Saddle Creek | Cursive | Reviews


I Am Gemini

Author: Jasen T. Davis
02/24/2012 | Inland Empire Weekly | | Live Show Preview
Cursive is a rock band with soul. Some of its best songs include "Let Me Up" and "The Martyr," emotional tracks that brim with passion. Like Queen or The Doors, who won the audience over with theatrical flourishes and emotional depth, Cursive isn't afraid to sing about pain.

But the band isn't just one flavor. "Sun and Moon" from its latest album, I am Gemini, has a real '70s garage band rock influence, similar to the Marquee Moon album by Television. Because it can also channel the gritty, cool, street side of rock, fans keep coming back.

Ted Stevens, guitarist and vocalist for the band, enjoys the comparisons. "I love that era of music. Richard Hell, Television, the late '70s. We're very influenced by it. The dark analog, the dusty, badass drum sounds, Queen, Zeppelin, Yes, Genesis . . . I sure love that New Wave punk stuff."

Playing on the Late Show with David Letterman is a rite of passage for any successful rock band. His career with Cursive has had many high points, and Stevens admits performing on Letterman a few years back was quite a peak. "We felt very fortunate to have the opportunity. It was as exciting as you think it would be. It was thrilling. That was our major performance, that day." Do they have plans to repeat the performance? Stevens would like to. "We have to go back and try it again."

Gemini is Cursive's seventh album. In contrast to previous LPs, the band chose to go with some outside influence. "We brought in Matt Bayles, a producer we had never worked with," Stevens says. "We had to trust him and step somewhat outside of the production process, so we didn't have the comfort zone we had before."

As a result, Gemini will surprise even veteran fans. "The project has a fresh energy to it." Stevens says. "There's a new drummer on the record, and that's a huge part of the change."

Literary types will also notice that Gemini contains many allusions to the Greek myth of Cassius and Pollack. "The concept just came up. Every record begins as a conversation. Do we want to do another concept record? Do we even have to?" Steven ponders. "Our last album was a little abstract, but this story is more linear." Rather than being a series of songs, from start to finish the music has a narrative. "Tim did a lot of research so he could tell the story the way he wanted to tell it, about the story of Zeus, with the references to Greek mythology, and we just went with it."

Since Gemini is a rock opera, like Pink Floyd's The Wall, but fans might not be getting everything they're expecting on this tour. "We're going to do a large amount of material from Gemini. Yes, it's a rock opera, but we're going to save that performance for later. When we set out to write something like this, we know that at one point we have to perform it all in its entirety."
I Am Gemini

I Am Gemini

LP / CD / MP3