Premiere of Streetlight Circus’ ‘quarantine video’ for “Sad Café” + mini-interview with David Shaw

Premiere of Streetlight Circus’ ‘quarantine video’ for “Sad Café” + mini-interview with David Shaw

Sleaze Roxx is pleased to premiere New York rockers Streetlight Circus‘ ‘quarantine video’ for their single “Sad Café” from their album Needle Down, which was released back in October 2016. Streetlight Circus consist of lead vocalist / bassist David Shaw, guitarists George Giannoulis and Alex Rude, and drummer Erik Fehrenbach.

The group’s press release indicates:

“New York City’s Streetlight Circus took a break from recording the band’s forthcoming album to rerecord a fan favorite from 2016’s Needle Down. The song, “Sad Café, was recorded from the individual members’ homes during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. The track was mixed by drummer Erik Fehrenbach at Snake Mountain Studios. The video for the song was edited by former MTV Headbangers Ball producer and “Get Thrashed” documentary director Rick Ernst.

The new version of Sad Café is the first released recording featuring new Streetlight Circus guitarist Alex Rude. Having joined the band in December of 2019, Rude played three shows with the band before the pandemic shut down the world.

Though the song’s original lyrics pay tribute to a novella by Carson McCullers called “The Ballad of the Sad Café”, Streetlight Circus lead singer and bassist David Shaw updated some lyrics in the new recording to reflect the tumultuous times that have plagued 2020. Guitarist George Giannoulis laid down a blistering new guitar solo to complement the update.

The Sad Café 2020 edition is now available for digital download exclusively at

The band has since resumed work on the new album. Nearing completion, the band has recorded 16 new songs with plans to whittle the tracklist down to the best and most cohesive songs of the bunch.

No release date is scheduled yet.”

Speaking exclusively to Sleaze Roxx, Shaw was asked why Streetlight Circus decided to shoot a video for the track “Sad Café” (aside that it is a fan favorite) rather than introduce a new song to the world, to which he replied:

“When the decision to do a “quarantine video” was made, our new guitarist was only up to date on a certain number of songs from our catalog. He had just joined a few short months prior. So we decided to go with “Sad Café” which is a song we often open with and is pretty much in every set we play. Also, lyrically, the song is about a woman named Amelia who becomes a recluse after a series of horrifying experiences, kind of apropos given what’s happening in real life. It’s based on a great Carson McCullers novella. So for this version, Erik, our drummer, had the idea to play with the words in the breakdown section to reflect the crazy times we are in. So it was probably the right song to do. I had always wanted to shoot a video for “Sad Café” anyway, but I never expected it would happen under these wild world conditions.”

In terms of what were the reasons for guitarist Fabio Bargna‘s departure from the band and how did Alex Rude end up in the group, Shaw indicated:

Fabio was with us for something like nine years and was an integral part of the band. But even people in great relationships can sometimes drift apart. That seemed to be happening in the fall of 2018 so we made the decision to part ways. The band members and Fabio are still good friends and we all hang and support one another. You’ll never hear me say a bad word about Fabio. We spent the rest of 2018 and all of 2019 with a fill-in guitarist who is a friend of ours before searching to find the permanent guy. I kind of pursued Alex because we were friendly from the local scene here in New York City and our bands had shared bills in the past. It was important to find someone we could get along with personality-wise and someone who was willing to buy into what we were doing. So far it all seems to be working out. It was also important to find a guy who is a good complement to George, who does the lion’s share of the lead guitar playing. Chemistry is vital, of course, and thus far it feels really good.”

Finally, in terms of the impact of Covid-19 on Streetlight Circus, Shaw stated: “Well, we came out of the gates quickly with Alex. His first show with us in February was at a sold-out theater where we supported Y&T and Zebra. John Nymann of Y&T even joined us on stage for a song. So things were feeling really great. We did two more shows in March and then the world understandably had to shut down. Having to be apart from one another since March has slowed down the process of finishing the new album as well as working with Alex on old and new songs. We have three shows booked in September but who knows if they’re going to happen?

In recent weeks we have gotten back to the recording process so things are moving along good again in terms of that. We are planning to all be back in the same room to start live rehearsals again in August. Hopefully people continue to wear their masks, follow the science, and do the right things so we can emulate other countries that have gotten this virus more under control. Just like other bands and performers, we are chomping at the bit to get back on the road and on stage but things need to be safe. Meanwhile, we will keep putting the finishing touches on the new Streetlight Circus album. We are very excited about this new batch of songs. We have some amazing surprises in store for the listeners on this record. It’s going to be a good one.”

Streetlight Circus‘ “Sad Café” ‘quarantine video’: