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February 2020
Reading & Leeds

Circa Waves chat album four backstage at Reading Festival: "It's done... no, really, it's done"

"I've never been more excited about an album in my whole entire life," says Kieran. 
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Published: 2:55 pm, August 24, 2019Words: Jake Hawkes. Photos: Jamie MacMillan.
Circa Waves chat album four backstage at Reading Festival: "It's done... no, really, it's done"

'What's It Like Over There?', Circa Waves' most recent album, tickled the top ten and now the band are playing their biggest ever slot at Reading & Leeds. We caught up with Kieran and Joe from the band ahead of their set to talk about the next album (coming soon!) the perils of playing late in the day, and a mystery clay pot filled to the brim with Korean booze...

Hi guys, how does it feel to be so high up the bill this time around?

Kieran: It's great, but it holds its own problems because it means that we're up against Royal Blood. You go through a phase of 'incredible, look how high up we are!' followed swiftly by 'shit, we're up against one of the biggest rock bands in the world' *laughs* I dunno, maybe I just need to believe in myself more.
Joe: I think people will turn up. I mean, we're exclusively playing Royal Blood songs, so that should solve the problem.
Kieran: Yeah, they left that bit off the poster. It should say 'Circa Waves play the songs of Royal Blood'. We asked them to play our songs, but they just don't reply. I'm trying to get them to play 'Goodbye', nice and riffy so I think they'd smash it. I'll ask again, but they're just not returning my calls...

How's playing the new album live?
Kieran: It's going really well, it feels like it's been in the set for way longer than it has to be honest. It's just fitting in surprisingly well – I thought it'd be an outlandish thing to play the songs live, but everything's so fucking loud and bombastic that it fits right in and goes down really well.

Have you started thinking about the next album yet?
Kieran: It's done... no, really, it's done.

How's it sounding?
Kieran: It's fucking great, man. I'm so excited about it. I've never been more excited about an album in my whole entire life.
Joe: It's a bit worrying, because it sounds really good and it's done, and I don't think we expected to be sat here with a really good album so soon, and yet here we are.
Kieran: I think it's a way more positive album than 'What's It Like Over There', too. It's got this real celebratory nature to it, I just feel really happy at the moment. There's so much shit going on in the world that you have to laugh a little bit because it's all so ridiculous – that's what the new album's about really.

When are you going to release it?
Kieran: We need to play the best hand we can. The music industry has changed so much, even from just when we started in 2013/14, and we just don't want to waste any music, you know? We want people to hear every song, as opposed to just the singles because albums can get a little bit lost now. We're trying to work out the best way to do that, basically.
Joe: It was always the plan to get something out quickly, but we decided not to talk about it in case it didn't happen. We didn't want to be reminded later on that we said we were gonna make another album and have nothing to release!
Kieran: we're happy to say it now though, now it's all on my phone and ready to go.

What's your pre-gig ritual?
Kieran: Well, we've got to spike Royal Blood, obviously.
Joe: We got given this gift ages ago by a Korean fan actually...
Kieran: No, we don't, I forgot it. I left my house, and I thought 'fuck, I forgot the fucking clay thing.'
Joe: Well basically it's this clay pot that you smash, and it's full of booze, we were going to do that before the gig for good luck. Smash a pot and drink some mystery Korean booze – hey, maybe we'll drink it before Leeds instead?
Kieran: then Leeds would be atrocious, you could compare the two and take notes.

Anything else planned for the festival?
Joe: We've got the silent disco tonight as well, us VS Radio 1. We did it a couple of years ago, and it got very messy, it was against Huw Stephens then, think it's Jack Saunders this year.
Kieran: Do we get a mic this year? Last time our drummer started chanting 'Fuck Huw Stephens' over and over again, so I don't know if they trust us any more.
Joe: Poor Huw, loveliest man in the world. I had to apologise to him afterwards, all got very out of hand, and he's never played our music since... no, he has, it's just a better story if I say he hasn't.

Circa Waves chat album four backstage at Reading Festival: "It's done... no, really, it's done"

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