If you haven’t already immersed yourself in Circa Survive’s atmospheric take on rock then you’re missing out on something special.
Only a few weeks out for their first tour of Australia, Nick (bass) caught up with us to talk about band reformations and… My Chemical Romance?
Interview w/ Nick Beard
(bass) of Circa Survive
By Cameron Chambers
Thanks so much for your
time today Nick.
Circa Survive are part of
a huge tour at the moment with The Dear Hunter and Fear Before The March
Of Flames (just to name a couple), how have the shows been going?
Um, it’s been going awesome.
Like, I didn’t know what to expect before this tour but ah, it’s been
The shows have been awesome…
every band on this tour has been awesome. Overall it’s just been a really
How have the audiences been
responding to such a diverse set of bands each night? Obviously yourselves
and a band like “Fear Before…” are drastically different so what’s
the reaction been like?
Yeah, I definitely think for
the most part it’s been really good. There’s these people at every show…
there’s always gotta be a few assholes in the crowd that have to think
their music taste is superior to everyone else’s, ha ha…
But um, all in all it seems
like everyone has been enjoying it. I think every band on the tour has
something really good to offer so… everybody that comes to the show
with an open mind goes away really happy.
Circa Survive were signed
before you’d even played a show, so I think it’s safe to say that you
were still finding your feet as a band when wrote your first record.
After spending two years on the road together, how did you guys approach
the song writing to “On Letting Go”?
Um… You know we still, like
the first record we jammed a lot and we definitely did that again for
this record because it feels really natural to do it that way but we
definitely… Anthony wrote a lot of acoustic songs… like vocals with
basic chord arrangements and we’d take those and kind of change them
into more of a Circa Survive type song.
Colin was writing songs like
fully on his own with his own little recording setup. There’s a bunch
of little ways we did it this time.
Did Brian McTernan (producer)
have much input in the direction that your music was taking or was his
focus on the sound and dynamic of the record?
Um, he’s definitely a pretty
hands on guy. He always, at least with us, he’d basically spend however
long it takes before we even start recording, we’ll go through every
song and he’ll basically give us his full opinion on it and if he thinks
something is terrible he’ll tell us we need to re-write it, ha ha.
That’s what you need, ha
We definitely respect his opinion…
we love tons of the records he’s ton. We take that and try and make
it better and make it as good as can be.
The video for “The Difference
Between Medicine And Poison Is In The Dose” looks great man. Can you
tell us a bit about the concept, who came up with the treatment and
how it ties in with the song itself?
The treatment, or the basic
idea was from the director Travis Kopak and I know… he came over to
our house a few months before and basically just told us his idea and
we kind of went over it with him and threw our input into it.
But the main thing with the
hoses and all that was basically his idea and we thought it sounded
awesome, ha ha, so we just went with it and thought it sounded pretty
In less than a fortnight
you guys will be touching down in Australia to open for My Chemical
Romance. What are you most looking forward to from the shows?
Oh… I’m just looking forward
to finally playing there!
I think as far as international
things go we definitely seem to get the most response from Australia
and we’ve never been there yet, so I’m just kind of excited to get over
there and get our feet wet.
Hopefully it’ll be the starting
point for more in the future.
Given the spaced out nature
of your music, do you think Australian audiences might be missing out
on the real Circa Survive experience by seeing you in arenas as opposed
to club shows? I’m only asking because I always imagined that we’d be
watching your band in a more intimate setting.
Yeah yeah. I definitely think
so. We’ve done a few arenas before in different places and our sound
guy always tells us it’s a bit difficult to mix us with all the delays
on the guitar and the natural delay of the room…
I dunno… I think, we’ve played
a few shows with My Chemical Romance in the past and they’ve always
gone over really well… it should be good!
Obviously it would be cooler
to do clubs but we had to settle so hopefully next time, ha ha.
I’m assuming that you’ll
be playing tracks for both your records but will we be hearing any covers
on this tour?
