After the incredible success of their debut album Young Chasers last year, indie favourites Circa Waves are back at Y Not Festival – this time having scored a top slot on Saturday night’s main stage. The sun is shining as we catch up with Kieran and Sian backstage, it seems they actually have brought “T-Shirt Weather” to the Peak District after a rainy start to the weekend.
Hey Circa Waves, how’s Y Not going? You’ve not played yet but have you managed to catch anyone else’s set?
Yeah we just got here but we caught a little bit of The Amazons, they were very very good, and we’re just enjoying the sun! The weather’s good today so we’re happy. We’ve never seen Noel Gallagher live and he was our hero growing up so we’re looking forward to watching him side stage, if he’ll let us! Clean Cut Kid are really cool, Sundara Karma… but they’re playing at the same time so don’t go and see them! Rat Boy’s always quite funny to watch, to see what he’ll do.
I’ve heard he trashes the stage?
Apparently he smashes everything up yeah!
So what can you tell readers who haven’t heard from you before?
Kieran *mysteriously*: We’re the antidote to the disease… No, that just came off the top of my head. Sorry, that was weird. I don’t know, we just make guitar music that’s exciting.
I heard that when you chose the name Circa Waves it was just the first thing you thought of, is that true?
Yeah, I uploaded Young Chasers onto SoundCloud and needed a name, for some reason ‘waves’ was in my head because we’re quite… surfey? I guess ‘Circa’ just sounded good next to it! That’s the shittest reason! I’ve made some fake reasons up before but that’s the truth. I saw an interview with Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters and he said if he’d known the band was gonna be successful he’d never have called it the fucking foo fighters. It’s the stupidest name ever so I kind of feel the same way.
I think it suits the band!
Yeah I like it now. The words don’t really mean anything to us anymore it just means the band. When you think of The Killers I don’t think of actual killers, it loses its meaning doesn’t it.
Young Chasers came out last year, how has it been for you?
We had a very good year, tonnes of festivals and we toured the world three times! That in itself is just incredible. We sold out Brixton Academy, I never thought we’d even play Brixton Academy. We’ve done things you can never really prepare yourself for, so when it happens you’re just thrown in at the deep end, swimming… drowning.
Do you still get nervous on stage?
We get nervous when we haven’t played in a while, yesterday we played for the first time in weeks so there’s more in-trepidation and butterflies, but you know what you’ve gotta do. You’re literally contractually obliged to do it!
So when you last played Y Not in 2014, it was a small festival. Is it scarier now there’s a load more people here?
No, the more people the less scary I find. You’re playing to just a sea of faces, you can’t see the whites of people’s eyes anymore. If you did a speech in front of five people you want to impress it’d be terrifying but thousands becomes nothing. You just play to yourself almost.
Sian: I had to play at a family party recently, I don’t think I’ve ever been as nervous!
Do your family all listen to your music?
Sian: They say they do but probably not! If your family likes your music that makes it easier because they push you.
Did you used to practise in the garage?
Yeah I used to practise in my bedroom, you’ve gotta have some good neighbours if you’re playing all the time.
So you’re from Liverpool? Has that influenced you, do you look up to anyone else there?
The greatest city in the world! We don’t sound particularly Liverpool based… but there’s a lot of harmonies played which definitely comes from listening to The Beatles and stuff growing up. There’s loads of Liverpool bands I love but we don’t really sound like them, I like The La’s, Shack, The Beatles. Liverpool is so small and insular, easy to start a band because everyone seems to know everyone. You make the biggest group of friends in the smallest time, everyone is so genuine and they’re all trying to do the same thing as you. That’s the best thing about Liverpool, everyone connects through music.
Any news you can reveal about the band?
We’re going to do our second record next month, that’s gonna be the best record of all time. Then after that we’ll tour it for a year or two, then we can all fuck off and retire and get back to normality!
Will you be coming back to Y Not?
If they’ll have us! We’ll see how today goes. I haven’t got the energy to trash the stage, I’m not as young as that lad (Ratboy). It’s becoming bigger and bigger and that’s awesome so I hope we’ll be back to headline.
It was great to meet you, good luck with the show!
Check out Circa Waves here: http://circawaves.com/
By Anna Barnard Wright (@)