The members of Circa Survive may have stepped down from their previous headlining spot to support emo avatars Thrice on their current tour, but that doesn't mean they're any less busy. In the 11 months since the Philadelphia quintet released its sophomore disc, On Letting Go (Equal Vision), Circa Survive has been touring extensively, re-recording old tracks for future release, raising money for charity and trying to figure out the band's future, both long term and day-to-day. But as vocalist Anthony Green says, come show time, nothing else seems to matter.
"No matter how hectic your day was, you can leave that all behind when you go onstage," Green said in a recent phone interview. "When you headline a show, there's always that pressure. But on this tour, it's less stressful -- we get to win crowds over. Our music can get people to move like crazy hippies or just stand there -- it's really been a challenge. And any artist who would turn away a challenge is a fucking fool."
Green is right -- at least on the differing crowd reactions, as his band's sound is difficult to classify. Drawing equally from the unfiltered emotion of earnest emo (think Promise Ring, not Fall Out Boy), the stream-of-consciousness song structure and ethereal vibe of Radiohead, and the gut-punching dynamics of punk rock, Circa Survive is a musical anomaly.
And just as his band resists the norm musically, so too does Green -- especially when it comes American politics.
"I'm from a very political family. My uncle Bill was the mayor of Philadelphia [William J. Green III, 1980-84]. But I think it's all trivial -- it's like watching Survivor except the results are fixed," he says. "I personally think that, regardless of what happens -- whether it's Hillary or Obama or, hell, some dude from the Green Party, we are in very little control."
Which, of course, leads to the obvious question. "No, I will not vote," he says. "If you vote, then you've been suckered into believing that you have this power which is just not there. No matter who the president is, they're all controlled by money. It's like the Mob disguised as democracy. It's the same reason I won't pay taxes -- it's my way of saying fuck it ..."
Green pauses. In a smirking tone, he says, "Plus, that way I can't get called for jury duty."
Circa Survive, with Pelican and Thrice. 7 p.m. Wed., May 14 (doors at 6 p.m.). Club Zoo, 1630 Smallman St., Strip District. $18. All ages. 412-201-1100 or www.clubzoo.net