw sound, like how you would sound live versus studio-produced. Has there been any kind of fan reaction that you guys have noticed? AG: Nobody’s really said anything about the quality of the record being bad. I’ve heard a lot of people just say that it sounds more like us than most of the other records. The other records were glossier. I feel a producer does a record, and they are almost more concerned about how it’s going to sound to their producer buddies than it’s going to sound to the artists’ fans. I think our fans are used to coming to the show, and they hear the vocals a little flat or a little sharp at times, because of whatever reason…that’s what makes it feel good, you know…that’s what makes it feel warm. It’s the same reason why people listen to vinyl, because it’s not a perfect sound. VM: How do you feel about the sound on this album compared to your others? AG: It’s hard to say, because I feel like every album is a different, newer chapter in your life, so you go back to the thing you were writing about when you were 22 or 23, and you were like…. ‘Yeah, I was 22 or 23. I love everything.’ There’s not one song that we’ve written that I can’t sing that I feel is not cool. Obviously this album feels closer because it’s dealing with stuff that’s going on right now. But then in a year’s time the songs will all take on a different meaning, and that’s just how it grows. It grows, and it changes. VM: I know you alluded to it, but what was your motivation and inspiration for the album? AG: So many things…my dad got real sick- that’s kinda what “The Lottery” is about… I kinda hate it when people are like ‘what inspires you?’, because there are so many things. It’s such a hard question to answer, because there are so many things that inspire me- like my relationships with the guys in the band, with my family, just with you guys, the people that come to the shows and stuff- that’s all what this record is really about. VM: That’s awesome. I guess we will take it back a little bit- what kind of music did you grow up with? AG: Bands like Touché [Amoré] and Balance [& Composure]- listening to music like that. VM: Can you list a few? AG: Aw man… Quicksand, Handsome, Burning Airlines, At the Drive In, Cave In… Cave In was a huge band… Braid, The Get Up Kids, Falling Forward, Code 7, This Day Forward. I loved Nirvana…loved Nirvana. The first album I actually got was a Metallica album. The second album I ever got was Nevermind. I was 15 when I got Nevermind; it was a music thrift shop, like a used CD was 15 bucks… so much money. VM: So how did you become involved with music? Was it just through those bands/did you have any family members that were musically inclined? AG: I was just hanging out in places as a kid. We would just go places to hang out, and I found this skate park near my house that bands would play out of every weekend, and we started going there…wherever there would be a show- a local show or local bands- I was there. And then just tried starting a band. I met some people and put a band together and made, like, a grindcore band, where we just made noise. We wrote stuff- there were songs! VM: What was it called? AG: It was called Audience of One. Then that band started and sort of became like a grindcore, hardcore band until it had songs and singing and stuff. I don’t know how it shifted. It was never one thing. It was just like…we started out with this one drummer, and he was a crazy metal drummer. He couldn’t be in the band anymore, because he couldn’t go out like past 11. So we had this other guy come in that liked more of the music we liked- like indie rock and stuff, and we just started jamming. It was awesome. VM: So from there, how did you transfer into Circa? AG: I don’t know. I really don’t know. I just played music all the time with people I knew…Somebody in California had heard some of my stuff- the guys in Saosin had heard my stuff that I had done at home, and some buddies of mine that were out there were like, ‘Yo, you should come out and try out for our band.’ So I went out there and tried out, and then within the next four days recorded that EP that I did with them. Then, moved out there a couple months later to start touring. I was like, ‘this is great. These guys wanna start a band and go on tour, and there’s record labels, and there’s California and stardust.’ I just wanted to go out there and be a vagabond, and my parents were like, ‘the f*ck’s the matter with you? You can’t sing. You can’t do any of this. You don’t know what you’re doing.’ And I was like, ‘yeah, I know, but I’m gonna do it anyway…if you guys are really supportive, then I’m gonna go do this. You have to trust me.’… I was 20. And I moved out there, and ever since then I’ve been doing music. VM: That’s awesome. [Marissa: That reminds me of us, just always going to local shows]. AG: Yeah, that’s the best. You just go…and… have you guys ever read The Celestine Prophecy? VM: No, but we probably should. AG: You ought to just follow your heart; follow your instincts that lead you down good paths of beautiful things and light and all the stuff you want. You’ll get it. VM: It’s true. So what made you want to come outside and play a mini acoustic set for us? I know most bands don’t do that. AG: Ryan [Russell] has a website where he has this thing called Nervous Energies…he films bands playing, and he asked where we wanted to do it, and we were like, ‘let’s just go outside and play for the kids.’ He was like, ‘no one’s ever done that on the site before,’ and I was like, ‘then we are definitely doing it now.’ VM: I think that is really awesome, because that breaks the barrier that some bands have with their fans. It’s kind of like ‘we are too good, too untouchable’. You guys playing outside made it personal. AG: It’s weird. I think if there’s anything that we as a band have to people is that we are just working class dudes that are able to continue to play music for you…There’s not some difference between you and your favorite band… But they worked really hard and sacrificed whatever they had to get to where they are…you’re going to have to cut comforts or whatever. I know I slept on so many floors with so many weirdos and crashed in people’s houses and was such a pain in the ass to deal with…but it was worth it. VM: So true. What do you enjoy besides music? AG: My kids… I hear guys with kids say, ‘oh, once you get married and have children, life’s over…you won’t have a life anymore. It’s all about their life,’ and I couldn’t disagree with them more. I feel like I never really had a life until them. I just love them so much. I miss them so much…When I’m here I don’t have to worry…about anyone but myself, and I’m pretty low maintenance. I’m smelly; I might not be clean for a couple days. I don’t have to clean anyone’s diaper or anything like that…. And I would rather be cleaning people’s diapers. VM: I imagine you’re kinda tugged both ways. Like when you are touring, you miss them, but when you are home, do you miss traveling and playing shows? AG: I love playing. It’s my favorite thing in the world. It’s the only thing I’ve ever really loved like that before I had the children. It gives you this insane high that I still haven’t found anywhere else. It’s way harder than any drug I’ve ever done, and I’ve done a LOT of drugs. I love it, and I feel no pain when I’m doing it…It’s awesome…I still get that adrenaline rush from it. I still feel incredible about it. Right now, today, I’m having a little bit of a rough time being away. My perspective on it is a little bit skewed, because I feel things with an intensity with a manic type of feel…You just have to not be a f*cking weirdo about it, and I’ve just been being a weirdo about it today. When I hear people complain about being on tour or missing people or whatever, my normal reaction has just been, ‘f*ck you. You can get out of the way and let like the thousands of millions of other people that wanna do it and have that commitment- you can let them do it’. I’m sure there’s a bunch of people that would leave their kids alone for six weeks to go out and do this. VM: Well we are really stoked to see you play! AG: I can’t wait. I f*cking can’t wait. I can’t believe I have to wait until 10 o’clock… Beautiful man http://vinylmag.org/2012/10/05/backstage-interview-with-anthony-green-of-circa-survive/
  15. UTG INTERVIEW: Circa Survive September 13th, 2012 . Brian Lion To coincide with the band setting out on their Violent Waves Tour with Touché Amoré today, UTG is extremely excited to bring you this exclusive interview with the one and only Circa Survive! Between Anthony Green’s instantly recognizable vocal prowess and the masterful musicianship from guitarists Colin Frangicetto and Brendan Ekstrom, bassist Nick Beard and drummer Steve Clifford, Circa Survive have become a staple in any indie and post-rock lover’s collection. With countless sold out shows, four renowned full length records and two EPs, this beloved Philadelphia quintet have attained a cult-like following in their impressive 8 year career. Guitarist Colin Frangicetto took some time while gearing up for tour to speak with UTG about going independent for Violent Waves, what fans can look forward to on their current tour and what has kept the band together since day one. Take advantage of this opportunity (and what may very likely be UTG’s longest interview to date) to get caught up with Circa Survive! Also, be sure to check out their brand new music video for “Suitcase” after the interview! What led to the decision to go independent with Violent Waves? Well, it was kind of a long time coming. I mean, it was something we’ve been kind of daydreaming about for a few years now, all the way back to the On Letting Go era. It was always in the back of our minds and I think as you kind of go through your career and you work with labels and you work with producers and you have all these people you rely on for various things, that that decision becomes harder to make. Especially as you get wrapped up in the cycle of everything, the idea of almost jumping out on a limb is kind of scary and would actually require more effort than it would to just stay on a label. Ultimately, fate kind of intervened and we were in the middle of writing this record. We hadn’t really had a sit-down with Atlantic yet about what was gonna happen. Basically, due to the industry and a lot of changes financially for them, they came to us and just said, “We know we put this in your contract as what you’ll get and the budget for this next record but seeing as you guys aren’t really looking to make any huge radio hits or #1 singles, we can’t give you what we promised you and we’d like to renegotiate and give you a lower amount.” At that point, our lawyer kind of let us know, “Hey, this puts them in breach of contract. You guys can totally renegotiate with them if you want but you have a full walk as well.” So we pondered that for about a day and basically decided that it was time for us to break away from the label, and at that point we weren’t totally sold on the idea of self-releasing; we wanted to seek out other options and see what was out there, took a bunch of meetings and really just felt even more overwhelmed that we could do anything that any label was gonna offer us and most likely do it in a way that was more customized for our own needs and desires as a band, and there was no better time to do it because we’re in a state where the industry is really just collapsing on itself, and also, every day there’s something new that can be tried. In general, the power is more in the hands of the artist and more in the hands of the fans, so we felt like why not just cut out the middle man and do it straight for the fans? I’m sure you’ve noticed the recent Kickstarter craze. Did you guys ever consider using that type of site to fund Violent Waves? Yeah, we did. I actually did a Kickstarter myself for an art project I was doing and it was amazing. I was really thrilled about that but ultimately as far as decision making, it was just too late in the game by the time we decided that we were really gonna go this route. We kind of felt weird about doing the retroactive thing that a few artists have done, and done really successfully, but we felt weird about having already paid for the album then doing a Kickstarter. We felt like it should be the opposite order of that if we were gonna do it. There’s so many different sites now that are doing this kind of model and we feel like these things are super inspiring and we basically emulated a lot of the aspects of that when we put up our packages, but for us, the timing just wasn’t right for us to do a Kickstarter this time. Now that the album is out, what have you noticed being the major differences between self-releasing and being on a major label? The most positive change is that really we’re the ones with all the expectations and we have lines of what we would define as success which is completely different than what a label is; completely designed to profit with this kind of steam engine mentality. The way we’ve looked at everything has been very modest and ultimately the bottom line goal was just to break even and make sure you don’t lose money, but this time around, it’s just been a real pleasure to put it out our own way and the responses to the album have been amazing. I think in general, the fact that people were informed about how we went about this and our feelings on it probably helped to maybe open some minds to what the record was gonna sound like. The biggest difference has been a lot more work on our end as far as being involved and decisions that normally we could rely on other people for. So it’s a lot more work and a lot more headaches as far as when things go wrong, ultimately you’re the one that people are gonna blame so there are downsides to it but the rewards are a lot greater because at the end of the day you can feel like we’re doing everything the way we wanna do it and at the end of the day it’s easy to feel satisfied and gratified. Do the lyrics for “Sharp Practice” have anything to do with being controlled by a label and making the decision to go independent? I’ve