A Q&A with Speak Easy Circus

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Eclectic musical stew from Glasgow – here’s Jack from Speak Easy Circus…

What’s the title of your latest release, and what does it mean to you?
Our latest release is called ‘Lions Should Hunt’. It is a song that has been in the works for a while, so it feels great to finally be able to release it. The original idea for the lyrics came back in 2015 whilst on a road trip in America when I saw an advert featuring a busty blonde model and realised how common they were. I was annoyed that people thought that this was an effective advertising tactic, and that it was! I took that further to think about how men are taught to think about sex, the effect that concepts of masculinity have on us, but I tried to do it in a tongue-in-cheek way without being too serious.

What was the hardest part about putting this release together, and why?
This song was recorded during the brief moments of last year in which coronavirus restrictions were loosened, so that was a challenging aspect. There was a lot of uncertainty with regards to when and how we could record so we had to be flexible. This was also our first real studio experience as a band, as previously all of our recordings had been done in my bedroom and mixed ourselves.

What do you enjoy most about producing your own material?
This was the first batch of songs that we recorded in a studio! Recording and producing ourselves was always something that we have enjoyed, however we also relished the opportunity to be in a studio with someone from whom we could learn so much. Basically, it felt good to work with someone who knew what they were doing, rather than us just fiddling with things until something happens. We recorded the song down in London with The Animal Farm. We drove down and spent a week there, recording at their studio, which was a great experience. They really took the time to understand what we wanted to get from the sessions and were able to bring clarity to our ideas and contribute in ways that we wouldn’t even have thought of, all in an effort to get us as close as possible to the sound that we were looking for.

What do you want the listener to take away from listening to your music?
When people first listen to our music, the initial thing we would like them to think is that this is something different and unique, something that they might not have heard before. We want to make music that we would listen to, and the music that we listen to is eclectic, exciting, meaningful and doesn’t take itself too seriously all at the same time, so if people went away from our music thinking anything like that, then we would take that as a win!

How does a track normally come together? Can you tell us something about the process?
The band started as a solo project so most of the songs originate from myself, and then once they are brought to the band everyone brings their own musical influences together and that is what creates the final product. Everyone thinks that the song needs more of their own instrument, and then we compromise until we are all happy.

What band/artists have influenced you the most since you started this project, and why?
During 2020, one of the bands I listened to most was probably Vulfpeck. I discovered them in December of 2019 after constant pestering by our bassist Chats (who has always been a massive fan). I loved their combination of funk and disco, as well as a multitude of different styles, and that desire to create an eclectic tapestry of styles was something that I have found really influential recently.

What countries would you like to tour? Are there any standout venues you’d like to play in?
We would like to tour everywhere! Seriously though, all the usual suspects: Europe, America, South America. But we would also love to get the opportunity to tour in some places that maybe don’t find themselves on the traditional tour path. As I mentioned, Chats is originally from Malawi so it would be amazing to get the opportunity to tour throughout Malawi and the surrounding countries. ‘Lake of Stars’ is a music festival in Malawi, and it would be amazing to play there. And we want to play Madison Square Gardens, obviously, but we’ll take it one step at a time.

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If you could pick one track for our readers to listen to in order to get a taste of your music, what would you pick, and why?
We are biased, but we would pick ‘Lions Should Hunt’ (plug-plug-plug). Your latest track is always your favourite, right?

What ambitions do you have for the band/your career?
We have many plans, some ridiculously ambitious and some more realistic! Our goals have also been affected by the pandemic, as I’m sure the goals of every band have been. Really, we would like to be able to keep developing as a band, playing bigger shows and hopefully reaching more people.

Finally, as you leave the stage, what are your parting words?
Thank you, and goodnight! (with an elegant bow)

For more info visit: facebook.com/speakeasycircus


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