Q&A: Family Curse's Erik Bradshaw On Getting The Band Together, Cleveland, And Why 1979 Was The Best Year For Music Ever
Aside from being a go-to pundit on the eBay vs. Discogs debate and a heck of a dust-kicking commentator on punk forums, Erik Bradshaw is the expertly spazzy and spindly singer for local skronk-irkers Family Curse. Peeling paint for about a year with one single under their belts, they will hit the 285 Kent stage tonight, tooting for their brand new split single with L.A. band White Murder.
Why does Family Curse exist?
Seriously? You're going to drop the existential bomb in the first question? All joking aside, somebody once said that a band should be like a gang. We're more of a terrorist cell. Who's laughing now, Amerikkka?
How did the band come to exist?
The same way that all bands do: In a bar, over drinks. My previous band, Golden Error, was over and out. I started singing in Ken's band, Glooms, but that ground to a halt after a few months. Undaunted, we decided to start a brand-new concern. I recruited former Golden Error bassist, Jordan, and we found our drummer, Sam, bucket-drumming on St. Marks with a No Use For a Name (or was it Man is The Bastard?) t-shirt on. We took pity on him and told him we were going to make him a rock star.
Family Curse, "Julia Armant"
Yet you've had one drummer switcheroo so far. How has it changed the sound of the band?
Unsurprisingly, all of that went to Sam's head, and he decided to move on to greener pastures, as did Jordan. So we actually had a complete rhythm section change last winter. We brought Joey and Chris into our little cult. Sam was a heavy-hitting metal drummer, prone to odd time signatures and explosions of crazy beats. Chris is more of a straightforward punk drummer, but he's played in free jazz groups, so he's got swing. Joe is solid as a rock on the bass geetar.
In June, you recorded in an interesting place. Can you detail that studio's history and the recording session? How did it go, are you happy with the results, what/when will they be out?
We recorded a full-length with the estimable Jeremy Scott. His Civil Defense studio, located in the Gowanus area of Brooklyn, was still being constructed, so we recorded down the street at a space shared by a few producer/engineers, most notably Martin Bisi. His "Before Christ" studio is where Sonic Youth recorded Bad Moon Rising and EVOL. It's basically a huge cavernous room. I think the sessions went pretty well. Ten songs will appear on an LP this fall. The album is called Twilight Language, and it's slated to be on Dead Beat Records.
How do you know White Murder, and what are they like? Your drummer, Chris Kulscar, is from Cleveland, where you spent some time. What's "so Cleveland" about him? And tell everyone how great his former band was. Speaking of which, please detail the former bands of your other bandmates.
A brief history of the Family Curse/White Murder connection: Chris and Mike (White Murder bassist) used to be in This Moment in Black History. Chris still is (he sings). Mike and I used to be in a band called Tokyo Storm Warning. Hannah (White Murder singer) and I were in a band called Sophie Mol (I drummed). This all happened in Cleveland, Ohio. A few years later, out in L.A., Hannah and Mike came together in a failed murder plot. As penance, she also plays violin in the Spector-noir ensemble Jail Weddings (ed: great band, dig them!). Meanwhile, Ken and Joe were rocking away in Blood City and Mt. Olympus, respectively. We formed like Voltron in NYC, and the rest is a mystery.