Reviews

Circus 66 – Interview


Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)

PD:  How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?

Circus 66: well, we are a 4-piece originals rock band bursting with flavours of blues infused funk overtones and shaken up with enough groove to sink a battleship. The band is formed of 4 unique individuals from diverse backgrounds,adding more flavour and really highlights our own take on what rock music is all about. As artists, we try to break the mould and push the boundaries of musical norms, allowing us to roam into uncharted waters of inspiration. This really proves that possibilities are endless and there is always a new bar to be set!

 

PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.

Circus 66: This band is the brainchild of guitarist, Matt, aka “The Wizard”, who formed the band in 2013 whilst studying “Music Production” at university. After 3 years performing as a 3 piece, the band reinvented themselves with the addition of Annabelle on lead vocals, bringing powerful vocals and stage presence akin to that found on a west end stage.

Later,  in 2019, the band evolved with the addition of a whole new rhythm section, adding Leigh “Captain” Holley and Luke “Mustard” Ward to the lineup & laying the funky foundations for what later became the band’s debut album “Follow the Black Crow”, released in 2021.

We will all agree that music has always been a huge part of who we are – the essence of Circus 66 is about serving the music, and not any one persons ego. We have a drummer influenced by heavier styles, a bassist that hails from funk and soul origins, an otherworldly guitarist and a singer who’s larger than life personality shines through on every song – what more could you want from a band?

 

PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?

Circus 66: The very best music stems from life experiences, ideas and raw emotion – the beauty of music is how it can transport you to another place, change how you feel in a moment, or remind you of who you are. We dont try to be deliberate about what we write, we usually start with an idea – anyone’s idea – and develop it as we go musically. The creativity in this band is immense, we let the music take its natural shape and tweak it as the vocals and lyrics develop into a story.

What we realised while writing our album, was the story and meanings all linked to a central idea we all shared, and the album tells a story – about the journey through life and being whatever you want to be, facing down challenges, and wasting no time to get there. Its really a call for personal freedom; liberate yourself from conventional thinking and follow your own path.

As for our influences, you could probably write a book about that one question alone – for that reason, we let the music tell the story, and our lyrics come from life experiences and shared visions for how we see the world.

 

PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?

Circus 66: This one is pretty simple – to keep creating music and performing. Our music is our legacy, our outlet, and the greatest way we can express ourselves to the world, and we love nothing more than sharing our creations with as many folk as possible!

 

PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?

Circus 66: Our proudest moment as individuals in the band vary. But we all can agree that so far, our proudest moment is the release of our album “Follow The Black Crow”. This album is the pinnacle of our hard work and perseverance, as well as our debut to the music world to show people what we are all about. Its taken a lot to get to where we are with the album and all the milestones along the way are our proud moments, such as getting radio play at Planet Rock radio, seeing the physical CDs of the album for the first time, playing at the infamous (and HUGE!) KK’s venue – many proud moments wholesome achievements.

 

PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?

Circus 66: promotion can be a challenge, but we find that with a great team and support behind us from Forge AMP who has taken us under their management wing, things can be realistically achieved. We try to engage with our online following and be as present as possible with our fans, because at the end of the day,  its what a band loyal to its fans does.

Sure, its tough to get attention, and we all need to keep working on it – but for us, the music drives us, fans drive us, and it’s a special thing to be able to do what we do, so we keep on doing it.

 

PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?

Circus 66: We are about to embark on the second leg of our debut album tour, which sees us hitting venues up and down the UK from April to September – check out circus66.com for all the tour dates, tickets and whatnot.

With our friends over at Forge Music group, we tend to book most of our shows that way, but we sometimes book directly with promoters around the UK.

 

PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?

Circus 66: As a self funded and relatively small band, platforms like Spotify and other streaming sites give us an incredible way to publish our music without signing away the rights to our music, so we think they are great for that.

What they arent so good for is generating any actual money to help us to keep going – we do this with our own money, and its getting harder and harder to do that with the cost of things these days. The best way for folks that want to contribute is to come to a show, buy a ticket to see us and buy some merch – this is where we can recoup some of the cost of making the music.

Ultimately we make music for it to be heard, so if people stream it or download it for free, all we hope is for people to play it loud and share it around for others to hear. If you buy it, thank you, this really helps us to keep bringing you new music!

 

PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?

Estranged by GNR

Circus 66: The reason for this choice is the intriguing musical composition and instrumental melodies that tell the story alongside the lyrics. Flowing dynamics between the vocals and the instruments in this piece are flawless and work perfectly together. There is always something new to discover, every time I re-listen to the song. When listening to the song itself, it gives you a sense of peace that washes over you, but also the drive as the music progresses.

 

PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?

Circus 66: There’s a lot of falsehoods and promises in the industry that make it far too easy for well meaning artists to get scammed and cheated – this is the most toxic part of the industry. We need better regulations more in favour of protecting the artist, and less in favour of the big record companies so that musicians are treated and paid fairly for what they do.

 

PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?

Well, we might just have written a couple of songs that might just find thier way onto the airwaves in the summer – so lots of recording, and lots of writing!

PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online? 

Circus 66: all information on us as a band and what is next for us is available on our website, Circus66.com, we also advise to tune into our social media as we do weekly catch-up videos, which are hosted by our lead singer Annabelle to keep all of our fans up to date with upcoming  gigs, projects we are a part of and simply what’s happening within the Circus 66 camp.

All of our merch is available on the website, but if you visit our shows, you can buy it directly from us and even get a signed copy of the CD!!

Circus 66 links:
Band/Artist location – London England
Website – Facebook – You Tube – Soundcloud – Bandcamp – Merch – Tidal – 
Twitter – Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer – LinkTree –
Check our page for Circus 66


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