Russian Circles interview // Going Off Track 





All three members of Russian Circles: Mike Sullivan, Dave Turncrantz and occasional Going Off Track guest host Brian Cook came by the podcast while promoting their latest album “Guidance” for a rare group interview with Jonah. Of the course of our conversation we discuss their joke nu metal band called Gypsy Foot, why they don’t have microphones onstage (it has something to do with the fact that both of their video interviews have gotten them banned from magazines) and how as an instrumental band they go about naming their songs. “What one person might take away from the song might be totally different from the next person so normally it’s just acknowledgement of people and places that mean something to us as a band and we’re grateful for. It’s usually positive stuff that resonates with us that doesn’t say too much about anything at all,” Sullivan explains. We also discuss our mutual love for true crime television, why the band prefer writing music together in person as opposed to working online and Cook’s recent experience teaching a bass workshop at Berkelee College Of Music. Oh and if you were wondering if Russian Circles were planning on adding a saxophone player anytime soon, don’t count on it.

Photo: Paul Blau

(via Going Off Track)

The Thin Air // Interview with Russian Circles 


By Will Murphy

Ahead of shows at Dublin’s Whelan’s on Wednesday, March 22 and Belfast’s Empire Music Hall the following night, Will Murphy speaks to Brian Cook, bassist with Chicago instrumental masters Russian Circles about touring, politics, their latest album, the ideal audience, the craft of songwriting and more.

Hi, Brian. How’s the road been treating you? The next few months look pretty exciting in terms of venues and nations, is there anywhere that you’re all particularly looking forward to? What will you be listening to stave off the monotony of touring?

Touring has been good. We took care of our headlining U.S. dates last fall, and we divided Europe into two tours this time around just because there were so many cities we wanted to hit. We did Scandinavia and Eastern Europe back in October and November, which was pretty exhausting, but overall a great experience. Sometimes you get so accustomed to hitting the same places over and over again that it becomes easy to take things for granted, then you wind up playing a few shows in Romania and it serves as a reminder that we’re very fortunate to be able to do what we do. Now we’re out doing Western Europe and the UK, which is very familiar territory for us. Not as much of an adventure, but rewarding to be back in cities where we have friends and know the lay of the land. In terms of music, I’ve sort of reverted back to the old school touring listening habits. It used to be that you’d go on tour with a half dozen cassettes or a small book of CDs, then the iPod made it so that you toured with your entire music library and you’d never listen to the same album twice on a six-week tour. Now I’m back to traveling with just a few albums on my phone. I’ve been listening to a lot of Sun City Girls, Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk, Michael Rother, and Lungfish on my headphones. There has also been more than a few spins of the new Power Trip, Oranssi Pazuzu, and Rotting Christ albums in the van.

I remember seeing you when you were last in Dublin. What struck me was how unwilling you were to rush anything. Everything took exactly as long as it was going to take. It was a really ballsy move, and I’m wondering has it ever backfired horribly?

The bigger problem is not allowing enough time. Mike and I have so many changes and adjustments we have to do between songs—different tunings, different guitars, different pedal settings, different Taurus settings—and we do it all while bridging the songs with interludes. Plus, there’s the whole thing of trying to squeeze in a swig of beer and a toweling down of the face between all of that. We used to tour with these auxiliary delay pedals at the end of our chain that served zero purpose other than to silently notifying the rest of the band that we were ready to go into the next song. If the red light on Mike’s delay pedal was on, we knew he was ready. Same for me. The only problem is that sometimes one of us would forget to turn it on, and we’d stand there waiting for nothing until the guilty party remembered to stomp on the pedal.

Read more

Russian Circles Announce Tour w/ Mastodon 

Russian Circles will be on tour with Mastodon and Eagles of Death Metal. Tickets will be on sale January 13th. 

04/14 Missoula, MT - Wilma Theater
04/15 Seattle, WA - Paramount Theater
04/16 Portland, OR - Roseland Theater
04/18 San Francisco, CA - The Warfield
04/20 Los Angeles, CA - The Hollywood Palladium
04/21 Phoenix, AZ - Comerica Theatre
04/23 Salt Lake City, UT - Complex
04/24 Denver, CO - Fillmore
04/26 Kansas City, KS - Uptown Theater
04/27 St. Louis, MO - Pageant
04/28 Birmingham, AL - Iron City
05/02 Washington, DC - Fillmore
05/03 Toronto, ON - Rebel
05/04 Cleveland, OH - Agora Theater
05/06 Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory*
05/08 Boston, MA - House of Blues
05/09 Portland, ME - State Theater
05/11 New York, NY - Hammerstein Ballroom
05/12 Pittsburgh, PA - Stage AE
05/13 Chicago, IL - Aragon Ballroom
05/14 Cincinnati, OH - Taft Theatre
05/16 Detroit, MI - Royal Oak Theater
05/17 Nashville, TN - Ryman Auditorium
05/18 Memphis, TN - Minglewood Hall
05/19 Dallas, TX - Gas Monkey Live!
05/20 Austin, TX - ACL Live at the Moody Theater

