Playground Circus – Interview

Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (

PD: What type of artist are you?

EL: I guess we are a an emotional modern rock band that takes lot’s of it’s influences from the pop punk and the metal scenes.

John: I always like to joke around be saying “we sit somewhere in between Green Day and Metallica”. We are not as soft as Green Day but not as hard as Metallica either. I guess we are just skate / pop punk kids that grew up listening to any fast song they could get our hands on and ended up putting all together in our music.


PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.

John: I met El back in 2010 and to be honest at the time, I didn’t even know that he played the guitar. I just thought that he is that cool guy who knows a lot about music so we ended up hanging out drinking beers and talk music. It was only a few years later when I was looking for a guitar player to start the band with, that a mutual friend of ours told me “why don’t you ask El? He is actually a very good guitarist.” And that I did… I asked El if he would be interested on playing together, sent him a demo of the songs I had recorded so far for Playground Circus and the rest is history.  He joined the band and we’ve been doing this together ever since.


PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?

EL: Guitar-wise there are thousands of guitar players that influence my playing on a daily basis but when I am working on orchestrations I can easily say that I draw most of my inspiration from Hans Zimmer and Hidden Citizens. But when it comes to Playground Circus John is more suitable to answer this question since he is the main songwriter of the band.

John: As mentioned, for sure I’d have to say musical influences would definitely be bands like Green Day, NOFX, Bad Religion, The Offspring and their musical “children” like Rise Against, Blink 182, My Chemical Romance, Sum 41, A Day To Remember etc. I always had a soft spot though for Papa Roach and lately I find myself listening for hours and hours to Billy Talent too. So our music is probably a mix of all that? I don’t know, I’ll let you be the judge of this. 

Non musical influences I’d definitely have to say the character of the Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski. I love how he keeps his calm no matter what. I think we all need a Dude in our lives.


PD: What are your dreams and goals?

EL: Be able to reach as many people as possible with our music and keep doing it for as long it makes us happy.

John: For me was always a “reach for the stars” kinda deal. I was dreaming big from when I little kid and I’ll always work towards something even bigger. Be our own success story.


PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?

John: That would be me!! 😀

Mostly I think its stuff that triggers me from the everyday life, either bad or good. Tidal Wave for example was written when stuck in quarantine for what felt like a century on the verge of losing my mind. And then there are songs about a girl I met at a gig and was too chicken tell her that I like her. Everything is a song I guess and that’s the beauty of making music.


PD: How do you promote your band and shows?

EL: Countless of hours networking, making connections online or in real life. It is a full time job that requires lot’s of energy and commitment. Thankfully though we recently decided to hire some really talented people and now we have a full team supporting us when it comes to PR, marketing, bookings etc.

John: I try to copy what El does and look like I know what I am doing basically…. But don’t tell him I said that! I do very well though on the real life connection part of the job, I am the “get him drunk and set him free” type of person.


PD: What do you think about downloading music online?

EL: I think it’s great! Of course I am talking about legal downloading. It gives you the chance to discover so many new artists and pay them directly for their music which is amazing in my opinion. Platforms like band camp can be really helpful for new bands.

John: I am very close with El on this one. Being an active band that’s trying to break through the industry it’s not an easy task. In most cases you end up having two full time jobs. A full time “day” job that feeds the second one, that’s your music. When downloading happens legally it gives bands the opportunity to have even a basic income from their music where they can re invest back to it. This is a huge deal and major relief. Platforms that allow bands to be discovered and get paid directly from listeners to download their music, is one of the biggest help they can get.


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

John: Oh man, I wish I had written “What’s My Age Again” so I could run naked next to a porn star and not get arrested!!!


PD: What are some of your pet peeves?

EL: Impoliteness and slow walkers

John: Impoliteness is definitely at the top of my list too and right next to it are Whatsapp work groups that never stop ringing with stuff that 90% isn’t about work.


PD: What is your proudest moment in music?

EL: For me, I’d say the release of Tidal Wave. It is the best track we ever produced as a band.

John: For me so far, it was one of the Whisky A Go Go shows we did where Lemmy was sitting at the balcony watching our set.


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

PC: We are planning to release a series of singles that will be part of an EP. Tidal Wave is the second one following Nowhere To Hold On that was released on December. Probably after Summer we’ll do a UK tour and once things get more clear with the international restrictions we’ll probably do a European tour as well. We really want to return to United States since we had lot’s of fun there last time but this will take some time to happen cause of all the permits and visas etc.


PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from? 

PC: So far we have 1 full album, 1 EP and 9 singles available on bandcamp, Spotify and all the streaming platforms. We also have CD’s and other merch available on out bandcamp as well

Playground Circus links:
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