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Circling Back With Circa Waves: Discussing the Future of Releasing Music, their Musical Influences, Touring, and more

Liverpool quartet Circa Waves recently released their debut album titled Young Chasers which features their lead single, “T-Shirt Weather,” which has over 10 million streams on Spotify. They are currently on a U.S. tour run before heading back to the UK for a string of sold out shows across Europe. Over the past few months, Circa Waves has performed at Glastonbury, Lollapalooza and on Conan as well. Recently, guest contributor Ryan Quint sat down with the group at their show with MS MR at Union Transfer to discuss the future of releasing music, their musical influences, touring and much more.

Back in March we had interviewed Circa Waves, just a few days before their debut album release, click here to read up on it.


Circa Waves are: Kieran Shudall (guitar / vocals), Joe Falconer (guitar), Sam Rourke (bass) & Colin Jones (drums).


Ryan: Last time we spoke was about 7 months, you guys only had the EP out. Now we have a full-length album. Young Chasers was just released a few weeks ago on September 18. So I’d first like to congratulate you on of all of the recent success.

Kieran: Thank you very much.

Ryan: Speaking of EPs and Albums, I heard an interview you guys recently did where Kieran said that he felt that with how the music industry is going, artists are going to only drop EPs and give out “little bursts of ideas” instead of full-length albums. Can you explain that thought process and why you feel you that way?

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Kieran: I mean the album thing will always exist for certain artists but just because of how fast everything moves; I think that EP’s are a more efficient way of releasing music.

Sam: I can see that happening. Albums, as a concept, came around because of the technology. From vinyl. That’s how many songs you could fill on a record so they would. I think that right now technology is changing and people’s listening habits are changing as well. Maybe the regular format of releasing music won’t be albums anymore. I still love albums. We buy vinyl all the time but I could definitely see artists just releasing 1 or 2 EP’s every year instead.

Kieran: It’s quicker. It’s more efficient. Kind of like a half album.

Sam: It also allows for more freedom as well. 2 EP’s can be completely different but if you’re doing a bunch of tracks under 1 large umbrella of an album, it has to be a lot more consistent. It may be good for artists to challenge themselves on a more regular basis by releasing more projects.
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Ryan: I think its really cool that each of you have sort of your own musical style whether its Kieran with the indie rock and old folk sound or Sam with Hip-Hop. How do these different styles help create the Circa Waves sound we hear on Young Chasers?

Kieran: It definitely influences the way we play our music or how we approach certain parts of songs. I’m not going to write a guitar part from a Dr. Dre record, I’ll write it to a sound that better pleases me. It just works in that way.

Sam: I definitely agree. Part of the sounds of how things worked out relate to our personal styles of music. Joe has this scrappy guitar style which comes from what he listens to.

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Ryan
:
(to Sam) And would you be the Dr. Dre listener?

Sam: I don’t condone or endorse Dr. Dre but I suppose some of the bass lines that I’ve written have a Hip-Hop sensibility in some ways. It’s definitely an influence but it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where it is.

Ryan: LA Daily News had very high praise for the album. Do you ever read reviews and see how the critics feel about your music or is it mainly your fans reaction and opinion that you care about?

Kieran: I read some reviews. If it’s a good review, I’ll read it. I don’t tend to go out of my way to read reviews anymore. Not because we get loads of bad reviews its just that there’s almost no point. We play shows in front of loads of people every night and that’s enough gratification for us.

Sam: It can go down two roads. You can either become incredibly self-obsessed because you have a larger world of things relating to you or you can go down the route of completely shutting it off and think that’s what we’ve done.

Kieran: Also, the more successful you get, the more people are going to dislike you. It’s fine with me. Music is made to separate people. 

Ryan: Kieran, you mentioned that a lot of the album is inspired by early adolescence. Can you explain this more in-depth and did you have any specific moments that you recalled when creating this album?

Kieran: I’ve always wanted to capture that moment and period of time in my life and other people’s lives when I was writing. I just think it’s really interesting. That part from 16 to 25 is just so fucking mental.

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Ryan
:
I’m smack in the middle of that right now.

Kieran: Yeah. It’s fucking weird right? I always loved the first Arctic Monkeys record, the first Strokes record. They’re all talking about their experiences of growing up and you can’t write about that forever. The 2nd record won’t be about that. It was just something I wanted to get out of my system.

Ryan: And its still fresh in your memory

Kieran: Yeah, it’s still fresh. I’m not that old yet. I’m getting further away from that time but it’s cool to think about it like a diary of what happened during those years of my life.

Ryan: I saw you were in Philadelphia yesterday morning. Did you spend a full off day here?

Kieran: We did the Radio 104.5 thing in the morning then we had to drive up to Albany for a show. It would’ve been nice if we had a day off here though. We were supposed to have a day off but as usual, it got cancelled.

Ryan: How was Albany then?

Kieran: It was great. Very good show.

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Ryan: Was it your first time to upstate New York?

Kieran: Yeah. Not that we actually saw any of Albany but the venue was really cool. The drive up was very nice. We also just discovered Serial Podcast. It’s massive but it completely blew past us but it’s this woman investigating a murder case and each episode is her digging further into the case. So we just smashed through that the whole drive. It’s based on a real murder that happened in Baltimore and we drove past Baltimore while we were listening to it and I wanted to hide.

Ryan: Do you guys know The Wire? That will make you want to hide even more.

Sam: Yeah, it’s amazing. That was the first thing I thought of when we drove past Baltimore.

Ryan: Moving on, your current US Tour is coming to a close. You’re about head back to the UK and the rest of Europe. What has been the most enjoyable part about tour so far?

