Liverpool quartet Circa Waves recently released their U.S. EP titled T-Shirt Weather via Virgin Records. Produced by Dan Grech and recorded at the historic RAK studios in London, the 5 track EP features their newly debuted single “T Shirt Weather.” The title-track is the latest in a startling run of singles which has seen them make the Radio 1 daytime playlist with tracks “Fossils” and “Young Chasers.”
They are set to release their debut album “Young Chasers” March 30th.
The last 12 months have been building to this U.S. EP release. They were one of the runaway successes at CMJ with the New York Times comparing their performance to the “relentless rhythm-guitar drive of the Strokes.” In addition, they were given the 2015 Best New Band Award by NME on top of the coveted opening slot on the NME Awards tour. Circa Waves also performed in front of packed tents at several festivals including Glastonbury and Reading / Leeds plus played alongside The 1975, Interpol, and Royal Blood.
Circa Waves are: Kieran Shudall (guitar / vocals), Joe Falconer (guitar), Sam Rourke (bass) & Colin Jones (drums).
Guest contributor Ryan Quint talked with Kieran about their upcoming tour, their recent recognition, and what it means to make and play ‘live’ music…
Ryan Quint [RQ]: I want to start off by talking about your upcoming tour. You guys are heading out on a huge Tour in April all throughout the UK and Europe…. and have been touring pretty consistently — doing both festivals and your own headlining shows — which do you prefer?
Kieran: I say headline shows. You’re playing to the audience that is solely there for you. You can enjoy all of the people singing every word back to you. I do think festivals have their own merits too but we enjoy having own our headlines all over the world the most.
RQ: What songs from the new album are most looking forward to performing on this tour?
Kieran: All songs really. I really enjoy playing “Stuck in my Teeth.” Its a song that people seem to really connect with and go a bit crazy to. Obviously the singles are the ones people know the most so they’re always fun to play. Sometimes I don’t even have to sing much, I just let the room takeover which is pretty cool.
RQ: You previously toured with the 1975, did you guys have a previous relationship with them?
Kieran: No, we just got asked to do it. We got to play in huge rooms in Australia and the UK that we wouldn’t have been able to do on our own this far into our careers so we felt that it was a good opportunity for us to be playing in front of 5,000-10,000 people at a time. That sort of experience is great. Once you play in those size rooms, going back to our size rooms (1,000 people) is easier because we know how to work the room a bit more
RQ: What is current your relationship with them?
Kieran: We still speak to them a bit. When we’re down in London, we sometimes go out with them, but they tour loads and we tour loads so its not as easy as we’d like
to go and party with them.
RQ: Apple’s iTunes Store “New Artists of 2015” and Zane Lowe played “Stuck in my Teeth” as his “Hottest Record” in February 2014. Would you consider these accomplishments? And if so, how much do things like this mean to you in the grand scheme of things?
Kieran: Not too much to be honest. I mean its nice to be told these things but I think the real accomplishments come from selling tickets and making the performances as memorable as we can. People high up like Zane Lowe, its very nice that he says these things but he’s not the one who comes to the shows or who necessarily buys the records. Its the people who come to the shows and who buys the records that I want to please. They’re the ones who are going to keep us making music for as long we possibly can.
RQ: I agree, I think a lot of times, artists get caught up with their co-signs and fail to produce where it really matters.
Kieran: Yea you realize that these things from Apple or Zane Lowe only matter for so long and they forget about you. Its the people who truly like the music that will stick around with you.
RQ: Resurgence of UK Pop/Rock artists – Sam Smith, George Ezra, Ed Sheeran, The 1975, Bastille, Royal Blood, among MANY other. Why do you think UK artists have been having so much success recently in the states?
Kieran: I think everything is cyclical and everything comes in waves and at the moment theres a huge wave of that guitar music thats happening in England. Also, if the talent is there then people will recognize it. So I suppose we’ve come out at a good time and it seems that its all heading that way really. I think people may be desperate for guitar music. I suppose there’s a lot of Pop and Hip-Hop music in America so people were even listening to boy bands who play guitar just because they were desperate to hear guitar music. So it all seems that bands like Royal Blood, Catfish and the Bottlemen and all these other UK bands are getting popular because people in America are ready to hear that sound again.
RQ: I know you’re performing several times at SXSW this year. Recently SXSW has been criticized for being very corporate, as an artist do you still look forward to being apart of the festival and what do want to get out of it?
Kieran: We’re just going for the all the free shit.. nah I’m just kidding. But it is very corporate and it feels that way with all of the sponsors. Anyone would frown upon any band who sort of sells out in anyway so to go to SXSW for us is a bit unusual. We don’t necessarily agree with all that sort of stuff but I suppose with these festivals its necessary for them to be as big as possible with all of the sponsors. We do try and avoid big corporate things as much as possible but were willing to take some free shit off them.
