Curse Mackey! When old school industrial - experimental noise meets post-punk and ghosts of the future, past and present | Interview

 

Curse Mackey returns in discography this year and the result is amazing.


I am really proud and thankful for all the bands and artist that have spoken with, along this short period of the ElektroSpank's revival. Curse Mackey is one of this cases that makes me happy and I have to thank Curse and Christian from Fade In PR who have given me the chance to have this really interesting conversation with a man with a great history in dark industrial scene, and not only.

Curse Mackey is already known from the other bands and projects that has already been involved with. And these are My Life With Thrill Kill Kult (TKK), Pigface, Evil Mothers and recently being a member of Clan of Xymox's live appearances. 

This year the first solo album of Curse Mackey came out. "Instant Exorcism" is one of the albums that will mark the industrial releases of 2019. 11 tracks where several influences and sounds are combined in a unique way and industrial tunes are matched with some post-punk elements and this beautiful combination is perfectly bound with the lyrics of Curse. Lyrics where some parallel universes, ghosts, devils are creating stories. "Instant Exorcism" release day is May 10th and is available from Negative Gain Productions.

Read below what Curse told to ElektroSpank | FMA about this new album, the industrial and dark music, his other projects and the unique experience he had with David J last minute call to fill in Peter Murphy.

ES: Hello Curse. I’d like to thank you for this interview. A new solo project by someone with a long history in electro industrial scene. Before going into details, would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?

CM: Hello ElectroSpank! I'm Curse Mackey, thanks for joining us.


ES: I would like to go straight to the news. Curse Mackey is back with a new release, "Instant Exorcism", coming out on May 10th. Can you tell us something about this album? What is the concept behind the album and the songs?

CM: Well, sometimes we can all use an Instant Exorcism. Like a total reset of the psyche, to willingly let go of what's holding us back or what we're holding inside. We need to purge the negative out through the positivity of creating.
The source material for this record is everything that I have experienced up to the moment I finished writing the album. I began performing as a solo entity in late 2016, thanks to some encouragement from my good friend Bradley Bills of CHANT who kinda kidnapped me for a run of shows from Texas up to Cold Waves Festival in Chicago in 2016. My first shows were a bit more experimental in approach, stream of conscious vocals, spontaneous compositions of noise, ambience, distorted beats and a few revamps of some classic Evil Mothers tracks and a couple of Pigface songs. After doing that for about a year I began feeling very compelled to complete a new album to have material for a brand new live show.

ES: Personally, I could say that "Instant Exorcism" is not only an electro-industrial album. I think is a lot more since someone could listen to some influences from really dark electronics, a lot of post-punk and of course some electro-rock, old-school industrial. Can you tell us about your influences in making this songs?

CM: I agree with you. This is a diverse album by design, made of sounds that I find personally appealing. There are elements of classic industrial - experimental noise and industrial dance elements, doom heavy electronics and percussion, and post-punk leanings and each song is approached in its own unique way. I don't have a set formula. Typically my subconscious will conjure a mood or vibration, often the supernatural kind, that will send me down the path of creating a song.

ES: Would you say that, in "Instant Exorcism", a collection of sounds and elements from all the bands you are now involved or you were in the past, is presented and combined?

CM: Not really, of course the past is part of my musical DNA and is inherent to my overall aesthetic however I do not think this album is a summarization of all of the bands I've been. It's almost the exact opposite, INSTANT EXORCISM is a record that is not at all constrained or obligated to previous projects. It's a very future forward thinking record and is a launching point for the next phase of my creative output. Of course my participation in other projects has helped my production and performance skill levels and given me immensely valuable experience and a super supportive network of collaborators, friends, and fans.

ES: Can you tell us about the stories of the songs? Which were the facts that inspired you for the lyrics?

CM: There's a great amount of hyper-surrealism taking place across the ten songs on the album. A bit of a William S. Burroughs "Naked Lunch" meets Warhol in a dystopian world that exists in parallel universes. Somewhere between the here, the now and the unknown. Lyrically there is a supernatural, gritty yet glam, street-smart aesthetic in it's atmosphere, the songs are inhabited by ghosts of the future, past and present, demons, devils, seductive spirits living, dead and otherworldly. I write a lot from a mythical fiction and stream of conscious point of view. There are personalities in the songs that have aspects of people I know (or perhaps are me), places and things that I have experienced or dreamt as well as a bit of a science-fiction approach in the environments in which the protagonist and antagonists exist. I am consistently influenced by writers who have a last name that begins with B, Wm S. Burroughs, Baudelaire, JG Ballard, Clive Barker, Anthony Bourdain, Bradbury, Bukowski, Bowie, Beethoven.

