Originally published in Beat Motel issue 7
Circle Takes The Square are one of those bands which are near on impossible to describe without gushing compliments in an uncontrollable manner.
Put simply, they are one of the most interesting and beautiful bands out there in the screamo scene at the moment. For fans of Saetia, i would set myself on fire for you and Pelican, they’ve been around since 2000 and since 2004’s ‘As The Root’s Undo’ the band has started to receive some of the attention they deserve. Following tours with Fear Before The March Of Flames, These Arms Are Snakes, i would… and mewithoutyou to name just a few, they are currently in the midst of writing their new album.
I’ve wanted to speak to them for ages, so I was made up when Drew (vocals & guitars) agreed to do this interview. As well as replying quickly, his responses were insightful, interesting and thoughtful..actually it would be better if you just read it.
M = Marc
D = Drew
M: First of all, how’s everything going with the band now?
D: great, thanks for asking. we’re in the process of writing a full length and sorting out other, somewhat “behind the scenes,” issues that we have never really had time to address because of a busy touring schedule and a few other factors.
one example is that we’ve finally gotten a new website up and another example is the remixing/mastering of our demo and split seven inch material, which we plan on re-releasing as a cd/lp sometime early next year. which leads us to the next question….
M: You have recently re-released your original demo/ep, what were the reasons behind this?
D: well it hasn’t been officially released yet, but the demo tracks are up online for download now. the physical release will be coming out relatively soon. the two releases that will comprise this re-release were relatively small pressings originally, and we get alot of requests for the material, so we’ve decided to just put it all on one record and make it available again.
M: How is the new material coming along? ‘As The Roots Undo’ was very concept based, are the new songs following in the same vein, or are they all separate stories and messages?
D: its coming along well. the songs are shaping up to include a few common themes, but they’re being written in a way which allows them to stand alone when out of the context of the album. one of the songs we’re working on now is the longest piece of music we’ve written, and contains a few different variations on musical themes within the overall framework.
its been a fun and challenging project and i’m getting excited about eventually performing it live.
M: Have you felt any pressure when writing the new material, due to the incredibly positive feedback that ‘As The Roots Undo’ gathered?
D: we’re happy that as the roots undo has been relatively well received. the response to that record was beyond our expectations, and though there may seem to be some pressure at times, i don’t necessarily feel that we need to “top” anything we’ve done already.
we’re just focusing on making a few pieces of music that we want to hear and perform, songs to satiate our current musical hunger.
M: ‘Non-Objective Portrait of Karma’ to me, was the highlight of your album, the layers, the structure and the overwhelming feeling created from that song was incredibly beautiful.
How do you go about writing songs like that – are they ideas which are jammed out, or is there a clear plan behind them?
D: its a combination of both approaches you mentioned, really. the process varies depending on the mood of the song we’re working on, or each specific part of the song for that matter. sometimes there’s a need for something cold and scientific to balance out a part that’s warmer and more spontaneous. i guess its about balance overall, or lack of balance depending on what we’re going for. this is a difficult thing to describe, mostly because the process is somewhat inconsistent. for me, the most difficult thing about writing music is deciding which part of music you want to be represented in a song.
a painting of a landscape is not the landscape, its a man- made interpretation of that landscape. i think songs’ relationship to music is very similar. a song is not representative of the music that’s floating around out there in the ether, a song is simply a snapshot of that organic body in one of an infinite amount of potential forms. its up to the musician to decide on how he or she wants to represent that infinite form. i may have veered from the topic…
M: You’ve said in the past that your influences range from ambient to electronic to hardcore, are there any bands making music at the moment that really excite you?
D: sure, there’s alot…
M: You’ve made it pretty clear in the past about your views on your own government and a lot of the actions they take. Is it still a burning issue with you, are you still pushing to get your views heard?
D: i don’t think we’re as outspoken in the context of our band as we might be as individuals regarding current events, simply because we’re a band and therefore made up of individuals with different viewpoints and concerns. these points of view can’t really be easily lumped into a blanket viewpoint, so we tend to not really define circle takes the square as having any one stance, necessarily. but we have made a few myspace posts here or there about certain topics of concern when we’ve felt so compelled.
i think they maintain a huge amount of neutrality, though. i guess one thing that we stand
for as a band is for people to be proactive- there’s so much amazing information available to everyone and sometimes people just need a starting point on how to find out what they’re looking for.
M: On a lighter note, have you any plans to bring your art over to the UK as exhibitions?
D: ha, maybe someday. right now my main focus is finishing the new circle material!
M: And finally, any plans to come back over to the UK at any point?
D: again, finishing the material for our new full length is the only thing on our agenda right now, but once that’s done we will certainly be getting back on the road and the uk sounds like a lot of fun.
Last Updated on March 5, 2023
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