Dead Letter Circus Interview: On Building a Fanbase in the US

Awaiting an order of gourmet sandwiches at a restaurant on the Sunset Strip, Dead Letter Circus guitarist Rob Maric and frontman Kim Benzie speak of mainstream media and its influence on society. “It’s not natural to have violence broadcasted to you from all angles of the world,” Maric says. “[Taking action begins] with your personal relations to people around you and changing yourself.”

Rebellious attitudes against media influence and corporate power serve as central themes to the Brisbane, Australia band’s 2010 album This is the Warning. Their Zeitgeist-inspired ideology has proven quite successful Down Under – the group’s debut album landed at number 2 on the ARIA charts, in between Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. Even during the band’s novice stage, the group found itself quickly en-route of rising through the ranks of Australia’s music scene, playing almost immediately to thousands supporting Karnivool, and eventually scoring opening slots for bands like Muse, Judas Priest, and Linkin Park.  “We were touring before our 20th show,” Benzie states humbly.

This year Dead Letter Circus has shifted its focus to build a fanbase in the US. In May the group inked a deal with Sumerian Records for the North American release of its debut album, supporting the effort with an extensive North American run alongside Animals as Leaders and Intronaut. Currently on a US trek with Fair to Midland, the band says that performing to an American audience is quite refreshing. Comments Benzie, “It’s amazing being the underdogs, coming out and having no one know who you are with the objective of… [walking offstage] with everyone’s hand in the air.”

As Benzie ravenously eyes his newly-delivered sandwich to our outdoor table, he politely refrains from taking a bite to continue our conversation on the Australian music community and the band’s transition to the US.

Having risen quickly to the forefront of Australia’s music scene, what is your current definition of success?

Front page & article photo by Dorothy Gilbert