Halo Circus’ Allison Iraheta Talks S’mores, Selena and “Something Special”

Nowadays the idea of crowdfunding is nothing new. People do it all the time for everything from medical bills to honeymoons. Halo Circus though gave it a whirl when it came time to plan a tour. Their fans proved they wanted them in a town near them and made it a reality. The first ever fully crowdfunded tour got underway, and I talked a bit about what that felt like with their fearless, colorful leader Allison Iraheta. We also talked about the new album, their upcoming tour and much more.

Kendra: When it comes to mainstream artists who really captivated audiences, Selena instantly comes to mind. Was she an influence on you growing up?

Allison Iraheta: Yes! She was a HUGE part of my childhood. I think as a member of the South Central community and being a working singer at the age of 8 for local department store openings and church festivals it was my duty to learn and sing Selena’s songs. My personal favorite growing up was “El Chico Del Apartmento 512” I remember being little and trying to learn it but for some reason i just couldn’t spit all those words out. Even though I grew up singing Rancheras which may as well contain the equivalent speed of rapping in some lyrics and knew songs like “Aires Del Mayab.” She was and still remains a legend to so many people all over the world because of her voice, her stage presence and personality.

Kendra: How much of the new album is bilingual?

Allison: The EP is not bilingual, BUT we have Rancheras and folk music to thank for the western “plucks” and “chuck” sounds of Brian’s guitar playing on this EP.

Kendra: When composing a song, does your mind write in one language over another?

Allison: It depends. We’ve been writing for the third Halo Circus album and there have been songs that loudly appear in my head in Spanish. So I just listen to what my brain is trying to tell me and go from there.

Kendra: A little fun. Your hair looks like that Unicorn Frap Starbucks just had. If you had to compare your new record to a high calorie treat, what would it be and why?

Allison: I would say a S’more. Crunchy on the outside but warm and decadent on the inside.

Kendra: How does The East Lansing Sessions compared to Bunny lyrically?

Allison: The EP contains three songs that have already been released. What we did with this is EP was give the lyrics a revealing and focused chance. I think you can finally hear and feel what the core of these songs are saying. “The Needle And The Damage Done,” the final song on the EP has to be one of those most honest and beautiful lyrics out there. This song hits home for all of us in the band. Whether in relation to having an addiction or knowing someone going through one. We wanted to share that space of honesty, beauty and sadness that Neil Young created in that song. It’s a space that as writers we want to live in.

Kendra: Getting a tour crowdfunded is a feat you all did first. How did it feel knowing fans wanted you out on the road that bad?

Allison: Still hard to believe we pulled it off. We had never played these towns before and knowing that people all over the country were amazing enough to help us get to them is something we don’t take lightly. We hold it very deeply in our hearts that the lovers of our music and live shows gave us our very first tour. It’s unforgettable and unbelievable.

Kendra: Anything planned for the June dates that you haven’t gotten to do in the past minus new songs of course? Perhaps a cover?

Allison: It’s going to be a totally re-imagined show. Just Matthew Hager and I will be going out this time around and introducing something a little different. We can’t wait.

Kendra: So I read Matthew has worked with Duran Duran Backstreet Boys. Now I know you’re a rocker but which of those two would you want to get in the studio with more?

Allison: Well, we actually had the honor of working with John Taylor of Duran Duran on Bunny. He wrote “Something Special” with us. It was such an incredible experience. We were able to go to those beautiful melodic and patient places that Duran Duran goes to while we were writing. It’s one of my favorite songs off of Bunny.

Kendra: New album, a tour in June. What else do you have planned this year?

Allison: Writing for the third album and playing many many more shows!!!

Kendra: Say you had a friend looking for some music with a bilingual flare. What five songs would you have to put on a mixtape for them?

Le Butcherettes – “My Malley
Mariachi El Bronx – “Slave Labor
Brain Story – “Fruitless Trees”
Chicano Batman- “Flecha a Sol
Julieta Venegas – “Una Respuesta


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