Cursive's Tim Kasher on R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet: "It's a Masterpiece."
Over the last decade, the Omaha-based indie rockers known as Cursive have continually toyed with our emotions. They've endured lineup changes, solo careers, and of course the great hiatus of 2004, and yet we never turned our backs.
Why? Because no matter what, Cursive never completely breaks our heart. And after what feels like forever, the band reels us back in with its latest release, I Am Gemini.
In the middle of a tour with Minus the Bear, Cursive's frontman Tim Kasher spoke to the New Times about FuckYeahTimKasher, GWAR vs. The Beatles, and R.Kelly's Trapped in a Closet.
New Times: The new record [I Am Gemini] is a pretty heavy album, both musically and conceptually, what inspired you to work with the theme of dueling voices on the album?
Tim Kasher: Well, I think the music that we were writing at the time was pretty intentionally taking a lot of different turns. So, I wanted to write lyrics that would represent that. The earliest ideas had to do with how to write in multiple voices and that kind of developed into the idea of split personalities. But, ultimately it ended up being about the internal struggles we deal with.
In my opinion, the whole thing about inner voices in your head can be a kind of dorky thing to write about so literally. [laughs] So by fictionalizing it and doing it through characters, it gives it a more interesting allegory. Well, hopefully interesting.
Do you consider yourself to be one of those people who wrestles with inner voices
Yeah. I do. But, in the healthy sense. [laughs] Just like everyone else does. It's something that I recognized when I was really young, just the idea of inner conflict. I remember first kind of grasping the idea when I was a toddler.
On this tour, are you playing I Am Gemini from start to finish?
Not at all. We're going to do a best of. Well, not necessarily a best of but more of a collection of songs from each of the albums. We make our choices based on what we think would be crowd favorites. And we try to make sure songs off I Am Gemini are included.
Having a career that spans over a decade, do you still identify with the older songs and albums?
Basically. I do. I think all of us do. It's not as difficult to do with this particular catalog. I think my, and our opinions and attitudes about the older content is the same. We started this band so long ago, I was about 20 when I started writing Cursive songs, so I was just old enough to already have gotten my really bad music from when I was a teenager out of the way. So, by the time Cursive came around and we started writing music, we were doing stuff then that I'm still proud of now.
Both Cursive and you yourself have a lot of devoted fans. Have you seen the FuckYeahTimKasher Tumblr?
Yeah.....[laughs] I had someone point it out to me.
Is it weird knowing something like that exists?
I don't know. [laughs] I think I am fortunate to have fans like that. Ya know. If that's how you want to spend your time, I don't mind. [laughs]
When it comes to Twitter, you've been known to share some pretty hilarious observations. Most recently you tweeted, "How fun would our planet be if, instead of the Beatles, it was GWAR." Can you elaborate on that?
We just played at Riot Fest in Chicago, and I got to see GWAR play. It was definitely the most fun show of the day. I think it's really great that it's a bunch of grown men dressed up, playing music, essentially LARPing. It's just like playing in the backyard but they took it to the stage. It's a lot of fun. I was watching them in awe and imagining what it would be like if this was the template for all music. That would really be something.
Was that the first time you had seen them?
No. They've been around for so long that I saw them back in like 1996 or something. It's always an experience.
Cursive has become known for its concept albums. Someone else who has dabbled in this arena is R.Kelly with Trapped in a Closet. Have you experienced it?
Of course. I think it's just great. I think it's a masterpiece in it's own way. In it's own way, it's an important album to have happened in the last 20 years. [laughs] It's a lot of fun. I think he was having a really good time. I hope he was. It seems like he had a really good time after the fact.
Minus the Bear with Cursive and Girl in a Coma. 7 p.m., Monday, October 22, at Revolution Live, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $29. Purchase on Ticketmaster.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.