heard Anthony [Green] discuss this question before and I think it’s not directly inspired by any specific event or any specific party but it is an emotional response to the way our value system has kind of shifted over the past decade. When you’re also a creator of music that is eventually for sale and you’re also a purchaser of music as a fan, you have a unique perspective on these things. I think it’s easy to kind of feel frustrated by the fact that the way we see music now is a completely different value system where a lot of people right now are accustomed to never paying for an album and a lot of people see albums as not being worth anything. You can see that in a commercial level as well where a lot of albums are things that you get as add-ons to a cell phone plan and add-ons for a car that you just bought or you start a new bank account and they send you the new J Lo album. It’d be easy to be pessimistic completely about it but I think what creates that tension for us is that our fans are so passionate about what we do, so dedicated to supporting our art and helping us maintain our careers that we can see both sides of it. I think naturally there is a little bit of conflict there and for us there are times where any band that we respect and any band that we love will identify with the feelings that we feel sometimes where we’ll face the decisions that can completely directly affect our lifestyles, our families and the way we support ourselves and they very often can conflict with our artistic integrity and our ideals. Over the course of our band, we’ve made many decisions where we’ve put our artistic integrity and things that make us comfortable ahead of financial stability. That’s not something you hold a press release about every time you do it. There’s lots of times you’re offered a bunch of money for something and you feel like it could represent you in a bad way or it just makes you feel uncomfortable so you turn it down and then you still have people thinking you’re making millions of dollars or you have the occasional person call you a sell-out, it’s kind of like, “Well, fuck you. You have no idea what we sacrificed to do this the way we’ve done it. You have no idea what we’ve given up and you have no idea the things we could do if we really wanted to.” So I think there’s definitely involvement of that in that song and it reflects also just the creation of a song and how hard sometimes a label or producer will want you to make something make sense in a way that’s dumbed down. That’s kind of the notion of the lyric, “It’s up to you to make sense of it.” It’s kind of like, “We’re the artist in this song because it’s something we feel but we’re not gonna dumb it down, because we think you’re smarter than that. You figure out what this means and that’ll be the truth.” You guys have commented extensively on the album leaking before the official release, explaining that you were only charging $5 for a basic download which could potentially be cheaper than a drink at a bar and likely more fulfilling. For those that take these situations for granted, what would you like to express as far as your feelings concerning a band needing support when trying to create something from their heart, on their own terms, for not only themselves, but the fans as well? Yeah, I mean that was a really important sentiment to express but there was no way for us to kind of advertise that. We felt like it should be clear that this is why we’re doing that and ultimately that was me that responded about it on a forum in Absolutepunk. There was some kids going back and forth about, “Oh you know, they used to be so pro-download and now that it’s their money they don’t want you to” and I kind of had to set the record straight and say, “Our position hasn’t really changed that much. We’ve always felt that if you can afford to support our band that we appreciate it in every way but that there are some people that live week to week, and day by day, and month to month and maybe that’s not in their budget and they can’t afford it and we understand that. For those people, we’ve always stood by a pro-download stance, that is, if this is the only way you can get our music and you have no means to support us financially in that way, then that’s okay. We understand that.” What I was trying to express there is that music has become, like I was talking about earlier, a disposable good. It’s something they get for free half the time, they listen to it once and basically they delete it or they listen on Spotify and they never stream it again, or it just collects dust in a hard drive somewhere. My response to that is, “Okay, fine. You think it’s disposable but think of all the things you can’t download for free off the internet that are disposable, like a cup of coffee or a beer or whatever.” We feel that $5 is the price of a disposable good and if you want to be fair about it and you want to see us put out another record then maybe you should think about considering taking that $5 and supporting what we’ve worked really hard to make, and if you can’t, again, we won’t judge you for that but really search your soul and search your heart and think about how much an 11 song album can impact your life and if that’s worth more than a drink at a bar or something you know you’re gonna spend money on that week that’s just gonna be a five minute, ten minute, or even twenty minute fix. Maybe prioritize and do what I’ve had to do and think, “Okay, I’m only gonna get a $300 check. I better only spend $200 of it on CDs” (laughing). Basically, I used to prioritize music over food 90 percent of the time for most of my working life. Sometimes it’s hard for me to wrap my head around the idea that a kid thinks it’s totally fine to go blow $10 on junk food at 7-11 but it’s absolutely ridiculous to think about spending $5 on an album. Just trying to pose questions and make people think a little bit. I think we get stuck. We get very used to doing things a certain way and I think a lot of people are downloading thoughtlessly and not really thinking about who they’re affecting. Do you have any regrets about going independent that would keeping you from doing it again with your next release? No, not at all. With any new experience you have things you remember or like, “next time we’ll do this a little differently,” but ultimately there’s been no regrets at all. There’s never been an instance yet where we were like, “Aw, man, I wish we had a label.” Really, it’s been a huge weight lifted off us because it’s just so different, the way it weighs on your conscience at the end of the night and just the way we feel preparing to go play these songs live and really just every aspect of it. It’s been so much more enjoyable to not have this third party to worry about pleasing and impressing; stuff, that for a band like us, is really just interrupting noise, just static. We don’t need that anymore. It’s so nice just worrying about putting on a great show for our fans and people that love the band and even new people coming out. We’re not in that place where