Perth’s Cursed Earth formed from the ashes of previous bands with its five members having a real hunger for creating heavier, darker hardcore music than what a lot of their peers were doing in the WA scene. And with this year’s ‘Enslaved By The Insignificant’, a mixture of new and old songs, the band has done just that with 11 bleak and punishing hardcore tunes. Well, with a name like Cursed Earth, you would expect as much! Before a new album lands and before the band play Hardcore 2016 and hit the road with Graves in December, we shot some questions at the group about their lyrical content, the Perth scene’s “comeback” of late, ‘Enslaved By The Insignificant’, and they responded accordingly.
So let us start off with a summary off with who Cursed Earth is and how you all got together?
We are a band from Perth who formed in 2014 as a reaction to the lack of genuinely energetic, heavy and dark hardcore music in our scene. We’d mostly played in bands with each other before so getting everybody on board was easy.
Cool! What impact did the Perth scene have on the band in your formation, and how important is it to you all now? Being a metallic hardcore band from a local scene as isolated, notorious and revered as Perth’s, what was it like growing up and coming together in the shadow of influential groups like Miles Away and Break Even?
We think the isolation of Perth makes it a great place to write music, because of the lack of a distinct “style” that a lot of cities on the East Coast have. Miles Away and Break Even are hugely inspirational to all of us because they prove that you can be from Perth and do well nationally and overseas through dedication and by being heaps good.
There’s been some talk of the Perth scene making a “comeback” of sorts, after some quiet years. What’s your take on that position, and along with Cursed Earth, who do you feel is helping to keep the local and national scene strong?
Absolutely, the last couple of years have been a huge comeback for the Perth Hardcore scene, particularly with the response and turnout that Australian and International bands have been getting at shows and young bands like Unravel and Denial starting to hit Australia on a national level, which was relatively unheard of for local Hardcore bands two years ago.
Speaking of Miles Away, Cursed Earth is set to share the stage with the group as part of Hardcore 2016. It’s a huge line-up and a massive step for Cursed Earth. How is the band feeling about playing an event as respected as Hardcore, and do you have any experiences/stories to share from previous Hardcore sets you’ve seen over the years?
Playing Hardcore 2016 is huge for us! Hardcore has a huge legacy in Australian heavy music and playing our first show interstate in ages with bands like Miles Away, Life.Love.Regret, Rebirth and Reactions is very mad.
Now, after your Hardcore appearance in November, the band will be hitting the road with Graves on the ‘Monster Australian tour’, alongside Justice For The Damned and Kublai Khan from the States. It’s a crazy bill and guaranteed to be stupidly heavy. How does Cursed Earth plan to stand out and make an impact with your set, considering the bands that you’re playing with?
We’re gonna play our set really, really well and get down to some of our favourite bands nine nights in a row.
Simple! Given the current social and political landscape, there’s no shortage of fucked-up things happening in the world for a very angry and very heavy hardcore band to write about (the recent US election for instance). Does the band look to any particular place(s) or issue(s) in the world to draw influence for your music?
Our lyrics are an attempt draw honest perspectives from our own experiences or the experiences of others dealing with the human experience – injustice, depression, anxiety, trauma, anger, disease and oppression. Usually, even if we have an event in mind while writing we aren’t going to write about it. The event is transitory but the struggles of the people dealing with it are universal and that’s what we are trying to frame.
Likewise, if you could describe one particular message to take from Cursed Earth’s music, what would it be?
The pain, anxiety, boredom and purposelessness you feel is a part of your human experience. It will never get better and you will never wake up in a perfect world.
Cheery! The band released ‘Enslaved By The Insignificant’ earlier this year, which served as a compilation record, with older tracks from the Burning Season split, the ‘Vae Mortis EP’ and two new tracks. How did the decision to re-release those tracks come about, and how do you feel the release was received both locally and abroad?
Enslaved was our first release on Holy Roar Records in the UK and was originally planned as a re-release of our EP “Vae Mortis”. We had a couple of new songs that we felt were cohesive with the old material and it made more sense to do the older songs justice with a spit shine and put out a full-length release for a crowd that hadn’t heard our music before. The response to the release was really good but we can’t wait to put out a longer release of entirely new stuff.
The instrumental track ‘II’ features a particularly grim sample from Season 1 of the HBO series True Detective, and this leads us to a two-part question: 1) How fucking good was True Detective? And 2) Why exactly is time a flat circle?
True Detective was the bomb!
“All striving comes from lack, from a dissatisfaction with one’s condition, and is thus suffering as long as it is not satisfied; but no satisfaction is lasting; instead, it is only the beginning of a new striving. We see striving everywhere inhibited in many ways, struggling everywhere; and thus always suffering; there is no final goal of striving, and therefore no bounds or end to suffering.” – Arthur Schopenhauer,
2016 has been an incredibly strong year for heavy music, with some stellar local and international releases. What are some of the records from this year, heavy or otherwise, that the band has enjoyed or been stoked on? Are there any releases, local or otherwise, that you can’t wait to get your ears around?
The albums we’ve been bumping this year are Balance and Composure – “Light We Made”, Bones “PaidProgramming 2”, Unravel – “Final Dawn” and Nails – “You Will Never Be One of Us”. 2017 is gonna be absolutely mental with the holy trifecta – Ill Natured, Burning Season, Justice for the Damned full lengths, as well as new Incendiary and Code Orange.
Lastly, with 2017 fast approaching, Cursed Earth are capping off a huge year. What’s next for the band and is there new music on the way?
This December is the only the beginning of things we’ve got planned, 2017 will bring a new release and nonstop shows, to say the least.
‘Enslaved By The Insignificant’ is out now via Death’s Grip and you can read our review of it here. Check out Cursed Earth’s upcoming tour dates below.
Saturday, November 26th: HARDCORE 2016
Thursday, 1st December: The Brightside, Brisbane 18+
Friday, 2nd December: Phoenix Arts Theatre, Brisbane AA
Saturday, 3rd December: Small Ballroom, Newcastle 18+
Sunday, 4th December: Towradgi Surf Club, Wollongong Lic AA
Monday, 5th December: Red Rattler, Sydney Lic AA
Tuesday, 6th December: The Basement, Canberra 18+
Thursday, 8th December: Bendigo Hotel, Melbourne 18+
Saturday, 10th December: Invasion Fest, Melbourne AA
Sunday, 11th December: Fowlers Live, Adelaide Lic AA
PC: Liam Allomes