*w/ Mastodon, Opeth, Gojira, Eagles of Death Metal, Devin Townsend 

More Best of 2016 Lists: MAGNET, Mxdwn, Echoes and Dust, Destroy//Exist 

On their sixth studio album, Russian Circles continue on the same path they started down on 2013’s Memorial, easily their most expansive record, matching serene pieces like “Asa” with the molten fury of “Afrika” and lead single “Vorel.” Kurt Ballou of Converge, who moonlights as one of contemporary metal’s most accomplished producers, imbues the record with a riveting weight unheard on any of the band’s previous work. The result is the most dynamic LP of Russian Circles’ career, a riveting album that catches one of America’s finest metal bands at the peak of its powers.

For over a decade, Russian Circles carved out a respectable place within the once-crowded post-metal scene. While most of their peers stubbornly drew water from the same well again and again as the sub-genre faded from relevance, the Seattle band has released its best work to date. Equal parts aggressive, hypnotic, intriguing and beautiful, Guidance will stand as one of the seminal releases in the experimental-metal pantheon.
Matt Matasci

The album flows together almost flawlessly like some rumination on one long and complex matrix of unspeakable things. This isn’t so much an exploration of loud vs quiet as a conversation between light and dark, pulse and peace, the delicacy that tempers rage; the one amplifying the other and creating the most bittersweet and inspiring offspring.

#3 - The three years since 2013’s Memorial mark the band’s record for longest absence between albums but Guidance upon its arrival proved that it was absolutely worth the wait. Once again Russian Circles balance expertly between calmness and loudness, providing their signature dramatic outbursts, toying with opposite emotions and delivering everything on point, with the help of co-producer Kurt Ballou who proficiently captures the band’s complex sentimentality.

Russian Circles “Guidance” In What Culture’s Top Alternative Albums of 2016 

On their sixth studio album, soundscape pioneers Russian Circles place much more emphasis on the textural qualities of their work, ultimately making for a much more refined music experience in the process.

As always, Russian Circles have the innate ability to convey emotions through their instruments alone, reaching particular moments of enlightenment on the ethereal drifter ‘Mota’, the turbulent instrumental cavalcade ‘Vorel’ and the evolving beauty 'Afrika.’

This trio are quickly becoming one of the most important instrumental rock bands of the century, and on Guidance, they continue to expand their deeply sophisticated sound palette with real finesse and poignancy.

Via What Culture

Russian Circles announce EU/UK Spring 2017 Tour 


Russian Circles will be touring Europe & the UK beginning in February 2017. Cloakroom will be joining as support for all dates.

A full list of shows can be found below. Tickets will be available HERE.


18 Feb - Tilburg, NL @ 013
19 Feb - Cologne, DE @ Gebäude 9
20 Feb - Hamburg, DE @ Knust
21 Feb - Arhus, DK @ Voxhall
22 Feb - Copenhagen, DK @ Vega
24 Feb - Bielefeld, DE @ Forum
25 Feb - Karlsruhe, DE @ Jubez
26 Feb - Munich, DE @ Strom
28 Feb - Dornbirn, AT @ Spielboden
01 Mar - Bologna, IT @ Locomotiv
02 Mar - Rome, IT @ Monk
03 Mar - Livorno, IT @ The Cage
04 Mar - Milan, IT @ Santeria Social Club
05 Mar - Zurich, CH @ Rote fabrik
06 Mar - Geneva, CH @ Kalvingrad / Usine
08 Mar - Barcelona, ES @ Bikini
09 Mar - Madrid, ES @ 100% Psych @ Shoko
10 Mar - Lisbon, PT @ RCA Club
11 Mar - Porto, PT @ Hard Club
13 Mar - Biarritz, FR @ Atabal
14 Mar - Bordeaux, FR @ Krakatoa
15 Mar - Nantes, FR @ Stereolux
16 Mar - Paris, FR @ Trabendo
17 Mar - Brussels, BE @ Botanique
18 Mar - Brighton, UK @ The Haunt
19 Mar - Bristol, UK @ The Marble Factory
20 Mar - Manchester, UK @ Gorilla
22 Mar - Dublin, IE @ Whelans
23 Mar - Belfast, IE @ Empire Music Hall
24 Mar - Glasgow, UK @ Stereo
25 Mar - Birmingham, UK @ O2 Institute2
26 Mar - London, UK @ Heaven