We haven’t talked about it.
I doubt we will because we’re literally flying in the day we get home
from this tour, so I don’t think we’ll have time to do anything like
Are there any plans to get
you guys back to Australia for your own headlining tour in the near
There hasn’t been but like
I said… well, at least I’m hoping that this will be…
The launching pad?
Yeah, basically! Ha ha
I still find it amazing
that a band as progressive as yourselves has been able to appeal to
such a wide selection of music fans. What do you think it is about Circa
Survive that pulls in people from all walks of life?
Um… you know I’m not really
sure. Obviously Anthony’s voice is probably the biggest draw for most
people because it’s so unique, so I dunno…
Don’t sell yourself short
man because the music is a big focal point.
Ha ha. Well, you know. We try
and keep it modest, ha ha.
Once the Australian tour
is finished, what have you guys got in the works for the next six months?
The only thing we have planned
after that is the UK tour next year. There’s nothing set in stone after
that so I’m not sure what’s going to happen.
I was going to touch on
this really quickly because I’m an enormous Taken fan…
No way! Ha ha
Yeah man, favourite band
of all time, hands down.
Taken, ha ha.
Ha ha ha ha.
Don’t sound so shocked,
Um, you know there’s a re-union
I was going to mention that.
March in Anaheim yeah?
Yeah yeah. There’s supposed
to be a couple of shows in Japan too.
I did see that. I’m toying
around with the idea of shooting up to Japan to catch those.
Yeah, Ray called me a while
ago to ask me about that. I’m still not 100% sure if I can do those
shows depending on our schedule. If we’re free I’ll be there… it should
be fun if I can make it!
Definitely. I was going
to say there’s no chance of you swinging by Melbourne so I’m going to
have to hit Japan to catch you guys, ha ha.
Ha ha. That’s crazy. I didn’t
even know anyone in Australia who would’ve even heard of Taken.
There’s definitely a bunch
of us down here who are right into you guys.
What prompted the re-union
shows? Was it unfinished business or did you think the increase in the
band’s profile since your breakup warranted another couple of shows?
Yeah. Well, Ray’s like… Ray’s
been talking about it since the breakup happened pretty much. He’s wanted
to do it ever since. There’s always scheduling conflicts and a general
“what would the point be”?
Goodfellow Records is putting
out a B-Sides compilation so I guess that’s the main point… other
than the fact that everyone is itching to do it.
Outside of the Taken reunion,
do you or any of the other guys have anything else going on musically
at the moment?
Um, nothing really. Everybody’s
kind of… especially Anthony is writing a lot of songs on his own but
I don’t know if he’s doing it because he loves it or if he’s planning
on doing something with it.
There’s been so many great
records released (so far) this year. What have been some of your favourites?
I haven’t really listened to
much. The only thing I’ve really heard on this tour so far has been
the new Radiohead album… which is awesome!
I really haven’t been listening
to anything. All the time I’m not playing I’m just doing something else.
If you could assemble your
dream tour lineup – with Circa Survive headlining of course – who’d
be on there?
Ha ha. Wow man. If I did that
it’d be a bunch of bands that didn’t make sense to be on the tour. Does
that matter? Ha ha
Doesn’t matter at all man.
Probably Tool and um… Incubus
would be on there and ah… I dunno, ha ha.
Probably Radiohead, you
may as well give them a slot, ha ha.
Ha ha, yeah. We’ll throw them
on there too.
Throw them a bone, they
could do with the shows, ha ha.
That’s about all we’ve got
time for mate, is there anything else you’d like to add?
Um… no, just. Are you coming
to any of the shows?
Hopefully. The only side
show you’re doing is in Sydney so I’m trying to sort out some flights
and some time off work to get up there so… I’m sure I’ll work something
Cool. We’ll, if you come definitely
try and hit me up.
Yeah, definitely. Thanks
again for your time man, it’s been a pleasure.