Easy Blog

by E-mail, 2003.7
text by Yoshiyuki Suzuki

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"I think Eastern Youth write great music, and I truly respect them for singing in Japanese. That shows great integrity in their culture, especially in the English dominated world of the music industry."

First of all, what kind of musical environment did you grow up in?

Tim:I had a lot of older brothers and sisters, they helped me find a lot of good music at an early age - Matt and I grew up together and began listening to Violent Femmes and The Cure at a young age. My parents showed me Simon and Garfunkel, Cat Stevens, other important folk writers at the time.

What made you pick up the guitar and start singing?

Tim:I wanted to do something when I was 13, I don't think I was doing much of anything but hanging out with friends. One of my sisters had a guitar and I started playing it day and night, learning Paul Simon songs from a songbook my brother-in-law gave me.

What kind of music do you listen to, and which artists were you influenced by? What is your all-time favorite album?

Tim:I mostly listen to top 40 music for influences because I wouldn't want to be influenced by any music in the genres I write in. Favorite album... a really great album is the Violent Femmes S/T.

What were you doing before Cursive? I heard you were in a band called Slowdown Virginia?

Tim:Matt and I began playing guitar and bass at age 13, started up a cover band called March Hares, picked up a singer (I was young and couldn't sing yet). We started writing songs and putting out cassettes locally. A couple years later I took up singing and we started Slowdown Virginia. One CD and a shit ton of demo tapes later we quit and reformed again as Cursive.

When you formed Cursive, what kind of vision did you have for the band?

Tim:We started Cursive because despite moving on to college and stuff, none of us felt like we were done playing music yet. The flaw with Slowdown was that we didn't take ourselves seriously - we were teenagers and still self-conscious about those kinds of things. So we decided with Cursive we would write the best we could, believe in it, and if everyone ended up hating it - well, we would deal with it.

You are based in Omaha, Nebraska, and you are on a local label, Saddle Creek. How was the local music scene in Omaha then, and how did Cursive fit into that scene?

Tim:Omaha has always had really great music and some crap as well. When we first started playing in bands we would go see all these great local bands writing and performing their own songs - that inspired us to write OUR own songs. We have watched this music scene thrive and fail in cycles - it is currently a very healthy community - a lot of great bands and a lot of great shows.

You and your label mates Bright Eyes have appeared on each other's work. You seem to be good friends. How did you first meet, and how do you evaluate him as a musician?

Tim:We have gone to the same schools as them, have grown up with Conor and his family, so we love them all very much. I think Conor is a great songwriter and has influenced us all with his high standard of lyrics.

I read the following comment somewhere... "If Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes is the next Dylan as many lauded, then his counterpart in Cursive, Tim Kasher, must be the next Lennon." How do you feel about this?

Tim:I don't think it has any merit at all, although it is sweet for a critic to say that. I think comments like that have more to do with people making 'daring' statements to generate hype.

After the completion of your second album, Cursive went on a hiatus for a while. What was the reason for this hiatus?

Tim:It is difficult for me to stick with projects, I have been considered a self-destructive personality. It's a struggle for me to stay with one thing for any extended period of time - the break up after our second album is a fine example of this. We reformed after a year apart, I personally discovered how difficult it was to get a new band together - it occured to me that Cursive was the best thing I had going in my life.

The first album after Cursive got back together was "CURSIVE'S DOMESTICA". On that album you seemed to try to broaden your musical style. Was this new development an intentional move on your part?

Tim:I guess we were all aware - when we got back together it was very important to us to be as innovative with our style as we could manage, and we want to keep growing musically with each album we do.

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