we’re trying to make sure we’re pushing units every week. It’s just not really where our heads are at and probably won’t ever be were our heads are at. Everything kind of matches up to our values now and I think there’s absolutely nothing regrettable about it. So this is slightly off topic, but how did Geoff Rickly get involved to add vocals to “The Lottery”? Him and everyone from Thursday are long time friends of ours, especially for Nick, Brendan and I. Our old band had toured and played shows with Thursday over a decade ago. These guys are guys that we look up to as artists and as thinkers and Thursday was among a very short list of bands that brought us out early on, probably because they knew us from This Day Forward but they really seemed to love the band and love what we were doing so we had done quite a few tours with them and established a really, really strong bond, with Geoff especially and they had some down time after they played their last shows and we made plans that he would come hang out with us while we were in the studio. Just to come check out what we were doing and come hang out for a bit and when he came down it just kind of made sense for him to sing on a song and there just happen to be this song that had a perfect part for him and he was all about it so it was just very easy, nothing really forced there. It just turned out great and now it’s just an excuse to badger him and get him to come out to shows and do it with us. Circa Survive’s album art is some of the most interesting and impressive out there and it’s all done by the same artist as well. What have been the most predominant influences that have led to the designs? I think it’s just all Esao [Andrews], ya know? There have been times where I’ll send him a list of images that kaleidoscope in my mind’s eye when I listen to the album but nine times out of ten, even if he’s taking some kind of reference from one of us like that, it just becomes this whole other thing and he has great intuition into what’s right for our albums and sometimes he doesn’t even know it yet and he’ll have something to show us and we’re like, “Oh my god, that’s it!” Nine times out of ten it’s just him feeling out this unknown territory. Now that we kind of have a history and he has this backlog of this cover and this cover and that cover, and this album meant this and that album meant that. Now we’re working with this whole world of imagery and characters and he just never fails. We’re very lucky to have someone that gets the band on so many levels and is just such a great person and really easy to work with and so accommodating with us with however our budget is. At this point, he’s practically a member of the band in a way that his contributions are so crucial and so important and represents the band visually. I think it’s taken our band through a dimension that a lot of bands don’t exist because their album art is all kind of scattered or all different, not that I think our album art is eclectic or anything. I just think that he’s brought a sense of unity to how we’re represented visually and it’s given people all kinds of different clues and ways to interpret the meanings of certain things and he’s certainly fuckin’ produced a lot of fan tattoos (laughing). It’s just unbelievable how many people have put his art on their bodies, either because a) they love his art they love our band, or c) because they love both, and we’ve come across quite a few every day. Yeah, I’ve seen tons. It’s awesome. Yeah, it’s an amazing feeling and again just another thing that makes us feel like we’re heading in the right direction always and kind of gives you the sense like, “alright, that was the right thing to do and I’m so glad that we’re still doing it.” With each of your efforts since the beginning, I’ve heard and read fans saying that they couldn’t imagine the band creating something any better, but you continue to release albums and prove that the band has in fact managed to evolve. I read a piece where Anthony was quoted saying, “[Violent Waves] is the best thing we could have ever done.” With that being said, do you think the next album can be as good, if not better, than Violent Waves? Yeah, I do. I think our band is in an ever present state of unraveling in a way and it’s always based on our relationships with each other and our personal lives and what’s happening with that, and this album is the best album we could ever make because honestly we’ve never had a better rapport with each other. We’ve never been in a place where decisions could be so easy creatively. Our sensibility of what represents the band are all so close and so similar that we don’t have any of those big conflicts or bashing of heads this time around. It’s very easy and very peaceful and exciting. Over the years, our personal lives have taken more of a precedent with people getting married and real life issues happening; you know, Anthony’s family that he started, and there’s just so many things that would make us grow apart but ultimately it just makes us appreciate our time together and our purpose even more. With each album, we get this kind of, “Oh shit, we did something that we always wanted to do” and you check that off the list and another thing’s right behind it waiting. Every time we release an album it’s instantaneous that we immediately start getting excited for the next one and it’s just the way we are. Until the band’s over, that’ll just always be the case. Now with everything in our own hands, I think our self image has never been healthier and the way we see success more, we see our goals so crystal clear and very untainted by things that don’t really make sense with our artistic vision and most of the time that has to do with the financial realm and the commercial realm. The way we handle ourselves in those arenas are not gonna change from this point on. We’re always gonna be a band that kind of flirts with accessibility but really only in a way that we grew up on The Beach Boys and on classic pop artists and we have a tendency to want to kind of flirt with that type of thing, but for the most part we’re interested in pushing boundaries within our own artistic circle and we’re interested in doing new things, things that make us happy and things that we know people that have supported the band up until this point will appreciate. We’re just really grateful for the audience we have now; it’s exactly what we’ve always wanted. It’s people that literally seem to understand us on a level that I never really thought was possible between fans and a band, at least not for a modern band I guess. I’ve seen that over the years, being a kid and looking at the way Pearl Jam fans are with them. There’s examples of it like with Radiohead or whoever but you never really expect that you’re going to be able to accomplish that in any way. That doesn’t mean that I think we have as much of an impact or are as large as those bands but we’re lucky in the same way that our fans truly appreciate us and I think that nine times out of ten, the people coming to our shows every night are just