Coming up on Sunday, March 26, indie/emo/shoegaze collective The You Suck Flying Circus will be landing in Cincinnati, taking over The Comet with locals Cheaper Than Therapy and newcomers kappakappa.
The show and tour is happening in support of the latest release from the band, Companion. A swirling mix of grunge, shoegaze, and post-hardcore, it’s an exciting listen, and a not exactly surprising but still kind of surprising turn for the band? The album releases this Friday, March 24 - snag a physical copy or buy it digitally right here.
I had a chance to talk to Wes Meadows, founding member and central figure in The You Suck Flying Circus Camp. They’re a mainstay in the NE Ohio indie scene, setting up shows, running a label, and playing in various projects in the area. Wes has been touring for years and is looking forward to coming back through Cincinnati - read more below on why.
The You Suck Flying Circus has come through Cincy before, but this might be the first time a lot of CincyMusic readers will be hearing that name. Can you tell us a little about the band - where you’re from, how it started, where you see yourselves musically?
We’re a collective that I started in 2015 as a catch-all name for things that didn’t have other projects. The first couple of years was just me and whoever happened to be around at the time. Around 2017 we started making music we were really proud of and decided to put together a live band. Most of those initial collaborators are still involved, even though the band ebbs and flows over time depending on members availability. We’ve currently got most of the band members writing tunes, which is a big change from the early days, when I wrote most of it myself. Right now, we’re really focused in on a grungy shoegazey post-hardcore style, but in 2020 we did a black metal album and in 2017 we were basically a noisy jam band, so we’re definitely going to continue to change over time. We’re thinking of doing a dance rock album next, or a spooky dark folk record. But we’ll see how it shakes out. Right now we’re really happy with the stuff we’re currently making, so we might just make more of that.
You’re heavily involved in the music scene in your city. Can you tell the readers about where you’re from in Ohio, and how you got involved in the scene? How are things different now versus when you first got started?
Cleveland in general, and Berea, the suburb I lived in, both value live music quite a lot. We were given a lot of opportunities as kids. Our marching band was 200 strong in a school of 1200 people. Everyone wanted to be in it, and a lot of people showed up to support it. We had a teacher, Chris Reynolds (a popular local musician in his own right) who would book 6 hours in a nice studio every year on his own dime so that all the poets and singers and punk bands could track a song or two. In addition, a lot of ‘house venues’ (moms that were nice enough to let us use their basements/garages/spare rooms) were always around, even when we were in high school. I saw a lot of things like Elephant 6, Quote Unquote Records, and Community Records, people/groups making a jump-off spot for their friends to release music, and decided I wanted to do it too. So, I’ve been playing in bands and selling cds and tapes from a box in my car since I was about 14. It’s been a wild ride, and living in Cleveland guarantees that it will continue to be exciting.
In addition to this band, you’re involved with a number of other projects, as well as various labels and imprints that put out music via Bandcamp, on cassette, and in other ways. Drop some band names, some links, and some descriptions for folks who might want to check out what else you’re doing!
I run Flowerpot Records, and help with its experimental subsidiary, Sad Nap Records. Members of The You Suck Flying Circus play in a lot of bands, but the ones you should be paying attention to right now are Young Steve, I hope so., Flipcoin, The Heavy Forgiveness, Liger Woods, mayyourlungsbefull., Antimere Plex, sprout gf, Cliff Sampson, and Fruitfly.
How has your experience been when you’ve come through Cincy? What do you like coming back to?
We’ve grown to love Cincy. My first few times in the city came between 2012 and 2017, playing Cincy by the Slice with my old ska band All Over The Place. Then I booked a few shows for punk bands Younger and Tenineight at the Northside Yacht Club in 2018, and The You Sucks played Legend’s in 2019. Post-quarantine, I’ve also played the Game N Groove outdoor stage as a solo artist. But by far, our favorite local venue is The Comet. They always try to help us out when we’re in town, the food is amazing, and the vibes are great. This will be our third time playing it since 2021, and we’ll definitely be playing it again at least once a year, forever.
Talk about the show happening at The Comet this weekend - who’s playing, what can folks expect?
Our new set will blow you away if you like heavy grungy shoegaze. The new album, Companion, will have come out the night before, so we’ll be fresh. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Ready to ROCK. I’ve known Chase Baechele since 2019 when he played Legends with TYSFC in his band Sovereign Being, and he’s got a new act he’s gigging with, Cheaper Than Therapy. They’re jammy and mostly instrumental with a touch of fun prog. The other band is also pretty new, kappakappa., and they’re an indiemo band that self-produced their first batch of songs and I can’t wait for more. The bassist, Ben Idle, was one of the first people to review my old band All Over The Place, and we’ve played a handful of shows together over the last 15 years whenever we’re in the same place. It’ll be great for me to see new projects from my old pals. Comet shows are free and we get a chunk of the bar sales, so make sure you bring some money to buy merch and some food!
What else would you like to add or mention?
Long live DIY. Start a band. Throw a show. Support your local scene. Drag is harmless. Trans people have always been here, and always will be. Warning Shot is the best band of all time.
Be sure to stop by The Comet Sunday night to check out the show - it’s free, and the burritos are insanely good (but not free). And don’t forget to check out the album. It’s a ripper, and a hell of a way to start off Spring.