Dead Letter Circus

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Dead Letter Circus


“Our last album [This Is The Warning, 2010] was like the wake-up call. Opening your eyes and realising that as humans we’ve been pushed or forced to live in this society. Our new album is taking shape right now and it’s pretty much looking like it’s going to be a call to stand up and fight against this old guard… The next phase after that could be about finally breaking out of the cage and escaping from this prison in our minds. I suppose it could be a kind of a trilogy! It’s funny, though, because the countries who are at the forefront of these changes, the ones who are actually having some success in fighting back against those in power, are First World countries like South America and Bolivia! People in South America are successfully kicking out all the giant food companies and fighting the oil companies and indigenous communities are actually winning. I think the future design will be more about what the people choose and we’re only just at the foetal stages now where we’re realising that nothing is working. We’re becoming suspicious of the people at the top who are making the calls.”


It’s pretty heavy stuff, but then Dead Letter Circus is a pretty heavy band – not only lyrically but sonically, too. And while Benzie and co. had previously suggested more electronic leanings on their sophomore release, the singer now claims that guitar, bass and drums are at the core ofthis band and most likely always will be.


“Yeah, we sort of might have made a statement six months ago about possibly going more electronic, but we’ve got a lot more material together now and they’re turning out to be straight-up rock songs, really. We’re just more confident in that element, we’ve always been a predominantly guitar-based band, but every now and then we’ll have an electronic addition to a rock song or whatever, depending on our mood.”


If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, basically. When you’re a band capable of reaching the number one spot on the ARIA Album Charts with your debut album, chances are you’re doing something right. And that’s what it’s all about anyway, according to Benzie, who claims that audience reactions override any kind of praise, chart or award at the end of the day.


“When we got the call about being number one, we seriously thought that it was a joke!” chuckles Benzie. “We didn’t believe it for a while. Like, we thought maybe if we’re lucky we could reach number 17 or something, so it was pretty unbelievable, we had no words for it. It’s easier to be number two than number one. But none of that really matters all that much – it’s just cool to be able to tell you mum or whatever. We do care about what our fans think, though, the people that come to the shows. When that album came out, we reached a stage where people were screaming the songs back at us louder than we were playing them! At one point we started to feel like mere vessels and the music itself belonged to everyone.”


The reaction wasn’t much different on the other side of the world as Dead Letter Circus headed to the United States for two extensive tours last year. It was a physically brutal experience but a priceless one at that, according to the singer.


“We ended up doing 29 shows in 30 days in America and we crossed about 22,000kms in that time,” recalls Benzie. “We adapted quite well to the fact that we weren’t getting any sleep. You tour America for three months straight whereas in Australia you just can’t do that unless you’re going to do all the regional towns too. It was really hard work but it made us a better band for it because it forced us to live and breathe music day and night. We’ve toured in Europe as well and scenery-wise Europe does beat America because there’s are lots more interesting things to see out the window. A lot of America looks like Australia – except for the Arizona desert. There is a weird, phenomenal, mystical, spiritual quality about it that you just can’t put your finger on.”


With yet another American tour coming up for Dead Letter Circus in March, Benzie says he’s looking forward to unveiling the band’s brand new single upon their arrival back home.
“The first single will come out in April, then we’ll release another one shortly after that, so yeah, I’m really excited,” enthuses Benzie. “I like to think we did a good job with the last album and now I’m excited about writing about the next phase in that story – more about unity rather than separation. That’s the basic human craving, isn’t it? Unity. All you have to do is just come to a show where everyone is moving to the same beat and singing the same song – that’s unity.”