down to see what’s gonna make us happy that night and the setlist doesn’t really matter as long as it’s formed well and done in an honest fashion that let’s everyone in the room have this experience that we’re all kind of craving. That’s the unique position we’re in now and I don’t really see it changing. You guys are all set to head out on this tour in support of the album with a great line-up. Why did you choose the bands you did to bring along with you and what are you looking forward to the most on this tour? Yeah, it’s so exciting! I think we always try for a combination, just hoping for good people and half the time that results in us taking people with us that we’ve toured with briefly before or have met through festivals or mutual friends or other times you just hear things about people like, “Oh, they’re so great live and they’re great people.” That’s what we’re always kind of looking for in tour mates. Not just bands that we think will go out and put on a great show, but bands that we think our fans will gain something from; a great live show or great artistry or great musicianship. So this time around, we’ve had a growing rapport with Balance and Composure, they’re from the same town as us and we’ve worked with a lot of similar people and we’ve met them before on previous occasions and just loved them as people, so that was an easy choice. It was even easier with O’Brother because we’ve done like a mini tour with them and we’re such huge fans of what they do and just couldn’t possibly be a better bunch of guys to hang out with and travel with. Both of those bands have done stuff with Touché Amoré and we’ve heard countless good stories about that band live and I know Nick knows their singer really well and has known them for a very long time. We couldn’t really be more excited. It’s cool too because it’s kind of a heavy bill, like aggressive rock, hardcore acts. All of this in one show is gonna make for a really high energy experience for anyone that comes. Usually our bills are really eclectic and kind of all over the place so it’s cool to have just a complete barn-burner of a package. I’ve actually seen you guys live more than I’ve seen any other band and you always put on a great show with an energetic presence and a lot of fun stuff for crowd interaction. What can fans expect on this tour as far as your setlist and general stage presence? I can say that this is the first time we’re attempting to drastically change our setlist every night. We’ve dusted off the entire catalog over the past few weeks and brushed up on every song we could possibly relearn, so yeah, we’re really gonna make a huge effort in that way. A lot of our favorite bands do that; not to mention the same bands over and over again but like Radiohead and Pearl Jam do that and like all the jam band culture like the Grateful Dead. We always thought it was really cool that they would play different sets every night, and recordings of those sets, like bootlegs, would float around and kind of create this whole subculture of like, “this set is legendary among fans,” and you have no idea it’s gonna happen because you just put the setlist together that day. Led Zeppelin was kind of famous for that too; they’d have a lot of fucking amazing shows that were just mind blowing then they had a lot of “ehh, so-so” ones. That’s just what happens when you take on that mentality to roll the dice and it’s exciting for us and I think it’ll be exciting for fans that follow what the setlists are every night. The internet has created a great forum for that. It can be shared in a way that it never could before. We’re not really in an age where people are gonna be mailing bootleg tapes from their houses to each other but more so just sharing it online and that’s exciting for us. But other than that, just a collection of tricks we’ve been building over the years with lots of fun stuff. Inspiration by The Flaming Lips and other cool bands that use confetti and balloons and lights and all kinds of trippy flavor. What are some of you personal favorite songs to play live? Man, there’s just so many. It kind of changes by the day but I kind of love both extremes; I love the high energy stuff like “Get Out,” that stuff where you can’t even hear Anthony over the crowd, and then I really love the more somber stuff like the secret track off Juturna, “House Of Leaves” and similarly like a new song called “Brother Song,” “Lazarus,” these really slow-burning psychedelic, blues influenced songs are really cathartic to play. I love looking out at the crowd and seeing everyone sing every word as loud as they possibly can and I also love looking out and seeing a completely still room of people just sinking in music. I think both of those things are equally enjoyable. Given my mood, I guess it depends on what I’ll enjoy the most. As long as there’s people out there feeling what we’re feeling, it doesn’t really matter. Are there any songs that you get tired of playing? (laughing) Luckily for us, we’re not a band that has a “Creep”. We don’t have an “Even Flow” or whatever, you know? We don’t have one of those songs that everybody asks for and that’s all they ask for and that’s all they wanna hear, which is another reason we kind of count our lucky stars some days that we didn’t have some kind of big hit on the last album. We’re just lucky that every song kind of gets equal billing in a lot of ways, so no, no, there really isn’t anything that we get sick of playing. I think just in general when you play the same set every night for a whole tour it can get a little robotic I guess if you let it but even then at the end of the tour when you’ve been playing the same set every night, you’re kind of at top form, all cylinders are firing and you don’t have to think about anything. You’re just playing and feeling and that’s really enjoyable, too. So ultimately, I never get sick of it. Between art and music, you yourself are very busy, juggling several projects. What advice would you give to any artists struggling to achieve success in many creative outlets like you have? Man, it’s so weird to hear you say that because it’s always been a struggle for me. I know a lot of people that have that complex, wanting to have multiple outlets and wanting to be able to express themselves in multiple platforms and finding the time to do it if you have even one thing that’s really consuming. All I can say is that if you feel inclined to do something, if you feel inspired, then you really need to follow that all the way to the end. You’re not gonna feel the gratification until a year or two goes by. For me, I released a solo record and really didn’t have any expectations for that. I just felt really driven to do it and complete it and by the time that was out, it was just a complete success for me, just the fact that it was out and I completed it and now it’s just another thing that people know. It’s like, “Oh yeah, I did do that. Oh yeah, I did spend like a ton of time on that and a lot of effort on that.” There are days when I think I could have been exhausted and kicked my