On May 18th, Circa Survive played a mind blowing set in Montreal as the opening act for Coheed & Cambria. The tour was in support of their most recent album, ‘Blue Sky Noise , which was released on April 20th 2010.
I had the opportunity to interview lead singer Anthony Green right before their show and I was unbelievably amazed at how down-to-earth and honest he was. Holding nothing back during the interview, I learned more about a very talented band and exactly where the singer pulls his inspiration from. I have to admit, Green has been one of my favorite artists to sit down and talk with. I guarantee you’ll fall in love with Circa just as much as I have after reading about everything that he’s been through.
CONFRONT: How’s your tour going so far?
Anthony: It’s going really good.
CONFRONT: Any crazy experiences?
Anthony: Hmmm… Not really, I mean, there’s a lot of things that happen that when someone asks you ‘what’s the craziest thing that’s happened on tour’ sometimes it’s just waking up in the morning and watching the mountains pass by. Sometimes it’s getting super wasted and getting thrown over amps by the guitar tech! But the whole experience is pretty amazing in itself, you can’t really pick apart too much of it and say one thing is better than the other.
CONFRONT: Yeah for sure. You guys recently released your brand new album. How does it compare to your past work?
Anthony: I think it’s a lot more raw, it’s a lot more personal. We spent a lot more time recording it…. And yeah, it’s sort of like the difference between reading your journal when you’re 16 and reading your journal when you’re 25.
CONFRONT: Yeah, you guys just evolved with time. What has the fan reaction been so far?
Anthony: I don’t know….!
CONFRONT: No?! Well how have shows been?
Anthony: Shows have been GREAT! We played in Boston yesterday and kids were just singing all of the words to the new songs SO loud that I couldn’t even believe it. But that’s as far as I get in terms of being able to gauge other peoples’ reactions to it.
CONFRONT: Yeah, well it has to be a good sign if people are singing along!
CONFRONT: The louder the better!
Anthony: The louder the better!
CONFRONT: So where did you pull your inspiration for the album?
Anthony: I think I was living at home, I was going through some really hard shit with my wife. She suffered two miscarriages, one in the first year of our marriage and I sort of lost my mind. I did a little tour of local institutions/hospitals/jails… Everything on the album is sort of about that time. For a little while, everybody thought that I was not going to be able to continue doing this, but I got myself into therapy… I’m doing everything I can in order to stay on the line.
CONFRONT: Music was kind of an outlet for you throughout that time
Anthony: Oh yeah, it saved me. It totally saved me. I guess that for a long time I just looked at it as… Well, not for a long time, but it just started seeming like a job and there was all this business shit going on, and everybody was just talking about time and how much time we had to do this… I just started losing it, especially with all the shit going on in my personal life being completely out of my control, putting an album out on a major label and having all those expectations from you, I’m just too sensitive to pay attention to any of that stuff. I didn’t handle it right. BUT, the album came out really good.
CONFRONT: Yeah, it’s honestly fantastic.
Anthony: Since it’s come out, I have people that I haven’t talked to in years calling me up or emailing me being like ‘Heyyyy, I got the album, it’s fucking great! If you ever need to talk, just call!’ *laughs* I didn’t realize how dark the album was until very very recently.
CONFRONT: Where would you say the title of the album comes from?
Anthony: I think that’s one of those fun things that was sort of like, we brainstormed on it for a little while, and then this THING happened, which made us realize ‘alright, this is the name of the album’… and I would just hate to give that away.
CONFRONT: Okay! Sounds good. Since it’s the first time you’re being interviewed by the magazine, do you think you could just give a brief history of the band and how you guys got together?
Anthony: Yeah! We met up maybe 7 or 8… or 7 years ago, maybe? Oh, you’re going to get a great account of the band meeting, I’m terrible with numbers and I don’t remember things well! But, basically, I left California to come home and get my wisdom teeth out. I was in another band at the time and I just didn’t like it and wasn’t happy, and Colin’s band just broke up so we were like ‘We’re gonna make music together, we’re gonna do it on Equal Vision records’ and then we decided to put a band together. It really just happened so quick, I wish I remembered what year it was. Maybe it was like, 6 years ago or 7… or something.
CONFRONT: Around there!
