HOUSE OF CURSES
When it comes to making compelling Alt Rock, featuring strong riffs and catchy lyrics, House of Curses has been blessed.
"There is more talent in and around North Alabama in all Genres that I would go so far to say it could be the new Seattle, but only if we stop trying to defeat each other and realize that when one succeeds we all succeed."
- Josh Thompson, lead guitarist, House of Curses
By Kreig Marks, July 2020
House of Curses is a six piece hard rock metal band from Decatur, Alabama. With influences such as the Deftones, Sevendust and In Flames, House of Curses have taken the country out of Alabama and are ready to pave the landscape with some hard hitting Rock n Roll. On this day I caught up with Josh Thompson, Guitarist and Vocalist and all around good guy to talk about the band's present and future plans.
KM: Josh, what’s going on with House of Curses. I know that the band is going through a minor transition right now with some new players. Tell us about that.
JOSH: Yeah... it’s never fun, but it is what it is. I know if everyone could be here they would be, but unfortunately in this day and age, decisions have to be made that affect the livelihoods of our members and their families. One thing we preach hard in this band is always "family first." We all are married with kids, and we answer to a much higher authority, so as sad as it makes us, it’s totally understandable and there is no ill will held by anyone or making a decision that is better for their family. We will be making a more detailed announcement real soon.
KM: Keep us in the loop and we'll share the news. The band came together in 2015. You’ve had some success with Hex’d, Lucky Stars and Demons. You’ve also done a Depeche Mode cover that’s gotten some attention. When is the full album coming out?
JOSH: We are still currently tracking our next EP. We went to Architekt Studios in Butler, New Jersey on Sept of ‘19 with hopes of having it out sometime in the summer of this year, but the world ended and I think everyone is trying to figure this new world order of things. As far as a full album goes, I’m not so sure the fans or the public want full albums anymore. We tend to write an albums worth (or 6 at this point) of material, and we pick a vibe and then select the songs that fit in that vibe. So as soon as we can get this one out, we will probably be refining scratch tracks we kinda threw together to see the vibe they put out.
KM: Has the pandemic put the brakes on writing and recording or have you taken this time to make an opportunity out of it and get more creative?
JOSH: Writing and home recording were about the only thing we could do for about 60 days. We would usually try to get together at least once a week and just work on something, anything. I love and trust my dudes with the stuff I write, and the great thing about us as a group is; it’s always reciprocated. We bounce things off each other with zero expectations of how it’s gonna come out because it’s always better than you could’ve imagined. We have a plethora of ideas to pull from during this lockdown and with new blood coming in to add flavor. It’s a pretty exciting time to be alive!
KM: Growing up, what style of music were you guys listening to? When you mention your home town of Alabama, generally we think of Country Music. House of Curses is far from Country.
JOSH: Well I named my first born Cash, if that says anything about me... LOL. Solid country gold, the Zeppelins, Skynyrd’s, and the Floyd’s always be somewhere in the roots of the music I make, but I’m probably the only one in the group that will admit that. LOL
Dan, grew up in Michigan, and has about the most eclectic taste of music of anyone I’ve ever met. From 80's New Wave to the heaviest most obscure Metal band you can think of, to some kinda female fronted French A cappella something, but he’s always right about it... it’s always beautiful and always good. JP is straight 80's Hair Metal, LOL. I’m kidding, but he will fight you over Strypyr... I think our influences are so vast it’s hard to count em all, but they are all most definitely in there...
KM: Do you have any plans to take a Country song and put a rock twist on it?
JOSH: Funny you should mention that, I brought this up to Dan. It’s very possible but it would not be in the way everyone would expect.
KM: So, if it wouldn't be in the way everyone would expect, what do you mean by that?
JOSH: Say one of the most recognizable Country songs of all time, with moody synth as an intro, or filler between songs maybe... (*wink)
KM: Bham Rocks calls you guys a “gloomy yet irresistible band from Decatur.” Why gloomy?
JOSH: I think the weight of the burdens we carry and express, for people we love and try to connect with, can come across as such... and it’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I promise you, you will never meet a group of dudes in the world that know where you’ve been, really care about where you are, and are genuinely concerned on where you’re going, as we are. Also our use of minor third and fifth harmonies an octave down.
KM: Do you feel there’s an audience in Decatur for a Heavy Metal band?
