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December 2018 / January 2019

Circa Waves: "People talk about the difficult second record. That’s a load of bollocks"

Circa Waves aren’t standing about and waiting for the world to come to them. With their second album ‘Different Creatures’ coming next year, they’re aiming for the very top.
Published: 8:55 am, December 23, 2016
Circa Waves: "People talk about the difficult second record. That’s a load of bollocks"
Sweaty gigs, summer sing-alongs and anthems the size of the pyramids. Circa Waves know more than most about all of them - they"ve lived it ever since they first unpacked their indisputable box of bangers. It"s less than 24 hours after the Liverpudlian indie-heroes ripped through an explosive comeback show at the tiny Omeara in London, where the band truly kicked in a new era - one filled with the confidence, swagger and ambition to take on the biggest stages and do something about the world around them. It"s the signalling of something far greater than just some new tracks, and frontman Kieran Shudall knows it.

“I’m happy that finally people are starting to hear it,” he explains. "I wrote ‘Wake Up’ in like December last year and as soon as that riff came out I thought, ‘Ohh, this is heavy - I wonder if people will like it?’”

He needn’t worry. That leading charge ‘Wake Up’ is the call to arms that takes Circa Waves into a whole ‘nother league, not only returning but bursting back into frame and reaching higher than they’ve ever done before. Like a ferociously wrapped nugget of life changing importance, it"s the statement of intent that comes when facing what to do next after sold-out shows around the world, enough summer playlist inclusions to make Spotify seem obsolete and a connection to thousands that runs through everything they do.

Reflecting back on it all and the band"s debut album ‘Young Chasers’, Kieran sees those songs as a snapshot of who he was, looking back and reminiscing like a scrapbook of summer thrills.

"For me, it was such a small segment of my life,” he contemplates. "They were written in such a short space of time, like they all came together in three months and it really covered exactly what I was into at the time. When I wrote those first songs for ‘Young Chasers’ I thought nobody was going to hear them. Nobody was paying attention to the music I wrote - I’d been writing songs for twelve years and nobody gave a fuck. Then it went everywhere and I’m massively proud of that record, there are some amazing pop songs on there.”

"But then you play it solidly for two or three years and you"re really in a different place now,” he continues. “It’s a strange thing about being in a band, I think a lot of bands suffer from that - playing songs that are maybe not entirely their mindset anymore. A lot of ‘Young Chasers’ was looking back on the past, while this record is more present-day and what’s going on in my head and the country’s head I think.”

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Laying down their marker and packed with an intensity that’ll shake venues around like a rag doll, that upcoming second album ‘Different Creatures’ is bristling with a drive and focus that grabs you on the first listen. Beefier and packed with bigger hooks than any boxer could dream of, it’s the sound of a band not settling for the status quo, but coming back harder and stronger than anyone could have imagined. Shaping into life straight after the end of their mammoth ‘Young Chasers’ world tour, Kieran was ready to hit the ground running - to put pen to paper the band he wanted to be in.

"When we came back from those amazing American shows with Foals last December, I just had so many things I wanted to record. I do all the demos at home, so I just gorged on my own songs. Like, I wrote about 150 songs in four months, just letting it all out and then cherry picking the best bits. There was a lot of shit in there, don’t get me wrong, but easily some of the best stuff I’ve ever written too. So I’m made up with it.”

"We did it in like a month, easy - going back and forth thinking about if it was too heavy for people, but the reaction so far has been great so I can breathe now!"

"People talk about the difficult second record. That’s a load of bollocks.”

While ‘Young Chasers’ sprung like a sun-soaked drive with bright and shimmering indie goodness, ‘Different Creatures’ stands as a different beast altogether (if you’ll, y’know pardon the pun). Taking a dip into the dark corridors and chilly streets that litter the world around us, it’s a record that lives on thriving within the shadows - of defiantly taking on what the world is chucking at you and launching it right back. It"s not only a huge record, but a vital one.

"I really wanted this album to be based in the night,” elaborates Kieran. "This record feels gritty, like you’re in a bar, it’s dark and your head’s down in a whisky glass. I’ve always been really into heavier guitar music, that’s why ‘Young Chasers’ really represents only a small phase of my life.”

"I think people needs something like this now, I don"t think there"s anything else like it out there.”

For Circa Waves there"s a larger story to tell, searing with the confidence of thousands waiting for their next step. You can hear it surge in new numbers such as ‘Goodbye’ (that sounds like a cut lifted straight from the desert that Queens Of The Stone Age call home) and ‘Stuck’, a ferocious festival-ready punch that finds Circa Waves heading to the darkest corners of The Strokes psyche with skyscraper results. It’s a sound that demands attention, born in the here and now and bold enough to tackle not only the dreams of many, but the realities of a modern age that"s more divided than ever. From reality TV to the current refugee crisis, Circa Waves aren't afraid to take them on.

"It all just kinda came out,” explains Kieran. "Like, I wrote the title track when everything was going on with the Syrian refugees and there was this decision made to let exactly 20,000 refugees into the country - and I found it really bizarre that this exact and round number could be placed on human life. The idea that you couldn’t have like one more, or one more family member - that this was the end of the queue. Now, I don’t have the political answer to this but from a purely human standpoint - what the fuck is going on?

"People are dying and there’s other people kicking off about them trying to survive - why do we need to go against another human? It pissed me off and I guess a lot of people were and still are pissed off too.

"Maybe there’s something subconscious about the way I write now, where I know there is an audience out there who are going to listen to what we say. I hope people will take something from it when they listen.“

There may not be a band as primed for 2017 than Circa Waves. If you thought you knew exactly what they stood for, what they want to be and who they are - then ‘Different Creatures’ is about to change things up. Throwing off those summer-day restraints, it’s the counter-punch record that’ll catapult them up festival bills, send them back on the road to those live nights of joyous abandon and onto the biggest stages - but more than that, it’s one that means something. With ‘Different Creatures’ there"s only one destination for Circa Waves.

“I’m so ambitious now,” exclaims Kieran, his face lighting up with pure adrenaline and passion when thinking of what’s ahead. "When I started it was very much like, ‘oh, this is really cool’ - but now, once you’ve reached that step, you just want more.

"I wanna be headlining Reading & Leeds. I wanna be headlining - why the fuck not! Kings Of Leon and The Killers can’t headline them forever, so bands like us need to step up - and with this record, I think we’ve got a point to prove that we are that next generation.

"And the record does that completely! I’ve got massive confidence in it, and I think people will see that and believe in us.”

Just like the rest of the world, Circa Waves are restless, pissed off and ready to fight back. The summer’s over, but the climate’s about to take one hell of a swing.
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Circa Waves’ album ‘Different Creatures’ is out 10th March.




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