Our current Song List
Titles that are links lead to mp3 samples.
Now this is all the songs on the album, plus other. Yay!
Notes about Private Circus and song writingEveryone in the band contributes to all the songs. One may not notice Jerfo being mentioned up above. Don't let that fool you. His contributions are manifold. Just about every bit that you might think of as sounding "progressive" a la "Yes" or "King Crimson" was thrown in by him. Also, the parts we are given we often make our own. For instance, the verse bass line in "Click" was a Hacksaw invention, but was immediately tweaked by Otto.
Another interesting fact: Most of the older songs revolve around the drums and bass. This was because they were written before Mr. Jerfo's time. It is a testement to his ability that he came up with parts for those songs with little or no direction from the other guys.
Here's how we write songs: Most practices start with a jam. We're generally a little cold, so we try and keep it simple until we are warmed up. Once in a while, the jam is highly compelling. That's one source of song ideas. Another is that someone comes up with an idea. Hacksaw often gets ideas walking around. We play around with this until everyone has a part they like, and then we try to add a second part. Often someone has a related idea at this point, due to having played the first part for so long.
As far as lyrics go, Otto is by far the biggest producer of words for this band. (Jerfo produces many for his own work. Hacksaw doesn't produce many lyrics, but does much other writing. Strange?) Mr. Otto seems to vary in how the words come out. Sometimes it's by thinking hard and sweating, sometimes they pour out.
At this point Mr. Otto comes up with the vocal melody, and sings the lyrics over the song. Once everyone understand what's going on with them, we might make suggestions about the lyrics, but far more often we talk about the arrangement. Over time, Mr, Jerfo decides if he's going to provide backing vocals to parts of the song. This varies with the difficulty of the guitar part, and the needs of the song.
Private Circus is very much a song driven band. It's unlikely you will ever hear a drum solo, and if you do, you'll hear a melody in it. It's not the flashy instruments, the slick clothing or the ritual grimaces, it's all in the music. Don't worry too much about what that means, though. We still let Mr. Jerfo do the odd solo, because they are generally good and fun. And, well, odd.
Speaking of odd, Private Circus has a number of songs in odd times, especially seven. We try very hard to avoid sounding as if we are counting beats. If it doesn't flow, we tend to drop it. Any song that requires sudden intense concentration is likely to sound somewhat constipated during those sections. That's not to say we don't go through periods where we must concentrate. On TMI, the "chorus" is in seven, but the guitars are playing in five, or sometimes five and eight. It was a numbers of practices before Hacksaw felt relaxed during that part.
The upshot of this is you might find songs a little challenging, but hopefully you won't be confused for nine minutes.
All songs are by Private Circus, except where noted. All songs are produced by Private Circus. Sometimes we'll say who drove the production or the direction of writing. That's just informational, bub.
All songs © 1999,2000,2001,2002 L.G.Dyson, J.McClelland, D.C.Todd