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Breaking Circus


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Breaking Circus was a postpunk band from the 1980s, based in Chicago and later Minneapolis, led by guitarist and vocalist Steve Björklund.

Björklund had earlier been a guitarist and vocalist for Strike Under; Breaking Circus was his next project. Breaking Circus signed to Homestead Records for their first release, The Very Long Fuse (1985), which borrowed members of label-mates Big Black, Naked Raygun and Man Sized Action for its drum machine-based production.

In 1986, Björklund moved to Minneapolis and began working with Rifle Sport bassist Pete “Flour” Conway and drummer/guitarist Todd Trainer. The band released The Ice Machine LP with the album’s credits appearing as a Monopoly-style drinking game insert. Breaking Circus was joined by second guitarist Phil Harder for a national tour before returning to the studio to record another LP that was to feature four songs by Björklund, four by Flour, and four by Trainer. When the band arrived in the studio, they received word from Homestead that the label would only pay for six of the twelve songs that they had originally planned to record. All four of Björklund’s songs and one by each of the other members were released on the 1987 EP Smoker’s Paradise in 1987.

The band broke up in 1988. Phil Harder went on to form the trio Big Trouble House. Flour recorded four full-length solo albums for Touch and Go Records. Todd Trainer recorded two EPs under the name Brick Layer Cake before joining Shellac.

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