Circa Survive on challenges, milestones and finding balance

Anthony Green is on the verge of a burnout. The vocalist and songwriter is speaking to Mixdown from the American mid-west, reflecting on a busy day that still has more to come. “I got up at 6am this morning to get my kids ready for school,” says Green. “I was working from home right up until they got back, when I headed for the airport. I took a three-hour flight and then a half-hour drive out to Columbus, where I’m playing a solo acoustic show tonight. I like to take one-off gigs whenever Circa or Saosin aren’t on tour. It’s kind of a challenge, trying to figure out how to balance everything. Still, I’ve always been up for a challenge.”

Indeed, fans of Green have been spoiled for choice in the last few years. Circa Survive’s fifth album Descensus was released in 2014 and toured through 2015. 2016 saw Green return to the fold of Saosin, the post-hardcore band with which he originally made his name, releasing the album Along the Shadow that May. Months later, solo album Pixie Queen would drop. If that wasn’t enough, sixth album The Amulet arrived last September. Did you get all of that?

 

It’s exhausting enough to read through, leaving one questioning whether Green has had any sleep between recording, touring and fatherhood. “When you have open communication with people, it’s really easy to coordinate,” says Green. “I have a lot of really dedicated, patient people in my life. The guys in Saosin are all busy, all working – they have full-time work away from the band. My full-time work is music – if I’m not playing it, I’m making it. If I’m not out with Circa, I’m working on Saosin or my solo stuff. As long as there’s always a dialogue between all of us, we’re always on top of the blueprint. Even if we have to book things a year in advance, we make it happen.”

 

Green’s initial return run with Saosin was done under the guise of celebrating ten years since the release of the band’s first EP, Translating the Name. Before The Amulet, Green’s last major tour with Circa Survive was for the 10-year anniversary of second album On Letting Go. Having done retrospectives with the two bands he’s best known for fronting, Green expresses the highest level of gratitude for hitting such major milestones.

 

“For me, doing anniversary shows are such a celebration,” he says. “It’s a really special thing. I really value it, and I’m so grateful for it. It feels like a triumph in every way. You think about what you were struggling with in the moment, and [that] makes you look at where you are now. To make music with a message that’s lasting, and to still have people care ... it’s such a huge victory.”

 

For now, Green is living in the present, which involves touring The Amulet with Circa Survive. It will see the band arrive in Australia this May for a run of headlining shows, playing most major capital cities. Green is particularly enthusiastic when it comes to the band’s current run. “This has been the easiest record we’ve ever settled into,” he says. “The transition from the album coming out to playing the songs live has been seamless. It feels like these songs have already been a part of the set for years.” He’s ready to take on allcomers: casual fans, die-hards, even that one kid who always brings a puppet of Ernie from Sesame Street to sing along through. Yes, really.

 

“He comes along a lot whenever I play in Southern California,” Green says. “It got to me when I first started seeing it – it fucked me up! I was like, ‘What is this kid doing? Does he not realise how distracting it is?’ Over the years, I’ve come to love it. I’ve embraced it as just a part of my shows whenever I’m in the area – whether it’s Circa, Saosin, solo or even The Sound of Animals Fighting.”

 

Does the offer stand for the rest of the Sesame Street gang to come visit a Circa Survive show? “Absolutely,” says Green. “Cookie Monster and I have a lot in common.”

 

Circa Survive’s Australian tour kicks off Thursday May 24 in Adelaide. The Amulet is out now via Hopeless Records.

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