ES: There are some old friends of yours that contributed in the production phase of "Instant Exorcism". How do you feel about this collaborations? You are an experienced artist now, but I would like to hear about the production phase of your new album. How was that experience?

CM: The production of the album was an uplifting and very challenging experience. The cool thing for me doing a solo record is that there were no parameters that had to be paid attention to. There was no previous catalog that needed to be nurtured. This was a clean slate and that's where the title - INSTANT EXORCISM comes from. It was critical for my well-being that these songs get out of my system and on to a physical document, in particular onto vinyl. The first two songs were "O' Blasphemy" and "After You, Destruction". I recorded those with Charles Godfrey at Scary American Studio in Austin, Texas. Charles is an incredible producer and expert engineer. He engineered the last two Yeah Yeah Yeah's records, is co-producing the new ÉTrail of Dead album, has worked with Explosions in the Sky and he was the producer of the SINE album "INSOMNI®". I sat in on a lot of the SINE sessions and performed on the record so Charles and I had a great synergy working together. He was a huge catalyst on this album reaching the sonic levels that it did. We did a lot of experimentation, running my synthesizers through massive bass and guitar cabinets made by our friends at Worshiper Cabinets and other front-end processing so that the synthesizers themselves were aggressively epic and would stand up against anything else out there. As I got a little deeper into the songwriting, I brought in Chase Dobson to co-produce and mix the album with me. Chase is a long-time friend. We have been threatening to collaborate with each other for years, so this was a perfect time to bring Chase in to help take the overall sound to the next level. He's got an incredible ear and our workflow is very intuitive. I was also fortunate to tour with Clan of Xymox twice in 2018 and Ronny Moorings(Clan of Xymox mainman) and I really hit it off well. So as Chase and I were working on "Submerge", which is the opening track of the album, I was feeling like there was something (or someone) missing. Then I figured out what it was, so I asked Ronnie Moorings to play guitar on the track. I absolutely love his otherworldly guitar tone, and fortunately he sent me something perfect to complete the song. Having Ronnie on the record is a big honor. Steven Seibold, another great friend and long-time collaborator due to our time together in Pigface put the final touches on the mastering and also was highly encouraging and insightful through the entire album process. Rona Rougeheart of SINE also designed the packaging from a series of paintings I made to go with the album. I'm lucky to have such a cool and talented group of collaborators!

ES: We spoke a little about the bands and projects that you have been involved. Would you like to tell us something about it? From Pigface and My Life with Thrill Kill Kult to Evil Mothers or even your part in Clan of Xymox concerts?

CM: I've been very fortunate to see a lot of this world through music and the bands I've been in. With Evil Mothers I was a teenager when we started and we did some really cool shit and sustained it as long as we could. Probably the coolest thing we did, aside from making four fairly interesting records, is that we got to tour with Einsturzende Neubauten in the UK and meet some of our heroes like Nick Cave. Once that project imploded I essentially went into Pigface during a very active time for the band and I was invited to become a touring member of My life with the Thrill Kill Kult (TKK), who are life-long friends of mine. So both of those were dream gigs at that time and here I am again now, years later, on tour launching my own solo project as direct support for my good friends from TKK and then there's a looming Pigface tour, the first in a decade, that I may have some participation in. As for Clan of Xymox, touring with them is a fantastic experience. I love their music, I love them as individuals and their fans were very embracing of my new material. We will be doing more shows later this year. Things have aligned themselves very nicely this year for me. I'm excited to see what the future holds.

ES: When did you decide that you want to get involved with this music and be a part of the industrial scene?

CM: I've always been into dark, experimental electronic music. When I first started collecting vinyl and starting my DJ career, which is how I got into the music business, that was when Wax Trax, Nettwerk, 4AD, Mute and Factory Records were all at the top of their game putting out incredible music. Me and some friends in Texas started promoting concerts. Skinny puppy was the first concert we put on, then Ministry, TKK, KMFDM, Front Line Assembly, Nine Inch Nails, Front 242, Marilyn Manson, Godflesh, Meat Beat Manifesto, Revolting Cocks, we put on all of those shows in San Antonio and to this day I'm friends with most of those artists. I love that the music itself gave me some of the best friends I have now. Scenes come and go but friendships can remain for life. That's what's important to me. It's up to each of us to sustain our career despite and in spite of trends. Hopefully along the way we help out other artists that we appreciate and can help the next wave of like-minded artists to reach some level of sustainability and success. I've certainly been fortunate to have people like Groovie Mann and Buzz McCoy of TKK, Ronnie from Xymox, Martin Atkins and others give me an opportunity to take my career to the next level and I'm always into doing the same for people that have great potential and are cool to hang with.

