This is another new band that I’ve just discovered. So read this interview with CURVATURE o get to know them better and then go and check out the band. Anders Ekdahl ©2013
What made you want to start a band in the first place? What have the rewards been so far?
-Curvature was never about fame or money, it’s always been a way to get together and make a lot of noise with close friends. We spend as much time drinking beer and partying as we do making music sometimes! The hard work is fun as well, we’ve played some amazing venues and we’re really looking forward to going out on tour. The band is its own reward for us, and we try and do everything ourselves from writing the songs to designing the CD covers – if that ever translates into actual money, I’m sure we’d cope with it!
In choosing a band name, what kind of thoughts did you have?
– We knew it had to be right, and we knew from the start that didn’t want was a “typical” female-fronted band name involving seasons and weather and fake Latin – it’s all been done. We went through so many… Alabaster, Kaotica, Obsidian and that kind of Gothic nonsense to really silly ones like Four Pricks and a Pussy. Eventually we decided on a one-word name, sharp and punchy, and somehow gazing at Lisa our singer brought to mind Curvature!
How do you set yourself apart these days when there are so many fighting for the attention of a limited crowd?
-It’s always been hard to stand out, and I think the only way to do it is to ignore everyone else and just try and be creative in our own way, not trying to sound like any other band. Our sound is a lot more synth-y than many other bands in our genre, and we’re not afraid to experiment with different sounds, odd timings, anything that works. Where it really shows is when we get up on stage, we’ve always put on a good show whether it’s to five people or five hundred, and the fact that we’re all good friends helps a lot – we have good stage banter and throw a few laughs in as well, there’s no reason to be all miserable and Gothic all the time. Just most of the time.
Is Britain a good place to be a band in? What kind of atmosphere is there for bands in Britain?
– Britain has a long, long history of supporting live music, but the landscape has changed so much recently. Anyone can put a band together, and because there’s no barrier to entry there are a lot of bands all doing the same thing and making it really hard to stand out from the crowd. The fans go where their friends’ bands go, so you almost have to be popular before you’ve played a gig, and a lot of the work is in networking your way to the top. That said, there are some venues that really go to the effort of putting on music every weekend, supporting the local scene, and if you can find them the vibe is always amazing because you’re playing to true fans. British crowds love to mosh and headbang and although some of them look scary, the scariest ones always come up and buy you a pint after the gig.
How would you like to describe your place in the British rock/metal scene? What kind of bands do you share a connection with?
-We have at least one Grumpy Old Goth in the band who insists that we are the single-handed revival of the Gothic Tradition in the UK, and there are some elements of our sound that started with Souxsie and the Banshees back in the eighties, but we share more in common with the Scandinavian scene that brought us Therion and, yes, Nightwish. We’re a really diverse bunch though: our drummer is into Dimmu Borgir, our bassist likes Machine Head, our guitarist likes Iron Maiden, our keyboardist is a massive fan of The Birthday Massacre and our singer… well, she’ll learn about metal some day. We hope.
What are the perks of just releasing an EP and not an album? Is it easier to let go if the EP doesn’t work out than had you released an album? Is it easier to go back to the drawing board with an EP?
-Number one, it’s a lot cheaper to record four songs over a weekend than it is to get everyone together for two weeks to record a full album! We had a really good idea of what we wanted to do before we started, and while there’s less time involved producing an EP, we’re still taking on the same amount of risk releasing it. The EP also provides a snapshot of where we are right now, and we’d have had to use some of our older songs to pad out a full album. While we love the older songs, we’re constantly evolving, and a lot of that comes from the feedback we get as we move forward. If Be(lie)ve turns out to be popular, we’ll know we’re doing something right and look at what we can do next to top it.
Does art work matter today? Are people that download really that interested in advanced art work/lay out? How do you share the art work/lay out with those downloading?
-The biggest change in the world of instant downloads is that the cover really has to say it all – no one reads the liner notes or the CD face, so the cover is all you’ve got. While it’s never going to be printed on a twelve-inch record, it’s still got to be attractive, and there’s even more reason to try and make the cover stand out when someone is flicking through hundreds of albums on their iPods and mobile phones. We’d love to do a limited edition of one of our albums, where we can go all out and put in photos and leaflets and double inlays and fake fur and secret messages – when someone else is paying for it!
Has the days of the physical format come and gone now?
-We all still buy CDs, and the physical formats are if anything more important. From the band’s point of view, we’d much rather someone came to a gig and went away with a CD in their hand, that will then live on their shelf for years and years, than struggle against millions of bands competing for a small percentage of a 79p download on iTunes that will live in a black plastic box that no one ever sees. Plus, no one has ever asked us to sign their iPod, but signed albums are something special that people still treasure.
What does it mean to hold a physical copy of something you’ve created? Does that make it seem more real?
-When we started, all we wanted was to record a few songs and get people to listen to us. This time round, we’ve put a lot of time and effort into producing the EP and because what we create will be seen around the world, we’re all looking forward to seeing the finished product in all its plastic and aluminium glory. It’s like seeing everything we’ve worked on condensing into the real world. We had a lot of fun in the studio, so it’s going to be great receiving the package of CDs, and then sending them out the door again, because the most important thing for us is always playing live.
What future is there in 2013?
-For Curvature, it’s all about playing to bigger audiences. We all feel that we’ve done our time playing to three people and their dog, and we’re hoping that the EP release will let us reach a broader audience. We’ve got plans to go on tour for a week in Germany, we’ve been booked for Scarfest in the UK in August, and in between there are always new songs to be written and new ideas to try. Our association with Ravenheart Records is bearing a lot of fruit, and we’re always on the lookout for new places to go. It would be great to play Wacken or Download – we’ll just have to see what happens! What we can say for certain is that Curvature plans to be making a huge racket somewhere near you, very soon, and having a great time doing what we love.