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“It’s a very different vibe in a way,” he says. “Some of the songs have a bit more of a raw, aggressive feeling to them, so that’s an interesting dynamic to add to our live set. Also we’ve been playing ‘Nesting Dolls’, which has kind of become my favourite song to play live. It’s kind of an emotional song and then we do some special sauce at the end to spice it up a little bit. I’ve been having a great time playing the songs and I know the band has too, and I can’t wait to play some of those songs over in Australia. It’s going to be great.” The majority of Descensus was written in the studio, which was a new approach for Circa Survive. The Philadelphian fivesome have long portrayed an image of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. Writing in the studio meant the individual members could be even more in sync during the entire process.


“We probably had five or six ideas before we went in and they weren’t really structured that well and they didn’t have the vocals,” Ekstrom says. “So when we went in, Anthony [Green, vocals] went with Will [Yip, producer] and they started hashing out some vocal ideas for those songs. Then the band just went into a room. I think, in a way, it was easier for us to all be equally involved in that environment. It was us getting together and then just saying ‘What are you guys feeling today?’ and then everybody starts playing and by the end of the day – literally five days in a row – we had a completely new piece of music for Anthony and Will to take a look at.


“At this point, after ten years, that’s one of the things that keeps us alive as a band and keeps us motivated,” he adds. “There’s still things that we haven’t done – we still have new goals and new boundaries that we want to push.”


Thankfully, five albums into their career, Circa Survive are yet to run into any serious creative inertia. Ekstrom’s respect for the talents of his fellow band members encourages him to never become complacent.


“As a fan of Anthony, early in the band I was just so in awe of what he was doing that it became really apparent the purpose for the band was to find a platform that we could do something that we felt was unique,” he says. “[Something musically] different enough that it was worth us being a band and to really give him a platform to reach people and deliver a lot of messages that I think are really powerful and help people.



“It’s always important to me to feel like we’re not repeating ourselves. At this point I don’t think we’ve done that to a degree that would make us feel stuck. As long as we’re all still on the same page with each other, then I think we’ll have some room to grow.”


However, it’s not all progressive, eyes on the future, for Circa Survive. To give Descensus a more aggressive edge, the band members looked towards some of their formative influences. “We did a bit of tearing down and going back to a place that we were before Circa Survive even started,” Ekstrom says. “We’d all been through a lot before this record was written and there was definitely a sense of frustration in some of our personal lives and some anger and some things that we really needed to get out musically. I found myself listening to a lot of Nirvana and stuff that doesn’t really make you think of Circa Survive, in that we use a lot of effects and we use a lot of reverb and a lot of the stuff is sort of washed out on our records. But I was just going back and listening to really raw music that made me want to feel that energy again, like Nirvana and old Soundgarden.


“That first Soundgarden record, that’s what I grew up listening to. And probably the Deftones and Tool; I think there’s definitely some Deftones influence on the newer record.” The latest record’s embrace of raw energy and a touch of unkempt anger is a contrast to the band’s major label flirtation, 2010’s Blue Sky Noise. “I have a great attachment to everything that came out from [Blue Sky Noise], and our experience recording it was really cool,” Ekstrom says. “But moving on from there, we needed to wipe that stuff out of our minds entirely and just do whatever the fuck we want and trust everybody else’s energy. I think we were all way more willing to do that on this record and [2012’s] Violent Waves than we were on Blue Sky Noise.”



September 18 – The Met, Brisbane QLD

September 19 – The Metro, Sydney NSW

September 20, 21 – 170 Russell, Melbourne VIC


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