Melbourne’s alt metal titans Circles are set to release the EP ‘The Stories We Are Afraid Of | Vol.1’— the first part of Melbourne’s progressive metal titans two-part EP, on November 25 via Wild Thing Records. We checked in with the band as they just release their 3rd single “Echo”.
This is your first release since 2018’s The Last One. Why the long delay between releases?
We toured Australia, EU and UK pretty hard for 12 months or so after the release of ‘The Last One’ which consumed most of our time in 2019. Then, well you know what happened for a good two years…
We used the time during the pandemic to write ‘The Stories We Are Afraid Of’, however didn’t want to release anything until we were certain we could back it up with touring and give it the life it deserved. So here we are.
How did work on these new tracks get started?
Mainly a lot of Zoom calls. We live in what was the most locked down city in the world so writing and recording definitely had no shortage of challenges. Once we navigated the tech side of things we discussed the direction we wanted to take the new material and got to work.
How do you describe the direction of the songs?
The overarching theme of Vol.1 is one of a loss of identity and purpose, and trying to recapture a sense of wonder and passion for life that was once a core part of us. Musically, we went into these writing sessions with a focus on being more direct than on previous albums. We steered away from crowding songs with heaps of different riffs just for the sake of having them. Our mission statement from day one of working on this new material was to write good songs and not sections.
The new EP, The Stories We Are Afraid Of, is part 1 of 2. What can we expect from part 2 and when?
In true Circles fashion it will be different and not a regurgitation of Vol.1. We’ve never released the same album (musically or sonically) twice and we don’t intend for this to change. As for when…well you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled for that one. Haha.
The recent single is “Echo”, and prior to that was “Dig.” What are the stories behind those tracks?
Dig is all about those first steps out of that dark hole. Your mind fights against you, and everything feels like it’s not going to work, but it’s not necessarily about success, at least not in the beginning. It’s about starting to change what you need to change, even if on the first day, all you can do is make sure you step outside and see the sun. Dig came together pretty smoothly. We made an effort not to overthink or overplay, and let what felt natural guide us.
Echo is Vol. 1’s lowest point, emotionally. It deals with being well and truly at the bottom, feeling as though you deserve the hopelessness that you feel. Even if that’s not a true reflection of the situation, sometimes those inner voices block out all others with a relentless drone.
This song started with the heavy riff in the bridge, and then a decision to make sure that the song sounded nothing like it up until that point. Ted’s production is great on this record as a whole, but I feel that he really got to show what he’s capable of with this one, outside of heavy music. It’s probably the biggest departure from earlier Circles music, and took us on a journey that surprised us. It’s definitely an important song to us.
What are some of your favorite prog albums, new or old?
What’s a prog?
Stream / Buy ‘Echo’: https://ffm.to/circles_echo