Pete Tross

Leave The Circus

In this interview, Sgt Slayer was lucky enough to approach Peter Tross, who is the guitarist for the Greek metal band Leave the Circus, for an indepth an informative interview. Pete touched on a range of subjects: the origin of the band's name, his perspective regarding the international metal scene, and their combination of US and Swedish metal scene elements,
By Sgt Slayer 666
February 13, 2016
Pete Tross (Leave The Circus) interview
How would you describe the style of music that you play?

It is mostly a mix of many styles. Someone could meet Melodic, Death, Heavy and sometimes alternative elements of Metal to our music. We are trying not to "hang up signs" to our music, and I hope that we are making this happen.

Can you please tell us about the origin of the name?

The name – LEAVE THE CIRCUS – is basically an encouragement to the people, to get off the modern society's loop, that makes us mindless and makes us act without critical thinking. Our fans could also see all these meanings through our lyrics, song titles and so on. This is the overall mindset of LEAVE THE CIRCUS.

How long have you been together and how many releases have you had so far?

LEAVE THE CIRCUS is a pretty young band, being created in late 2013. We have released some demo songs at first, but our first official release was in late 2014 (October in UK, Europe and rest of the world/ December in North and South America), and it was an EP album entitled "MINDLESS MASS".

How do you approach the writing process is there a main songwriter or do you each come together with separate ideas and jam it out?

It's mostly the first way you described. I provide the band with the main idea for a song. Afterwards, each member is putting on separately their own ideas. We examine each idea and decide, if, and how we can integrate it inside the track. All the members being in LEAVE THE CIRCUS have different "favourites" and influences in metal music. So, putting on ideas by each one, gives us a very interesting final result.

With the recording process is it something that you do all together in a live session or do you each go in separately and record your own parts?

We record separately each track, so, (technically speaking) we can take afterwards much better results while mixing and mastering the songs. Surely, playing all together, live, sounds awesome and it is! However it is very hard and uneconomical, making a whole album this way, taking into consideration, that we want a high quality sound for each track.

Coming from Greece do you see your Greek culture and history playing much of a part in the lyric and musical themes of the band?

Not really that much. As LEAVE THE CIRCUS we mostly speak of social issues in the lyrics of our songs. Not only in Greece, but worldwide.

What would you describe as some of your influences both musical and non-musical?

An influence that could make someone create a piece of art is something very hard to define. Everything surrounding you could be an influence. Politics, a movie, a book, a painting. Literally everything! Musical influences is easier to say. Our sound combines mostly two metal styles. The U.S scene, which gives us very bright and aggressive elements, and the old school Swedish metal scene, which gives us the "magic".

What made you pick up your instrument of choice in the beginning?

Easy to say! Watching videos (in a very young age) of Iron Maiden, Richie Blackmore, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Gary Moore, Jimi Hendrix, Slash, Joe Satriani and so many other guitar legends. I really liked what they did, and i wanted to make this too.

How long have you been playing in bands and what bought you guys finally together to create Leave The Circus?

I have been playing in bands for over a decade. I started being involved in this industry since I was very young. Not making always successful steps. Especially in the beginning. But some mistakes, made me learn very important lessons, bringing me now in a position that I can easily say what I want, and how I want it done. I had been thinking creating LEAVE THE CIRCUS for a couple of months. When I finally decided to form the band, the first person I spoke was Anthony, and proposed him to take the "hot seat" behind the drums. I already knew Anthony for many years, and we have collaborated in the past. So, he happily accepted being part of this new project. Nick came second on the bass, and it was Anthony's suggestion. They have recorded together in the past, and I gave it a shot. Finally we came up together, and the results were way better than expected. Finally, Vagelis joined the band, and made us all drop our jaws on the floor, with his tremendous aggressive vocal lines.

Has the band played outside of Greece and where and with whom?

Not yet. We are looking forward to arrange some live shows in Greece for 2016. Maybe a tour inside the borders and at the same time we could see for opportunities outside of Greece. We have some offers for festivals in Southern, Eastern and Central Europe, but for now, it is too early to say.

What would you describe as one of the highlights of your musical career so far?

The release party of our EP album, many, really enthusiastic, reviews for the album, and of course some messages we take from fans from time to time, showing us that despite we are still a "young" band, we are based upon strong fan base.

How would you describe the current Greek metal scene?

I am very sad to say that, like any other metal scene in the world right now, it is descending. Only bands who really like what they do, and believe in it, will survive. The economic crisis, we are passing through these last years, will show who is really playing music for the music, and who is playing music hoping only to make money.

What do you think of the current international metal scene?

Unfortunately, the current international metal scene is in hiatus. We see so many great bands, giving crappy albums, Songs, singles etc. to their fans, just because "they have to", Or because the companies want to make money in order to keep functioning and don't go bankrupt. Of course there are exceptions to this, but not so many. This is a very sad situation, getting us all musicians in a dead end. About last year, this has started changing! Metal music hit the mainstream "salons" and we had a rapid increase to the people listening to metal music. Also, the fans in the underground scene were more active than any other year before. So, as we can see, all this sad and unhealthy background starts fading, and metal music takes again the status it deserves, through it's own people and musicians.

Who do you think will be there to step up when the biggest bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Metallica and Black Sabbath call it quits?

There is always someone back in the line to step up. There are so many great bands out there to take the lead. If I start mentioning all of them it is going to take forever… I think that the fans will decide the next years who is capable of "wearing the crown" being the "leader" of the others. The only thing for sure is that metal scene (thank God) still, does not lack of great bands and musicians.

Could you please give us some words of advice for young musicians?

The only thing I have to say to every young musician out there is to do what they like. Do not listen to the critics out there who are trying to make you give up. Follow your dreams and do what you love the most. In music, there is not right or wrong. And that is the most beautiful thing anyone can find in life. The freedom to act without constraints and limits. This is music.

Thank you Pete for your time and I look forward to seeing future releases from your band.

I would like to thank you too for the opportunity given, to speak of LEAVE THE CIRCUS in such a comprehensive and nice interview.
Wish you all the best!

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