Anthony: We put out those first two albums like, boom boom! One after the other and we toured for 4 or 5 years with those records… this is the first time we really took a break, chilled out. We did this tour with Thrice and then I got married. I took a month off and right after that month I went on a tour in the U.S playing solo songs, just some acoustic songs with my wife and a couple of my friends. As soon as I got home from that we started writing for ‘Blue Sky Noise’ and then two years later the album came out. So it was like, as soon as I started writing for ‘Blue Sky Noise’ I started to lose my mind. I had such an incredible amount of doubt that I wanted to keep doing it because I had just done this tour where I had played these jingly jangly acoustic songs in front of like 20 people a night and it was the best feeling I’d ever had…. And I was like, I don’t want to have to do anything that someone’s expecting of me, I don’t want to do anything that is expected of me. I don’t want to have to be a good little puppet, and I didn’t know how to communicate my feelings to the other guys in Circa about writing. As soon as I started to get my shit together and figured out how to do that, they were more than willing to accommodate and we were able to keep going on.
Anthony: Sorry about the terrible timeline of the band, I’m not very good with stuff like that….
CONFRONT: It’s okay! So you guys have been on a lot of big tours throughout your career, do any of them stand out for you?
Anthony: The one tour that stands out to me the most is probably the smallest tour we did, one of the first tours we did… with ‘Bears VS Shark’ and ‘Gatsby’s American Dream’and it was the most fun tour we’ve ever had.
CONFRONT: Oh yeah?!
Anthony: Everybody was in vans, getting hotel rooms every night…
Fan: Hey man!
Anthony: Hey, what’s up?
Fan: Anthony Green, it’s fucking nice to meet you. Came here to see you tonight
Anthony: Well it’s nice to meet you guys too!
Fan: Holy shit dude, you’re fucking amazing dude. You’re like my fucking idol dude, straight up.
Anthony: That’s crazy
Fan #2: Show him your tattoo
*Shows him a tattoo on his lower leg of the artwork from Circa Survive’s album*
Anthony: WOW! That’s awesome! *hugs the fan with the tattoo*
Fan: Dude, you just made my fucking day man. Honestly, without you, everything I do would not be the same. You and Circa in general.
Anthony: That’s real funny that you should say that because without you, nothing that WE would do would be the same either. Coming to the show tonight?
Fan: No man, just came here to say hi… *laughs*
Fan: Honestly, I’ve been waiting for you guys to come to Canada for like… ever!
Anthony: I almost didn’t get let in this morning!
Fan: Yo what’s the deal with that?
Anthony: I gotta keep myself out of trouble!
Anthony: All the shit I had in the past is expunged and in the last couple months I’ve gotten myself into some trouble… So yeah.
Fan: Oh man, really?
Anthony: I’m alright though. I’ve got to finish this interview… and then we’ll talk, alright man?
Fan: Thank you so much!
*We get back to the interview*
Anthony: I really think that it evolves the same way that a person evolves. It’s not like a living conscience, it’s like a book end. When I was 20 I was writing songs about drugs and I’m pretty much still writing songs about drugs! *laughs*
CONFRONT: *laughs* Alright. What are you listening to right now that you think other people should be listening to?
Anthony: Deftones, Mt St. Helens Vietnam Band, BORN Ruffians, Good Old War… I can’t get over the new Deftones album though, seriously it’s so good. What else… Them Crooked Vultures, and like I said, that band from Seattle ‘Mt St. Helen’s Vietnam Band’ is so incredible. So good.
CONFRONT: Awesome. What would you say is the most important lesson that you’ve learned in the industry?
Anthony: You don’t ever have to do anything you don’t want.
CONFRONT: That’s a good lesson.
Anthony: And never, ever do anything for money.
CONFRONT: Very good. The last five questions are questions that we ask every band that we interview.
CONFRONT: First and last albums you ever bought?
Anthony: Last album I bought was… White Rabbits, and the first album I ever bought was Metallica’s Ride The Lightning!
CONFRONT: First and last show you’ve been to, not including your own?
Anthony: First show I ever saw was Helmet and the Melvins at the Trocadero and the last show I was at was…. Fuck, I can’t even remember.
CONFRONT: It’s been a while?
Anthony: It’s been a while!
Anthony : I have never… Smacked my mother or father
CONFRONT: And finish the sentence ‘I would never…’
Anthony: I would never smack my mother or father
CONFRONT: Last question: Where do you see yourself and your band in 5 to 10 years from now?
Anthony: That’s the scariest question you could ever possibly ask me. I refuse to answer it *laughs*
CONFRONT: Day by day?
Anthony: Minute by minute
CONFRONT: Minute by minute, that’s okay! Good mentality. Well, thank you very much!
Anthony: Thank you very much!
If you’d like to learn more about Circa Survive, check them out at any of their websites below: