Struggle, Depression, Art.

Struggle, Depression, Art.

Ever wonder what goes into creating a masterpiece? Ever think, man I wish I could write like that guy… Or paint like that guy… Be careful what you wish for, you’re about to read a story that inspired the art we love but it’s taken a toll on another’s life…

I was in a book store, and noticed a magazine that had Circa Survive on the cover, I thought to myself, man a chance to get closer to Circa? I’ll take it! I purchased the magazine (Alternative Press Magazine) and as soon as I got a chance, I opened it up to find a portrait picture of Anthony Green, looking mangy and tired.. A half smoked cigarette hanging between the lips that feed us the melody we all enjoy so much… Little did I know, it wasn’t because he was tired from recording an album.

Like anyone would, Anthony has felt immense pressure. He’s an artist, and there’s always that thought in the back of creative minds that constantly poke at you, you know you’ll never top what you’ve already done… You’ve peaked… In the article, Anthony was worried he wouldn’t be able to regain the motivation and artistic ability to form the synergy that is Circa Survive.

I just wanted [Blue Sky Noise] to be amazing, after opening myself pretty honestly with my jingly jangly solo stuff, I felt like I might not be able to return to the way I would need to write for Circa. I started reading lyrics by bands like At the Drive-In, Death Cab for Cutie and the Doors — especially the Doors. I began to believe I had this duty to write like this crazy, mysterious musician, with all these lyrics that would be insanely profound and undeniably clever, filled with all these literary devices and movements. I could just tell the band were disappointed with what I was doing — or I felt that way, at least. (Quoted straight from the article by Tim Karan of Alternative Press Magazine, issue #263 June, 2010)

As I read, in a way I myself was feeling guilty. The pressure on this man’s shoulders to entertain us was so immense that it gets worse from here. How you ask? Anthony was recently married and he was given the news that his wife, Meredith, was expecting a child. Once Meredith entered her second trimester, she miscarried. The baby was lost, and Green took it hard.

It was the most fucked up thing either of us have ever had to deal with, Meredith is so strong — she’s the strongest, most amazing woman I’ve ever met and she handled it. But I was going crazy… (edit) Eventually, after not eating for three days, not sleeping and not taking care of myself at all, I drove to the local crisis center at Doylestown Hospital and was admitted to the psychiatric ward of the Horsham Clinic. (Quoted straight from the article by Tim Karan of Alternative Press Magazine, issue #263 June, 2010)

In the middle of recording an album, Blue Sky Noise, Anthony is taken away emotionally by the loss of his first child with his wife, Meredith. Luckily, the other guys in Circa understood the urgency of the matter and the band was able to adapt to the unfortunate situation at hand, but not without doubt says Nick Beard:

For as long as I’ve known Anthony, he’s always been up and down. But when he went to the hospital, I definitely began thinking that it could be the end of the band, and the band was the last thing I was worried about. I was thinking maybe we should end this. Is being in Circa what’s driving him to this?
(Quoted straight from the article by Tim Karan of Alternative Press Magazine, issue #263 June, 2010)

That’s it right? Nope, Meredith and Anthony were pregnant again after losing the first baby. Anthony received notice while Circa was finishing drum tracking for Blue Sky Noise that Meredith had another miscarrage. This time he used the pain and channelled it into his lyrics. He wrote songs about miscarrages, “Through the Desert Alone” and “Spirt Of The Stairwell” specifically.

The story does end with happy news, first and most importantly, Anthony and Meredith are pregnant again and she is the farthest she’s ever been in the pregnancy. According to the article, doctors told the couple at this point in the pregnancy, the chance of losing the baby is less than one percent. Second, Blue Sky Noise was released and it’s an amazing album.

This is just one of thousands of stories of some of the struggles artists we love go through. Some are able to channel the emotion into art, and some just can’t handle it and we lose them physically, mentally, or both. Next time you play Blue Sky Noise, appreciate the suffering that Anthony and the band has endured to bring us the album we’ve had such high expectations for, and that they met.

I salute Circa Survive, and any other band for the gift of music. Thank you, we appreciate the songs, albums and collections that we are able to find connections with. Also, thank you Tim Karan and Alternative Press, for the great article and information about a band I love.

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