Interview with Circa Survive

Circa Survive is a five-piece progressive rock band out of Philadelphia. They are currently on tour with Codeseven, Dredg and Animals as Leaders and will be stopping at St. Andrew’s Hall in Detroit on Saturday, Nov. 22.

The Oakland Post: Congratulations on the new addition to your family. How are things going?

Anthony Green: It’s going great. I left this morning at five o’clock and he’s still awake, screaming his head off. He sleeps all day long and gets up around eleven thirty, twelve o’clock and starts screaming every time he gets hungry.

It’s new — it’s kind of one of those things my wife and I have to adapt to. I’m not going to be there so this is a little bit tricky. But we couldn’t be happier.

The Post: What in particular made you most excited about being on this tour?

Green: Just being able to watch Codeseven and Dredg and Animals As Leaders every night is the one thing I have been really excited about. I love all those bands and especially Codeseven because I didn’t think I was going to be able to ever see them again when they broke up. The fact that they’re getting back together to do this tour is really cool.

We’re doing some really interesting production stuff on this tour that we’ve never done before so we’re really interested to see how that goes. Tonight we’re in Connecticut for the first night of the tour. We don’t even know how everything’s going to go down yet.

The Post: What are your three favorite songs to play live?

Green: I think my three favorite songs to play at this moment are “Get Out,” probably “Stop the Car” and “The Difference Between Medicine and Poison.” I don’t really know if there’s a specific reason why those are my favorite songs but whenever we were practicing for the tour we get to those songs and they would just go by so easy and they were so fun to sing.

It’s kind of hard to pick favorites ’cause you love all of your songs. If you’re doing it right. But for some reason those songs have just been standing out to me. It probably changes every couple of days.

The Post: Any memorable tour experiences?

Green: Shit, it’s hard because we’ve been doing this for such a long time, there’s so many different moments. So many different things that have happened while we were on tour together that have been memorable. But I think this last time we were in Paris was one of the best shows we ever had. There isn’t a whole lot of goofy or zany tour stories that I can even talk about because of the nature of what went down in them. We have a lot of fun on tour. I should just say that.

The Post: What is your opinion of the current music scene and what do you hope to contribute?

Green: I think the music scene is really good. The music that I’ve been hearing recently has been awesome. I don’t really pay that much attention to stuff I don’t like. I hear a lot of people my age talking about music nowadays being so shitty and talking about younger bands and I think it’s awesome. I don’t really see a huge difference between music now and the music we were making seven, eight years ago. I think there’s always going to be younger bands coming out and pushing the envelope.

I would hope that we can contribute in any way. I don’t really know what way we would contribute other than just by being a part of it. I just am excited to be a part of it. I never really thought when I was younger that I’d be able to do this for a living. If we get remembered at all, I’ll be happy. I’ll probably be happy anyway.

The Post: What are some of the newer bands you’ve been listening to?

Green: This band Local Natives are incredible, I love them. There’s a band from Seattle called Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band that I just can’t stop listening to, they’re a bunch of youngsters, I think. There’s a band called O’Brother that are amazing. I listen to Good Old War a lot obviously, those guys are always making good music. There’s just a lot of good music coming out.

I hear people complaining about younger bands and calling them rip-offs and stuff like that. But when we were starting to play music we didn’t sound very original. Not to say we aren’t now. There’s always been younger kids coming up making music and then people in generations above them shooting them down and I think that’s just the cycle of things. I like to just pay attention to stuff that’s good. There’s always going to be shitty music.

The Post: What advice would you give to those younger bands or any aspiring musicians?

Green: I think that I’ve never really been good with giving advice, I’ve consistently given people bad advice my entire life. If I were going to give anybody advice on making music it would just be to really examine why they want to do it. If you want to do it because you want to be popular and you want everybody to know your name and you want to be famous or something, then you’re in for a really bad experience.

Anybody who is drawn to making music because the way it made them feel listening to it, people who are really just trying to express themselves and are drawn to it because of the magic of it, those people will find what they’re looking for. I just know too many people that I feel are going after some sort of invisible goal of being a huge rock star, and I think if you get into a band to be some kind of rock star you’re just going to turn out to be an asshole.

The Post: Out of all the other bands you’ve been in, what makes your involvement with Circa Survive so lasting?

Green: I think that it’s just our communication with each other and the goals that we set as a band. We communicate very clearly and really understand each other and we’re very supportive of each other. I think that without that we wouldn’t be able to keep doing it.

The Post: How do you feel “Blue Sky Noise” differentiates from prior albums?

Green: I really think it was just a natural progression for the band. If you’re growing then the music should grow with you and it should change with you. But it shouldn’t feel like that much of a departure, it should feel natural. It’s different in the ways that anybody would feel like they had changed when they’re growing up.

It’s a little bit more concise, I think the songs go together better, there’s more of a clear theme. It’s like the difference between the essay papers you were writing at the beginning of the year as opposed to the end of the year. You’ve had practice at it, you know it better. We all know each other a little bit better, hopefully that will keep happening with every album that we do.

The Post: What is your most proud accomplishment thus far in the band?

Green: I think every day that we stay together is a really proud accomplishment for me. I know that playing certain shows and doing certain things should feel like an accomplishment but I really think that it’s a testament to who we are as individuals that we’re able to stay together and keep doing this and keep changing and regrouping and getting each other’s back. I would hate to make it seem like this big thing was just one big accomplishment. I get a little bit of a smile on my face every day that I wake up and realize that we’re still a band and we’re still doing it, and we’re still having fun.

The Post: Where do you hope the band will be in the next five years?

Green: That’s really difficult to say. My goals are usually only a couple months ahead of themselves, it’s hard to say where we’ll be in a few years. I hope in five years we put out a couple more albums and we just keep this trajectory going that’s been going since the beginning.

For more info on Circa Survive, visit