feet up and just been lazy. Well not even lazy, just human, normal. Like, “I did my work for the day. I’ve played loud music for 8 hours,” but quite often I would come home and then go paint for another 8 hours until I couldn’t see straight or stand, but shit, whatever you know? Sometimes people see that as excessive or really don’t have the stomach to work like that but really that’s the only way you can work across multiple formats when you’re busy, because you have to be thinking about that next gap in your schedule six months to a year in advance. You think about, “Oh, I’m gonna have this two month period, what can I do?” You can’t decide during that two month period that you’re gonna put on an art show. You have to decide six months before that while you’re working on something else. Same thing with putting out a record outside of your main project, same thing with writing a book or writing a screenplay. If you have something else that takes up all your time, you’re gonna have to make more time. You just have to make it happen. It’s the only way you can do it. Otherwise you can leave it up to fate and nine times out of ten, from personal experience from when I was younger, it’s like, “I should have done that. I had that time, what did I do with it?” Now it’s more like, “Why the fuck am I doing this?” because you’re going crazy in that moment like, “Why the hell did I decide to do this? Why couldn’t I just be normal?” But eventually, like you asking me this question, you’re like, “Shit, it’s working.” All that time has kind of paid off and it’s not so much about the recognition, but it’s more about realizing that these things you wanted to accomplish are accomplished and that it was a good decision to make the time to do it. From writing and recording to touring and living together, there are countless aspects of being in a band that can cause complications for the members involved. It’s scarce in today’s scene for a band to stay together with their original line-up, let alone for the better half of a decade. What has made this rare feat possible for Circa Survive? Man, well I would take it all the way back to the inception of the band; starting with Anthony and I who were coming out of other projects, and even more so when Brendan joined the band, we had this mentality that “We want this to be it.” We wanted this to be the final line-up of the band and we wanted to pick the members carefully and we wanted to pick members that could really handle everything that comes along with being in a collaborative project like this and especially handle everything that comes along with traveling and things working non-stop. Ultimately I think a lot of bands, especially when it’s all guys, (I don’t know many all girl bands so I can’t speak for them), but I know that for bands that are all guys, it’s very easy to drift into this kind of high school, kind of frat boy mentality where you make fun of each other all the time and there’s a lot of joking. Don’t get me wrong, we’re total goofballs and we joke around all the time, but we set our foundation on love and understanding and respect and support for one another and that stretches all the way into our projects outside of the band. That stretches into how we treat each other on tour and how we check up on each other from time to time. You never really know how important it is to have someone who is around you all the time, ask you how you’re doing, you know? You kind of take it for granted. When you see someone every single day, you kind of assume you know how they’re doing, but in a situation where you’re in a band and you’re living together, when we shared a house together, and were with each other 24/7 with the exception of a vacation here or there, you take it for granted. You forget the fact that people have internal monologues going on and they have internal struggles and they may have personal issues, and for us, the real key ingredient is love. You take your sense of understanding and patience and put it all the way to “max.” You have to just accept people’s flaws and understand that you have flaws and for the most part, any goal is always, “Are we happy? Do we wanna keep doing this? Is everyone healthy? Is everyone staying afloat? Do we have to change how we do this?” At the end of the day, the goal is always the same; keep this going in the most honest and efficient way possible and at the same time making sure we’re all still in it for the right reasons and all still wanting to be around each other and to do the things that come along, because it’s not easy and people think, “Oh, you have your own tour bus, you guys are playing huge crowds. You guys have it so good, it must just be cake.” Nope. Most of us don’t own houses yet, most of us don’t even own cars. We still struggle with a lot of things. We still have personal issues we struggle with but at the end of the day we help each other try to get through that and we try to just be an extended family to each other and I think it’s really about communicating and staying on top of taking that inventory; “Are we still happy? Are we still doing everything we ever wanna do? And do we wanna make another record?” Every time, the answer has been, “Yes, yes, yes!” Until there’s a “no” to any of those questions we’ll keep doing this and I think that anyone that wants to do that should put their priorities on a list. For us, financial success was never on top of that list. Worldwide fame and all that kind of stuff was never on that list. It was to be blue-collar, working class musicians and do that on a level that we felt was somewhat equivalent to what we always dreamed which was just to be able to do it full time. To be able to do it as our main job and none of us have had any other jobs in close to a decade now. Circa has been all of our main priorities and main jobs and in the beginning it was just all about humble goals and being good to each other. Written and conducted by: Brian Lion http://www.undertheg...irca-survive-2/
  16. Albums That Changed My Life: Anthony Green (Circa Survive) This week's "Albums That Changed My Life" slice of goodness comes from Circa Survive frontman Anthony Green! The band will be heading out on tour this fall in support of their stunning new album "Violent Waves", alongside Touché Amoré, Balance and Composure and O'Brother. All dates and ticket information can be found here. Michael Jackson - Thriller It came out the year I was born and one of my first memories of music was my parents and brothers playing this album over and over again. I knew all the lyrics to every song before I even knew what the words themselves meant. From what I was told, I would dance around the house like a little fairy and begging to listen play constantly. Metallica - Ride The Lightning This was the first CD I ever bought. My parents thought they were devil worshipers so I had to listen to it in secret mostly on the bus to and from school. I really connected with the dark energy of the songs, it was something I had never felt before. Nirvana - Nevermind My oldest brother got this for