Concert and Interview with Cursive

Credit Wendy Lynch Redfern

Credit Wendy Lynch Redfern

Omaha-bred “indie” and “emo” pioneer rockers Cursive made their way to the Pacific Northwest last week. Touring for the debut of their new, 8th studio album Mama, I’m Swollen, the band dropped into Neumos on Capital Hill with opening act and native-Seattlites Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band. Just before the show, I was able to yak with bassist Matt Maginn about the tour, the Fourth of July and The Great Recession.

Cursive’s tour took them around the U.S. in its early leg before heading across the Atlantic for a number of shows in the U.K. “We played a lot more shows than we usually do,” Matt commented, “Usually we play three. We played some different festivals, Beg and Begger, Dot to Dot, some CMJ,SXSW style festivals, a bunch of indies in one town instead of just one big stage.” Stateside, the tour has taken them to four towns they’d never been to, including a pit stop in Montana. The tour will take a break after tomorrow night’s Salt Lake show. Matt said he plans on enjoyin his Independence day back in Omaha or Columbia with fam & friends.

Seattle was Cursive’s first act with Mt. St. Helen’s Vietnam Band. “We heard about them from our tour manager in UK who had their CD. We listened to it a lot. We dug it, we were very in to it,” said Matt. The Vietnam band will accompany Cursive down the West Coast to Pomona. Matt noted that extra friends in town for the Seattle show were keeping the band anxious to play. But he mentioned a live set with UW’s KEXP the following morning–which waranted some rare responsibility for the band known for passionate, enthusiastic performances that may very well have defined a genre of music since Cursive’s 2003 “Ugly Organ” album. “We’ll be good tonight, I promise…”

Concerning the new album, Matt elaborated on the band’s creative process and music craftin methodology.         ” We wanted to make it different than anything else we’ve done. Atleast for me, we were achieving something really melancholy. For each album, we approach it so differently, try and mix it up and not rewrite”. As many of the band’s members are involved in side projects on Omaha’s Saddle Creek Records–such as Tim Kasher’s The Good Life–Cursive’s albums have tended to be spaced out. Mama, I’m Swollen came three years after the band’s last album, Happy Hollow. “We keep Trying to operate to make it feel right, rather than “sell music” so to speak. It’s why we have the past that we had“.

Matt concluded the interview describing how the Great Recession has had its effects on Cursive’s tour. “If we’re in a place that’s having a lot of shows that week, we definitely see a difference. And we see it talking with our promoters. But if it’s a town that doesn’t have constant activity, it’s a little more normal”.

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