RQ: Right, it is still a big outlet and I’m sure a lot of people will be discovering your music there.
Kieran: I hope so!
RQ: Liverpool/recorded at RAK Studios (David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, Paul McCartney, Radiohead, Roger Daltry, Mary J. Blige, Adele, Arctic Monkeys). Does this inspire you knowing that multiple legends recorded there or do you view it as another studio and as a platform to record your music?
Kieran: It’s definitely cool but I don’t sit there and say “Oh, this is a the microphone that Thom Yorke used on the band’s record.” Stuff like that is cool but I honestly think that to make a great record you don’t necessarily have to do it in a big, expensive studio. Personally, we loved how the drums sounded in that room but in my opinion some of the best stuff I ever recorded was in my own bedroom. It’s really just opinion and taste and if the song is good enough, it can be recorded anywhere.
RQ: You mentioned there will be a “Live” aspect to album, how did you accomplish this sound specifically with this studio?
Kieran: We cranked the amps up as loud as they go and then we put them in their own little box with a microphone and we all played in the room together so it was very similar to a live experience in that we would bounce off each other. We wanted a natural sound, we didn’t layer any guitars really, most of it is really just me and Joe (Falconer – Guitarist) playing. I think for a baby (debut) record it’s a really cool thing
RQ: Definitely. Do you think this recording technique will help with your live performances?
Kieran: Yea for sure. If you record a record with a million little things done, the live show will be completely different and people may be slightly confused. I think it helps us knowing exactly what we’re going to be doing live and we can fuck around with it all.
RQ: Moving forward with the album, what can fans expect from the album and how does it compare sonically to the Young Chasers EP?
Kieran: The demos that were on the first EP we recorded ourselves so it’s definitely more scrappy. The album is also definitely more thought out but also we wanted to make sure the drums sounds were small and dry. There were a lot of records we referenced when recording the drum sounds on the album like Arcade Fire’s first record and The National’s early records. And our songs are quite big so we wanted to go the opposite way with the production of them in order to balance everything out. There was definitely a lot of thought that went into how everything sounds on the album
RQ: Last song on the album “Talking Out Loud” is your favorite. What is it about this song stands out?
Kieran: Well for one, its a really slow song so we always get a rest when we play it live. I think Joe liked that song the most, it has a lot of inspirations from Pavements and Brendan Benson with the chilled out sound. It’s a really cool sound that we haven’t really tried before and it came out really well and I think people will really attach themselves to that one when the record comes out.
RQ: Who’s idea was it to follow you guys around in Berlin for the “Fossils” music video and how did the video come about?
Kieran: It was something we had talked about for a long time, just including tour footage and stuff like that in our video. We really wanted to get across who we all really are. And we felt like none of our videos had really done that yet so we thought it’d be cool to get a guy to come and film us in Berlin and he came out with an awesome camera and just filmed everything from the few days we were in Berlin. I love it.
RQ: I know you said in a previous interview that you guys began the day of the video shoot with champagne and cigars; is this a common start of the day for you guys?
Kieran: Yea I start every day at home with champagne and cigars, I cant carry on without them. I’m just kidding. We went a bit extravagant on that day. None of us can afford champagne so we just found some money for that. But it’s definitely one way to start a day, I wouldn’t suggest it every day though.
RQ: Drinking has been the conversation in almost all of your interviews. Who is the heaviest drinker in the group and what alcohol do you have on your rider?
Kieran: We all have various nights where one of us will be up drunk at 7 in the morning but then they won’t be on the next night. We all hit it pretty hard. As for the rider, we usually have some beer then switch between rum and ginger, gin and tonic or bourbon and soda. We have a rotating spirits rider. Oh, and hummus.
RQ: It’s good to see that you take full advantage of the free liquor on your rider.
Kieran: Yea exactly, so 2 days of the week we’ll have gin, 2 days of the week rum, 2 days we’ll be bourbon so we don’t get bored ever and we are always alcoholically surprised.
RQ: I think that’s a pretty good problem you have with not knowing what alcohol to pick for each day.
Kieran: Exactly. And it keeps us drinking everyday which is a benefit.
RQ: Lastly, what are your plans for after the UK tour and will there be an American tour following?
Kieran: Yea, there’s talks of us going to America, it’s all up in the air at the moment though. If it was up to us, we’d be going for a long time so hopefully sometime in the middle or end of this year. We’ve only been (to America) once and didn’t get to explore much so we’d love to go back to LA or New York and also all the other places we missed last time.
RQ: Thank you very much, good luck with the upcoming album release and tour and safe travels to SXSW.
Pre-order their album, which comes out on March 30th HERE:
See upcoming tour dates and more info at: