“It’s the most aggressive record we’ve ever made”—Anthony Green on Circa Survive’s new album

August 19, 2014 by Scott Heisel

“It’s the most aggressive record we’ve ever made”—Anthony Green on Circa Survive’s new album

Proggy post-hardcore titans CIRCA SURVIVE are unsigned no more—after self-releasing 2012’s Violent Waves and handling all distribution themselves (selling 45,000 copies in the process), the Pennsylvania quintet have aligned themselves with Sumerian Records, which will reissue Violent Waves on a CD packaged with a bonus live DVD Sept. 9, as well as handle the release of Circa’s fifth studio album, due out in November. The band are also hitting the road this fall with a positively stacked bill featuring Title Fight and Pianos Become The Teeth. Before he got sucked back into the insanity that is releasing and supporting a new album, Frontman ANTHONY GREEN let Scott Heisel pick his brain for a few minutes about the new Circa record, why they chose to sign with Sumerian and just what is going on in the world of Saosin.

So I heard you’re breaking up Circa Survive to front Saosin full-time now. 
ANTHONY GREEN: [Laughs.]

But seriously, before we talk about anything else, let’s talk about how you are the busiest man on the planet and yet are able to juggle everything. Give me a little insight into what a typical day in the life of Anthony Green is like in 2014.
So far I’ve had this really sweet routine when I’m not on tour. I’ll wake up and go to the gym at 5:30 in the morning, and I’ll be there till 7, 7:30. Then I get home when the boys wake up. Since Meredith is pregnant, I try to let her sleep in as much as I can when I’m home, because she’s pulling double duty when I’m away. I’ll hang out with them, and we’ll go the playground or whatever. Then when Luke takes his nap around noon, I’ll ride my bike over to the creek house where I’ll play guitar and sing and try to come up with some ideas and work on whatever I have to do for the record. It’s easier for me to get out of the house and focus there. It’s a three-mile bike ride. I’m usually home by 5 or 6, and I’ll make dinner, put the boys to bed, then sometimes I’ll go back over to work a little bit more. A lot of times when I’m off tour, I’ll just hang out with Meredith and watch movies and eat ice cream. It’s really been like that a majority of the summer.

I’m assuming you accomplish all of this without the use of trucker speed.
Yep, no trucker speed, just lots of cold-brew coffee. I’ve been into juicing—not steroids—like kale, apple, lemon juice. It gives me crazy energy.

You’re in a number of bands right now; when you say, “the record,” are you referring to the next Circa Survive album?
Well, the next Circa record is done. We’re in the final process of getting the final mixes right now. Since that’s done, I’ve been writing some solo stuff; I have a bunch of Saosin material that I’m working on that I’m listening to and going back and forth on. It’s really awesome. I have all these other ideas; Brendan [Ekstrom, Circa guitarist] and I have this jokey punk band we’ve been talking about recording songs for. I’m focusing on trying to write every day, whether it’s some Saosin melodies or whether it’s solo stuff or potential new Circa stuff.

Speaking of new Circa stuff, you just signed to Sumerian Records, who will be reissuing Violent Waves Sept. 9 as well as doing the next Circa record due out in November. What’s the story behind the reissue?
We filmed the Shrine live DVD, and we wanted to do something really cool with it, so when we talked about reissuing the record, they were like, “Why not just package the DVD with it?” I thought that was a really cool idea. We had an amazing experience self-releasing that record, but I think we have a better team now with Sumerian to help us get it out to more people.

Some fans were pretty surprised by the Sumerian signing, but I look at that roster and see some of the most creative musicians in heavy music, between the Dillinger Escape Plan, Animals As Leaders, Crosses…
We had some offers from other labels, but Steve [Clifford, Circa drummer] was in a band with Ash [Avildsen, Sumerian Records founder] for years, and a lot of our friends are on the label. Ash was really passionate about wanting to work with us. We were still in the mode of “Yeah, we can do this ourselves,” but we continued the conversation anyway. We have such close friends and creative partners that work with the label who were like, “Dude, this is like a dream-label situation.” In talking to them, we realized how creatively driven they were. They love music, they love art, and they really fight for what they want. They want us to be happy. This was something we couldn’t ignore.

