Hailing from the notorious Brummie town famed for the likes of Swim Deep and The Streets, Paradise Circus are making new waves in the talent-studded scene. We sat down with the group before the release of their new track, ‘What A Way (Cheetah)’, to find out more about their journey so far.
Staying true to their roots, they’ve named themselves after a roundabout in Birmingham. “Everyone hated it and we never went,” they explain. “But they’re rebuilding it all and they’ve named it ‘Paradise’ so we don’t even have to worry about the copyright anymore.”
Having met at The Academy of Contemporary Music, the name also perfectly reflects where the group all found themselves joining together. “Right by the uni, just on the express way it leads to a place called Paradise Circus. There’s only one place called Paradise Circus now and it’s a multi-storey car park … ultimately it’s where we all met, and grew up and stuff. So we wanted to reflect that,” they conclude. “Can we have that as our band motto? ‘Were more than just a roundabout.'” Personally, we think the motto has a nice ring to it.
The town itself couldn’t help but also impact their music in more than one way. “My drums probably sound like they’re on crack, so that’s impacted by a lot of the people I see out on the streets. That’s a big influence for me,” laughs drummer Nathan. “Nah, I think it’s quite a culturally diverse city and us all being from around here, coming to university here, etc – I think we kind of have been settled into that culture and its become a second home for us and that’s impacted our music mainly through the scene, I think.”
“Really feeling at home in the Brum venues and kind of being Brum proud,” adds bassist Sam. Talking of the city’s history, David notes that “there’s only three actual big bands that have come out of Birmingham. And they’re not even the top level – in recent years you see a lot coming out of Manchester and London. From Birmingham it’s just been Peace and Jaws.”
However, they see change on the horizon. “Whatever gig you go to the calibre of music is just so high, for every genre … Over the next ten year there’ll be so many big bands coming from this city,” guitarist Callum promises.
“Catfish and the Bottlemen are definitely an influence in our music,” they state, thinking on their influences so far. “We’re not a mirror image but its definitely an influence. I think because we all have different music tastes and all bring a different sort of sound, I think we stay a bit clear of comparisons.” The band’s biography claims “the euphoria of a Coldplay song mixed with the thrashy drum-beats of a Catfish and the Bottlemen song”, and if you put those together you do get the Paradise Circus sound.
“The four of us have such different tastes that as a band it could’ve so easily been a car crash. But it comes together in the best possible way.”
Having written about 70 odd songs during lockdown, the band have been no strangers to song-writing and producing. Having cut that down to 5, and given group inputs to lyrics and sound technicalities, the finished result is a harmonious blend of all four members. “We’ve got an EP planned out, we know which ones are getting recorded. But this is the main single off the EP,” they confirm.
And in terms of post-lockdown gigs? “We’re ready for it,” they state with confidence. “I think weve been in lockdown, unable to play gigs for so long … it’s given us the chance to work on really good song writing in that period and now I’m just ready to show everyone the stuff that we’ve been doing in lockdown.”
“At the moment we’ve got our four jackets which are different colours, and we all decided at the start which colour represented us each. So we wear these denim jackets on stage. And we’re all in the chat putting what outfits we’re gonna wear before our events, so we do care about image to a stupid degree.” A lot of artists will argue it should all be about the music, but the boys believe “one kind of balances the other.” At the reopening of gigs, therefore, we can expect a focus on the imagery of their gigs as well as the usual riotous crowds.
“Coldplay are gonna be supporting us,” is their final stance for the band’s future. And with the ambition and drive they clearly already have, we don’t think the statement is too far fetched.