Having recently gone independent for their fourth album, “Violent Waves”, American rock band Circa Survive definitely has some stories to tell. Fortunately, they were in town recently for Livescape Asia’s Rockawayfest Showcase held at Bentley Music Auditorium. We were lucky enough to have had the opportunity to interview Circa Survive frontman Anthony Green.
Let’s hear it from the man himself!
What were some of the challenges that Circa Survive faced after deciding to go independent?
“It’s like any small business. You wanna keep a small overhead so that you’ll have a better chance at breaking even and eventually, making a profit. When you’re dealing with a major label, all they’re concerned about is making profit. Yet, they spend so much money – in excess, on your recording. When they’re bankrolling on your recording, they kinda feel like they can come in and whether or not you let them have a say, you’d kinda feel creatively obligated to them because they’re financially backing you. Whereas when you’re doing it yourself and you go into your friend’s studio and you’re managing the budget for your own album for..you know, very little money, and you can still make it sound like having your vision come true without having to spend the money that a major label would spend, you won’t put all that pressure on people to buy your record.”
How did that work in Circa Survive’s advantage then, going independent?
“We budget this album so that we didn’t have to go out and sell 100,000 copies to make 1,000,000 dollars back for the recording cost. Recording costs very little. And in my opinion, this is one of the best recordings that the band has ever had. So, we sacrificed zero creative, zero production value, and ended up with a better product and we were able to sell very little but still make a profit. Which is something we’ve never done!”
Do you know if your next album is going to be better than this one or do you think that you could make it better than this one?
“I think that in order to be a true artiste, you have to be in like..a perpetual state of arrival. You can’t ever think that you’ve gotten anywhere; you can’t ever think that this is the best album. This is not – it’s just the latest album. Regardless of what people say or critics say..you can’t ever think that you’ve gotten anywhere.”
Do you still get nervous when you get on stage? What are some of the rituals that you do before you get on stage?
“Every night! I tend to get very quiet for maybe an hour or two hours before we play. I’m usually just not engaging with anybody – I kinda just like to sit. Sometimes, I visualize myself already on stage and already enjoying it. You know, like I’m visualizing that it’s already happening, already going well, and I’m already feeling great about it. And that helps me put my anxiety or my nerves at rest. I also like to stare at people. I pick one or two people out in the crowd and they’ll be the only people..”
What? How do your fans react when you do that?
“They’re very weirded out by it! Very. It’s awkward – but for them, not me. I’d feel like I’m in control and they’re just like..what is he doing, why is he staring at me? (laughs)”
Were you at their Rockawayfest Showcase gig? Did you catch Anthony Green staring at you? Were you “weirded out”? Drop us your comments if you were there!
Special thanks to our awesome friends from Livescape Asia for making this interview happen, and much love to Anthony for taking time off to speak to us.