Circa Survive isn’t a band for fans of albums. It’s a band for fans of storytellers. To just ‘hear’ a Circa Survive album would be a waste of half the experience. A Circa album needs to be examined, pondered on and picked to pieces. This speaks volumes for the band’s latest record The Amulet, given that fans immediately identified it as one of their best yet – a notion that resonates with the dudes that made the thing.

Soon after the album dropped, Circa Survive announced a headline run of Australian stages. Ahead of their arrival, we spoke with the band’s guitarist Colin Frangicetto.

The Neversphere: I have to start with the obvious – The Amulet rocks, you must be so thrilled with how it all went down.
Colin: We couldn’t be happier about it. It’s one of those times where you’re blown away by how little stress was involved, and how great it turned out. Now I’m like ‘Why did I ever stress out before?’
The Neversphere: I saw a comment from you that you could argue with a court room precision as to why it came out so well. At the time you said you’d spare us all the details but I’d like to hold you to that, what’s your case?
Colin: As a music fan, I love the art of the album. The full record, the whole process of making something flow from beginning to end, balancing energy and all of that. This record, for me, when I listen back to it, there’s not one moment that I feel is unnecessary or crammed in there to fill a void or check a box. the whole record was made extremely naturally and every song really belongs. In the past, there’s always at least one song that someone in the band won’t like; There’s always one or two.

This one just doesn’t have it. It feels like somehow along the way of the last 13 years or so, we’ve figured out how to make a record the right way. For me, another part of that court room argument I talked about was basically people don’t realise how much is being said when I say there wasn’t really any stress…Ask anybody who make albums and most of them will tell you it’s a gruelling process of, like, emotional tyranny. I think a lot of the records we have made were like that. This one was just the five of us coming in every day, excited, and building this album essentially from very little – most of it was created in the studio.
The Neversphere: Was there a quantifiable thing, or physical thing, that was removed or added to the equation to make it such a stress-free environment? Or was it more so a case of the universe just conspiring in Circa’s favour?
Colin: [Laughs], that was really well put. The more I think about it, the more I feel the easy explanation is that over a certain period of time, eventually things just fall into place; when you work with the same people and you stick it out. This can extend over many things, not just music – most art forms as well as relationships with people. If you put in a good amount of well-intended time and energy, you’re going to get closer and closer.

For us I think it was perfect timing; us all being in the right mental states and just a matter of a very unique experience that we’ve all gained from being in this band together for so long… Knowing each other’s strengths, and weaknesses; trusting each other and not being offended when someone says ‘Yeah, that kinda sucks’. When that can happen without any major emotional meltdown you’ll be surprised by how much you can get done.

The Neversphere: I don’t want to ask too much about a new record, I still need more time to process this one, but following this experience, you guys must be really keen to get back into the studio.
Colin: We’ve already started the discussions but every time we do that, we might pass around 50 different ideas and by the time we get to the studio, a good amount of them might feel stale so we’re trying to do as much writing, and collecting ideas to get into that headspace now so we don’t lose it. For the most part, we allow for the possibility of locking it in but starting from scratch every time.
The Neversphere: It sounds like it’s becoming easier to be Circa Survive with time, as opposed to harder. Is that an accurate read on things?
Colin: The normal stuff that you would expect is the stuff that gets easier. Such as the challenges of creating music and the challenging of navigating business ideas, working with labels, working with management; all that stuff is much easier now. I think we’ve gone through our last batch of jumping through hoops and changing things up. With that said, I think the stuff that gets challenging is stuff you can’t put your finger on. You’re closer to 40 than you are 20, you’re getting older and you naturally start to look forward. You’re like ‘Where are we headed here? Where are we going? How much more can we really do?’ Those become the pitfalls and you can’t really let them become too overwhelming.

A lot of our problem-solving energy goes into how we make more money, but tour less, and how do we tour in a way that’s efficient and allows us to play for people who really love the band. It gets harder and harder to figure out how to be an independent band and not constantly whore yourself out for money just so you can fly half way across the world and play in front of a half-filled room. You want to avoid that, but you don’t want to skip those places.

Luckily, we’re still able to scale it to a place that makes a lot of sense, it still feels worthwhile and people still care…
The Neversphere: What’s the game plan for the Australian shows? The band only gets here once every few years. Will you stick mainly to the new album or dig back into the past?
Colin: I don’t think we’ve decided yet. We have some rough ideas of setlists and stuff. It’s not like we can bring any crazy fire breathing robot dragons to have behind us, or any insanely expensive production, it’s really about what we are, when you break us down to our essence, we’re a punk rock hardcore band that happens to play weird psychedelic rock music. For us, it’s totally fine to just go somewhere, set up our gear and play. Our show; our production, is our crowd and us interacting and that feeling that happens in a room when we’re all trying to disappear into the ether of music…

…And that’s basically what you can expect.

Circa Survive 2018 Australian Tour

Tickets on sale now. 

Thursday, May 24
The Gov, Adelaide
Tickets: Metropolis Touring

Friday, May 25
Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Tickets: Metropolis Touring

Saturday, May 26
Factory Theatre, Sydney
Tickets: Metropolis Touring

Monday, May 28
The Zoo, Brisbane
Tickets: Metropolis Touring

Wednesday, May 30
Rosemount Hotel, Perth
Tickets: Metropolis Touring