With events like ‘Progfest’ (amongst others), there’s no denying Melbourne has an incredible prog-metal scene. On top of that, we consistently have a string of international prog acts along the lines of TesseracT and Periphery hitting our stages. You may have noticed that Melbourne bred progressive alternative rock juggernaut Circles will usually be sharing the same stage.
Being at the forefront of the Melbourne scene, Circles are one of our biggest prog exports and now for the first time in a while, they will be hitting Australia with a headliner tour.
Forté caught up with the group’s guitarist Ted Furuhashi to find out what the Circles’ lads have been up to recently. The answer was writing.
“This time it’s different,” reflects Ted, “The Last One’  we had all the music written before Ben was appointed as vocals. This time around Ben is included in the songwriting from the start so it will be a bit different; it’s interesting to have another songwriter to bounce off.”
“Vocals shape the band in my eyes,” he continues. “As much as music can be emotive, you can write a piece of music that’s inspired by love but it will never be as impactful as saying ‘I love you’, so we put a lot of effort into the vocals and lyrical content.”
Expanding on the difference in writing and recording, Ted spoke of how Circles credo reflects constantly trying new approaches. “For ‘The Last One’ the writing process was predominately the same in terms of technique but the mindset was completely different.
“When I was writing, I gave myself no boundaries. If I wanted to add something classical, I would. That was the mindset and I think it was cool because previously we were kind of funneling everything together; with the Last One we just wrote everything and then cherry-picked the good stuff.”
With the groups material also being produced by Ted, he elaborated on how he has to approach writing with “two different brains.”
“Previously to Ben joining the band, I was writing all of our material. When you’re writing but also producing the album, you think about creative production techniques that you can use while you are recording. At the same time, you know what you are in for later so sometimes aspects of our songs are definitely impacted by the amount of work it will require. Like if you want to add an electronic part that will add a huge crushed sound you can know the impact that will make while you are recording.”
Performing songs from their entire catalog, Circles will be hitting the road for their 11 dates Aus/NZ ‘Winter Tour’ and it may actually turn into a filmed piece of Aus music history.
“I love band documentaries and I love watching the process of them writing and recording so I have been documenting a lot. I’m not as interested in the end product, I’m interested in how bands got to that finished result. That’s what I like to watch so a documentary is an idea that I’d love to expand.
“We’d love to take it on the road with us as well. Dave is the video guy so he’s always stuck documenting everything we do on top of his role as a drummer. The toughest thing is budget but we would love to do it and will try and do it as much as we can by ourselves.”
When & Where: Karova Lounge, Ballarat – August 3. Tickets can be purchased here.
Written by Alex Callan