To say that Anthony Green has been through a lot in the 10 years since Circa Survive’s On Letting Go came out might be a bit of an understatement. After all, there’s a bit of a difference between life as a 24-year-old kid who’d been in rock bands since high school and a 34-year-old father of four.
“When I was a kid, I was such a dumbass, and I made so many foolish decisions that surprisingly didn’t end up killing the band,” Green says. “I didn’t take care of myself. I didn’t make enough time to write. We still ended up getting so much done and being prolific, but when I look back on it as my own worst critic, I feel like I really didn’t value the time and the opportunities that I had back then. Now, as a full grown adult, I feel like I’m constantly rushing to do more. I have more on my plate, yet I somehow have more time now than when I was younger.”
For the sake of Green’s sanity, it’s a good thing the singer’s time management skills have improved. Not only has the songwriter been spending a good chunk of the last year fronting Circa Survive, but he also managed to release both a solo album and the latest record from the reunited Saosin within the last 12 months. Green likes to stay so busy that he actually performed twice at the local Chain Fest last year, with an afternoon solo performance before rounding out the night with Circa Survive.
“It’s sometimes overwhelming, but I tend to really work well in those situations where I don’t have a lot of wiggle room,” Green says. “I like doing a lot, and it’s been finding the balance of what is taking on too much. I like working, and I like playing music, so if I ever have the opportunity to do multiple things and give myself multiple outlets, I will. Being able to have many different things going on at once has always been something that I’ve wanted to do.”
Since the 10-year anniversary tour for Circa Survive’s On Letting Go is currently occupying the bulk of Green’s time, the vocalist has found yet another new way to keep himself busy while only performing with the beloved post-hardcore band. During each tour stop, fans who purchase a VIP ticket get a separate performance comprised of more mellow arrangements of the band’s iconic songs before the actual show.
While some bands may have trouble selling out one show each night, Green and the rest of Circa Survive knew their diehard fan base would absolutely shell out a little extra scratch in order to see a more intimate second performance. After all, it was only a couple of years ago that they were selling out shows for the 10-year anniversary tour of their debut album, Juturna.
“It doesn’t seem like there’s one record that’s everybody’s favorite,” Green says. “There doesn’t seem to be a consensus behind ‘Their best record was this one or that one.’ I see that happen to a lot of people I work with and other bands, but I never got that sense from any of our Circa fans. Some people love this record, but others are huge fans of Blue Sky Noise. Everybody has a different answer, but definitely the first three records are the ones people are connected to for nostalgic reasons.”
Just as Green can recall the CDs he was listening to in his car as a teenager, he knows how important records like On Letting Go can be for his fans. At the same time, revisiting songs and lyrics he wrote over a decade ago can help back bring up some of the good (and bad) memories of the artist’s life in the mid-2000s.
“I imagine it would be like finding your diary from 10 years ago,” Green says. “In a lot of ways, it’s like our collective diaries from 10 years ago. We were all going through such weird stuff that made it on to this album, so going back and revisiting it is pretty therapeutic. It’s been like a big celebration for it. It’s almost like having a birthday party for it.”
But while looking back on early Circa Survive records may be like therapy for the 13-year-old band, not every lyric is exactly as Green would write it now.
“When I’m singing the line ‘All I wanted to be was one of your children,’ I feel that heavier now on me than I did when I wrote that song, but there are other lyrics I won’t mention that I don’t really like anymore,” Green says. “Some of it is like looking at a proverbial photo of yourself with a shitty haircut. It’s like I chose to express myself in a way that I think is so incredibly corny now. There are little bits all over the record where I wish I’d taken the time to write something better.”
Circa Survive is playing in San Diego on Feb. 22 and LA on Feb. 24. More info is available on the band’s site.