Calloway Circus released their latest album, “Entropy” last month on February 14th. They’re a young St. Louis duo made up of lead singer Ben McGuiness is 21 and drummer Tyler Andrew is 19).
“The album ‘Entropy’ is about personal chaos and how to get through it,” McGuiness explains. “I made this for myself, but I hope it helps others get through what they might be dealing with. I want everyone to hear it and feel something. I think our goal it to try and make that possible with all opportunities in the coming year.”
Listen to “Entropy” Here-
The group has worked with the likes of Jimmy Alexander, lead singer of Awaken I Am and Waterparks and Emarosa producer Courtney Ballard.
Connect With Calloway Circus Online Here-
Learn more about Calloway Circus in the following All Access interview-
What are you excited about for this year? What are some of your 2020 goals or resolutions?
We’re working hard behind the scenes trying to get a tour going and play regional shows in the midwest for the rest of the year. We’re currently in the studio with Courtney Ballard (Waterparks, Emarosa, Stand Atlantic)to work on all the new stuff we’ve been coming up with since we wrapped up writing Entropy. Our goal is to keep creating great songs and play them as much as possible!
What does a typical day look like lately for this duo?
We’re in studio mode, so we get up in the morning, call an Uber to Courtney’s space, usually grab something to eat, and then head in and get to work. We usually work through the day and then head back to our AirBnB or go check out some of our favorite spots in L.A. It’s been really inspiring so far and just overall a great time.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this band together?
I (Ben) had already been doing Calloway Circus for about 3 years when I first met Tyler. The original drummer had decided to leave the project and at our final show together Tyler just happened to be in the crowd. He heard me announce that it was the last show as that lineup and found me on Facebook the next day to tell me he was interested. We met up at a Starbucks and instantly connected and ended up having our first rehearsal together about a week later, and haven’t slowed down since.
How did you come up with your name?
The band name, Calloway Circus, comes from the Tim Burton film Big Fish. I always loved the movie when I was growing up, and just happened to watch it again while I was creating this band. There’s a section in the film where the main character works at Calloway Circus for three whole years just to find out the name of a girl he saw his first night there. I was a sophomore in high school at the time, so I felt like whatever I wanted to accomplish with my band, I had three years to do it. So the band name is really saying that we will put in the work to make our dreams a reality.
How do you think your hometown has influenced the sound and how you both carry yourselves in this band?
I think the fact that our hometown is sort of stuck in the past allowed us to create something unique and fresh, since we’ve been in a constant uphill battle since we’re not a “rock band”. It definitely played a part in crafting our sound, as I really wanted to make something different than my surroundings.
Why would you say that you two work so well together? Where is one of you weak where the other is strong and vice-versa? Why does this duo work?
We have just always understood each other, both in music and in life. We both have our weaknesses and we get through everything together. I’ve never had a friend like Tyler, and he’s never had a friend like me, and I think that’s why this duo works. We genuinely love making music and doing it together.
What was it like putting together your newest album, “Entropy”? Did anything surprise you about the overall process? Any unexpected challenges?
The writing/recording process for Entropy was over the course of two years, and the record was recorded in 5 different cities and ended up being partly mixed in Australia, so that was really cool and exciting to work with so many different people. The biggest challenge was honestly just communicating with so many different writers/producers and getting it all to be coherent. I think we achieved that in the end product.
What was the inspiration for your first-released singles, “Gray,” “Oxygen” and “Unpredictable”?
Most of this record was inspired by memory, whether it was traumatic or pleasing.
The song “Gray” is more of an explanation of my feelings after the damage had been done. It’s kind of a toxic romance vibe, but ultimately was pretty liberating for me. “Oxygen”, however is an account of the first time I ever felt true feelings for someone and how nothing really mattered but that person in that moment. “Unpredictable” goes the other direction and details losing someone who was very prominent in your life, and what it feels like to deal with that on your own.
Do you have plans to make any music videos of your singles?
There’s a video for every single on our YouTube channel, and we always love creating them with our manager/director J.T Ibanez.
Where do you think you are both happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
Ben: Writing new music is probably my favorite, but I’d say the feeling of playing in front of people makes me the happiest in the world.
Tyler: I just love playing shows. To give energy out and feel the crowd give it back is the most amazing feeling I’ve ever felt in my life.
What has been a favorite show of yours to date? What do you think makes an ideal performance for this band?
Definitely the last time we headlined in St. Louis. We had never played a venue that big before and had never really had a crowd of our own that big so it felt amazing to share that with our fans. An ideal performance is one where the audience had a blast and hopefully felt/learned something.
How do you think being musicians and in this band gives you all the most joy in life today?
We both don’t play music because we want to, but because we NEED to. Both of us found our passion for music in dark periods of our lives, so it really did save both of us
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how your own music is reflecting this time period? If you don’t think it is, why is that?
I think our music reflects the damage that the political climate did in our upbringing. There’s been intense tension for our whole lives and it definitely plays a part in my writing.
Who would you love to work with in the future? Who are some of your favorite artists right now? What do you think would be a dream collaboration for this duo?
We’re currently most inspired by The 1975, Bring Me the Horizon, and YUNGBLUD, is collaborating with any of them would be absolutely incredible.
Where would you love to hear your music being played? A TV show, a movie, in your favorite store, etc…?
We desperately want to be involved in a Spiderman film in any way possible.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
That they can get through anything, and we’re here to support them with our music.