An Interview With Lost Circus
An album release from Lost Circus breaks out an outstanding combination of driving and energetic hard rock and metal that we've all been missing for years now.
Complete with blistering guitar sections and a tonality that lets the record truly thrive, the self-titled LP gives a ton in the way of melodic and anthemic hooks, along with impactful choruses that let songs grow in intensity and explode when they need to.
This record has a lot of heart along with plenty of attention to detail especially in the arrangements and how the songs are built because these are well thought out and performed by season musicians that know exactly what they're doing.
The band's true love for the craft is completely evident and every single song and you get such a great range of metal that all somehow breeds a somewhat cinematic undertone and if you grew up listening to certain bands, then this will be insanely nostalgic for you.
The reason is that these guys hit the sweet spot every time and the songs come through very authentic and genuine so when you hear it you get that classic vibe and it works like a charm.
The guitar work across the span of this release is excellent and along with hooks you get some great lead sections but also songs that create these vast atmospheres and sort of lead you down a rabbit hole a little bit.
the songs on the record have this connectivity as well in a way that makes the record almost feel like a concept album and the whole thing feels like an escape into their world.
I absolutely love albums that serve as a form of escapism, and it doesn't even matter what genre it is.
When this LP is over you felt like you just went to a show, or you just saw a movie in the theater and you're walking back out to the daylight.
You have to sort of shake it off to acclimate back to reality again.
It's been a while since an album's done that for me and I'm grateful to have listened to one that's done it again.
Although this band is very tight in terms of delivery, they also boast this energy that almost gives off a live feel as well.
It's like the players are feeding off of each other's energies and you pick up on that when you hear it.
Vocally, this record is powerful, and the singer knows exactly how to work the dynamic between subtle and hard-hitting which is something a lot of singers don't exactly know how to do.
Being able to balance those aspects lets the songs feel alive and breathing which is an important aspect for a lot of different kinds of songs.
With the release of such a well-woven album, we wanted to have a sit-down with Lost Circus to find out where this may have all come from and what might be coming up next for the band.
Here's what happened.
Buzz Slayers: Okay guys, let's start with the Lost Circus album! This record had a massive and anthemic metal feel! How did this album come about?
“Lost Circus” is our debut, self-titled release (https://music.apple.com/us/album/lost-circus/1593510851). We just hope that everyone enjoys listening to it as much as we did playing and recording it for the masses! The writing process is a team effort. Someone will bring to the table a riff or even a complete musical idea and we all put our own spins on the parts of the completed work. We feel that this is important to be a ‘band’ and not just a writer with a ‘backing group’. While that can certainly work for others, we feel like part of the reason our songs come out the way they do is because each of us puts a little bit of ourselves into their creation. (Steve) Our self-titled album came together slowly during the 2020 slow-down. Each song came together quickly, and I assign passion as the leading factor. I had assumed this album would have been a thrashy melodic piece of work but when it all came together, it was obvious each song was something different. (Bryan) It took on a life of its own to come into existence. The idea of just getting a few ideas down to have something, just kept growing and became something so much more. The songs went down easily and before we knew it, we had the basic tracks for Lost Circus. Every song has a story lyrically and musically, that I think really complement each other exceptionally well throughout the album. It all paints a picture and presents what we think is a very appealing and memorable collection of songs. Buzz Slayers: How did this all start for you as a band?
In late 2019, Steve got together with Tom and Kenny and started putting together the lineup we have today. Tom and Bryan had known each other through other channels and Bryan came on board. Bryan brought Chad in to fill the bassist role that Steve had been hiding down during the early writing and jamming processes. Buzz Slayers: What kind of things really inspire songs for you?
Our songs all stem from someone bringing a new riff to the band and all of us throwing our variations on the riff together to find the perfect fit and usage of that riff. As most musicians, our influences all bleed into our creations and push us to further our reach and form new song ideas. Lyrically, Steve is a wordsmith who loves to create based on life experiences (loosely or exact) as well as ’stories’ that may come about during his writing process….or just on a whim of a comment or idea. Buzz Slayers: This album has some great styles on it! Classic and new school! Can you give us some of your biggest influences musically?
