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Deadly Circus Fire: Your New Favourite Metal Band

Thursday, 13 March 2014 Written by Alec Chillingworth

There will come a day when there is no Iron Maiden, no Metallica, no Black Sabbath, no Tool and no Slipknot. Someone is going to have to carry the torch. So far, a few young bands are dawdling in the wake of the legends, which is a terrifying prospect. The metal community needs fresh ideas, new faces, and kick arse live shows. The metal community needs a band like Deadly Circus Fire.

A relatively unknown force up to now, the quartet formed in London five years ago, scurrying from Ireland, Italy and the UK to fulfil their musical nightmare. Already packing a self-titled EP and a debut album, 'The King And The Bishop', the band have exhumed an ample amount of spacey, heavier-than-Jerry-Only's-weights progressive metal in their time together.

“Quite a lot of people compare us to progressive bands from the US,” Save Addario, the band's resident guitar virtuoso, said. “Bands like Tool, Mastodon and Deftones are all points of reference. However, I think we have a very personal sound – we can obviously be compared to those bands, but we play about with loads of different sounds. If you've been to our gigs, you've seen my pedal-board. Quite big. We play around with loads of reverb, chorus delay and stuff like that.”

Now, every time a band comes on stage in anything but skinny jeans and an oversized white vest, questions seem to be raised. Costumes, masks and any manner of weird and wonderful oddities are considered to be gimmicks. But why? If you go to a restaurant, you dress up. If you go on a date, you dress up. Hell, if you go to see your in-laws at Christmas, you dress up. Deadly Circus Fire have a rather eccentric wardrobe, preferring to don suits, charred accessories and creepy clown make up. But, to Addario, it’s no gimmick.

“The name of the band comes from a real story in Connecticut back in 1944,” he said. “A circus was set on fire and killed loads of people, and there's actually a story that has become something of a legend. This legend says that four clowns – who were part of the circus – tried to save people, so we are representing that and paying remembrance to this tragic event on stage.”

So, great tunes: check. Great image: check. Impending stardom: not quite. The band has been slogging away ever since their inception, working day jobs in sunlight and donning make up after hours. They've been on a high recently, having finished a European run supporting Skindred and Crossfaith, before headlining a showcase gig at Camden's Barfly. It's a mighty couple of months' work to add to the old CV, but it's not all been clowning around.

“You must get on the right tour. The tour we did supporting Aliases a few years back...that was a bad tour,” Addario admitted. “The promotion was really bad, and that didn't help one bit. The Sheffield gig was really awful. There were four people, then two of them left after we played because they came to see us.

“You would believe that a headline act would bring in more than two paying customers, so when we jump on tour with bands now, we are very careful. Music is business. We do sell records, but people often tend to download them for free as music is available in so many free options. It's not easy, but we do want to play as much as we can.”

Aside from a few dates in the diary, including Hard Rock Hell Prog this month and Tech-Fest in the summer, it seems that gigging is soon going to take a back seat to recording a follow-up to 'The King And The Bishop'.

“If everything goes to plan, we should be recording the new album by the end of the summer,” Addario said. “There's been a few changes and we've used some different tunings as well. On 'The King And The Bishop', all of the songs except one were played in drop C tuning. On the new album, we're trying to write songs in an even lower tuning. We're going to introduce bigger, more melodic choruses to the songs – we're still in the early stages. The main difference between 'The King And The Bishop' and the new album is that we are a much more mature band. We've been together for five years now; we have been changing, and the new music will reflect this change.

“Every time we play, people will say: 'Oh, why didn't you play this song?' I sort of understand it from a fan's point of view, as they've come to experience the songs that they like, but at the same time, there are things that we need to consider.”

Die-hards - or hipsters five years from now - will no doubt, at some point, want tracks from the self-titled EP to resurface in the live arena. Addario will never say never. “We will definitely play those songs again one day – if we play a longer set then we will certainly add them in,” he said. “We recently re-issued 'The King And The Bishop' with two remastered tracks from our self-titled EP. The tracks were In The Back Of My Head and Threnody. We asked our fans, and they decided on those two songs.”

The future is looking bright for Deadly Circus Fire. With a slew of successful dates under their belts and the prospect of a new album on the horizon, we can only hope that a huge record label scoops them up and shoots them to pop stardom. Well, that’s one deluded fantasy, anyway. Luckily, Addario’s final words suggest that he is content with Deadly Circus Fire's steady rise.

“We started this project five years ago and have been working very hard,” he said “I really believe that if you want to do something that will stand the test of time in the music industry, then you need to do something that has strong foundations. There is no overnight success. We are a progressive metal band, and to progress, I believe that effort always comes before reward.

"Eventually, if we keep working as hard as we do, we will be much more successful. I would love to do a worldwide tour. Then again, I'd love to headline Download or Sonisphere – obviously it's never going to happen. But it's thinking of things like that which make me work harder.”

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