Metal Anarchy’s New Music Showcase: Exclusive Q&A With Circus Wolves

Time for the next edition of Metal Anarchy’s “new music showcase,” the feature where I introduce you to bands that readers of this site may find interesting. This time I have an exclusive Q&A with Circus Wolves.

METAL ANARCHY: Tell me a little about your band:

CIRCUS WOLVES: Circus Wolves are an adrenaline shot of brooding Manchester-made altrock. Emotive and frenetic, their post-punk sound is the soundtrack to love, loss and alternate realities, where northern heritage meets modernity.

Formed in 2013 at the University of Leeds as Plastic Rabbits, the band spent their formative years on the Leeds scene before relocating to Manchester, their hometown, where they resurfaced as Circus Wolves. With a mix tape of David Bowie, The Strokes, The Smiths and Joy Division as their inspiration, the band quickly captured the attention of local tastemakers.

The band’s early demos enjoyed support on BBC Introducing and XS Manchester, and support slots with The Amazons, Red Rum Club and The Slow Readers Club earned them a sold out headline show at Manchester’s Night & Day Cafe.

Circus Wolves bring a commanding stage presence in a live setting and a tangible, electric energy to their performances which will leave a lasting impression.

METAL ANARCHY: Who are your main influences?

CIRCUS WOLVES: We’re a Manchester band through and through. The Manchester scene has a well-deserved reputation as home to some of the best acts going. The music scene is just as amazing as it always has been. There are so many great artists basing themselves within the city. You’re really spoilt for choice! Bands like Kashmere, Ist Ist and Saytr Play are definitely ones to watch!

In terms of some bigger names out there, Radiohead are a huge influence on our style for most of us. The Stone Roses also really hit home with us all. We have a really diverse range of influences beyond that. Some of us are massive metal fans and are really into some of the new stuff that’s come out over the past couple of years such as Tool’s latest album or the latest efforts from Rammstein. It’s quite the mix!

METAL ANARCHY: What is your latest release and why should readers of this site check it out?

CIRCUS WOLVES: Our latest EP is called ‘This Is Something You Can’t Replace’.

To get what we were looking for, for this EP, we hunkered down to build upon their now established alt rock/post-punk sound. We headed to The Chairworks with friend and producer Bob Cooper with a view to create a more sonically and lyrically expansive record, pushing their sound in new directions whilst capturing the energy and presence of our live performances.

The EP has a somewhat darker edge than their previous work. We’ve built on the brooding sound that we’ve been gaining a reputation for thanks to our live shows.

This EP is a long time in the making and some of these melodies have been around for a long time. The band went through a pretty long period of uncertainty where we were struggling to manage our day to day lives with our band commitments. Adult life was getting in the way and previous members had no choice but to give a fond fair well to the Circus Wolves and move on to pastures new.

With Ben joining us back in 2019, we knew that this was the make or break moment. We all really had to come together to make things work. Most of us have been writing tunes together for a long time, so when Ben joined on Bass in 2019, he brought a whole new contribution to our sound. This was really exciting and a big inspiration for us to really craft our art and nail our sound. It was the opportunity to produce something really special and so far, it’s working out better than we ever thought it could. We’ve been overwhelmed with the response.

We’ve put our heart and souls into this EP and the response has been amazing. We’re super proud of the feedback everyone has given us. This EP is brooding, Post-punk, melodic, frenetic, and emotive. Northern heritage meets modern vibrancy.

METAL ANARCHY: What can people expect when they go to your live shows?

CIRCUS WOLVES: Energy! We always aim to make our live shows the main part of what we do. We write our tunes to be played live and then add to that process for recording during the studio sessions. We want the crowd to absolutely go off: dancing, shouting, singing. We love getting everyone involved and sharing the energy. That what you get!

METAL ANARCHY: Where do you see your band heading in 5 years?

CIRCUS WOLVES: We’ve been so focused on the EP release, we haven’t really thought that far ahead to be honest. COVID has really put a lot of our plans on pause, so we’re looking forward to getting back out there and playing live shows again.

Longer term, we’ve been working on some pretty exciting sounds through lockdown: trying interesting ideas and experimenting with new styles of writing and playing. Expect some more music soon.

We’d love to reach a point in the future where we’re packing out the bigger venues around Manchester. We’re talking about Academy, Deaf Institute, Soup Kitchen, places like that. That would be cool.

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