AN INTERVIEW WITH THIS CURSE.
“No matter how alone you might feel, there is always something better available to you, but you need to take action and find it for yourself”.
SICK AND SOUND has the pleasure to introduce its readers to an exclusive interview our editor-in-chief Alessandra had with Joey, Branton and Ethan from THIS CURSE metalcore outfit hailing from New Jersey, USA.
We are following up with the band after the track by track review we edited in premiere for FROM THE DARKEST OF PLACES, latest EP by This Curse due out on April 13th, 2018. We are getting to know the band any better and digging into their new record on a perfect equation heaviness-melodic.
For our review please check out: www.sickandsound.it/this-curse-from-the-darkest-of-places-heaviness-e-catchiness-dal-metalcore-piu-ostile-al-melodico-piu-emozionale .
- Hello guys and very welcome at SICK AND SOUND. Let’s give our readers a wider view on your outfit by talking about how it has been put together and what individual influences or bands each one of you have brought in as to contribute to your present sound.
Joey: Hey to everyone over at Sick and Sound! Thank you for having us on here! The band started with the three of us (Ethan, Branton, and I) and our original bassist Nick back in junior year of high school in 2011. We were into tons of different metal bands at the time and all we wanted to do was write songs that sounded like all of them. There’s literally too many to name, but we all listened to a lot of different stuff. But as we’ve grown up together, our tastes have changed a lot collectively and individually, which has definitely effected the music.
- The band has been founded under the name of The Blessing of This Curse, and has now opted for a new name: This Curse. What’s been the reason for this switch and the meaning behind your moniker?
Branton: We were at a point where we wanted to go in a different direction musically and changing our name just made sense. It was something we talked about before, mainly because of how long of a name it was, but we were never able to find the right time to do it. Shortening the name as opposed to completely changing it seemed to make the most sense so it wouldn’t be too confusing for older fans.
- Let’s discuss more about the uniqueness of the sound that This Curse have created and allowed the band to jump into the overcrowded metalcore scenario. How hard it is to emerge into metalcore, how do you see this soundscape and what are your strongest assets?
Joey: We’ve always been metal fans growing up, but we also listened to a lot of other stuff too. We were all really into bands like Senses Fail, My Chemical Romance, all of that kind of stuff. We drew from our metal influences and we drew from those influences. The blend of the two was how we tried to approach “metalcore.” We loved the heavy and technical stuff, but we also understood the importance of a good chorus or hook. Even though our newer stuff is way different from what we’ve done in the past, I think we still took the same core approach.
- What were the most memorable moments and coolest experiences gained in working with Ricky Armellino and Andreas Magnusson on this last record?
Joey: There were so many memorable moments working with Ricky on these songs, but what stands out the most to me were when we recorded the vocals with him. He was like a vocal coach for Ethan and I. He pushed us to do stuff we had never done before and definitely built up our confidence as vocalists. I’ll never forget leaving the studio after one of our vocal sessions and listening to the rough mixes on the ride home thinking, “Holy s**t, THIS is what we sound like now?!” It definitely caught all of us off guard, but in the best possible way. For the mixing, Andreas did all of that at his studio in Virginia, so we weren’t there for that, but Jake did track all of the drums with him. We were really happy with what he did with the songs sonically and being a close friend of Ricky, it was a solid team behind the record.
- From The Darkest Of Places EP is your new EP due out on April 13th, 2018. I would love to explore the shift your music has gone through since your very first record, I’ve Seen Hell, dating back to 2012 and how your sound did actually progress or change in its features until now.
Joey: Oh man, it’s been a while since we’ve played those songs. I could go on and on about the different influences that we’ve taken from over the years that have helped change and develop our sound, but I think the biggest factor in the growth of this band is just our growth as people. We were 17 when we wrote “I’ve Seen Hell” and I can tell you for a fact I’m not the same person now that I was when I was in high school. As we all matured, so did the music. That and the fact that we’re definitely a lot better at playing our instruments and writing songs now. We set the bar a little higher with each release and we’ll continue to do that.
- While reviewing your From The Darkest Of Places EP I have found an incredible balance as regards heaviness and melodic catchiness. Each and every song has a catchy chorus and melodic hooks truly creating a space of emotional reflection into some hostile heavier sections. It’s hard sometimes to find a perfect formula and ratio for this. Let’s discuss more the mindset behind this choice not to go for straight heaviness and giving space to melodics.
Joey: I’ve always been a fan of bands that are dynamic. I listen to a lot of different bands and so do the rest of the guys. We get bored with one thing pretty quickly, so we always try to give our music ups and downs. It makes the heavy parts heavier and the melodic parts more impactful. When you pick a sound and go for that all the time, then you just fall into that category or label. Writing songs where we put the songwriting first and not care about what sub-genre of metal it’s going to be this time is very refreshing and is probably why the songs vary so much in style.