Not to mention how many times in your life will you get to be on the same label as Chino Moreno and Ice-T?
[Laughs.] Dude, have you listened to that Body Count record? It’s fucking awesome!

So not to get too inside-baseball here, but is this a one-album deal?
It’s just a one-off. There were so many elements of the situation that were like, “We’ll do this and this and this, and if you don’t like it, then fuck it—we don’t want to work with anyone that doesn’t wanna work with us.” So many elements of the situation were catered to us because they’re on the same creative page as us.

Almost two years have passed since Violent Waves came out. Can you look back on it and accurately critique it? Is it still the best Circa Survive could be?
I wouldn’t say that I’m not happy with it, but I don’t feel like it’s the full potential of what we have to offer as a band—I don’t feel like any of our records have really been a full-potential Circa Survive record. They’ve come really close, and they’ve been awesome to be a part of, but this [new] record, for some reason, just feels like the closest thing to full-potential Circa Survive have ever come.

Details-wise, what can you tell me about the record?
Will Yip produced the record; he’s basically another member of the band. Having a producer that really is on the same page as you creatively—grew up in the same scene, listens to the same music—he wasn’t sitting back saying, “We need a radio track.” We were speaking in terms of bangers. Like, “This is a banger, dude. This is a fuckin’ barn burner.” Every song just got crazy attention put on it. We didn’t overthink things for months. We had parts worked out beforehand, but all the vocal melodies got written by me and Will over a span of eight or nine days. Some of the songs got written in the studio. The music would come in that day; a day later, there would be vocals on it, and boom—that was the meat and potatoes of a song. That’s the first time Circa have ever done that. Usually we spend months writing and demoing at the house. I would say there are only a couple songs that got sussed out musically before the [recording process]. We really went in with very little, and focused during that time we were in the studio. Will Yip’s direction and aura in the studio is unbelievable.

There is an album title, but we’re not 1,000 percent on it yet; there is a tentative release date, but I can’t say what it is. It’s definitely the most aggressive Circa record we’ve ever made. It’s the first record of ours I’ve been able to listen to front to back without having that song that I’m like, “Yeah, I could’ve done better here.” Every song has this moment in it that makes me feel ridiculous. I feel like I just outdid myself. I feel like we did better than we did before. That’s what you always hope for. I absolutely, without a doubt know that anybody who’s an actual fan of Circa Survive is gonna fuckin’ be able to jerk off to this record.

So you mentioned earlier about working on new Saosin material, too. I would be remiss if I didn’t ask for more details on that situation.
There really is nothing to talk about. We’re entertaining the idea of doing a record further down the line—I’m talking, like, a year down the line, possibly. Everybody in the band has different jobs and different day stuff, so it’s just a fun side project for us all right now. When we did those shows, we thought that was gonna be it, and then we just had so much fun doing it, we were like, “Yeah, why don’t we just do this once in a while as our side thing for fun?” So we’re just throwing ideas around back and forth. There’s no pressure; there’s nothing really in the works or a timeframe or anything. It’s just this fun thing we can all exist in once in a while.

What are the odds of new Saosin material in any form hitting peoples’ ears in 2015?
Umm… That’s a good question. When’s 2015, next year?

Yes.
I dunno. I would say it’s a 50/50 chance. Let’s play it safe. Really, right now, all of my focus is on Circa. I wanna see this record out. This record is the most important thing to me right now. I don’t even want to think about doing anything else until well after this record has seen all the touring we can do with it and all of the cool stuff we’re planning on doing with it. We’re doing a tour in the fall with Title Fight and Pianos Become The Teeth; [Meredith and I] are having a baby in September, so it’ll be a little after that.

Congratulations on that, by the way.
Thank you very much! I did that with my penis, which is nice. alt

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interview circa survive anthony green saosin

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