LOMM: Can you give a little biographical and historical info; who is involved in the band, and how did you guys meet up?
Circus Wolves: Circus Wolves are Guy Wynn Davies (Vocals), Jim Ker (Guitar), Jack Taylor (Guitar), Ben Dodson (Bass) and Cameron Tetlow (Drums). The band originally formed as Plastic Rabbits back in 2014 in Leeds with Guy and Cameron taking up their roles among other members.
After a change up of members with Jack Taylor taking up guitar duties followed by Jim Ker, the band began to revisit the Leeds scene as Circus Wolves. Following a move back to the band’s native land of Manchester, Circus Wolves grew amongst the local scene with Ben joining the band in late 2017 to complete the current line-up.
LOMM: Pandemic has taken an emotional toll on everyone yet the arts have been hit especially hard. The musicians are vulnerable to financial upheaval. How have you guys have been holding up?
Circus Wolves: We’re as well as can be expected given what is going on at the moment. It’s true what you say about the arts being hit really hard with the pandemic and we know many people on the music scene who have really suffered, both financially and mentally.
We’re lucky (to an extent) that we all hold down jobs as well as our work with the band, so financial burdens haven’t taken their tole as much as other bands. The lack of contact through gigging and the scene in general has hit us pretty hard though. We released our latest EP pretty much at the same time the first lockdown hit, so we’ve not been able to take it on the road and play to our fans. That’s hit us pretty hard. We’re optimistic that we’ll be able to get back out there soon though.
LOMM: On the other hand you seem to have had a productive time. Is that right?
Circus Wolves: To an extent. We planned a lot for the EP releases and we’ve been lucky enough to run with a lot of that despite not being able to tour.
We’ve also been working hard behind the scenes on loads of new ideas and we’re really excited with what we’ve been able to put together.
LOMM: Tell us about your genre, what does it means to you, why did you choose this genre?
Circus Wolves: You would probably class us as an indie rock band or an alt indie band. We’re certainly not following the current indie hype though and our music reflect a much more energetic and darker vibe. It’s always been quite difficult for us to pinpoint exactly what genre we are and we certainly didn’t choose one. We just fell into it!
We write what we love and if that labels us as a particular genre, so be it.
LOMM: Are you happy with your product? What aspects of it do you think you guys nailed, and what parts do you think you could improve upon?
Circus Wolves: Our latest EP, “This IS Something You Can’t Replace” is the project we have all worked the hardest on since being a band. We’ve poured everything into this record and we are incredibly proud of the results. We spent so much more time making the most of the studio and recording process than we have done before and that really allowed us to push the boundaries of our sound.
Perhaps not an improvement per say, but something we are really keen to do for our next ep project is to use the studio’s potential as an instrumental component experiment with what we can do to give our fans something really out there.
LOMM: How has the overall reception been?
Circus Wolves: It’s been amazing! We’re so grateful to everyone who ahs supported us so far and we couldn’t be prouder of everyone’s response to the ep. It’s a real buzz seeing it get this far and it’s really inspiring us to do it again once COVID is over.
LOMM: Have you ever been on a tour? Given live performances? Is it tough for you not to be able to do so now?
Circus Wolves: We’re a solid live band. It’s our bread and butter at the end of the day and the reason why we do this band. Not being able to perform live, especially the new ep, has been a real blow for us and it’s made band life more difficult than it should be. However, we’re optimistic for the future and we’re really looking forward to getting back out there once we can. We’ll hopefully have some exciting new songs to introduce to our fans by that point too!
LOMM: What is the next step for you? How is the future looking?
Circus Wolves: With Lockdown in the UK starting to ease up a bit, we’re looking forward to getting back into writing and performing. We still have some great stuff prepared as part of our most recent ep and that will be really exciting to share with everyone. Beyond that, hopefully some live performing is on the cards with a tour of some sort? But we’ll have to see. We’ll certainly be making the most of some full band practice time and building on some of the cool ideas that we’ve come up with over lockdown. It’s a pretty exciting future, despite everything being on pause for so long. Hopefully the Manchester scene will enjoy a bit of an explosion of great new music when things are in better shape.
LOMM: Who is composing the songs?
Circus Wolves: We all tend to compose together. That way, we keep that live energy that comes out of our live shows in the music we produce. Normally either Jim or Jack (guitarists) will bring a new idea to the table. This could be a complete song, or it could be a simple as a single riff or chord progression. From there we work together to put the tune out. It’s a good process. We do end up dumping a lot of material before we’re happy with an ep to record though, but it’s worth the effort.
LOMM: Which is more exciting? Being on the road or studio?
Circus Wolves: This is a tricky one! We love to play live and work really hard to give our shows a real energy, but the way we approached the studio for this ep was really different and shed a really refreshing light on what you can do with a good producer and quality studio. The ability to experiment and try ideas in the studio is something that is really hard to replicate anywhere else to be honest and some of the sounds you’re able to come up with can be an incredible feeling. Having said that, there’s nothing quite like the buzz you get from giving a live show everything you’ve got and watching the crowd get into your music just as much as you are. We’ll have to go with a split decision on this one!
