Brandon Do and Nick Eremita, two USF sophomores and members of Circus Season, have a whole drumset, two guitar amps, a bass amp and five or six guitars stuffed in their Phelan Hall room, which doubles as a rehearsal and recording space. Circus Season came together to create a three (occasionally four piece) indie dance band at USF as freshmen last year, after a chance encounter in Ocean Beach.
Do, a sophomore entrepreneurship major says, “This last year, I was in Gillson and I met my bass player at a beach party in Ocean Beach, and we talked about our interests and the instruments we played, and one day Nick [Ermita, a sophomore physics major and the band’s bassist] came to my room in Gillson and we started jamming because we liked similar artists.” Guitarist Alex Tatman, a sophomore business administration major, completes the official lineup. Circus Season alternates between using a drum machine and a live drummer (sophomore psychology major Abe Sandoval) for performances.
Do remembers a particularly fun show at Brick and Mortar last year, where they played with fellow USF bands Saint-Hills, Butano, Pluto and the Wlfcnts, who they’ve since become friends with. He says that the band likes to “to get all of our songs in performances because I think people expect to know what we do, and what our music is. We try to make it as theatrical as possible.” This was easy to see at their latest show at USF Wishmaker’s Make a Wish Benefit on April 28. The crowd danced to the beat, as the band played and danced while being bathed in purple light.
The band works together to create all of their songs: Do writes the lyrics and Eremita and Tatman collaborate to add the melodies and rhythm. Do said, “For lyrics, we don’t really like writing mysterious weird lyrics, we like writing poetic lyrics that are easy to understand. I wouldn’t say they’re poppy, but they really play with rhythm.” “Chandelier,” the band’s first single, is about a party. “Do you want to know more about the world/how it spins and goes/let me tell you a secret, a little secret,” sings a cheery Do, at the start of the song.
“Chandelier,” the band’s single featuring a Chic-inspired dancey bass-line complementing Do’s deep voice as twin rock guitars play in the background. Do describes Circus Season’s sound as“indie-rock-dance-punk.” He said, “It’s music you can dance to. We’re inspired by Two Door Cinema Club and Bloc Party.”
“Chandelier” is crisp, fun and sounds like it was recorded in a plush recording studio, but it was really recorded in USF’s dorm rooms. Do explains, “‘Chandelier’ was all done in a dorm room, which is weird, because I was able to manage a whole studio setup in the room, even recording vocals, and once we finished recording we sent it to a mixer in the East Bay and he helped us finalize the project.” Do adds that they are about to release another single “Japantown,” and hope to put out a five song EP through Soundcloud.
Do is excited about Circus Season’s future because of their upcoming move to Loyola Village, where they’ll have more space to record with more instruments and equipment. The band seems happy with their emerging success, and Do is even more happy with the bandmates he met in college. He said, “That’s the beauty of college, we’re all different majors and we’ve all come together because of music.”
Photos by Racquel Gonzales/ Foghorn