Jonathan Matthews

We had a chat with Colin Frangicetto ahead of his bands upcoming tour down under, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the name, Colin is an amazing guitarist who plays in the alternative rock band Circa Survive, hailing all the way from Philadelphia in the US, they are absolutely killing it right now. With a group of well reputed musicians as its members they play a combination of rock, progressive and hardcore with a twist. At this time and now more than ever they are ready to blow us all away sonically, with upcoming performances in most capital states of Australia to showcase their latest works. These progressive hardcore legends released a new album towards the end of 2017 titled “The Amulet” on which they somehow managed to add even more of a spacey twist to their original captivating and unique sound which seems to forever be evolving and becoming more refined as time goes on.

SR. Well you’ve been up to a lot lately, you have some impressive new music and even a couple of fresh music videos out. How is everything going since the release of the “The Amulet”?

It’s been fantastic man. I couldn’t ask for anything more. Making this record was extremely gratifying and fulfilling. It’s the closest we’ve ever got to making exactly what we wanted. That’s just a product of getting better as artists and at communicating with each other.

SR. Recently you had a co-headline tour with AFI and have travelled around the world, how did you get on with those guys?

Really well, it was one of those really funny things, you grow up listening to a band and then you find yourself on the same stage as them. It’s just really crazy and strange. A surreal experience. Those guys are super sweet and very inspiring to watch and meet. We basically did a co-headliner with them and then went right into another co-headliner with Thrice right after that. Thrice are like our older brothers in a lot of ways. We have worked with them more than any other band across multiple countries. We also played with them with our previous band when we were very young so we’ve worked with them for a long time. With AFI, we were working with guys we looked up to, and we were strangers. Now after touring with them, we’re like buddies.

SR. What particular guitarists do you draw inspiration from?

There’s a lot. Ian MacKaye from Fugazi. All the guys from Radiohead (especially Johnny Greenwood). Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix as well. Also some more strange singer / song writer / guitar players like Jeff Buckley…

SR. You have been known to cover Nirvana songs from time to time, have you done any new numbers of theirs lately?

No covers at all lately, we’re always think about it. On the last tour we did this weird intro for before we walked on stage, we had a cue song by this band called Tortoise, and we played that as the last house music that would happen before we come up. We transitioned it so that would play and we would kind of play the intro to the song following on the track, and jam a bit. That’s kind of like a cover but pretty weird and different… We love covers, but it’s gotten to this point that, when you’ve got six records to pick from, It’s hard to give up that time in the set to play a cover. That’s why we just did a little intro piece, rather than a full blown cover.

SR. I want to ask about the symbolism behind your logo, a somewhat runic looking icon that looks like a number eight with the bottom line removed.

We’ve been using it since Blue Sky Noise. We adapted it from hobo code, which is for travellers; people who train hop and the homeless. They have a secret language to let others know of signs of danger or safety. It’s based off of a safe camp symbol. It’s a sign of “you are safe to camp here, there is no police here, there is no danger here.” We took that and used it as a metaphor for how we want people to feel at our shows and when they’re listening to our music, we want it to be a safe place for them.

SR. Have you been working on your solo project ‘Psychic Babble’ lately?

I’m pretty deep into working on a record right now, I’ve been recording stuff. I can’t figure out if I want to put out a full length album yet or just a few songs. That’s kinda the fun thing about a solo project, I can do whatever the f*ck I want. It doesn’t matter too much, there’s no pressure, it’s not about money or popularity or anything other than me doing what I want to do and expressing myself. It’s super liberating in that way. All this stuff that I’ve said that I’m doing, it feels more connected and harmonious than it ever has before. When I’m focusing on one thing, for example Circa Survive, I’ll be re-energising and having Ideas for my paintings or Psychic Babble in the back of my mind. When I’m working on my personal projects, it also makes me really excited to work with the band, and have that collaborative energy. I have a good balance between solo expression and collaborative expression.

SR. Have you been using any new or different gear lately, as far as guitars and pedals go?

Nothing drastically new for the album itself, however I do have a connection with Fender now, they’re really supportive. They send us new guitars whenever we want, it’s pretty awesome. I got a Jag not that long ago which I’ve been using it for Psychic Babble stuff, but I will be using it for band stuff as well. I have this telecaster that I’ve had for years, and always used it. I’ve probably used it for about ninety percent of stage time and recordings, this one guitar that I bought right at the start of the band. I’ve also had Line Six helping me out, they just sent me a Helix, which I’m just about to crack open.

Don’t miss Circa Survive somewhere in Australia while there over here, with so many banging new songs it’s bound to be a packed house and a cracker show! See you in the crowd!

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