By Mike Shomaker, DC Music Live
It’s not uncommon for bands to wrestle away the reigns of their future from record labels. Sometimes they just want to know if they could do it all themselves and what it would be like. “Look at me Ma, no training wheels.” This DIY attitude is here to stay, at least for now. But the mercurialness of the music industry can take even the most seasoned bands and throw them out onto the street without so much as a parting gift. So when indie rockers Circa Survive decided to release Violent Waves without supervision from Atlantic Records, the decision was met with mild trepidation. But the quintet humbly rose to the challenge and delivered one of the most solid Circa albums to date. DC Music Live spoke with guitarist Colin Frangicetto on the eve of their tour with Balance and Composure, O’ Brother and Touche Amore.
Being a musician, especially one in a reputable band like Circa must be awesome. Writing kickass songs, touring and playing in front of thousands of
screaming fans every night—it’s an enviable title to have on the resume. But add in the roles of band accountant, attorney, PR rep, marketing, distribution and the incalculable number of other minor roles needed to keep the gears of a band churning and it quickly becomes overwhelming.
“We’re not exactly venture capitalists, you know. We’re musicians. Trying to figure out balance sheets is not what we do,” a soft-spoken Frangicetto said of self-releasing Violent Waves. “ There are still things out of your control. The physical manufacturing of the album, for example. It still makes you freak out a little bit. The hope is to get back what we put into [the album].”
Based on the encouraging response Violent Waves has already received during its infancy, the hurdle of recouping financial investment is diminishing by
the minute. Prior to the release, the quintet played two nights in Philly, performing the album straight through in front of a home crowd.
“The crowd definitely seemed to be into it, singing along to songs. That helps gauge the response [of this album] to a certain extent. It was encouraging to us.”
The buzz over social media platforms has helped get word out. Advertising the album for $5 on Twitter has helped draw the most indecisive listeners because
of its affordability. And a new sales technique—one used by Josh Freese, Green Day and other industry giants—offering various music packages for sale on their website has been wildly popular, some of which sold out in a few hours.
“We’re fans of music as well. We see what other musicians are doing to promote and will try it ourselves. We have been very fortunate with the success of
the online deals. Everyone seems to like that a lot,” Frangicetto said.
Whether you spent $5 or $500, Violent Waves is definitely worth it.
“This is by far Anthony’s [Green, Circa’s singer] purest effort with lyrics,” Frangicetto said. “There was no normal period of doubt during [our] writing process. We all felt confident in what we were doing, without stepping on each other’s toes. We definitely experienced growth in ourselves with this record.”
Pick up a copy of Violent Waves on iTunes or from their website. Thanks to Colin Frangicetto for taking the time to talk to us.