Reviews

Mama, I'm Swollen

Author: Steve Iwasaki
06/25/2009 | Deseret News | www.deseretnews.com | Live Show Preview
Cursive bassist Matt Maginn says his band will not do anything just to make a buck.

"We care about the music we make," Maginn said during a phone interview from Columbus, Mo.

"We make sure we release an album or even write songs for the right reason.

"There is nothing worse, to us, than to make an album just to make money.

"It is easy to do, but we don't."

That's why there was nearly three years between the band's new album, "Mama, I'm Swollen," and it's predecessor, "Happy Hollow."

"It goes back to making sure we release something special," said Maginn. "After we got off the road from touring 'Happy Hollow,' we started writing songs."

The songwriting sessions took place in summer 2007. And nearly a year later, the band Maginn, guitarist/vocalists Tim Kasher and Ted Stevens and new drummer Cully Symington went into the studio to start recording "Mama, I'm Swollen."

"We ended up with 20 songs," said Maginn. "And it was a daunting task to choose which songs would get on the new album.

"We wanted to make sure we paid enough care and attention to the songs we did end up with for the new album," said Maginn. "If Tim couldn't make the lyrics and music mesh, we'd discard the song.

"We laid down the basic tracks and then Tim would take the songs and record his vocals by himself," said Maginn. "Then Ted would take the songs and put down his guitar leads.

"It was more relaxed that way," said Maginn. "They didn't have an engineer or producer looking over their shoulder."

However, the band's national TV debut on "The Late Show With David Letterman" in March showed them that they could perform under pressure.

"It was crazy for us," said Maginn. "We were flying out to New York and got caught in Chicago due to a storm. The flight was canceled, and we finally arrived in New York the day of the taping at 11:30 a.m.

"We were suppose to arrive the night before and then check in with the 'Letterman' people the next day at 8:30 a.m."

Anyway, Maginn said after the check-in, the band members had to sit in the dressing room for a few hours before they could go play.

"We were all stressed," he said. "We had no sleep, and we felt that the band would implode at any minute."

Finally, the call came, and after walking through a maze of hallways, they finally got on stage.

"We played it and played it well, and then we took off to Williamsburg, Va., and played one of the best gigs we've ever played, proving that we can play under the gun."
Mama, I'm Swollen

Mama, I'm Swollen

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