the AU interview: Joe Falconer of Circa Waves (Liverpool) talks Splendour in the Grass, Glastonbury & their debut album!

Circa Waves have been riding high. Cementing themselves as ones to watch, with BBC1 Radio awarding them song of the week twice and the NME hand picking them to play the vaunted opening slot on their inaugural Shockwaves tour. It comes as little surprise that guitarist Joe Falconer is a little sleepy when we wake him up to chat about their Splendour in The Grass visit and to get the scoop on what we can expect from their debut album.

What are you guys up to at the moment? Are you in the middle of recording?

We finished recording about three or four weeks ago, we are in the middle of festivals at the moment, some in Germany and Holland, Glastonbury last week and this weekend we did France. It's kind of that until September just travelling around playing as many festivals as possible.

How was your first Glastonbury?

It was absolutely amazing, very strange because none of us had been before. The first band any of us saw was us, which is kind of daunting but I think we rose to the challenge. I was really pleased because we got to stick around and see the festival because it's not like anything we had seen before. So we ended up spending the weekend taking in as much possible.

"Young Chasers" was said to have been written, recorded and posted online in one day. Is the writing process generally this spontaneous or did you work longer on other stuff.

It varies each track. That song is like the catalyst that got us all together and got us going, we haven't been a band for very long, only a year. As we sort of developed and things have gone on, the way we write together and develop songs has become a more painstaking, like a longer approach. Certain songs take longer to crack. When we were recording the album, it went strangely straightforward. We had five weeks to record everything and finished with five minutes to spare. I think the writing and recording in one day thing, it's made everyone happy but you just can't continue like that as a band or you will have no depth whatsoever.

Was writing a collaborative process, how would the songs generally come together?

The band started out as Keiran (Shuddall) as the main song writer. He'd bring in ideas and we'd go through with the band and start to work on them individually to work out what the overall sound would be. As time's gone on and we and know each other more, because to be honest we are quite a young band, everyone is taking more of their role and their influences and their ideas into the practice room - it's sort of more rough and unfinished.

I think that's good though, it's helping us develop that sound that we have and we are getting more confident with what we are trying to do. There is a lot of pressure on us to develop quickly and that was the way we rose to the challenge was hours in the practice room.

How have you been dealing with the pressure? Being a relatively young band, having received a lot of hype and international tours on the back of just a few singles.

We just don't really think about it. It doesn't really mean anything because the people who are saying ridiculous things about what your band should be doing, in the end as much as we appreciate it and it's really humbling but it's not because in the end the people who are going to make your career are the music fans who are going to turn up to your gigs and connect with the music. We feel this is just an opportunity to reach these people and show them that this band can be important to them. So while the hype is good, we don't really feel the pressure because that sort of hype and talk that you get in the press before you actually have done anything isn't important. It's about the songs, it's about the music, it's about playing gigs and making people have a good time and if you never lose sight of that, you have a good time.

How about adapting to playing a festival every weekend?

It's weird, because we'd all been in bands for a long time. We have all been wanting to do this for so long, we never really imagined doing anything else, all those shit jobs we did until now felt like a stop-gap, even though at the time they felt like a never ending thing. I think now we have been waiting for it for so long, we are all completely ready for it and we know that this opportunity is a sort of once in a lifetime thing. So we are taking it on and enjoying it as much as possible.

Having played in all those different bands in the past, what do you think makes Circa Waves so successful?

What I think is really great about Circa Waves is the songs. The first time I heard the demo of young chasers I knew I was excited to be in that band it's two minutes, it's super catchy and it just connects with that spirit of scrappy guitar music that is really lacking with a lot of music, which is a lot of slow moving wafting electronic pop music. Circa Waves returns to that core that's energetic exciting guitar pop music.

There is a real immediacy to it. I feel it was really shown in the video clip for "Get Away". It reminded me of the Arctic Monkeys clip for "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor". It had those rapid cuts and the same immediate energy. What was the concept when putting together the video.

We wanted it to be as simple as possible. We wanted to go 'This is who we are, this is what we are about'. This song is fast and energetic. I think you can overthink videos and maybe we have done in later ones. Like you said with the Arctic Monkeys "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor", with old grey whistle test style thing everyone knew that band was important and with that first video they didn't need to do anything but play and I think the song just speaks for itself. I think for get away the soul of the song comes through.

So you guys are headed out here for Splendour in the Grass.

Yeah, it's our first trip over for all of us and we are really excited.

You guys will also be taking in shows in Sydney and Melbourne with Metronomy, alongside your own headline in Sydney...

It's amazing that not only do we get to visit Australia, but we also get to tour with a band as and prolific as Metronomy. I saw them play at Field Day festival in London just a few weeks ago and they were amazing, you can tell that they are just so comfortable with what they are doing and it really shows. It'll be great to follow them around and check out the main cities in Australia. We couldn't have asked for anything better for our first Australian tour.

What can fans expect from the album when it comes out?

It's going to be energetic, unapologetic, exciting album. I think for a lot of people who have thrown us in with other indie bands who play guitars, that don’t necessarily sound like us. This record will establish with the audience that we are more rounded than that and we have our own sound.


Wed 23 July – Astor Theatre, Perth (with Metronomy)
Fri 25 July – Forum Theatre, Melbourne (with Metronomy)
Mon 28 July – Enmore Theatre, Sydney (with Metronomy)
Tue 29 July – Newtown Social Club, Sydney (Headline show)