Circa Survive made their first stop at The Beacham in Orlando last month to support their new album, Violent Waves. Lead singer Anthony Green is known and loved for his loud and unique voice (along with an energetic stage presence), but anyone who has ever bumped into him while he’s not performing knows that he has another side to him. When he’s not on stage, Anthony’s a very calm, soft-spoken guy who is very approachable and easy to talk to, and always has positive words and encouragement to offer in exchange for the love that his fans show him. He sat with us for a few minutes before the show to talk about the new album, new music video, the process of making the new album, and Circa’s decision to release it completely on their own. Watch our video interview with Anthony, and read the transcript below!
Interview with Anthony Green
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)
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…
…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?
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.