- Doylestown, Pennsylvania, United States
- Atlantic Records
Equal Vision Records
It’s no secret that the majority of bands who came up through the contemporary punk/hardcore/metal underground receive little acknowledgment through mainstream media. While this trend is the product of both apathy and derision on behalf of those outlets, some of the blame has to fall on bands that steadfastly choose to remain in a creative rut. Over the course of their career, Circa Survive have defied that trap, creating an arc of work that defies tired buzzwords to create an alloy that’s intrinsically their own.
Doylestown, Pennsylvania, native Anthony Green was the original singer in Southern California outfit Saosin, recording one EP, 2003’s Translating The Name. Green was unhappy with the various musical and business directions the band wished to go into, so he returned to the East Coast the following year. He began writing music with his friend Colin Frangicetto (guitar), who was drumming in This Day Forward before the band’s demise in 2003. The material Frangicetto and Green created impressed Equal Vision enough to sign them to their label roster. The duo enlisted guitarist Brendan Ekstrom (also of This Day Forward), former Taken bassist Nick Beard and drummer Steve Clifford, releasing a four-track EP, The Inuit Sessions, in 2005. Circa Survive’s debut full-length, Juturna, was issued later that year, displaying an aggressive sound filled with post-hardcore signifiers alongside Green’s idiosyncratic vocal stylings. The following album, 2007’s On Letting Go, found the band tempering their aggression with more textural sounds.
Circa Survive’s third album, Blue Sky Noise, was released in April 2010. The disc—the band’s major-label debut for Atlantic Records—was produced by David Bottrill, known for his work with forward-thinking acts as King Crimson and Muse. It was a quantum leap for the band, featuring songs that were succinct and powerful (“Get Out”), alongside longer, textured tracks that enveloped Green’s vocals in psychedelic, yet heavy atmospheres. The album did much to separate Circa from their hardcore roots, moving toward a sound similar to the art-metal offerings of respected bands like Tool and Jane’s Addiction (whose lead singer Perry Farrell was massively influential to Green). Unlike many bands from the punk-rock underground, Circa Survive aren’t in the habit of trying to be something they’re not; they’re more concerned with finding the sounds and emotions that best describe the headspace they are in at the time. “What people don’t realize is that from the time we’re kids, we’re told we have to work to become something else,” Green told AP in 2010. “Music is the only thing I’m good at—but that’s who I am. At some point, you have to stop and realize that you already are what you want to be—all of us are.”