Circa Survive

By Andy

Circa Survive‘s new record ‘Blue Sky Noise’ is released today, so what better time is there to catch up with guitarist Colin Frangicetto?

Hi Colin, where are you in the world and what are you up to today?

Howdy, we’re at home on a day off, leaving for a 3 week US tour tomorrow afternoon. Right now I’m just relaxing with my fiancé and cats. I did a little painting earlier today and I’m gonna go to the gym later tonight. 

You’ve just wrapped up a handful of shows over here in the UK. After the two low-key shows you played in April, was it a relief to get back here to do a bigger tour?

Well we love the whole spectrum of show dynamics. It’s just as fun for us to play for a hundred people as it is to play for ten thousand. I’d say anything that we do headlining-wise in the UK will be low key compared to what we do normally in the States. We’re still growing there and now with the release of the new record we’re starting to see bigger crowds coming to our shows, which is awesome and a long time coming.

What do you enjoy most about touring the UK?

I’m a sucker for anything made from potatoes so as you could guess I like a good chip shop. (This is simultaneously what I hate most about the UK… the 5 pounds I gain every time we go there.) 

Now we¹re obviously here to talk about the new record. ’Blue Sky Noise’ is absolutely epic but there¹s a marked change in your sound since ‘On Letting Go’ came out back in 2007. It sounds a lot cleaner, more focused than you¹ve
ever been before. Was there a conscious decision made to approach things differently this time around?

Well the only decision that I could see effecting what you’re pointing out is that we knew we wanted to approach our own parts a lot differently on this record. We wanted to have more range in the guitar tones and effects, less delay/reverbs, more of Anthony’s vocal range displayed, more focused rhythm grooves between the drums and bass… in general we tried extremely hard to write songs that would have lasting power and show the range of dynamics we are capable of. 

What’s the significance in the album’s title?

Well like all of the songs on the album, it’s open to interpretation but we were intrigued by what the business term to “blue sky” something means. [Apparently, it’s] “to imagine or propose unreasonable or as-yet, unfeasible ideas”. It also means “worthless,” or something that is not guaranteed to bring in profit. We found this all to be very fitting as well as ironic for this album. Slamming the word noise in there really made the title fit, as this is by far our most aggressive/loud record to date.

We understand that you began working on ‘Blue Sky Noise’ back in 2008. What has taken so long to get it finished and out for public hearing?

We were coming off a 4-and-a-half year non stop tour/record cycle and needed to take a break before even starting to write. A lot happened that made the break even longer. Management change, label change, and then Anthony got married and went on tour to support his solo record. So in general the 2 years leading to the release were busy to us, just not to the outside world so much. That stuff aside, we took a longer time because for the first time, we could. We knew this record had to blow our previous efforts out of the water for us to be happy so we made sure that was the case.

Since you started work on the new album, you¹ve signed to Atlantic Records. How were things left when you parted ways with Equal Vision and how did you come to hooking up with Atlantic?

We left on very good terms. We finished our contract and just wanted to try a change. They gave us their full and total support and blessing. We still have a great relationship with EVR. Atlantic was the result of many, many meetings with many, many labels. At the end of the day their passion for the band’s vision combined with the resources they could provide won us over. They were unique in that they weren’t trying to change us to bring us to the world… they wanted to change the arrangement by bringing what we already do to the world of people who haven’t been exposed to us. 

Were there any particular life experiences that shaped the lyrics or music of ‘Blue Sky Noise’? How would you describe the overall tone of the album?

Many, many experiences – many too personal to state here. Anthony has been quite outspoken about his stint in a mental health facility while we wrote this album. He suffered some extreme exhaustion and had to check himself in. That and the things that lead up to that affected it quite a bit. I’d say the overall tone of the album is a bit dark with some light bursting through the clouds along the way. In general I find this album is about overcoming adversity in our lives.

You hooked up with Esao Andrews again for the cover art of the new album, as you have done for the two previous records. Firstly, how did you come across Esao, and how much input do you guys have into the creation of the artwork? Do you brief him on what you want and then let him run with it?

Yes, we stumbled across him years ago by way of our guitarist Brendan. Brendan was a previous fan of his work but unsure of his name, only knowing his images. While trying to remember someone randomly sent him a link to his website. It felt like it was meant to be. Esao asks for general themes and imagery that we re interested in, then he listens to some of the music and just works his magic from there. He’s never let us down. He is a visual wizard. 

If you were to recommend one song off of the new album to introduce a pair of virgin ears to your band, which would it be and why?

I’d have to gauge it on their personality. General public…. “I Felt Free” as it seems to be a favourite of many on the new album… to a more rock-versed person probably “Get Out” or “Dyed In The Wool”. 

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]