JOSH: Most definitely there is, I love our area. There is more talent in and around North Alabama in all genres, that I would go so far to say it could be the new Seattle, but only if we stop trying to defeat each other and realize that when one succeeds we all succeed. Also, just a chance or some outside attention from folks that make the entertainment world spin would be nice.
KM: Where are most of your fans? Do you find most of your fans local, or spread across different areas?
JOSH: I’d say mainly across the Southeastern United States, but we have fans all over the world... and they are die hard and I don’t understand it but appreciate it so much. LOL
KM: What’s been your most memorable show so far?
JOSH: Rocklahoma 2018 not for good reasons LOL, and Blue Ridge Rockfest 2018 for the the best reasons!
KM: Let's talk about these two festivals. First Rocklahoma. Why wasn't it a good experience?
JOSH: I really hate to be this guy, but a lot of things about what we were told were gonna happen, and how it didn’t really go down that way. Not a big deal, yet we had to buy a $20.00 parking pass.
KM: You guys are asked to play at Rocklahoma but have to buy our own parking pass? Dude. Not cool.
JOSH: Then, a week before, we were told we had to buy 1 pass to get into the gate, and show them our artist passes, since our slot was after midnight and we had to get in the day before. So, a weekend pass was cheaper than two 1 day passes.
KM: Hold on a second. Now, they make you buy a 1 day pass to get in the gate? And you guys are on the ticket?
JOSH: Yeah, I know. So we were like, "We can sell merch, no big deal." We had never been there, didn’t know the deal, and this was the VIP stage behind the main stage. So we can sell enough merch to cover $500 for tickets and gas.
KM: That is so wrong. Rocklahoma is a big deal and sells out in a couple hours. And, the promoters are now asking the support bands to cash up?
JOSH: Yep. So, halfway there, we blew two RV tires at a cost of about $800. Now this trip is already at a cost of $1300. An 8 hour drive turns into 16. Our generator was damaged due to the blow out, so no air or electricity. We arrive to find that our artist passes are for a campground stage not affiliated with Rocklahoma, and we COULD NOT sell merch on ROCKLAHOMA grounds, and anyone who didn’t have a ticket had to hide in the RV because we only had 1 weekend pass.
KM: What a cluster fuck! I imagine you were pretty pissed off.
JOSH: Livid was an understatement. We did our best to make the best of it. We made new friends with attendees and with the other bands that got duped as well. All the bands put on a hell of a show that night, and in #HoCFaM fashion, our people pulled us through and bought out all our merch online, so we could at least cover the gas to get home. And as we were pulling out to leave, a camper caught on fire and exploded...
KM: Whoa! I'd love to talk to you more about Rocklahoma and contact the promoters. I've got lots of questions for them. And Blue Ridge Rockfest. What made this great?
JOSH: Main Stage, Catering, the fan interaction, all the perks you work hard for. Watching how your favorite bands interact with each other. We Followed GFM and were right before Nonpoint. Let me tell you, that is a tough slot to play. GFM were so hard to follow, and everyone was waiting for Nonpoint during our set, because they always bring it. We were just honored and blessed to be a part of it.
KM: See, now that's how it's supposed to be, not what happened at Rocklahoma. So now that you've done both of those festivals, what bands would you like to share a ticket with?
JOSH: Me personally, anything with Maynard in it. That electric run with Sevendust LJ promised back in 2014 would be pretty sweet. I swear I’m not picking on my dude, but I’ve got it on video LJ! Honestly, we would play with anyone that would have us. It would be great.
KM: What do you expect from the band for the rest of 2020 and going into 2021?
JOSH: Our new EP should be finished and released by the end of 2020. Going into 2021, I hope we can make a deal with any one of the label opportunities we have on the table, securing a booking agent, and getting out there to advance a kingdom, really.
KM: Are you able to discuss what labels you're talking to?
JOSH: AAA out of New Zealand, mostly. Mat and I have had several conversations, and I love how and why they do the things they do for their artists.
KM: Good luck with that. I hope it all comes together. You'll have to keep us posted on that. Who would you like to give a shout out to?
JOSH: Thanks to you guys at Tru Rock Revival for this even being possible, for sure. George Roskos, Shane Stanton, and everyone at Architekt Studios. Lindsey Cottingham. Brian Paul and everyone involved at Maverick apparel and MVK Music Group. #HoCFaM we love you all and hope to see you soon.