ES: Speaking of live shows, another beautiful experience for you, I think was the last minute call to fill in Peter Murphy's last date of Bauhaus' 40th Anniversary tour? Would you like to tell us something about this?

CM: Yes! That was quite a beautiful experience and a very fortunate gift from the Gothic Gods so to speak, ha ha. ha. It all came together very fast, with very little time to prepare but when David J asked myself and Rona Rougeheart of SINE to participate with him in place of Peter Murphy who was not going to make the show, of course we didn't even hesitate to help. David J wanted to make sure that the Orlando audience who had already been cancelled on once we're gifted with something special and unique that no other audience would see. It was all a bit surreal and we only had 20 minutes to prepare. The first time we all took the stage together was for the show itself, no rehearsal, no sound check, just walk into the fire and into the abyss! Rarely do I get stage fright but I can tell you that I definitely had an "oh shit, what did I just get myself into" moment but once we locked in on stage and had a groove going it really turned into something quite magical. I'm forever thankful to David J for having faith in Rona and I to get up on stage with him. I'm very grateful to Peter Murphy for the kind words he said about us on his official statement, so yeah, that's one of those crazy things you don't expect to have happen when teenage you is listening to Bauhaus and years later all of a sudden you're singing the songs side by side with David J in front of a thousand people. Fucking wild. I think we might do something else down the line now so stay tuned!

ES: In this long period of action in dark, electro, industrial scene, which are the strongest memories you have? Would you like to give us your best moment through these years and one not so good?

CM: As I mentioned earlier getting the open for Einsturzende Neubauten for their first show in London in 10 years was a huge achievement for Evil Mothers especially because Nick Cave was in the audience and I got to meet him that night. He's one of my definitive mentors. There were many incredible Pigface shows along the way however the reunion show for the 25th anniversary show in Chicago, Thanksgiving 2016 was the most fun I've had on stage in a long time. I think a lot of that has to do with just the energy of the audience - it was a very special night. As for bad memories, god, probably lying on the side of the road on the border of Texas and New Mexico broken down on I-10 with Patrick Sane of Evil Mothersin 110¡ weather. Our van had broken down so we had to drop our trailer on the side of the highway. There was only about a square foot of shade so the entire band was fighting over the last square foot of shade. I remember looking over at Patrick and he was covered in flies and he looked me and said there were flies all over me, we had been awake for days so it was getting a bit twisted to the point I was assuming that neither one of us was still alive and we had just died in the New Mexican desert. Unfortunately that was not the case, so we eventually got the van running, and hauled ass out of there and completed the rest of the tour. Even the weird challenges that may have happened along the way, all of it is part of the adventure. I'm just grateful and feel fortunate that I'm still alive and physically able to get out there and perform. Now having a new album, it's like starting all over again with brand-new energy and I can't wait to share this record with audiences around the world.

ES: Back to your solo project, what will be the next steps after the 10th of May, the release day of "Instant Exorcism"? Do you have anything scheduled? Live shows, a tour or something else?

CM: So yes, INSTANT EXORCISM comes out on May 10 on Negative Gain. I will celebrate with an Official Record Release show at Dante's in Portland as I am currently on tour with My life with the Thrill Kill Kult on the "Strange Affairs Tour". The new TKK album "Chains of Fame" is quite excellent by the way. This leg of the tour runs through June 15. I will also be playing Cold Waves Festival in Chicago as well as 2019 dates with Clan of Xymox, Pig, Pop Will Eat Itself, ACTORS, Chemlab, SINE, Mr Kitty, more TKK shows and we'll see what happens with Pigface, there are rumors I might be there but I can neither deny nor confirm at this time.

ES: It was great to have you in ElektroSpank Curse. Would you like to share anything else with us and our readers?

CM: Yes thanks for taking the time to read this interview and for your interest in my music. I hope you'll pick up a copy of Instant Exorcism for yourself and for all of your friends as it's THE perfect gift. Otherwise, I just encourage all of you to create, make art even if it's not perfect, it's the doing that matters. Support artists, be a positive contributor to your community. I believe in living an effortful existence as great things can happen if you just continue to put yourself out there and be supportive of others.

ES: Thank you very much and I wish you the best for the future. Looking forward to "Instant Exorcism" release and your future moves.

CM: Awesome we will definitely talk again I look forward to seeing out there!

Be sure to follow Curse Mackey at:

www.facebook.com/cursemackey1

www.instagram.com/cursemackey

https://cursemackeyngp.bandcamp.com/

Purchase Instant Exorcism at www.cursemackey.com

 

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