Alter The Press!


Interview: Circa Survive

Whilst overseas, in support of the UK release of their new album: 'Blue Sky Noise', Alter The Press spoke to Anthony Green and Colin Frangicetto of Circa Survive, before they took to the stage at Camden Underworld; in London, England.

The guys spoke to ATP about the new album, and it reaching number 11 on the Billboard 200, signing to Atlantic Records, their proudest achievement as a band, and more.

Alter The Press: How has the first initial run of shows been since the release of 'Blue Sky Noise'?
Colin Frangicetto (guitar): It's been pretty incredible. This has been the best response we've had to a new album; and, I guess, this is the second time we've had an album following on from a previous one. I definitely feel like people are responding quite positively.

Anthony Green (vocals): I feel the exact same way. Each time we've released an album, it continues to get better.

ATP: How has this UK run of shows gone, so far?
Colin: Fabulous. The first two shows have been awesome. Headlining over here is usually a rare thing and, when we do, it's really small. These shows are fairly intimate, but we've definitely noticed more people turning up, even though the album isn't quite out here yet; it is really, because everyone has it! The response though, has been ridiculous and it shows we are growing over here.

ATP: How has the response been to 'Blue Sky Noise'?
Colin: Overwhelmingly positive. I think people recognize that it's definitely a full body of work. I think that, people who were into the band already, appreciate the fact it flows from the beginning to the end. But, for new people just hearing us for the first time, it might be an easier entry point for them because it's more diverse. It serves so many different viewpoints.

Anthony: I definitely feel like this album is more representative of what we're capable of as a band, as far as are versatility. We can be a really heavy hitting rock band, and have a lighter side, not be so ‘in your face,’ a little more subtle and delicate. I think it's the balance we've been trying to find since the beginning. It hasn't been in the forefront the whole time, because you get worried about people pigeon-holing you, and that certainly hasn't been the case, as far as we can tell.

ATP: This is the first album you've released through Atlantic Records. What made you switch to a major label?
Anthony: Being able to come over here, playing more often, that's a huge part of it. That's an honest answer. We wanted to take what we were doing in America, and take it to Europe and all over the world. I don't think we can go do it on our own. We really want to play this music for as many people as we possible can, and they're a great partnership to have helping us do that.

Colin: It was also a personality thing. We had to sit down with a lot of people, and it was definitely a long process of, ‘who would be the best fit for us.’ At the end of the day, it wasn't a battle of major vs indie; it was just, these people vs these people, and their passion just won us over. Like Anthony said, it's definitely a perk that we get to come over here. Last time we came over, we did free shows and in general, we've been able to document more experiences. We now have a camera guy with us, and we've gotten a lot of extra opportunities that maybe we wouldn't have. But, overall, their passion won us over.

ATP: The album got to number 11 on the Billboard 200. What was your reaction to the news?
Anthony: I can't speak for everyone, but it made a huge difference to me. That made me feel great, to hear that news.

Colin: I think all of us were thrilled that it happened, but the best thing I got out of that was, we are in a time where records don't sell and everything is on the decline. In general, we have seen bands have success with one record, put out another, and that's it. For us to do twice as well in the charts, and actually, physically sell more records than we previously did, means we are connected to people in a way that, they will still come out and physically show their support by buying a record. On top of that, it shows that we are with a label who knows how to communicate with our core fans, the people who are most important to us. Although we had some new fans buy the record, the best part about it is, they were able to get the word out, that we had a new record coming out, to the people who would buy it. That says a lot about Atlantic, and I think it says a lot about us.

Anthony: I was just thrilled my mom got to collect the Billboard; she was so excited. That kind of shit is great.

ATP: 'Get Out' is definitely the stand out track of the new album. What made you choose this as the first single, to preview the album?
Colin: That was the goal for every song. If you take any song off the record, and take it out of the collection, I think it's pretty easy to say not many of them are like brother/sister pairs. The reason we picked it, was because it was this undeniably different color of the band, and an energy we've been wanting to kind of perfect for a long time, that maybe we never really hit on the head. We were really proud of that song, and it was an energy that needed to be out there immediately.

