Curse In-depth Biography
In contrast to the many goth-rock bands of the ‘90s and 2000s that have been heavily influenced by electronica, the New York-based Curse} has favored a more organic, less programmed and very guitar-based approach. Curse} sounds like an honest-to-God band (as opposed to simply a group), and their recordings sound played rather than programmed. Plus, Curse} tends to be rootsier and earthier than the more high-tech goth outfits. Curse} has the sort of haunting melodies and darkly romantic lyrics one expects from goth, but the New Yorkers also show their appreciation of blues-rock, folk-rock and jazz. Curse}'s roots are not only Bauhaus} and the Sisters of Mercy}--two of goth's most important bands--their roots are also the Doors}, Alice Cooper}, the Velvet Underground} and Siouxsie & the Banshees}. And on their more folk-minded offerings, Curse} almost becomes an unlikely combination of goth and the Indigo Girls}. Curse} should not be confused with a punk band known as the Curse}, whose Teenage Meat} CD was released by Other People's Music} in 1997--the goth-rockers simply go by Curse}, not the Curse}. Nor should Curse} be confused with the artists who recorded The Downright EP} for the Bipolar} label in 2000.
Two of Curse}'s members--lead singer Mikaela Pearson} and drummer Robert Lacyk}--are former members of Caledonia}, a New York-based goth outfit that was never well known but had a small cult following in and around the Big Apple in the late ‘90s. The promising but underexposed Caledonia} recorded one album, Spires}, in 1998 and broke up the following year--then, in 2000, Curse} was formed when Pearson} and Lacyk} joined forces with bassist Theodora Michaels} and her husband, guitarist Kevin Michaels}. Theodora Michaels} (Thea} for short) had been with Ultraviolet} and Shrieking Violets} (two NYC bands of the ‘90s), while Kevin Michaels} had led his own Kevin Michaels Band}. Pearson}, meanwhile, had a resume that included not only Caledonia}, but also, a few other New York bands (including Invisible Cities} and Spiderlily}). In 2001, Curse} caught the attention of producer/engineer Wharton Tiers}, who has worked with Helmet}, Sonic Youth}, Dinosaur, Jr.}, Biohazard}, Nick Cave}, the Swans}, Shudder to Think}, Ciccone Youth} and quite a few others. Tiers} went on to produce Curse}'s self-titled debut album, which they released on and their own label, Cursory Rhymes}, in late 2002. Around that time, Curse} also put out a single that contained the Doors}-influenced "Graveyard Shuffle"} and a remake of David Amram}'s theme from the 1959 film Pull My Daisy}; in addition to playing acoustic piano and French horn on Curse}'s remake, a 71-year-old Amram} wrote the single's liner notes. ~ Alex Henderson, All Music Guide