Saddle Creek | Cursive | Reviews


I Am Gemini

Author: Nicole Pajer
04/09/2012 | | | Live Show Preview
Cursive's latest album, I Am Gemini is a 12-song journey through the trials and tribulations of two conjoined twins, Cassius and Pollock. The brothers, separated at birth, meet for the first time, and struggle through accepting their past as reality. Vocalist Tim Kasher explains that the vision for the band's seventh studio album stemmed from an interest he's had in exploring the idea of multiple personalities. The story then took on a life of it's own and morphed into an album long musical centered upon the conflicted siblings.

Fresh into a headlining spring tour, Cursive recently performed at L.A.'s Troubadour, treating fans to a mixture of hits and tracks off of their latest studio masterpiece. Following the show, Kasher gave us the behind-the-scenes scoop on recording I Am Gemini. We also discussed his seduction techniques, appreciation for Top 40 radio, and what he's currently writing on the side of Cursive.

So the new album just came out recently and the reviews have been rolling in. Have they been positive?

Yeah. They've been mostly good.

I'd imagine it's nerve-wracking to pour your heart and soul into an album and then sit back and wait for the feedback.

Yeah. I find it unpleasant really. Good or bad, it all washes away. It becomes fairly irrelevant, not as relevant as the act of actually writing a record.

Tell us about the new album. It's a conceptual album and the songs tell the story of twins separated at birth…

It's just an idea I had. It started with the interest in writing with the theme of multiple personalities. I felt like that reflected in the music that we were writing. It had a lot of strange turns in it and from there I picked up an older topic that I've been writing to write about for years which was about the conflicting voices in our heads that we have to deal with. From there, it became much more fictionalized, it turned into a story of two brothers conjoined at the head and separated at birth, then reunited later in life.

And you wrote the album from start to finish?

Well what we did is we worked on all the music and then I outlined the story. We collected a lot of different songs and then I outlined the story and put the songs in the proper order because of what the album became. I did that before I wrote the lyrics because I wanted to write the story out linearly after that.

The album comes with a playbill inside that people can read along to?

Yeah. We basically just wrote it out with the suggestion of it being a play.

Do you think you'll ever do any shows where you play the whole thing out on stage and have it be sort of like a musical?

I had some thoughts about doing that initially but I kind of pulled the reins back on those ideas because I wanted to be sure that the album itself was done properly and I wanted to make sure that it could stand on its own two legs just as an album. We just kind of think of it as an album and it tells a story and you know down the road, sure it could be treated as a play. I'm a little hesitant about it though on whether it could be done well or not.

What is "Wowowow" about?

Well it's all chapters of this greater story but that particular song is about the antagonizing brother reaching the point in which he goes out on a rampage on the town and starts searching for a supposed set of conjoined twins that he had heard of. It's basically about an interest that he has in himself and his own past.

Did you think that you would survive Cursive's 1998 breakup? Were there any back up plans that you were making if the band didn't get back together?

Yeah, sure like anybody does. I think back then at that point, I planned on going to graduate school and working towards becoming an English professor. And that's just something that I never ended up fulfilling because music just sort of took over.

I read in a recent interview where you shared your tips for seducing a member of Cursive. It involved slathering yourself in BBQ sauce. What are your go to methods for seducing an object of your desire?

Well, we're actually heading to get some Kansas City BBQ right now so that kind of exposes the truth to that article. But yeah I don't know. It was such an awkward question. I'm not sure I would know how to answer that. I'm a fairly self-loathing person. I probably haven't matured much since grade school… bullying when you have a crush on somebody.

Do you prefer being in the studio or performing live?

I guess I would suggest the third option, which is writing. That's what I really like is writing the music and working on the music and practicing it.

Are you writing anything on the side from the band?

I'm always working on other forms of writing. I'm currently working on short stories right now but it's just basically considered a hobby and I'm writing a follow up to the solo album that I did last year.

What would be on your essential driving playlist? What do you guys always have on in the car when traveling from city to city?

Maybe old Metallica. Black Sabbath – I've been into that a lot lately.

Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?

I'm pretty cheap when it comes to Top 40 stuff. I listen to Top 40 radio a lot when I'm driving around town. I just think it's really infectious. I think that's really the point of it.

Are there any new bands that you're listening to that we might not have heard of that are inspirational?

There is a band called Hospital Ships out of Lawrence, Kansas that I really like.

What's been your favorite memory from this tour so far?

Gosh. I don't know. We've had some really good shows on this tour. We've really just started, the album just came out and we've only done about two weeks worth of shows but it has been really good. We had a great show at the Troubadour. We've done the Troubadour a lot over the last ten years and I think that might have been the best experience that I've had.

What's the plan for the rest of the year?

We're gonna keep touring. I think we have the touring schedule charted out till May right now and then we're gonna keep scheduling after that.
I Am Gemini

I Am Gemini

LP / CD / MP3