Kieran: It’s been really good. I’d say the highlight would be the day we were in LA. We did Conan in the morning and then went straight to The Troubadour and did an amazing show. That was a fucking great day.

Sam: Very stressful day.

Kieran: We also went through the Gilmore Girls town on the Warner Bros lot. Three great things that happened in one day.

Sam: and the Batman steps as well. It was a good day. We got to do the biggest TV show we’ve ever done.

Kieran: Also, America doesn’t feel like one country, it feels like 50 different little countries. We’ve seen bits of Seattle, bits of San Fran and just getting a little bit of the culture from everywhere is very enjoyable. It’s cool seeing how different each place is and how everywhere has its own proper identity.

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Ryan
:
You guys were doing Festivals all summer, including Glastonbury and Lollapalooza, now that you’re back in clubs and theaters, which do you prefer?

Sam: I really like the way that it all works out. By the end of summer, we’re really ready to do the headline tour and then towards March we’re anxious to start festival season again. What I love is the balance between the two. We did about 30 festivals this year and by the end it’s just tiring.

Kieran: Festivals are also very low pressure. They have a party vibe and there’s shit loads of bands, people aren’t there to just see us. People are going to have a good time regardless. The pressure is off but you also try to win over a crowd. Where as headline shows, you’ve won straight away. The crowd has come to see you. You get applauded just from walking on the stage. That doesn’t happen at many festivals.

Ryan: I heard you guys had one of the best sets at Glastonbury

Sam: Apparently. According the polls. Was it the best set ever?

Kieran: Yeah we had the best set ever.

Ryan: I’m not sure but we’ll call it that.

Kieran: Just kidding but that was nice. We had played Glastonbury the year before but we were just starting out so no one knew who we were. It was good to be there but this year was our “arrival” at Glastonbury.

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Ryan
:
I saw you were recently out at a karaoke bar with Ms. Mr recently – it seems like you guys are getting along on these run of shows.

Kieran: Yeah. We just met on this tour. They’ve been one of the most welcoming bands we’ve ever toured with. They give us free shit and they’re just really nice.

Ryan: Free shit is always a good thing. Last time we spoke, “Stuck in My Teeth” was your favorite song from the new album to play live, has that changed at all?

Kieran: It’s not. I fucking hate it (laughs). No, I don’t mind playing it. It is quite difficult for me to sing it though. But in the UK it’s always a big shout moment. The kids love that line in it (“I’m a little too young with not enough time”). Right now I really enjoy playing this track called “Talking Out Loud.” People don’t lose their shit to it but they do really so to enjoy it.

Sam: It’s a great break in the set.

Kieran: If it were the 80’s, we’d all light up cigarettes and play while smoking. It gives us a chance to regroup.

Ryan: You guys played “Stuck in My Teeth” as well as “T-Shirt Weather” on Conan. How was that experience?

Sam: It was really cool. I really enjoyed it. I didn’t realize how long the day was though. I just thought you rock’ed up and played and then left but we were there for about 7 hours. It was amazing though. We love Conan and his work on The Simpsons.

Ryan: He’s tall isn’t he?

Sam: He’s fucking huge. Normally, I feel out of place in photographs for being the tall one but not this time.

Kieran: He seems like this huge giant but he was really nice to us. You never really know with those people because they have to have that personality all the time. I would really love to just have a cup of tea with him but it was good. Doing Conan felt like one of those landmarks in this lifestyle where it’s something terrifying but then you overcome it and, to me, it was the most terrifying thing we’ve done. I’m not sure what will be next, hopefully something bigger but that was a huge achievement for us.

Ryan: Speaking of T-Shirt Weather, it has over 10 million streams on Spotify. Why do you think fans have connected most with that song so far?

Kieran: It’s quite hard to pinpoint why certain songs get a reaction like that because I would try to make more if I knew the answer. Maybe because people can relate to it because the content is about things that everyone remembers like what it was like when you were younger. It’s also one of the catchiest songs I’ve ever written so maybe its just that and the fact that it’s just “T-Shirt Weather” it’s a title that can easily stick in people’s minds. Who knows?

Sam: (to Kieran) You should get Owen Pallett to do a musical review of it. From Arcade Fire. He did a few pieces analyzing Beyoncé songs and it was really cool.

Kieran: For me, it’s all better to not break songs down too much. Otherwise, I’ll try and make some formula every time I write a new song.

Ryan: Lastly, you guys are nominated for Best New Act at this years Q Awards. Former winners of that award include Sam Smith, Django Django & Corinne Bailey Rae among many others. Are you honored knowing that you were just nominated for that award or are accolades only important to you if you win them?

Kieran: I already feel quite satisfied. I think that we’re the best out of all of the people on there but I don’t know if everyone does. It’s up to the people to decide. It is good to know that we’re on that level of the artists nominated though.

Sam: Is it cash if we win? Because if it is then I’m well up for it. If we did win it would be our first accolade ever, alongside the apparent “Best Act at Glastonbury” (Laughs)

Ryan: Thank you guys. Good luck with the rest of your tour.


Catch more of Circa Waves through their social media accounts.

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215 Exclusive Interview: Circa Waves

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.

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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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Bc9xoQxxkk

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.



VIDEOS:

Pre-order their album, which comes out on March 30th HERE:


See upcoming tour dates and more info at:

http://circawaves.com
https://www.youtube.com/user/CircaWaves
https://twitter.com/CircaWaves
https://www.facebook.com/CircaWaves
https://instagram.com/circawaves/