- THEMES. What lyrical themes were brought forward in From the Darkest Of Places EP? Let’s talk about your own approach to them, from a personal experience or a general direction and the message This Curse would love to spread via this record if there is one.
Ethan: The overall theme of this entire EP stems from something called monophobia, the fear of being alone. Not necessarily being physically alone, but the thought of being unwanted, unloved, uninvolved etc. Every song touches on different aspects of this fear; from being in a monogamous relationship to the loss of certain things in your surroundings as you progress through life. All of the experiences that we write about are from personal experiences in our everyday lives, so all of it is very real to us. The message we would like to get across with this EP is that no matter how alone you might feel, there is always something better available to you, but you need to take action and find it for yourself.
- Free Fall, being my top favorite track off From The Darkest Of Places EP. What’s been the songwriting process leading to such a fantastic catchy song?
Ethan: The track “Free Fall” is probably the most melodic song on the EP. In my opinion, these melodies were achieved because of how the instrumentation is laid out in the beginning of the song. Rather than looking at the guitar parts as a “riff” section, we viewed it as more of an ambient role in the background and let the vocals be the main focal point. From there we had an idea and vibe to ride off of for the remainder of the song. We also experimented with a lot of back and forth vocal parts between myself and Joey, which definitely makes this song stand out from the rest. As melodic as this song may be, it is one of the darkest on the EP (tying with “Trauma Bond”) and serves as the climax of the “story” of our EP.
- Whitecap and Letting Go are other two favourite songs. What can you tell us more behind the inspiration and creation of these two tracks?
Ethan: “Whitecap” and “Letting Go” are two of my favorite tracks off the EP as well. Both of these songs stick with the theme of monophobia, but are two totally different approaches to the idea.
The inspiration for “Whitecap“ came from the difficulties of trying to adapt in modern society amongst others. Throughout my time in college, I came across many people that I tried to get close with. Many would tell me their life stories and hardships and made me feel somewhat close to these individuals. However, many of them came and went, as life takes us down many different paths only to cross again later down the line. Coming across these individuals later in life became off-putting to me. Trying to engage with one another how we used to became difficult since we were out of the confinements of schooling. It dawned on me that sometimes people only look for friends to share their suffering with, and when it is all over, yet again you will be left alone.
“Letting Go“ looks at a monogamous relationship and the wrongdoings that many of us can cause or experience with our significant other. It comes from the point of view of someone who has been off and on with their partner for quite some time, but has finally taken the initiative to end it and move on. However, there are still feelings of regret coming from them. Wanting to move on, or “let go”, this song explains how even though at one point the two could have made things work out, it seems pretty clear that they are just better off on their own. The reason why we chose this as the last track on the EP is because the ending of the song creates a resolution to the album, both musically and thematically. It shows how even though that constant fear of being alone comes with ending the relationship, sometimes things need to end and get worse before it can get better.
- What’s the strongest track you consider to be the one that your fans will jam the most and why?
Joey: The strongest track for me would probably be “Waiting.” The whole song is just one big sing-a-long. Some of my all time favorite songs fit that kind of vibe and that’s why this one is so much fun for me. Lyrically, this is one of the more personal tracks, but I think it’ll be very relatable for a lot of people. It’s about anxiety and feeling like you’re always waiting for things to change even though they never do. The realization that I’ve come to terms with over the years with myself is that things won’t change unless YOU do something about it. Constant worrying and battling yourself won’t make anything better and will definitely make things worse. It’s something I have to remind myself everyday and maybe it’ll help other people that deal with it too.
Ethan: In my opinion, the strongest track on the EP is “Trauma Bond.” I feel that it hits all of the points of the sound and vibe we were trying to achieve with this release. The song has a pretty solid mix of our heavy and melodic sides, along with lyrics that easily paint a picture in the listener’s head. The instrumentation on this song compliments the lyrics and vocal melodies, creating one of the “darker” tracks on the EP.
Branton: I personally believe that the last track, “Letting Go” is our strongest one. The melodic nature of this track made it such a fun writing experience for us. All of the different layers and sections of the song complement each other in a way that kind of ties the whole thing together. You can hear different melodies that pop up throughout different parts of the song, even when the whole feel changes at the end.
- Where do you fit into this year’s schedule? Let’s give our readers a touch on your upcoming projects ahead following up your Better Days, Darker Places Tour and any revelation you wish to share.
Joey: This year is going to be all about pushing “From the Darkest of Places.” Expect some new videos, tours, and all of that good stuff in the coming year.
Thank you for your time and we wish all the best luck with the promotion of your fantastic record. We are thrilled for more music to be dropped by This Curse and keep on supporting you into Europe!
Ethan: Thank you so much for having us! These were some awesome questions. We appreciate all the kind words about our new release and we hope to bring our live show to Europe very soon.
Joey: Yes, thank you! It’s very rare we get to dive this deep into this kind of stuff, so this was a lot fun.
Branton: We’re so happy you like the record. Thank you for all of the support!
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