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The Halo Circus is coming to town

The Halo Circus is coming to town

Patrick O’Heffernan

(somewhere outside of Charlotte, NC) Halo Circus are a highly acclaimed LA-based electronic duo featuring star singer Allison Iraheta and producer/bassist Matthew Hager. Formerly a four piece rock band, Halo Circus have returned as a synth-pop duo, with a rave-reviewed new album Robots and Wranglers. They are on a national tour – their third in three years – and will be playing a sure to be sold-out show at the Evening Muse (so get your tickets ASAP!) in Charlotte Saturday night before they move on to dates in Asheville, Miami, Orlando, Atlanta and Texas.  I caught them in their white Honda CRV outside of Charlotte. Matt drove while Allison talked on her cell.

Patrick. Your show in Charlotte is sold out. Is there anything your fans in Charlotte can do who don’t have tickets – will there online live streaming, videos posted immediately afterward?

Allison. Yes we will post videos.  Livestreaming is a beautiful idea.  I will say right now that we will livestream tomorrow for people who can’t get tickets but want to see it.   It will be on our Facebook page.

Patrick. This has been quite a tour and Charlotte is not the only sold-out date. I know you both have had some sick downtime, which everyone does on tour.  How are you both feeling now?

Allison. We are starting to feel normal again.  After driving through the blizzards and loading in and out in the snow.  It’s crazy. We are from LA…we are not used to this snow.  Our bodies are not used to this.  Your whole system kind of goes into shock when you go on tour and when you add some nice blizzards and lack of sleep it just happens.

Patrick. But it sounds better now?

Allison. Yes we are driving to Charlotte and it is beautiful.  If feels like 80 degrees. My voice is coming back.  Mathew busted up his left wrist early on in the tour…today he busted up his right wrist so we are going to make him look like Robocop tomorrow and put two wrist braces on him.

Patrick. Other than all of that, what has the tour been like?  Any stories?

Allison. Lots!!  The album is bringing in new fans.  Initially I think it freaked out our old fans because of “Narcissist”, but after hearing the whole album and understanding the satire of it all, they are supportive.  I have many stories but I will tell you two stories.  One of them was in Madison, WI – one of my all-time favorite shows as of right now.  This dude wanted to light our set on fire in the middle of a song.  He just pulled out a lighter and started lighting up our set and it really pissed me off. I have never gotten mad on stage that fast. It didn’t work, but, you know in LA, if someone did that they would at least get thrown out, but people the audience said that is just him.  At the end of the show he was wrestling the owner — it was really beautiful to see, but it was very real.

Patrick.  What is the other story?

Allison.  Well I got heckled one night ..maybe some people are taking the album the wrong way or taking it too seriously, or maybe we are doing something right and they are the people wo are singing abou.  I am learning to be on my game on stage these days — we are really getting a response, almost all of it good, but there is some….  But this is a new and fun experience – this album does things to people live.  It is a learning experience. People pay attention.

Patrick. You have been posting from the tour almost nonstop – where do you get the energy?  have you stopped sleeping?

Allison.  There is so much energy after the shows and before the shows.  And we are hanging out and meeting so many people,  more so than even last time.  It is a whole new level of personal.  I think the album is bringing in different types of audiences.  We had a punk from New York who digs our stuff and hung out with us and told us how our songs remind us of New York in the 80’s.  Creatively that is where the album came from — interaction with fans from our last tour.  This album is becoming even more who we are.


Patrick.  This is your third national tour. Are you becoming tour junkies?

Allison.  I think we are. We are so good at packing our Honda CRV.  We are adding more dates, we will going for a pretty long time.  I am loving it.  Especially because the material is new, it is really fun.  As a performer I am learning on stage.  I am down for doing this for a long time.

Patrick.  Did you say Honda CRV – you are packed into a Honda?

Allison. Yes, we are in a white Honda CRV.  Packed to the top with all of our gear.  And it is very comfortable- you would be surprised how comfortable our CRV is.  And very safe.  We feel very safe – we don’t look like a band van.

Patrick.  Is it this another step in the evolution of Halo Circus – alt rock, a little Americana, now synth- electronic rock.  is this your comfort zone now, or will we see more evolution?

Allison. I don’t know, but it does feel extremely comfortable to Matthew and myself.  I think this is probably because this is something I think we were going to do anyway, this sound.  So I don’t know what is next – we may double down on this because it is so much fun on stage.  We are an art project, so who knows what we will do next.  But it seems to be ok ..we seem to be getting away with this, so we will keep doing it for now.

Patrick.  The Robots and Wranglers reviews have been out of the park. It sounds like for the most part you are getting pretty good response from the fans too?

Allison.  Yes we are and new people are jumping on the bandwagon more this time than ever. I think it is bringing all ages and all types of people. It is meant to be listened to live and danced to and a lot of people like to dance to it.  It is fun.  I have never had this much fun  – and Matthew has never had so much fun on stage. 

Patrick.  Do people know the songs?

Allison. Yes, and the album has not been out that long and it is interesting to hear people sing these songs.

Patrick.  Halo Circus is known for outstanding relationship with its fans. You are purposefully playing intimate venues where you can talk with your fans.  Are you getting to know people personallyall over the country who love the band?  Names and faces you remember now?

Allison. Yes, yes!  We have so many.  Off the top of my head right now I remember a young man from Barnesville, Ohio, that we met this year who made us scones.  He  came to the show in Ohio and then came to our show in Pittsburg  a few days later and brought us scones.  There are incredible people who travel and surprise us.  Halo Circus fans have become a family.  We are even having lunch with a fan from the pre-order campaign. 

Patrick.  After charlotte you go to Asheville, then onto Miami, Jacksonville and then Orlando and to Atlanta and then to Houston.  Are you ever coming home?

Allison. After summer, we will be back in LA.  And there will be a West Coast tour.

Patrick.  I am so happy this is such a great tour. And tell Matthew I like his hair.

Allison. He is waving “thank you”. 

Patrick O’Heffernan.  Host, Music FridayLive!, Co-Host MúsicaFusionLA

Halo Circus.

Robots and Wranglers is available on the website, iTunes and Spotify

Get your tickets now!

Patrick O’Heffernan, PhD., is a music journalist and radio broadcaster based in Los Angeles, California, with a global following. His two weekly radio programs, MusicFridayLive! and MusicaFusionLA are heard nationwide and in the UK. He focuses on two music specialties: emerging bands in all genres, and the growing LA-based ALM genre (American Latino Music) that combines rock and rap, blues and jazz and pop with music from Latin America like cumbia, banda, jarocho and mariachi. He also likes to watch his friend drag race.

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