Anthony: I agree with everything he just said.

ATP: In your own words, how would you describe 'Blue Sky Noise'?
Colin: Honest.

Anthony: Pure Circa Survive. Honest is good too.

ATP: You've released 'Get Out' and 'Imaginary Enemy' as the first two singles. What is next?
Colin: 'I Felt Free' is going to be the next one.

ATP: When will you be shooting a video for it?
Anthony: That's a good question. I don't think we have plans for a video.

Colin: There's an existing budget for a video, but there’s been no talks for what the video will be like yet. We are still running with 'Imaginary Enemy,' and trying to make that work. That was a great video to shoot and we hope we can do something fun and new for the next one.

ATP: Were these your choices for singles?
Colin: It's kind of funny because, almost every decision in that vein, we opened ourselves to ‘what the label would think.’ We are always prepared to go to battle, but one of the greatest things about this partnership is, that we haven't had to, really. With 'Get Out', that was the song we all undeniably wanted and then it was between 'I Felt Free' and 'Imaginary Enemy' for the next one, but I think we chose the right order in revealing them.

ATP: What is Circa Survive's proudest achievement, as a band?
Colin: For me, personally, it was achieved a long time ago. It was just making this our full time thing. It sounds silly to a lot of people, but for me, I always dreamt of being a full time musician, and not having to work another job, and not having to do anything like that. I’m always so proud that everyone in this band took a chance, threw everything else in their life away. We all moved into this shitty house, and Anthony and I signed this shitty contract before the other guys were even in the band. I think we made really smart decisions. We got a little bit of an advance, and rather than keeping it for ourselves, we spent it on a house.

Anthony: The house, equipment.

Colin: And on everyone's bills, so every person would be covered for that time. All these smart decisions that I look back on now, I think we did it all right. I see a lot of bands just making silly mistakes. I think, since this was the second time round for a lot of us, because we've all been in different bands and kind of fucked up before, it's really cool to look back on it and say we are still making good decisions. It started in one way, and it's continuing in the same vein. For me, it's that we're still together and we're still doing what we want.

Anthony: I would say, that would be my biggest accomplishment - the fact we're still together. I think since the beginning, like Colin was saying with 'Get Out', we've wanted to go somewhere with the band, and with 'Blue Sky Noise' coming out, having everyone in the band collectively feel great about it, still being together, and being able to communicate, it's huge; especially in a time where, in the music industry, no one really knows what's going to happen next. To have a job, work, play music, and perform; it’s the greatest feeling. I think after a little while you can forget about it, but when you get snap backed into reality, you remember that it's great.

ATP: What's the plan after this UK run?
Colin: We do a short run in the US, a bunch of places where we never really get to go. It's about us getting in a van, and doing it old school style, doing small venues every night.

Anthony: We do a few shows with Coheed and Cambria and Deftones, on that run too.

Colin: Coheed was a long time coming. We just did a long run with them in the US, and it was really cool. Deftones was like, “Shit!”

Anthony: Both of those band are incredible and some of our favorite music. Coheed are so much fun to tour with, and we've toured with them over here before. They are like old friends, so it's always nice to go back and hang out with your friends. I'm really nervous about those Deftones shows. I love them so much, and their new record, (pause) I feel like a sixteen-year-old girl when I think about seeing them and playing with them.

Colin: No offense to any sixteen-year-old girls!

Anthony: I mean COMPLETE offense to sixteen-year-old girls! You should be ashamed of yourselves! After that, we come back over here. We're going to be coming back a lot over the next year.

ATP: Thanks guys. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Anthony: Come see us in September.

Colin: Thank you.

'Blue Sky Noise' is out July 26th on Atlantic Records UK.

- Jon Ableson

Alter The Press!