Circa Survive Discuss Album Leak

Circa Survive 2012

Philadelphia area experimental post-hardcore outfit, Circa Survive, may not be starting out their careers on the D.I.Y. path, but since leaving Atlantic Records last year, the group has been carrying the D.I.Y. banner high. The creative freedom, connection to the product, and practicality are all benefits of releasing an album yourself. Sure, they have help from publicists and a distribution company, but for all intent-and-purposes, Circa Survive are releasing their fourth record, Violent Waves, all by themselves (it officially drops on August 28).

Yet, with the good comes the bad when it comes to D.I.Y.. Violent Waves leaked. Sure, that seems to be a given in today’s digital, impatient age, but it still stings the artists’ hard. As lead singer Anthony Green described to in a recent interview, “It’s scary. We have a lot on the line right now.” It is especially “scarey” when you have a family to support and the band is your sole lively hood.

Green’s full quote to read,

Touching back on the record release itself, I had heard that the record had leaked not to long ago and in our state right now it seems like it is almost inevitable. To do this yourselves and to see that happen, is it a bit disheartening when you guys made every attempt to give people the opportunity to check it out and even offer a much cheaper price for the digital copy as opposed to the physical?

I was a little disappointed. To be honest. In the past when we’ve been on Atlantic and we’ve been on other labels, I’ve been like download the record, I don’t give a shit. It’s not like directly affecting me. When we were in that situation, you get an advance and they take everything from you. But in this situation, we’re trying to support the band now in a way that we’ve never tried to do before. When you’re setting up a business like that and something like that happens, which like you said is inevitable, you’re like, ‘Oh shit. I totally forgot that this product is available for free.’ It’s scary. We have a lot on the line right now. It’s not like I’m living in my parents’ basement – I’m feeding two kids and I’m supporting people. I wanna be able to prove to our fans that you can do this without a record label and you can do this just with your passion and your fire for it. You don’t need a big company to come take your publishing and take your hard earned money in exchange for a small advance and distribution team. And I want to prove that to them, because I think that most of our fans are artists or musicians of some kind, and I want it to be true. It’s a little bit of a bum out. The very moment you hear about it, you’re like, ‘People are really doing that, even though we’re putting it out this way.’ Then you remember that the album was gonna be out there for free anyway. Like as soon as it came out it was gonna be out there for free. It leaking… it’s really done more good. People are passing the record around. If the record is good, it’s gonna do good. That’s my opinion. Stay What You Are, that Saves the Day record, released like three months before it came out or something like that. And it’s like their best record sales wise that they’ve ever done. I don’t know how that is gonna go. I just don’t know. But the fact is that the record is in my opinion, amazing. It’s the best thing we could of ever done. I still feel like the hope is there, that people are going to support the band regardless if they downloaded it before it came out or spread the leak. Trying to worry about that stuff too much is just so futile. It’ll kill your vibe with your friends. People tweet at me like, ‘Dude, I love the record so much,’ and a part of me is like, ‘You fuck.’ [laughs] But I trust those people, and I trust they’re gonna come to the show. And they’re gonna get the five dollar download. It’s only five dollars. I believe in those people and I believe in the process. It’s very much like a field of dreams… well I’m not mad. I was a little bummed at the beginning because of how much is riding on it and how important this is to us to prove to our fans and ourselves that we don’t need a bunch of old douches throwing us a couple thousand bucks and then taking everything from all the hard work we put into it. I want to start proving to people that that is beyond necessary anymore. I think we already have in a way. The presales are doing incredible, the two biggest tiers sold out in like a day. That just right there is a huge thing for the band to be able to support ourselves and to tour for like the next year. I’m not totally concerned about it… the fact that people are going to pass the record around is a bonus. I think if you’re embarassed about the record or something, the leak will bother you. After you get over the whole butthurt thing, like I couldn’t stop the leak or because I’m scared because I’m afraid we won’t be able to continue the band and reach people, once you get over that and your realize that’s just what it is, you’re able to see something positive and see what’s going to happen is going to happen – you just have to embrace it with open arms.

Michael McCarron

Michael is the Founder and Director of the Philly-based LGBT+ non-profit, Punk Out. He enjoys moshing endlessly, forgetting his karaoke performance from the previous night, and pushing that Big Gay Agenda.

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