Bio: Sean-Jim and I started working together in August 2004. After a failed attempt at having an internet band with members all over the world recording their parts and sending them on to the next person, we started a band called Shock of the Cold. It consisted of 6 members, 5 in the Detroit area, and Jim over in England. We recorded a few albums and played lots of shows. In 2006 we won all 3 rounds of the Emergenza Music Festival and got the opportunity to perform in front of nearly 2,000 people at the Majestic Theatre in Detroit. I won best guitarist and received a Music Man Studio Guitar as a prize. It has been my primary live guitar since then. In 2008, Shock disbanded and we all went our separate ways. However, it wasn’t long before Jim and I started writing music again, and before we knew it, we had enough tracks for a new album. We decided to call ourselves These Curious Thoughts, and we have released 5 studio albums since 2009 and we are currently working on our 6th.
Jim-We basically cannot stop writing songs, we have had a few weeks off here and then but I always end up writing lyrics for Sean gets a cool melody and we then wend it to each other and before you know it we have another song…fully formed-we must have like over 200 just demoed!
Genre: Sean-For the longest time we could not fit into a genre. We used to call ourselves Experimental Rock, however, after some time and the more mature our sound got, we decided we could try and label ourselves as Indie Rock. I like the Indie Rock genre because it really is just us who are trying to make this a go. Our sound is unique and different from anything else out there.
Jim-Yeah we are Glamour Indie Rock n’roll…we are primarily a guitar band that is independent from any real scene….
Evolution of musical and thematic elements: Sean-The musical elements are rooted in theatrical 1960s rock. The music stems from my influences such as classical music, the Beatles, Phish, and lots of other types. The music comes from the thematic elements that Jim writes. When I read a lyric, I see how it makes me feel and what it means to me, then I write a song from that, so really the lyrics drive the musical element.
Jim-The lyrics are usually fairly nonsensical, captured phrases from newspapers, cod-philosophy and things that sound cool… I come up with a few ideas then we I have enough for a song I stitch them together and email them to Sean… He then adds the magic and meaning…
Lyrics, themes and concepts: Jim will have to answer this since he writes most of the lyrics. Sometime I tweak his lyrics to fit a song better or add some lines. Usually I am just going off the theme that Jim has already illustrated. The next album has a couple songs that I wrote the lyrics on, and really I don’t think people will be able to tell that someone other than Jim wrote the lyrics. I think Jim and I share a brain, our lyrical themes are similar.
Jim-Sean is spot on when he says we share the same musical brain and pretty the division in work is pretty seamless. I guess there are a few things that crop up. Religion and mental illness are subjects that have popped up in a few of my lyrics… couldn’t tell you why though!
Ideas about the product: Sean-I am very satisfied with our product. I like the image, the sound, everything. I think the only thing we could improve on would be have better studio recordings. Since we started we wrote, recorded, and produced every album. My home studio has developed wonderfully over the past decade; however, we still lack a completely polished sound. I like the low-fi home recording sound, but we have heard from some reviewers that we would be much better with a professional recording. I guess it’s just someone’s musical preference.
Jim-I guess the production is the only thing that I would improve, very happy with the quality and variety of song-writing… I guess better production increases radio play and what not-that would be nice but it’s not the reason why we write…
Reception: Great! Lots of people dig our sound. During the early years 2004-08, we were mainly a local band, meaning our fan base was either Detroit or London. Since 2009, we really have branched out using Facebook and now have over 6,000 fans all over the world, with a majority in India and South America. We have sold CDs to people all over the world, and it’s always cool when you get a CD order from like Europe or somewhere else. We have been receiving great reviews over the past few years. We are excited to see what comes down the road!
Jim-Really good-we have a large Indian fanbase so we are putting on a special show for them July 27th… see website for details!
Preference; live or studio: Sean-Studio. I love being on the road and playing, but when I am in the studio that is where I am doing all the creation and recording. I really enjoy working with the songs and playing all the instruments. It’s great to have the creative freedom where I can add a wah wah trumpet track just for the hell of it, even if it doesn’t end up in the final mix.
Jim-I have sung a few songs with mates in other bands for fun… But trust me I couldn’t really carry a tune… In a bucket so will stick to writing!
Next step; live or studio: Sean-Last year I hooked up with 2 former band mates, Dan Steffy (bass) and Sean Nasrey (drums). The 3 of us originally started our high school band No BBQ BBQ. Dan and Sean have been great for helping me get the songs in live arrangements, and we have been playing out in the Detroit area. We are currently putting together a live performance video for our fans in India. The gig is called “The Blue Mountain Path: Online Performance for India.” We will be posting it on Facebook for our Indian friends Saturday July 27. Currently we are recording the tracks for our 6th album, “Inventing Dr. Sutherland, and his Traveling Hospital.”
Jim-I am hoping they make it to England soon to hang and play too!
Future plans: Future always looks good. I couldn’t imagine a few years ago that people would be writing about us, interviewing us, getting fans all over the world on Facebook, and selling music to people globally. So really 5 years from now could be very cool. I guess we will just have to wait and see what tomorrow brings.
Jim- Well I think the future will see cities rise up on mechanical legs and battle for the remaining resources…maybe in the year 3014?
Composers: Jim writes the lyrics, and I write the music and sing the songs.
Inspirations: Sean-The Beatles, Procol Harum, Phish, REM, classical music, Bob Marley, Foo Fighters, Radiohead.
Jim-I love Nirvana, The Smiths, R.E.M, Modest Mouse, Frightened Rabbit… man, there are loads…
Preference; cater to the audience or music for its own sake: It’s all about the creative element. Jim and I are writing songs that we want to hear. There are like minded individuals out there who will also like our songs, some people won’t. We are not creating music to be rich and famous. Otherwise we would be by now. We are creating music for the sake of the creation.
Jim- I know it’s a cliché but if anyone else likes our stuff it’s a bonus… Basically I see it as if me and Sean write an album a year, it’s one less I have to but as I listen to us a lot… I love our music…
Greatest Accomplishment: Sean-Finding someone who I can write music with who shares in my style and constantly helps keep me inspired. This composition partnership has been my greatest feat
Jim-Couldn’t agree more-it’s remarkable really and will be 10 year song-writing anniversary next year-special album planned for that…