Christmas the year it came out and I would listen to it in his room with him and it was just as much an admiration of the music as it was for my brother. I worshiped him and anything he liked, I liked. He and I bonded over this album. I felt like the lyrics were plucked right out of the back of my mind and my emotions. I used to sing and dance to the songs in front of the mirror and pretend I was Kurt [Cobain]. Braid - Frame and Canvas Right around this time in my life I was discovering indie/rock, bands like The Get Up Kids, The Promise Ring, Jawbreaker, the list could go on and on, but nothing sounded like Braid. The sound of the guitars was so pretty and gritty all at once and the power of the dueling vocals was like nothing I had ever heard. The songs were about love but the lyrics were so clever and poetic, and the songs were so unpredictable and yet flowed in such a familiar and undeniable way. I'm still trying to replicate the feeling I get when I hear this album when I write anything, and I probably always will. http://www.alterthep...fe-anthony.html
  17. Doylestown's Circa Survive has changed with the times August 21, 2012 | By Sam Adams, For The Inquirer Doylestown's Circa Survive is releasing its fourth album, "Violent Waves,"… The D.I.Y. ethic was a cornerstone of the punk and hardcore movements. But it's one thing to do it yourself when you're playing to a few dozen people in a friend's living room, and another when you're eight years into your career with more than 300,000 albums sold. The Doylestown quintet Circa Survive, who will play Friday and Saturday at Union Transfer to celebrate the release of their fourth album, Violent Waves, on their own label, have come to self-sufficiency after two albums on the independent label Equal Vision Records and a third, 2010's Blue Sky Noise, released on Atlantic. Their major-label debut crested at No. 11 on the Billboard charts, but when it failed to surpass its predecessors' sales, the band found itself without a label, a potential setback that, says guitarist Colin Frangicetto, it came to recognize as an opportunity. "There's been a pretty wide range of experience that we've pulled together," Frangicetto says, sitting on a couch in the Creek House, a single-story structure that the band rents on a leafy back road in New Britain. After seeing the inner workings of both indies and majors, he says, "It was like, 'Well, maybe we don't have to be on a label anymore.' " For the most part, releasing their own records used to be what bands did until they got signed, packing boxes and working the postage meter until they could persuade someone else to do it for them. But in an age of decentralization and digital distribution, bands from Radiohead on down are finding that doing it themselves can be an endpoint rather than a starting place. Although a table in the Creek House's kitchen holds a stack of limited-edition LP sleeves and a sheaf of posters waiting for each of Circa Survive's members to sign them in turn, the band is not handling every detail of Violent Waves' release itself; that's what publicists and distributors are for. But the album came along when the band's members were ready to take their affairs fully in hand, which, for the first time, included acting as their own producers. Although Circa Survive was still nominally a major-label band when it started writing songs for the album, the process was uncharacteristically self-contained. In the past, the band had relied on producers to referee disputes about what direction a song might take, but this time, the differences seemed to settle themselves. "As the band was growing, our ability to structure songs and come together on the final product progressed more and more," singer Anthony Green says. "It wasn't really until this album that we found our niche writing. It just became evident: This is something we could do ourselves." With outside producers, Frangicetto says, "You realize that they're not thinking about what the record sounds like to your fans so much as what it sounds like to their next clients," which means the raw urgency of the band's live performances was usually covered in a thick coat of studio gloss. Green approvingly notes that on Violent Waves, his voice is treated like any other instrument, sometimes sitting on top of the sound mix, sometimes woven into it. On previous albums, he says, "The vocals are just so loud." The songs on Violent Waves, especially the seven-minute songs that bookend the album, stretch out into unexplored territory, from the staccato rumble of "The Lottery," which marks out the common ground between U2 and Gang of Four, and the shoe-gaze swoon of "Suitcase." Over the eight years of Circa Survive's existence, the band's members have moved into new territory, as well, but by paying careful attention to the way the band runs as well as the kind of music it makes, they have managed to thrive in substantially different circumstances. When they lived together - as many as nine people in a previous house, including wives and girlfriends - the rent came out of the band's earnings, with each member drawing what Frangicetto calls "a modest salary." As much as their artistic endeavors, Frangicetto speaks proudly of the business acumen that has allowed band members to build a stable career in an ever-shifting environment. "We have always been really conservative with our finances," he says. "The kind of lifestyle that affords everybody is super stress-free and conducive to creative activities." That has remained true even as the band members' lives have changed. Frangicetto and Green are both married, and Green has two children under age 3. "When I started, I just wanted to have enough to have fun that night and put some food in my stomach," Green recalls. "Now that's not enough, even if I wanted it to be. I'm proud of what we do, and I think that it's worth something financially. I think it's worth something emotionally, too. I see a lot of emotional return from people, telling us they connect with the music, and it helps them just as much as it helps us. In that aspect, I think we're very successful. Turning that into something where we're able to focus on the creative part of it is more and more difficult." Although it was written while the band was still signed to Atlantic, "Birth of the Economic Hit Men," the leadoff track on Violent Waves, prefigures the band's current concerns. "We become everything we criticize," Green screams in the song's chorus. "Nothing is sacred." But as Frangicetto points out, the latter phrase cuts both ways: If nothing is sacred, then you're free to do what you want. Two decades ago, putting a song in a commercial was the height of selling out. Now, it's a way for bands to make back the money they've lost in album sales, and it doubles as a promotional tool in the absence of radio airplay. It's a new world, and the rules, if there are any, keep changing - or, as Green sings: "Maybe we have to forget everything we learned about where we came from to find out where we need to go." "I feel like if there are any economic hit men," Green says, "it's us." http://articles.phil...-blue-sky-noise
