-Interview- Cursed Bloodlines (9/26/22)

Cursed Bloodlines talks about their start with music, upcoming plans and much more.


Sounds like: Metal
From: California

1. How did you get started with music and how did you develop your sound? Who thought of the name "Cursed Bloodlines" and is there any meaning behind it?

[Tim-Bass] Growing up my dad was always playing music, writing his own music, as well as playing favorites from other artists. Didn't see him much in my early life, but eventually I moved in with him and got to witness him playing and singing, even writing new stuff. It's in the family for sure, most of my cousins and aunts/uncles play or sing or both. My brothers and I were bound get into music at some point; my brothers chose guitar, and I chose bass. Something about the pulsing rhythms and thunderous sound that drew me in. I was 16 or 17 when I was able to get my own bass, and before I even really learned anything, my buddy Malcolm drafted me into our first band. As for the name "Cursed Bloodlines," I believe it was Jeremy who came up with it. I guess it can mean many things. I can't speak for the others, but for me it's the representation of where we all come from. It's the symbol of our struggle and our passion. We know what it's like to have to work to get what we want.

[Jeremy-Drums] I was born and raised in Southern California. I started playing drums at the age of 10 years old, and only had one "Official" Drum lesson, while everything else is self taught. Upon growing up, in 8th grade I met Malcolm Driggs, and together we formed our first band Dying Serenity. Ever since, we have been jamming and creating music. In 2015, I and my friend, Ken McBride, formed Cursed Bloodlines.

[Malcolm-Vocals] Growing up, I always loved entertainment, and to entertain. I would do solos in church and school choir. I really loved tv, and my grandpa's video camera, and would make my own shows. However, I didn't really get into music until I heard screaming in music like Linkin Park. Not long after that I met Jeremy, the drummer, and we proceeded to make the worst music you can imagine haha. I kept listening to, and doing more aggressive sounding vocals till you get to today. I have been jamming with Cursed Bloodlines through many different names and iterations, but to me it is really about putting in hard work and perservering despite all odds.

[Brian-Guitar] My first instrument I got into was bass guitar, and I was inspired to play from one of my best friends that played guitar. Our favorite music was heavy metal, so we based our sound on our favorite bands like Megadeth, Slayer and Black Sabbath.

[Ken-Guitar] I started playing music in grade school when I played alto sax in the school band. I discovered Megadeth and Black Sabbath early in middle school, and that's when I knew I wanted to play guitar. That's probably also why I like big doomy melodies and driving riffs. I believe Cursed Bloodlines came from one of our original guitarists. I think it might have been from a movie quote.

2. What do you want people to take away from your music?

[Brian-Guitar] I want people to feel the energy of our music. To feel like they got slapped in the face!!

[Malcolm-Vocals] I want people to feel a sense of unity with the music. I want them to feel as though the music is theirs rather than belonging to the artist.

[Jeremy-Drums] If you enjoy it, you enjoy it.

[Tim-Bass] Inspiration. Happiness. Catharsis. Maybe they can find meaning in it and learn about themselves, know they aren't alone in their struggle and just keep fighting for better. But, mainly, I want them to have fun and forget their stresses for a bit.

[Ken-Guitar] I just hope we can deliver a little bit of escapism and stir a few imaginations by way of some heavy ass grooves.

3. How would you describe your sound to the average listener?

[Brian-Guitar] I don't think we push to be a certain genre. That's what's great about this group is we're so versatile, and we love basically all the different metal genres, so we write whatever we're feeling at the time.

[Jeremy-Drums] Ear Piercing Melodic Death Metal with a hint of Thrash.

[Tim-Bass] Well, it's not the easiest thing to pin down. I guess I would say eclectic, extreme metal. There is some sludgey, chunky sounds, some melodic aspects. It has attributes of death metal, thrash metal, black metal, some groove in there, even minor hints of folk. We all have different inspirations and things. I tend to go with what feels good in the moment, I don't consider music style when I'm playing.

[Malcolm-Vocals] Shit, we have so many influences as a whole band that gives us a unique death metal, and groovey Poverty metal sound.


4. Who are three bands you’d like to tour with?

[Brian-Guitar] I would love to tour with and meet Max with Soulfly, Megadeth and Slayer.

[Tim-Bass] Hell, I'd be cool to play with any metal bands. If you are asking about lesser known, local type bands I think it would be cool to tour with our boys Instigator from the Coachella Valley, Kill Command from Tempe and Adavant from the Phoenix area. The dream would be any three metal bands from the northern Europe scene.

[Jeremy-Drums] Bands still tour?