LOMM: What do you like the best about being a musician? And what is it that you do not like much?
Jim: My favourite thing about being a musician has to be the feeling you get when a crowd responds to your performance and music. The greatest feeling in the world is hearing hundreds of people sing along to a song you have created.
I think the thing I like the least has to be the amount of effort when it comes to organising a gig. Moving gear is the worst, getting into venues for soundcheck and waiting around is kinda boring, though essential. I’d love to be at the point where we had some home comforts in the pre-gig setup period, but at the moment we’re still in a position of broom cupboard green rooms and warm cans of larger haha.
LOMM: If you weren’t musicians, what would you be doing?
Jim: We all hold down jobs as well as being part of the band. It’s tough earning a living from just music these days. It’s a shame, but that’s the way of the world I suppose. I think if I could have my time again though, I’d certainly want to stick with the creative industries and maybe doing something like carpentry. Being a guitar Luther would be awesome. I could make my own guitar and then play it on stage!
LOMM: If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Circus Wolves: There’s a real taboo around fair distribution of royalties at the moment when it comes to music and that needs to be addressed. The major commercialisation of digital sharing has both helped musicians massively, but also hindered them a little because the return you get for your work doesn’t pay the bills. This really needs looking at because on the one hand you have some amazing new artists out there who are really shaping our culture, but on the other, their creativity is being hindered because they can’t afford to commit more to their art. Fairness for payment needs to be addressed. The work that goes into creating music and promoting your work suffers with a stigma that it’s easy. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The music industry needs to recognise and pay artists a warranted fee for their work. If they don’t we’ll continue to lose originality when it comes to music and just be left with the same generic rubbish that gets churned out.
LOMM: What is the most memorable gig that you have played to date?
Circus Wolves: Our first gig as Circus Wolves was in Liverpool. We’d acquired a van to get to and from the show which Jim had to drive. Unfortunately, there weren’t enough seats so two of us were in the back with the gear. This didn’t go down too well when we were pulled over by the police on the journey home! Jim was given 3 points and the police wouldn’t let us carry on the journey. We were stuck in a layby on the M60 at two in the morning waiting to be rescued. Great start to the band!
LOMM: Who would you like to collaborate with?
Circus Wolves: It would be great to work with some of the up and coming bands from the scene at the moment. Ist Ist are amazing and working with them would be unbelievable. Slow Readers Club are another band who have this amazing drive and sound to go with it, playing with them would be an incredible gig.
LOMM: Name some of your all-time favorite albums? Include controversial ones.
Circus Wolves: We all laughed at this because we constantly argue about what “The greatest album” or the “Greatest artist” is. If you asked us all separately, we would all give completely different answers. Haha
Jim adds: I’d struggle to tell you my all time favourite album, but certainly up there would be Pink Floyds “Dark Side of the Moon”. The whole concept of the album from start to finish is a complete experience and I’d struggle to think where this as been replicated since!
Cameron adds: Bit of a controversial one, but I’d rank Tool’s “10,000 Days” as one of the greatest creations known to man. What an album that is!
Jim: To say we’re an indie band, we’re all really into metal as well. Rammstein’s “Mutter’ is an absolute masterpiece. They’re also one of the best live bands I have ever seen.
LOMM: What does your collection look like? Mostly Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs, Digital? A bit of everything? A total mess?
Circus Wolves: Digital is pretty up there simply because of the convenience of it, but we’re all also big fans of collecting vinyl. The whole concept of collecting the physical record is something that really appeals to us. When you just go digital, you might get your music quicker and a bit cheaper, but you lose half the experience and that experience of collecting your favourite music, studying the artwork and enjoying the record quality can become quite addictive.
LOMM: What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
Circus Wolves: We’re a Manchester band through and through. The scene in the city has always been really vibrant. Most people will know some of the massive acts that come from Manchester and that musical culture is still around. It’s a great community to be a par of. The Manchester scene caters for loads of different musical styles which is really cool because you pick up on some many different creative insights and ideas. The rock scene is very strong in Manchester and I can see it growing steadily. Rock music is very much alive and kicking!
LOMM: You can invite 5 people to a dinner party, from the future, the past, rock stars, a movie characters, you name it. Who are you having dinner with?
David Bowie in the Ziggy Stardust times because I bet he’s the most interesting conversation starter in the world.
Christopher Lee because I’d love to hear his metal band.
Gordon Ramsey so he can cook. Gotta give these guests a meal to remember!
Keith moon for the entertainment and to be the life of the party.
David Gilmour for the post dinner guitar tips.
LOMM: What is the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Circus Wolves: Our bassist, Ben, once had a super keen fan keep taking pictures of him and then sending them to him. That was pretty creepy….
LOMM: If you had one message to your fans, what would it be?
Circus Wolves: Just keep the faith. It’s been a while, but we will be back and better than ever. See you at the gig. 😉
LOMM: Anything else you think your fans should know?
Circus Wolves: Just a huge thank you for all the support and love for our latest ep. We still have a few cool things to show you as part of the ep project. The next single form the ep, “Clarity” is due very soon, so keep your eyes open for them in the not too distant future!
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