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Progressive Rock Interviews

Shadow Circus

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Shadow Circus from 2010
MSJ: It's been a few years since we did an interview. What's been going on in the world of Shadow Circus since then?
Dave Bobick:  Well, in the last year and a half we recorded and released our second CD called “Whisper's & Screams”. The CD was released late November of '09. Since then we have been honing our chops for upcoming live shows which we will start announcing soon.

Corey Folta: Wow. Really just too much for a short response, though the abridged answer is: this record - a product I think we're all super proud of. Without question, I feel this was put together against all odds - as individuals and as a band, I believe our ability to make this happen was truly a test of our resolve. With Dave's kidney transplant, Jason going through just an absolutely traumatic time dealing with a spinal injury he suffered as a kid revisiting him and permanently changing his life and his family's life, not to mention his ability to play his instrument - just incredible resolve, incredible mental strength. What Jason accomplished both physically and mentally to get through playing on this record is the stuff heroes are made of. Add to that the rollercoaster of my financial struggles, plus our ever changing keyboard chair and the eventual inability to bring a keyboardist onboard for the recording (John of course rising to the occasion!), it's just a fantastic accomplishment that we all came together and made this happen.

John Fontana: At first we set out to get a live lineup together to play live in support of Welcome to the Freakroom, but as time went on with different players coming in, finding out people were too busy, starting again, at one point I just said, “hey, I have tons of ideas for a new album, and it's about time we did one while people still remember our first one!” The production of this album has really been an oasis in the middle of all of life's harshness - Dave's transplant, of course, everything that Jason's been through.
MSJ: If you weren't involved in music, what do you think you'd be doing?
Corey Folta: For money? Do we do this for money? So this means no producing or mixing either? I'd make films.

John Fontana: I think I would probably become a writer. It would have to be something creative.

Dave Bobick: Good lord.well…hmmm…chances are I'd still be doing musical theater of some sorts. That is what I was doing before the music bug hit me again a couple of years ago. My initial goal was to make a living doing theater but I believe that is an even loftier goal than trying to keep a band going long enough to make a living. Who knows? We'll see how it all turns out.
MSJ: What's ahead for you?
Corey Folta: I'm looking forward to SC getting on a stage and - as Jack Black would say - start melting some faces. On a personal level, I'm also excited about getting back to my solo project. I've been experimenting with a few line up ideas, not 100% on what I want to create yet, but I'm moving forward and towards some sort of creation, can't wait to begin in earnest.

Dave Bobick: What's ahead for me is the band. After that…the band. If all else
Fails, I'll still be going with the band!

John Fontana: Definitely getting the band up there on stage, getting on the road.
MSJ: If you were a superhero, what music person would be your arch-nemesis and why?
Corey Folta: I love all the world’s creatures ... well maybe with the exception of those dudes who sung the "keep 'em separated" song. Noodles? ... is that his name? He might have to go.

Dave Bobick: Oooooh, that's easy! Gene Simmons of KISS! The guy rocks! 'nuff said.

John Fontana: Maybe Sting, if only because he has a cool villain name already.
MSJ: If you were to put together your ultimate band, who would be in it?
Corey Folta: Fiona Apple and Chino from the Deftones sharing vocal duties, maybe a shared guitar role between Josh Homme (QOTSA), Adrian Belew and Tom Morello. And bass? Tim Commerford could work, he's a good meat and potatoes guy.

Dave Bobick: Well, I'd have to say, John Fontana and Corey Folta! I think Shadow Circus is the ultimate band!

John Fontana: Hmmm...I might have said get the guitarist and keyboardist from Yes, the bass player from King Crimson, and the drummer from ELP, but then when we did that, what did we get? Cowbell! So, I am forever distrustful of the possible ironic outcomes that a dream lineup can produce!
MSJ: If you were in charge of assembling a music festival and wanted it to be the ultimate one from your point of view, who would be playing?
Corey Folta: Zeppelin, Hendrix with Mitch Mitchell, Jeff Buckley, The Doors, and The Who circa their Tommy tour

Dave Bobick: Emerson Lake & Palmer, Dream Theater with Shadow Circus in the opening slot! What a bill that would be.

John Fontana: Yes, ELP, Zeppelin, The Who, Queen, Pink Floyd, Genesis with Peter Gabriel
MSJ: What was the last CD you bought, or what have you been listening to lately?
Corey Folta: John Mayer's Continuum - seriously. I can't stop listening to this record, probably for the last four weeks, every day. The musicianship is stellar, there's this great economy of language, both lyrically and instrumentally. It's also just an incredibly sad and honest record.

Dave Bobick: The last CD I bought was the new CD from Them Crooked Vultures which is the band with John Paul Jones in it but honestly, I've been listening to the new Kiss CD called “Sonic Boom” religiously - huge Kiss fan here.

John Fontana: Transatlantic's The Whirlwind
MSJ: What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?
Corey Folta: NIN and Jane's Addiction. Jane's still got it! Stephen Perkins? Need I say more?

Dave Bobick: The last concert I attended was Yes at Town Hall in NYC. We had fourth row seats - great show all around!

John Fontana: Yes at Town Hall
MSJ: Have you had any new Spinal Tap moments since the last go around?
Corey Folta: Every day!

John Fontana: I think recording an album with a 34-minute epic qualifies as a Spinal Tap moment!
MSJ: Finally, are there any closing thoughts you'd like to get out there?
Dave Bobick: Shadow Circus Live…look out for it!

Corey Folta: Just a thanks for offering to interview us. As we all know, the industry is changing every day, with more opportunities, but also more challenges for bands at our level to get the word out there and let people know they exist. So anyone helping independent artists do that is OK in my book. We all know there's very little money left in Rock 'n Roll, with even fewer spots at the top than there ever was, so anyone left doing this, we know they/we are doing it for the love and not for the dollar - from the musicians to the studio owners, producers and engineers, to the promoters, the club owners and journalists like yourself - we all do it because we love it, and that's powerful! So thank you.
John Fontana: Yes, thank you for this interview and all of your support, Gary! We hope the next time we see you, we will be waving to you from a stage!
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 2 at
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