(Steve) My first inspiration vocally was Marc Storace of Krokus. From there it was Brian Johnson, Rob Halford and musically, Dave Mustaine. The inspiration behind this band and album is the desire to never give up and fall into industry traps of age and style. Music is music and if it comes from the heart and is done right, people will dig it. We have a lot to prove and a lot to say so our collective five person machine will not be stopped. (Bryan) The guitar greats of the seventies and eighties would be the musical inspiration for me, and the bands that put out those special albums that were clearly such a result of a very unique chemistry. Eddie Van Halen, Billy Gibbons, Steve Morse, Randy Rhoads and Jake E. Lee as individuals. For groups, the ones that really hit me live with their guitar interplay were Queensryche, Stryper, Iron Maiden and Def Leppard. I’ve always loved the solo guitar player who can cover so much ground alone, and yet I’m totally drawn to the textures created between 2 guitars and the unique voice they can express when mixed. For Lost Circus, the inspiration came from finding the perfect blend of expression and collaboration, and having such a fun and solid group of individuals with which to share that. (Kenny) My music inspirations are Kiss, Randy Rhoads, Zakk Wylde, Van Halen and Slash. I like to think that all of my influences play a part in my songwriting and playing on this album. (Chad) From the first time I picked up the bass, I was trying to emulate Cliff Burton (Metallica) and many of the metal and thrash players like him. While I have influences ranging from Dean Dinning (Toad the Wet Sprocket) and Paul McCartney to Les Claypool (Primus) and Geddy Lee (RUSH) with dabs of Charles Mingus and other jazz greats….my number one influence has always been Billy Gould (Faith No More). I feel like all of these greats play a part in what I feel is my style and how I played on this release. (Tom) Ah let's see - who are my musical inspirations...That question covers a lot of ground. My drumming inspiration would have to be Tommy Aldredge, both now and even as far back as his time with Pat Travers. Barbaric, melodic, and powerful. Of course, there are others that were famous or at least notable; Scott Rockenfield of Queensryche, Eric Singer, Rod Morgenstien, even the likes of Tommy Lee and Steve Riley. But as musicians, there were two Nashville studio guys that engrained some very meaningful 'knowledge' in my brain. Jeff Teague, a Nashville studio drummer, taught me the art and nuances of tuning drums. He was brilliant and was very patient in sharing his knowledge with me. Larry Londin, who played on tons of studio recordings all the way back to the Motown days and was the drummer on Steve Perry's solo album, taught me many lessons, but probably the most important/valuable thing that has stuck with me for 30 years - "any idiot can play the drums. A great drummer plays the song”
Buzz Slayers: What are you all doing when you're NOT working on music?
(Steve) Outside of music, I'm a Dad and husband first and foremost. I love being a family man and doing family things. I love American football and baseball. My youngest son plays travel hockey for the Nashville junior Predators organization, so we are busy following his progress. I love to work in my wood shop. I have a great collection of Megadeth items.
(Bryan) I really love traveling the world, and am fascinated by the languages of people around the world and love that music can actually be the universal language for all. The study of history fascinates me and provides so much content to draw from personally and musically. And looking in the other direction from history, I’ve always been a huge space exploration geek and looked forward to space travel and the future.
(Kenny) Traveling, exploring new cultures, working out and martial arts.
(Chad) Christian, husband, and father before all else. I also enjoy fitness, hunting, and the outdoors in general. I am a tech geek as well.
(Tom) I enjoy building and riding motorcycles. I've built two custom Harley's in recent years and can’t seem to shake the motorcycle addiction. I also enjoy the outdoors, hunting and fishing. Those activities, much like music, are inspiring and physically, emotionally, and spiritually rejuvenating for me. And last but certainly not least is my family. I was a single dad to two great kids that now have started their own lives and families, but we are extremely close and value spending time together whenever possible.
Buzz Slayers: Who's in all your headphones right now?
(Steve) “Wake Up Dead (featuring Dave Mustaine)” ~single (remake) from Lamb of God & Megadeth (https://music.apple.com/us/album/wake-up-dead-feat-dave-mustaine-single/1616049524) (Bryan) “Empire” ~from ‘Empire’ by Queensryche (https://music.apple.com/us/album/empire/721274536?i=721276108) (Kenny) “Call Me Little Sunshine” ~from ‘IMPERA’ by Ghost (https://music.apple.com/us/album/call-me-little-sunshine/1603122391?i=1603122623) (Chad) “Fire Emojis” ~from ‘The Brave’ by Tom Macdonald, Adam Calhoun, Madchild (https://music.apple.com/us/album/fire-emojis/1605632364?i=1605632367) (Tom) “Only A Little While” ~from ‘Mellow Dreams 3’ by squeeda and SNUG (https://music.apple.com/us/album/only-a-little-while/1562757852?i=1562757866) Buzz Slayers: Are you guys doing any live performances right now?
We have a show coming up May 20th at a Nashville venue, The 404 Bar & Grill. We also have an amazing opening slot opportunity this October 13th at The Old Gray Amphitheater (Monterey, TN) at their ROCKtober show. We will be opening for Warrant and Winger at that show. We have several other things in the works that will be announced very soon!
Buzz Slayers: Did you record yourself or hit a big studio for this?
As far as the album process itself, we started at Dark Horse Recording (https://darkhorserecording.com) in Franklin, TN back in February of 2021. This three-day foray into the studio there was produced by Tom Harding for all the drums and most of the bass tracks. Afterwards, a lot of the vocals and guitars were done at Tom (Harding) and Bryan’s (Blumer) personal studios. We also had Saul Zonana lay down some synth and keys for a few songs as well. The process took about 8 months overall on the calendar. Arranging scheduling and coordinating studio time for mixing tended to stretch out the timetable. The overall album was produced by Grammy award winner, Tom Harding with H2 Productions, digital editing by number one hit songwriter T. W. Hale and mixed by Ryan Griffin. The final master was completed by Maor Appelbaum with Maor Appelbaum Mastering (www.maorappelbaum.com).
Buzz Slayers: What can your fans expect from you in the near future?
Building on the relaunch of the album with our new label FHM Records (Germany), we hope to be able to announce more live shows as well as some other album format options. We are also back in the studio working on the second album….and maybe another surprise or two. Keep your eyes and ears peeled, boys and girls!!