[Ken-Guitar] Cannibal Corpse, Lamb of god, Mastodon.

[Malcolm-Vocals] Cattle Decapitation, The Black Dahlia Murder when Trevor returns (RIP Trevor), and Toto.

5. How has Covid affected what you do?

[Brian-Guitar] Covid affected just about everyone I know, and regarding our band, we were not able to do shows, so we had to think of other ways to get our music out there. In that process, we worked on getting our content out on YouTube, so our fans can watch us jam live and interact with the band.

[Tim-Bass] Well, sure we played it safe and haven't done any shows, but it did give us time to work on our album and our sound. We also took advantage of the time to create and release a few music videos.

[Malcolm-Vocals] The lockdown sure did slow live jamming down a bit, but it forced us to double down on other aspects of our sound, especially our studio quality, and social media presence. Now that things are getting back to normal, we are better in those aspects and very hungry to get out and play some live shows!

[Ken-Guitar] Covid slowed us down for a while as a whole, but the isolation and the extra time gave each of us an opportunity to hone our skills for a while, and then come back together as a more cohesive unit.

[Jeremy-Drums] Fuck Covid.

6. What’s your take on the current state of Metal?

[Brian-Guitar] Death Metal is almost exclusively underground anymore which is a shame considering some of the best riffs, beats and solos come from Death Metal Music.

[Tim-Bass] In America? I haven't heard any new stuff that's really spectacular, but I don't really pay attention to the scene here; there are some local and unsigned death metal bands that are pretty good though. I've been drawn more to the folk metal scene in Finland and that area.

[Malcolm-Vocals] Death metal is always going to be death metal. There will always be great death metal bands coming and going. I am excited for the style of singing being more prevalent in the mainstream because of what death metal has done, and we are seeing some very interesting things come from it.

[Ken-Guitar] Death metal is thriving like never before. With modern technology, you can find great music from anywhere in the world at a moments notice. There are so many tools for independent artists to get their music out to people. It also allows for a more connected metal community, and therefore, more metal.

[Jeremy-Drums] Not enough good bands.

7. What's the current music scene like there in California?

[Brian-Guitar] I think the Metal scene is very strong in California in general. In our area, we network with a handful of great metal bands, and the scene is gaining more traction as we get to play more shows. Once they feel the energy of a live metal band, usually people are hooked.

[Tim-Bass] Locally not great, for metal that is. It's a small town, they either like country, folk, punk and classic, rock or pop, hip hop and rap. The metal scene is starting to grow, but nothing exactly substantial yet. Just down the hill in the Coachella Valley, the metal scene is pretty well established from what I can tell.

[Jeremy-Drums] What music scene?

[Malcolm-Vocals] I will let you know when we get it going.

[Ken-Guitar] A lot of the local live music here in SoCal is country, or indie, so just about the opposite of what we do. But there is a solid metal underground if you know where to look.

8. What’s your take on the royalties that streaming services pay out to artists?

[Brian-Guitar] I believe royalties are a necessity for bands. Equipment is very expensive, especially if you want good tone to your sound. I believe things like royalties and band merch sales help a band tremendously.

[Malcolm-Vocals] I really do not know how much or little streaming services pay, but if it's too little, fuck that. And if it's too much I guess also, fuck that.

[Ken-Guitar] Well I guess I would have to say I am typically in favor of artists getting paid for their work.

[Tim-Bass] I have no opinion on this at this time.

[Jeremy-Drums] Garbage.

9. What’s next for Cursed Bloodlines?

[Malcolm-Vocals] Live shows, content, content, and more content. I want to get some momentum going, and never look back.

[Tim-Bass] Well, we are gearing up for a show in October, first live show in about 3 years, and trying to line up some others as well. Also have an album we are working on, so that's exciting.

[Jeremy-Drums] Finishing our new album.

[Ken-Guitar] Cursed Bloodlines is going to stay the course, and keep creating more metal music and content, and spreading the gospel of metal!

10. Any shoutouts?

[Malcolm-Vocals] Anybody who has taken time to help, or has supported us in any way. Jason Maxfield has been a real help recently.

[Ken-Guitar] I want to shout out to all the people that keep Supporting metal and making all of this possible.

[Brian-Guitar] Shoutouts go out to Blake Shultz, Chad Philips and Robert Zaccaria for inspiring me to not only pick up a instrument but also push me to get better. I don't know where I would be today without my childhood friends and their influence in music.

[Tim-Bass] The three I mentioned earlier,3 Instigator, Kill Command, Adavant. Also Sharkfin, and my good buddy Russ and his project The Mantra Discord.