Russian Circles + Helms Alee Live Review and Photos via CVLT Nation 

The latest Helms Alee release, Stillicide, was an impressive feat by itself. In person, the tracks are even more massive. As they played the final seconds of “Galloping Mind Fuk” to end their set, it was clear that whether live or recorded, they play with more force than many of their peers. Hozoji Margullis is, to say the least, a phenom behind the drums. Dana Jones brings a concrete, unshakable foundation with her bass. And then there’s Ben Verellen, whose playing and vocals are abrasive, intense and perfectly suited to Helms. Their aquatic inspirations were evident as they rolled through songs with the strength of a hurricane tidal surge.

Russian Circles are a bucket-list band. As expansive as their records are, the three create an even larger landscape in person. From Station to their recent Guidance, Brian Cook, Mike Sullivan and Dave Turncrantz collected ten tracks from their discography and stretched them into what seemed like hours and hours. The rises and falls and building then stalling of their songs created a story that took you from stillness to the usual light headbang. The voices of each instrument were highlighted in a live setting so that they each contributed equally to the conversation. Even on an album, the individuality that each person brings isn’t so distinct.

Read more

Russian Circles Fall 2016 European Tour Begins Next Week 

Russian Circles are about to embark on their Fall 2016 European tour starting October 21 and Helen Money will be joining them on all shows after the Polish dates. View all show/ticket details HERE

Full list of dates below:

Oct 21 - Wroclaw, Poland*
Oct 22 - Gdansk, Poland*
Oct 23 - Warsaw, Poland*
Oct 25 - Vilnius, Lithuania
Oct 26 - Durbe, Latvia
Oct 27 - Tallinn, Estonia
Oct 28 - Helsinki, Finland
Oct 30 - Stockholm, Sweden
Oct 31 - Oslo, Norway
Nov 2 - Bergen, Norway
Nov 3 - Stavanger, Norway
Nov 5 - Athens, Greece
Nov 6 - Berlin, Germany
Nov 7 - Leipzig, Germany
Nov 9 - Brno, Czech Republic
Nov 10 - Budapest, Hungary
Nov 11 - Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Nov 12 - Bucharest, Romania
Nov 13 - Sofia, Bulgaria
Nov 14 - Skopje, Macedonia
Nov 15 - Beograd-Vracar, Serbia
Nov 17 - Zagreb, Croatia
Nov 18 - Ljubljana, Slovenia
Nov 19 - Vienna, Austria
all shows with Helen Money except *

Russian Circles Live Review at Warsaw in Brooklyn, NY via Cryptic Rock 

Emotions hold a vast amount of movements and transitions. They can drop to a somber internal echo or rise to an explosive vengeance in the blink of an eye. A spectrum of feelings all of humanity experience in life, music can help one heal, cope, or even let off a bit of steam. That said, the Experimental Rock/Metal offspring known as Post Rock has morphed over the past few decades, displaying the roller coaster of human emotion through instrumental melodic compositions. One such band that rose from the new millennium’s Post Rock movement is Chicago, Illinois’ three-piece band known as Russian Circles.

Coming on the scene within the same time period as others such as Pelican, Explosions in the Sky, Red Sparowes, and Japan’s Mono, to name a few, Russian Circle’s 2006 debut full-length album, Enter, struck up a lot of attention. A continuously flowing piece of music, the record opened the door for Russian Circles to support Tool on tour in the United Kingdom back in 2007. Meanwhile, stateside they were building a strong fanbase performing at small clubs like Maxwell’s in Hoboken, New Jersey and just a few short month later were headlining Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York supporting 2008′s Station. Since then, Russian Circles has been trending upward, creating dissonant, harsh arrangements with each passing album, and on August 5, 2016, they released their sixth overall studio album, Guidance. An anticipated follow-up to 2013′s Memorial, the seven track collection is nothing less than flawless and mind-expanding.


Join the mailing list for Russian Circles news