|Curse Icon Interview|
|Saturday, 31 March 2012 05:57|
A Night and Interview with Curse Icon’s Kiana, Marco and Matt
One of the things that makes me really enjoy live shows and meeting bands is getting to know the people behind the “band” and find out what makes the group tick together. Recently, I got a chance to talk with Kiana, Marco and Matt of Curse Icon from Columbus, Ohio. I have to say, not to be biased, but I’ve been hitting the local music scene in Cbus for years and CI is one of my fav bands to see in concert, they have such energy. I am always taking the opportunity to tell people about them, because frankly, we need good bands to see! I had the distinct pleasure of seeing them open for Downplay at the Newport Music Hall last month and it was as always… A killer show! They had a lot of great talent there that night, including a new band I hadn’t seen before called Fear the Fallen, look for them on Facebook! As for the Newport show, it was, as always, a fantastic show. They have a high energy and stage show that gets you moving and keeps you rocking, Curse Icon never leaves you bored in the audience and leaving for a drink! You just want to get closer and closer to the stage! The stage show is amazing, their presence is really large, Newport is an excellent music hall for them to play in, they can pack it!
I was also able to talk to the band mentioned, and got a great interview. So, I asked the band some things that I felt would help you get to know the talent and the heart behind Curse Icon, they are great people as well as great musicians. So, here we go to take a tour of the world that is Curse Icon.
Q: How did you guys manage to find each other, you’ve put together a great mix of members that all bring a wonderful sound to the table. How did you guys meet and who IS Curse Icon?
MATT: The band I was in prior to Curse Icon had broken up and Marco asked me to audition. After a few months, I was in. That’s been a little over a year and a half now and it’s been an unbelievable ride so far.
MARCO: I started the band in SOFL with an old musician buddy of mine who is no longer with the band. We started auditioning and had no specific intention of having a female lead. We just had an open audition and the best person would get the job. When Kiana cam through and auditioned our jaws hit the floor. It was about 8 years ago before the female fronted bands really started taking off, so we weren't sure if it was going to work, but we really liked what we heard.
SOFL was a tricky market so we decided to make a move North. We moved a few times before settling in Columbus, OH and started auditioning. We found the guys through connections we had here and from being in the scene. It's really hard because not everyone has the stamina to do this. It's a rough business—a lot of hours and very little pay. So most up and coming bands have to keep day jobs as well as try and fit in a full time band schedule.
Q: How did you come up with the name Curse Icon? Are there any great stories behind that one? I love the name and it suits you guys!
MARCO: When my friend and I started the band we had the name in mind. We were in another band years ago that fought about everything and we eventually left that band. When it cam to the name, we went around and round and it took us forever to come up with the name. We had notebooks that we were writing names down for what seemed like a year, and one day i finally wrote "#@*!" on the tablet like i was cussing. I said, this is the name until someone can figure out what it is called. We called it the cartoon cuss words first because it looked like how they wrote the people in com in strips cussing. Then it morphed into the cuss symbol, the cuss icon and one day i said "curse icon" and me and my friend were like "whoa—that's it". The other guys hated it and we fought for another 3 months on a name. When we started this band we had remembered that name and it was an easy pick for us.
Q: What and who are the musicians and music that inspires you the most? For that matter, what just plain inspires you make music? Some people are so driven and without that drive they never make it in this business. It’s the ones that are truly driven and inspired to make it work that really have the dedication. Clearly, Curse Icon has that desire, you guys are a very hard working band and it shows in all that you do.
MATT: To be where we are as a band is very difficult. There’s an endless list of sacrifices that have to be made and sometimes, even I wonder where the perseverance and inspiration come from. But all it takes is one live show to remind me. The fans are everything. Not just Curse Icon fans, but people who love music. All it takes is one conversation with someone who loves music as much as I do (and it’s amazing how many of those people there are) and I have all the inspiration I need.
As far as other bands or musicians that inspire me, the list is WAY to long for this. So, top three would be Tool, Sevendust, and Killswitch Engage. There’s some really incredible musicianship and the song writing and structures are excellent. When I listen to these bands, it’s seems I always hear something new or another layer to the song, even if I’ve been listening to it for years.
MARCO: Oddly enough I don't listen to a ton of music these days. I like to let the music come from inside me naturally. I do listen to what's on the radio to try and stay current but I don't really have any one influence.
Q: Okay…gotta ask, one silly question…but hey, inquiring minds wanna know, right? What bands are on your mp3 player or iPod right now?
KIANA: Skrillex, Hollywood Undead, Evanescence, Linkin Park, Disturbed (I love it, mine too!)
Q: Who are some of the groups that make it into your regular rotation on your player?
KIANA: There are so many. I have a huge collection and they are of many genres.
MATT: Wolves At The Gate, AWOLNATION, Grouplove, Walk the Moon, Chevelle, Skrillex, and Foster the People. Good luck figuring out how that happened. J
Q: I know a lot of times music and lyrics are from inspiration, pain, love…intensity. Are there any songs that really hit a cord with you? I’d love to know what songs you guys consider to be your favs that you’ve performed.
