With Cursed Earth preparing to take their new mixtape The Deathbed Sessions on tour to punish audiences nationwide, we caught up with the band's founding guitarist Kieran Molloy to shed some light on how the band have pulled it together after previous vocalist Jazmine Luders left the band, the new record and where they're headed from here. Read on for the full interview:
Hi Kieran - as Cursed Earth's founder and key songwriter, I imagine the last twelve months have been pretty crazy for you...
Hey Maniacs. Yeah, it's definitely been an interesting one.
What's been the hardest thing about pulling Cursed Earth back from the brink after Jaz left last year?
I wouldn't say it's been particularly hard. We needed to prove to our label and fans of the band that we can still make music without Jazmine singing on it, but that made the weight of expectations pretty low and we just got back into the studio and did what we've always done.
Seeing a mixtape released in the heavy world is pretty refreshing and different - where did the idea come from?
The idea came about while we were travelling around and developing audition tracks with a bunch of different vocalists. We found that hearing these songs develop with different singers and vocal styles was making the record more interesting to listen to, and much more interesting for us to record.
How did the writing process for The Deathbed Sessions work with so many different vocalists involved?
It varies from song to song, We had the instrumentals recorded in late 2017 so they mostly stayed the same. We wanted the vocalists to be able to own the songs as much as they wanted so I reached out to each person with 2 instrumental tracks to choose from and the option to write their own lyrics or use some pre-planned lyrics.
Matt and Sean wrote their songs entirely on their own, and Sean brought Booka in to cover the verses and bridge of Deathbed. Sean and I wrote the lyrics for Tyranny Forever together at his place in Perth, as well as an unreleased version of Fear called "War". Nick and I wrote Rock Bottom together in the Blue Mountains, as well as recording all the guide tracks with lyrics I had for Tyranny Forever and Burn. For Torch, Joel sent me a bunch of his lyrics through email and then Nick and I arranged them to fit the song and added the pit lines.
The whole record was really a community effort, and that's what I appreciate the most about it. Everyone plays in very different bands but when you take they hype away we're all just hardcore kids making music for the fuck of it.
Was there any one vocalist which was harder to lock down than others?
Not particularly, Almost everyone on the record were already mates and had been gigging together in the past or since so it was less of a "vocalist for hire" situation than just making a record with friends. We're all obviously on pretty busy schedules so it was never going to get finished overnight but we got it done and i'm stoked with the lineup.
Do you have a favourite track off the release?
It depends on the day. I think since release my favourites are Fear and Rock Bottom but they've all been my favourite at some point.
You've picked Jack from Cast Down to be the band's vocalist throughout the upcoming tour - how did you guys settle on him?
Jack was one of the first people we recorded with in early 2018 and we've always discussed taking him on the first tour back. We've been recording with him a little bit since The Deathbed Sessions has been done and his vocals are next level.
Are there plans to move forward with a permanent vocalist?
Yeah, That's where we're at right now. I don't think another mixtape release would be interesting for us and we don't believe in repeating the same formula just because something worked once. We're just going to take our time and pick someone that we like writing with and can sit in a van with.
Obviously aside from Cursed Earth, which other Australian heavy bands do you think are doing cool things right now?
At the moment we're spoiled for choice. Dregg, Honest Crooks, Daybreak, The Gloom in the Corner, Kid Presentable and Caged Existence all have music out that's 100% worth checking out. Members of this band are also playing in Justice for the Damned, Wreath and 9 Foot Super Soldier and Jack's band Cast Down are insane.
Cursed Earth will be taking their tyranny across Australia over six shows throughout July with Daybreak, Gloom In The Corner and Wreath in support.
Cursed Earth 'Tyranny Across Australia' Tour 2019
*Cursed Earth only
Wednesday, 17th July
Hamilton Station, Newcastle*
Thursday, 18th July
Friday, 19th July
Red Rattler, Sydney
Saturday, 20th July
Bendigo Hotel, Melbourne
Sunday, 21st July
Crown & Anchor, Adelaide
Friday, 26th July
Amplifier Bar, Perth*
Listen to Cursed Earth now.