We groggy-eyed scribes never did get around to writing a review for Bright Curse's latest, the undeniably impressive Time of the Healer. But if you take that to imply we didn't think it was a damn fine collection o’ tunes, you're dead wrong. Drinking deep from the well of 70's psychedelic and prog rock, Bright Curse nonetheless feels fresh--avoiding, gracefully, the stagnant waters in which so many of their peers flounder. Weaving intriguing instrumentation with a decidedly blues-ridden ambiance, Time of the Healer marks a strong step forward, and another feather in Ripple's cap.
Needless to say, we were tickled pink to chat with the outfit in question. Big thanks to Romain of Bright Curse for taking the time!
Sleeping Village: Firstly, congratulations on the release of Time of the Healer! Has the collective reaction lived up to your expectations?
Bright Curse: Thanks! I think our followers liked it, we were really worried about the crowd’s reaction when we finished recording, because its so different from Before The Shore. But I think the reaction was good.
SV: From an outsider's perspective, Ripple seems pretty personally invested in its artists. How has working with Ripple had an effect on the way in which Bright Curse operates? And, more generally, how has it been to join the Ripple family?
BC: Joining the Ripple family was pretty smooth, it didn’t change anything in the way we work, I write and record music with the band, they press it and organize the promotion. Haha.
Doesn’t sound like much when I say it like that, but it is a hard job, Ripple has a lot of good bands, we all want to release our stuff, finding time for all of us must be hard, but I am sure daddy Todd is doing his best ;)
SV: A striking aspect of Time of the Healer is the attention to narrative. During the songwriting process, do you typically start with the theme, storyline, and character(s), or does the instrumentation come first?
BC: I change the way I work on every album, for Bright Curse our EP, I wrote the music and then told Zach and Sammy how I wanted them to play the songs, for Before the Shore, Max and Zach got more involved in the writing process, we wrote all the arrangements together, Max even wrote 2 songs on the album, it’s was more classic rock.
On Time of The Healer, I wanted to create an ambiance, create a a world, so I wrote the music and lyrics together, and I was always tweeting the songs so they could work together, in the end we added that little HF Radio sound in between each songs to link everything together, even Une Virée, which is kind of an alien song in the album just shows at transition, it’s the point of no return song…
Maybe I should translate the lyrics to English one day.
I am actually writing the new album and for this one I have decided to start with the lyrics, there will be songs in at least 3 languages.
SV: The inclusion of Peruvian flute and trumpet on "Smoke of the Past" and "Laura," respectively, contribute to a very intriguing soundscape--these aren't familiar sounds in your genre, and they catch the ear very effectively. Are there any other unconventional instruments you are looking to explore and integrate?
BC: I’ll add as many instruments as the song needs, for me, each sound each instruments wears a color… I don’t know the color of the next album yet, but I am sure the trumpet will be a part of it because I love the sound of the trumpet, and you can make it sound happy, gloomy, moody, distorted, clean… without any pedals, it’s wonderful. If I could have a full brass band I’d take it.
SV: Hunting through reviews over the past few years, I've seen several mentions of Pink Floyd as an apparent influence--and I have to admit, that guitar does sound Gilmour-esque, particularly on "Shadows." But we reviewers make shit up, like, all the time. From the artist's mouth: is this a fair comparison?
BC: David is my favorite guitarist (At least in our kind of music). Nothing less, nothing more. I love the way he uses the effects and leave time between the notes.
I feel like Miles Davis, “Sometimes less is more”. If you always try to feel the blanks, people can’t breath, they can’t feel, they are suffocating on your music.
Gilmour’s guitar makes me breath.
SV: In your estimation, does the rock and blues-rock of the early 70's represent a timeless sound?
BC: I am listening to Ma Rainey as I answer your questions, hope that replies to this one. :)
SV: You also seem notably influenced by jazz and funk. Are there any particular artists that inform these elements, or is it simply experimentation on your part?
BC: I love Jazz, I listen to more Jazz than metal nowadays, Dylan Jones (The Trumpet player on Time of the Healer) is actually playing in one of London’s most notorious Jazz band called Ezra Collective. I love those guys, there sound is so fresh!
I also love Christian Scott Atunde, Takuya Kuroda, Thelosious Monk, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillepsie and more, I am not really into funk though.
SV: You've done your fair share of festival and touring. Is there a live show that particularly stands out in memory, either for good or bad reasons?
BC: DunaJam in 2017 was my favorite show ever, we played on the beach in Sardinia, at sunset, during my flute solo Olof (our drummer at the time) went for a swim and came back to start the next song just in time… It was like the planets were aligned hahaha.
Was only 400 persons, but man the atmosphere was unbelievable, so much energy, we played Hellfest 2 days before, but was not as good.
SV: We here at the Sleeping Village live and die by recommendations. What new releases have you been enjoying this year? And what are some older classics that you continually return to?
BC: For the fresh stuff, I would say Black Midi
For an old classic, definitely Kind of Blue de Miles Davis
SV: Thank you for taking the time! I'd like to give you the ol' last word--is there anything you'd like to add?
Thanks for the interview!!
I just want to tell everybody to keep listening music, as much as possible, don’t think too much, let yourself go, and feel alive.
Be nice to each others, peace! ~ Romain D.