KIANA: I enjoy all but I think absolute faves to do live are “Down”, “The Awakening”, “Falling Away” and maybe even “Broken”.
MATT: My 2 favorite songs to perform are Broken and War Inside. Listen to the songs and you’ll understand why.
MARCO: My favorites are "The Awakening" and "Heaven is Burning". The lyrics mean a lot to me and they are fun to rock out.
Q: I really love great female lead vocalists, and yet they seem few and far between, but finally we are seeing some really great talent out there, Kiana is one of those great talents! With the popularity and rise of great female fronted bands, has that helped to push the Curse Icon forward? How do you guys feel about the fact that these bands are gaining in popularity again, does this make it harder or easier for Curse Icon as you all rise to the top.
KIANA: Definitely needs to be more mainstream female rocker voices out there for sure.
MATT: It’s a double edged sword. It’s obviously a great compliment to be compared to any very successful band, but it’s also very difficult to prove your originality and to forge your own path. A lot of music fans and even parts of the industry still lump all female fronted bands into the same category and dismiss them, but, in my opinion, I have not heard any female fronted band that I would say is the same as another. There’s a lot of variety out there. You just need to put in the time and listen to them.
MARCO: Both. It shows that a female fronted band can be successful and marketable. We still sometimes encounter the female bias. Not from the fans or industry as much as the venues. We have some good people on our management and business side, but certain venues still won't talk to you when they find out you are a female fronted band. There is one local venue that seems to shun us no matter how successful we are here locally, and I can't figure out why. We conduct ourselves professionally, we've opened for several national acts and our shows are very successful locally. Certain venues still treat us like we are a nuisance to them. My only conclusion is they don't like female fronted acts.
Q: Kiana, I was hoping to ask you a question that sort of relates to that one. How do you feel about the music industry as a woman trying to make it to the top?
It is definitely not an easy journey being a girl. But it is an honor when I do earn my stripes from my peers.
Q: I mean, we’ve all heard the old cliché, “It’s a man’s world.” How do you think the music industry has changed for women in general, especially female singers in the last 10 years?
KIANA: Honestly, I do not know that it has changed much for women in the rock world. You turn on the radio today and you hear a female voice every once in a while. I can only name a handful of rock females. L
Q: Who are your idols in the rock world? As a matter of fact, if the guys wanna chime in, feel free! Tell us who some of your favorite female lead inspirations have been.
KIANA: Ann Wilson, Pat Benatar,
Q: Your latest CD, The War Inside, released in 2011 has a great sound, how long were you guys in the studio for The War Inside? I can only imagine how long it must’ve taken with the music as full and progressive as it is that it must be a lot of work to put that together from conception to release.
MARCO: Yes. There is so much work that goes into every song. We start in my home studio doing the writing and pre-production and then we usually have a good idea where we are taking it when we hit the studio. For 'The War Inside' we were in the studio for a few weeks restructuring a few things with the producer. Some songs come quicker than others. We spend a lot of time in the home studio working and reworking until we get them where we want them and then the producer works them a little more. We spend hours and hours working on the songs shaping and reworking them until everything sounds just right.
Q: I hear there are plans for a new CD from you guys, any upcoming dates we should note to get ourselves out and rock?
MARCO: We are currently very heavily writing a new release. We have no projected date as of yet and are only in the pre-production and writing phase.
Q: Speaking of dates…how’s the line-up for 2012 looking or are you concentrating more on the studio time at this stage or trying to get out and do more shows?
MARCO: We are in studio right now writing and the 2012 schedule is light for the first of the year. We have an event in June where I get to judge a drum competition and the band will be performing intermission. That one is going to be fun. As for the rest of the year we haven't scheduled much due to the writing.
Q: I can’t wait for the next show. You guys played the Newport Music Hall in Columbus, OH on Saturday, February 4, 2012. I know this is in support of Downplay’s new contract but what does Curse Icon have in store for their loyal fans that night?
MARCO: We are there to support our brothers in Downplay who have worked so hard to become successful. The line up is going to great and we're just going to rock everyone's faces off like we always try and do. The line up itself will be the attraction that night, and it will be one hell of a night. Kiana is a mesmerizing performer and you'll fall for her the moment she steps on stage. You'll see a powerful, live show. If you haven't seen Curse Icon live, that's where our passion is. We pour everything we have onto the stage with each and every performance.
Q: And last but by no means least… What do you want fans to remember about you the most about Curse Icon or say when they hear your music?
MATT: We love our fans and all fans of good music. We try very hard to be personable and to get to know as many of our fans as possible. We want them to not only be fans, but also friends. We hope to all of you very soon.
MARCO: I want them to see a live show and say that we sound better than the record/CD which most fans seem to think. With the lyrics I want them to find their own meaning within the songs.
Curse Icon’s CD, The War Inside, is also available at http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-war-inside-ep/id404768704 and you can catch that at their site http://www.curseicon.com/. So hit their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/curseicon and the band’s website at http://www.curseicon.com/ as well as their myspace at http://www.myspace.com/curseicon.
|Last Updated on Saturday, 21 April 2012 06:38|