  18. Q&A: Guitarist Brendan Ekstrom of Circa Survive Interview By: Dane Jarvie . May 2, 2010 at 8:17 pm After building anticipation for two years, Circa Survive has finally taken the lid off the pressure cooker. In its third studio album, “Blue Sky Noise,” the band has delivered 12 tracks that run the spectrum — from trademark introspection to dirty rock ‘n’ roll. But that’s just the start. Currently, the band is on tour alongside rock heavyweights Coheed and Cambria, where it is delivering yet another slew of emotionally unpredictable live performances. The State Press recently got the chance to talk with Circa’s guitarist, Brendan Ekstrom, before the band’s show at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe. State Press: You guys recently released a new album. Can tell us a little about that? Brendan Ekstrom: I know it sounds a little cliché, but we’ve never been more proud of anything we’ve done. I mean, that’s how you’re supposed to feel after every record, but I think there really was some moments on the last record (“On Letting Go”) where we didn’t feel totally connected, musically. This time it just felt a lot healthier overall —communication felt better. SP: After the release of three albums, you guys still seem to be pretty tight. How have you guys managed the band environment so civil after all these years? BE: I think there are a couple of contributing factors to that. When the band first started out, we really wanted to make sure that we had people we could be around with for a long period of time. I feel like that was just as important as musicianship. We all really wanted to know that we were on the same page as everyone and that we had the similar ideals. But, really, I think we just got really lucky. I mean, we do occasionally run into problems — just as any band would if they were around each other every day for six years. I think the most important thing we do is just talk to each other when a problem arises. We honestly try our bests to not let sh-t build up, you know? It happens every once in a while, but if somebody does something that upsets us, we confront them about it and make it better. SP: What new goals did you guys have this time around for the record? BE: A really big one was making sure that everyone was really involved with the writing process. We really made sure that some of the songs Anthony [Green] wrote made it on the record. Actually, during “On Letting Go,” there were songs that he had written that we had all worked out with the full band, but they just didn’t make it on record. So this time, we really wanted to make sure that it happened. SP: Was the song “Spirit of The Stairwell” one of those songs? BE: Yeah, that one was Anthony and Steve [Clifford]. They both wrote all the vocals for that. SP: So how do you come into play with the writing process? Is there any real specific place? BE: I mean, I really think it’s different for a lot of the songs. But a lot of the times we would get a lot of ideas by just jamming. A lot of times, I would take pieces from that and slowly put them together. That’s one way. Other times, I would bring in basic chord structures that I had figured out acoustically and Anthony [Green] would just sing over the top of that. With Colin [Frangicetto], he’s lucky in the way that he can play drums as well, so a lot of times he’ll map out an entire structured song with drum beats and show it to us. We like that because it’s easier to get the whole picture. It’s easier to have an image of where the song might go. Sometimes I wish I had that talent, but it’s just different. Usually when I bring in a song idea, it’s way more open for changes. I definitely do have a vision, but that usually changes after we jam over it. SP: You guys seem to take a very psychedelic approach to a lot of your songs. Have you guys ever been influenced by metaphysical practices or chemicals? BE: Well, when I was 16, I went to a Grateful Dead show, where I had the final experience that I needed in that aspect — I lost my f–king mind. I had to drop out of school and couldn’t function for a long time. It took a lot of therapy and time just for me to get back to school. But still, I was really influenced by the music that was influenced by the drugs — things like Pink Floyd. So I guess it’s more like a secondhand thing for me. But I know that with Colin, he is very much into shamanism and learning about all of their metaphysical practices. I think we all find that whole thing fascinating — we’ve actually joked about taking mushrooms and doing a show, billing it as “Circa Survive on Mushrooms.” But literally, after the experiences I’ve had, I haven’t even had a drink since I was 16. The sh-t just opened up a world too intense for me to handle at the time. I think that those kind of things need to be treated with a certain amount of respect — you have to be in the right kind of mindset. SP: In your second album, you guys alluded to various religious themes and elements, but how do you actually feel about religion? Can you talk a little about that? BE: (Laughs.) You know, it’s kind of funny. No one has asked me that in a long time, but I have kind of taken an approach after the last six years. It’s strange because it’s almost the complete opposite of what Colin was doing the last five years. He would read all these intense books on spirituality and shamanistic practices. Really, Colin and a couple of other friends of mine were kind of in this place where they were digging for all these answers and I saw them get into this thing where every time you find a little bit of one answer, it just opens up all these other questions. I feel like, in a sense, that’s sort of what happened to my father, who slipped deeper and deeper into schizophrenia and kind of lost his mind. So for me, I’m trying to take the simple path — more of like a Buddhist approach — and accept that these answers and questions are beyond the realm of understanding. SP: You guys are fortunate enough to be involved with an art form that can change lives. Ultimately, how do you want to give back through Circa Survive? BE: I definitely feel that it’s very important to me. Every once in a while I just look at myself and I’m like, “Man, what the f–k am I doing in life?” There are so many people out there playing guitar, but very few willing to find a cause. Over the last couple of years I’ve found a way to be really involved with all these organizations like Shirts For a Cure. I really do feel like it’s important to use this music platform to raise money and build awareness for all these other causes. It’s surreal to know that we have the stage; that we have these microphones — I definitely feel like there’s a huge responsibility that comes with that. I know I have always been upset when I see bands come out and only preach about doing getting f–ked up and partying. There’s more out there, you know? I love how I’m in a band where our singer empowers the audience to find their passion. http://www.statepres...-circa-survive/