BAND ON THE RISE ~ SPEAK EASY CIRCUS

May 18, 2021

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BASICS

HOMETOWN

Glasgow, Scotland

YEAR FORMED

2019

BAND MEMBERS

Jack Avison - Guitar/vocals/keys

Jon Wallace - Sax/keys

Chatonda Ridley - Bass

Frazer Laurie - Drums

YOUR MUSICAL PAST AND PRESENT IN ONE RUN-ON SENTENCE.

What started out as a solo project in a bedroom is now an evolving and exciting full band coming to a venue near you.


SORRY, BUT WE HAVE TO ASK … WHERE DID YOUR BAND NAME COME FROM?

The name came about because we wanted to create a name that wasn’t something that already existed, we wanted to have something that would create a unique image in people’s mind that would reflect the eclectic mix of music we wanted to make. So we picked ‘Speak Easy Circus’ because we thought it was a strange enough combination of words that it might make people think twice.


HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND TO SOMEONE WHO HASN’T YET HEARD YOUR MUSIC?

We would best describe our music as experimental indie/funk. But 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!


IF BANDS WERE REQUIRED TO HAVE A SLOGAN … WHAT WOULD YOUR BAND SLOGAN BE?

Too horn-ey to be indie

Too heavy to be jazz

Too experimental to be funk

MUSIC

WHAT’S NEW IN YOUR LIFE AND WORK? DESCRIBE THE GREEN, GROWING, CREATIVE EDGE OF WHAT’S ABOUT TO BLOOM.

We have some more singles planned for this year which is exciting! Apart from that we have been taking this time off to work on writing new music, using the time to experiment with different styles and sounds that we might not normally have had the opportunity to play around with!


WHAT DO YOU FEEL IS THE BEST SONG YOU EVER RELEASED, AND WHY?

Our standout song would be our most recent release ‘Lions Should Hunt’ (plug-plug-plug)! It is a song that we have been playing for a long time so it has been great to actually release it to the world. The song began as an ‘angry-disco’ demo and then when the band got their hands on it we added in all those tasty horn lines and drum beats that you can hear in the final version! Lyrically the inspiration for our latest single ‘Lions Should Hunt’ came after I saw an advert featuring a busty blonde model seductively selling something and I was annoyed that this was what people thought would be an effective advertising technique, and annoyed by the fact that it probably was effective! I took that further to think about how men are taught to think about sex, the effect that concepts of masculinity have on us etc. It all sounds very serious or preachy but we try to make sure it isn’t! I think that it is important to discuss these topics but that doesn’t mean that you can’t do it in a tongue-in-cheek way.


PICK ONE WORD THAT BEST DESCRIBES WHAT YOUR REHEARSALS ARE LIKE. WHERE DO YOU REHEARSE?

Fun. We rehearse in Glasgow, normally in a studio such as Berkeley. Our rehearsals involve working on the set/songs, but it is also largely made up of jams and messing about, which is often where you have the most fun.


LET’S GEEK OUT FOR A SECOND … TELL US WHAT YOUR ABSOLUTE FAVORITE PIECE OF MUSICAL EQUIPMENT IS RIGHT NOW.

We have been working out how to incorporate a looped into our live show recently so that is probably our favourite, albeit challenging, piece of equipment right now!



INFLUENCES

WHICH ARTIST OR LIFE EXPERIENCE INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A MUSICIAN?

We all come from different musical backgrounds so we all have different musical inspirations. For example, the moment I knew that I wanted to play the guitar for the first time was when my Dad put on ‘Appetite for Destruction’ in the car when I was 9 years. It blew my mind and I was soon asking for an electric guitar and didn’t look back. Other sources of inspiration include the usual suspects of Blink 182, Stevie Wonder, and even the fictional character of Bleedin’ Gums Murphy of The Simpsons fame.


AN ALBUM THAT’S HAD A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON YOU.

The aforementioned ‘Appetite for Destruction’ is probably the most significant album in my life, it was what made me want to learn to play the guitar and I spent many hours listening and trying to play along on my old Peavey guitar. Other albums would include ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik’ by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, or ‘Bon Iver’ by Bon Iver, as some albums that stand out as particularly influential during my teenage years.

PERFORMING

DO YOU HAVE ANY PRE-SHOW RITUALS?

Make sure you pee before you go onstage.


FUNNIEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED WHILE YOU WERE ON STAGE OR ON TOUR.

One of the strangest things we have seen was at a festival when in the crowd there was a 6.5 foot topless guy covered in tattoos doing the robot, even when we weren’t playing anything!


IF YOU WERE SECOND ON A THREE-BAND BILL, WHICH BAND WOULD YOU LOVE TO BE SUPPORTING AND WHICH BAND WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO OPEN FOR YOU? [GOOD CHANCE TO PLUG A NEWER BAND YOU REALLY LIKE]

I would love to open for Jack White! His shows are always so energetic and he really brings the crowd into play, whilst also not being afraid to experiment with sounds and song structures etc. I feel like a crowd at a Jack White show would like our music! We would like a local band to open, Gravelle, how have an amazing live show that would really get the crowd going!


WHAT DO YOU HOPE YOUR FANS GET FROM YOUR MUSIC? IS THERE ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE THEM TO KNOW?

We hope our fans listen to our music and think that they have heard something different and unique. We like to discuss serious topics while also not taking ourselves too seriously and I hope that is something that our fans can relate to.

PERSONAL

WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST SURPRISE SO FAR ABOUT MAKING MUSIC YOUR CAREER, OR A BIG PART OF YOUR LIFE?

The biggest surprise has been the amount of waiting we have to do, before and after shows mainly. Everyone talks about it but I was surprised that it was actually true. It’s not always a bad thing though, plenty of time to chat and play stupid games so we can’t complain.


WHAT CONCERT DID YOU ATTEND THAT YOU’LL NEVER, EVER FORGET?

Arctic Monkeys at T in the Park, at the height of Arctic Monkeys mania and as a seventeen year old who knew every word that was an amazing gig.


SHARE ONE QUIRKY THING ABOUT YOU OR YOUR BAND THAT FEW PEOPLE KNOW.

I have an extra pair of ribs.


BEST BAND NAME YOU EVER HEARD?

Arctic Monkeys - I thought it was a terrible name when I first heard but it just seems so natural and perfect now.


WHAT’S YOUR BENCHMARK FOR A GREAT MUSICIAN?

I think that you are a great musician if you make music that you like and are proud of. There are so many different genres and styles that it is impossible to compare yourself to other musicians, as long as you have made something you like then you are great.

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