Headline Act: Playground Circus (includes new video!)

Playground Circus are here to rock you and, on the strength of new single / video “Her Anarchy”, rock you they will. Scroll down to see it, but not before reading more about them in our Headline Act feature. Impressed enough to want to catch them live? Lucky for you they have some dates coming up:


Simple things first – where are you guys from?

We were born in Greece, John is from Athens and El from a town in Northern Greece called Amyntaio, but we spent most of our adult life in Greece at Thessaloniki.

How did you meet?

We were both working on the same street, hanging out and talking music most of the time at the same bars but somehow we had never connected the dots of how we both play music as well instead of only geeking out about it. It was only when John asked a friend of ours to join Playground Circus as the guitar player. That guy couldn’t make it because the responsibilities with his other band wouldn’t allow that, but he then suggested El and the rest is history.

How long have you been playing as a band?

The band was formed in 2014 and for the first 4 or 5 months of the band’s history,  the line up was John with three friends from old projects. When El joined the band, the first official Playground Circus line up was formed and we’ve been playing together ever since.

Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

Oh yes, the name question! So, despite all the makeup and “seriousness” that we try to put out to the world (not very successfully most of the time) we are pretty much (especially John) boys trapped in the bodies of men. So most of our everyday life revolves around stupid jokes or something idiotic that led John to injure himself again. People in England don’t use this term a lot but in Greece it is very common to describe people like us as the “circus” so I guess we kinda merged this characterization and the fact that we think that the world is our playground and the name came up.

What are your influences?

(John) I am a skate punk, pop punk kid that later in life fell in love with the more modern era of metal. So in terms of naming bands Nofx, Bad Religion and Green Day were the first things that influenced my songwriting and as I grew older I got into Blink 182, New Found Glory, Papa Roach, Slipknot and bands like these. More recent bands that I fell in love with are A Day To Remember, Ice Nine Kills and Electric Callboy.

(El) I grew up surrounded by different kinds of music but when it comes to what influences my playing in Playground Circus I’d say guitar oriented music mostly. From Eddie Van Halen to Metallica and At The Gates they can all have their place when I’m recording a solo or a riff. When I’m working on the orchestrations though things are obviously quite different since I get my influences from artists like Hans Zimmer, Vangelis Papathanasiou, Hidden Citizens when it comes to symphonic parts or Normandie, The Prodigy and Pendulum when we dive into more electronic topics.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

We always like to say that we are the band that when you listen to our music makes you wanna grab your skateboard and start doing kickflips again. With that said we think that this is how we started as a band but evolved into something more complex. Especially after El started getting more actively involved in the song writing, a lot of electronic influences and synthesizers started to appear in our music. We think this led to something very interesting that we can only be described as Sum 41 on steroids or maybe Prodigy on skateboards? We think that you guys can be better judges for this. The important thing is that we are having fun bringing our music out to the world and meeting some awesome people along the way.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

Everyday life for sure. Our latest single “Her Anarchy” is inspired by something a colleague of John’s said once to a guy that was hitting on her one night at the bar they used to work at. And the last two songs we wrote (shhhhh they haven’t been released yet) one is literally talking about how many times John can say fuck in a minute and the other is talking about the friends that always say they’ll show up to your show but never do. And then we have songs like Tidal Wave that talks about how depressing and awful the last 2 years were with everything on a stand still, locked in our little apartments, staring at four walls. So yes… The world is our playground I guess?

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What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

We love playing shows…

(John)  If I was given the chance I would probably jump on a tour bus and never look back. Play music night after night.

Our shows consist of a lot of energy, a lot of jumping and knocking a few mic stands over and a lot of stupid jokes and talking with the crowd. I love talking to the crowd and make them say fuck a lot. As for the number of shows, I honestly can’t say a number! We have been actively playing and touring as much as possible since 2014!! So I’d probably say a lot!

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

(John) I can’t think of something done during a show or at a show, but more of a funny story a few years back when I was touring and got super drunk. Legend has it that I was so drunk that I booked a show one night for the next day and I had no recollection of this happening. Despite my drunken state, I did manage to do all the arrangements, had our driver drive us there and slept. In my head though I thought that I just went to bed that night. So fast forward to the next morning and I woke up in another city. Freaking out obviously of how we got there and what’s the reason for us being there. When the rest of the band explained,I started laughing and had to play a show with the worst hangover I ever had!

(El) We’ve played so many shows across Europe, UK and USA so we’ve seen lot’s of crazy things. One not so funny but really important for me is when we had Lemmy from Motorhead at one of our shows at the Whisky A Go Go some years back. It was mental. Also on that specific show we had Sonik Garcia from As Blood Runs Black hanging out with us and casually smoking a huge spliff backstage.

What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

Our drummer’s kit is a Crush kit and he is in love with Zildjian cymbals. He never uses anything else. We are LTD (mostly cause we can’t afford ESP) kids, both of us play with the LTD EC series. Basses we have always been using Fender Precisions, and on our last tour our sound on the guitars was coming from a Line 6 P.O.D Go and a line 6 Helix.  The heart of our backing tracks is our behind the scenes rack that has all our in ears and audio interfaces that power our Presonus Studio One project that sends everything to the front of house.

What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?

(El) So today (Friday Nov 4th) we just released our brand new single “Her Anarchy” which is our most innovative track so far. Combining energetic fast paced punk rock with some heavier genres, electronic music and symphonic elements. Personally my favorite Playground Circus song so far. We are also releasing a music video for it which we filmed during our UK summer tour last August.

What are your plans for the next 6 months or so?

Lots of shows. Trying to make up for the time we lost during the lockdowns. On November 26th we are playing Percy’s in Whitchurch for the first time. We were trying to book this one since before the pandemic so we are super stoked about it. Then, on January we are doing a small UK run joining a band from abroad on their tour here. We can’t talk about it yet but it’ll probably be announced next week. Then we are working on two headline UK tours on April and June one South and the other one around midlands and the North. We always have plans to return to Europe but things are still unstable so can’t talk about specific plans and dates yet.

Apart from the shows we’ll release four more singles that’ll complete our upcoming new EP which we are hoping to release on vinyl but with the global vinyl industry crisis, the high demand, rising shipping costs and lack of pressing materials you can never plan too far ahead.

If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!

(John) I think I’d be the happiest man if I could open a tour for A Day To Remember. As for a band before us I’d probably get our friends Above Us The Waves, they are awesome dudes and Vang (their singer) is the friend who suggested El as the guitarist for the band in the beginning of our career. So I think I not only owe him one for this but I am certain that we’d have the best of times on the road.

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If you want to check out more new music, then fire up our Headline Act playlists on Spotify and YouTube!

Playground Circus: facebook | instagram | spotify | bandcamp | youtube

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