INTERVIEW with Michael Tyack (italian
by Giancarlo Bolther
you give us an introduction to your band with the history of your
Circulus began in 1997. The current line up has been together
for about four years. We combine Moog synthesizer with ancient wind
instruments to confuse people as to whether we are from the future
or from the past.
You seem to be a freak ensamble of artists, can you tell
me more about your lifestyle? What kind of person are you as men and
Most of the band are full time musicians and music teachers,
although "full time" might only mean an hour or two a week,
leaving plenty of time for just sitting around drinking tea. Our drummer
has a family and a full time job, so he's in a different situation
to the rest of us. I think the word freaks is quite a good one to
Can you tell us more about your interest in medieval music
and why did you choose to mix reinessance music with psichedelic rock?
Mixing psychedelic rock with the ancient is my mission in
life. The two styles both compliment each other so well. When I die
I'm hoping there's such a thing as "reverse reincarnation".
Your style is really seventies, do you hate digital music
and the new technologies?
I'm not too keen on new technology. We make our music using
traditional instruments. Even the Moog I consider to be a traditional
instrument. I prefer recording the old way using tape but the latest
album was done on "Pro Tools" for convenience. Our friends
the Queens of Noize have remixed an old Gryphon track with lots of
bleeps. It's not the sort of thing Circulus would do but it sounds
great! Hear it on their Myspace.
The sound of the guitar reminds to me a lot the west coast
tradition (alike Grateful Dead) more than the english psichedelic
sound, do you agree?
I think you're right. Perhaps it's my Fender amp! The Moog
alongside the guitar makes it sound more West Coast.
What kind of response are you experiencing from the audience
to your music?
The best introduction to our music is through seeing us live.
We'll try and get people dancing on stage with us and generally having
a mad time. The more madness we can create on stage then the happier
everyone becomes. It's up to us as performers to spread as much joy
as we can and most of the time our audience feel it to some degree.
Audiences like to see something different.
Can you tell us about the songs from the new album (composing
Every song will begin its life as a little guitar run which
if it is lucky will grow into a whole song. Many of the songs on the
new album are lyrically inspired by anguish and things in life that
don't make sense or seem unfair. Not all of them. Dragon's Dance is
a protest song about the existence of dragons. Willow Tree is a protest
song about growing older.
What do you mean with the title Clock Are Like People?
Nothing ever really makes sense, so why should our album
The new album is more melancholic, which is the message that
you want to say?
The message I want to say is "Yes, this is a melancholic
album! The next album will sound much happier. Long days of happiness
are soon and sure to come!"
Your music is full of beauty, did you look for an aesthetic
result or for a spiritual one?
As long as you feel our music is full of beauty it doesn't
matter what kind of aesthetic or spiritual result we we're looking
for. As long as we don't sound like anybody else then I'm happy. Originality
is very important.
What is that caracterize your live performances and how do
you prepare the set list for live performances?
About five minutes before a gig I scribble down a list of
songs. Since a lot of the songs use alternative guitar tunings I try
to bunch certain songs together so I'm not standing on stage retuning
my guitar all evening. Before we get on stage we will dress ourselves
in a fitting manner. Dressing up is a great passion of mine. I hate
to think how large the Circulus wardrobe would become if I had the
There is a long tradition of artists that play medieval and
folk music: Comus, String Driven Thing, Jethro Tull, Gryphon, Horslips
from the '70, Dead Can Dance, Sol Invictus and a lot of gothic artists
from the '80, also Ritchie Blackmore with his new project... do you
know these bands and their records? There is something that you like?
I'm not familiar with Sol Invictus but the rest of those
bands I know. Gryphon are amazing, Comus are good and strange and
Dead Can Dance I like very much.
At the same time a lot of bands try to mix folk/medieval
music with heavy metal, sometimes with good results, like Cruachan,
Skyklad, In Extremo and so on... do you like them also?
I like them so long as the metal element is doom and not
What kind of music do you listen to? What are your favourite
bands actually and what are your inspirations from the past?
As you can imagine, it's those early seventies bands like
Dr Strangely Strange, COB, Gryphon, Fuschia, Stone Angel, Malicorne,
Renaissance and Trees (to name but a few) who inspire me the most.
I also listen to a lot of early music such as David Munrow and renaissance
What does it mean for you Paganism and to be a pagan? Are
you close in some ways to Paganism?
I'm not a pagan. I'm a dreamer and a time traveller.
Modern world is running very fast, do you believe that we
need to slow and to look back sometimes?
The rest of the world can do what it wants. I'm quite happy
to speed up and look forwards!
A final salute...
I would like to salute Lavender Diamond. If you haven't heard
her then you must! She has a new EP coming out soon on Rough Trade.
All the best
Reviews (in italian): The
Lik on the Tip...;
Are Like People