Cures and Curses is an alternative duo from Liverpool, UK. Very young, very new, in November 2017 they released their debut single 'Fall Apart, Crash Together' showing a great potential. They have big plans for 2018, so it was a great time to catch up with singer and guitarist Aaron Akpojaro for an interview.
Hi guys! So, Cures and Curses are quite a new name on the scene, but also new to our readers. Can you tell us a bit more about yourselves?
Aaron: We're an alternative duo based in Liverpool in the UK. I sing and play guitar and do a bunch of programming, and my partner Dave plays lead guitar and keyboards and does programming too. We’ve been working on music together for 8 or 9 months, and things are starting to take shape. We’re a very DIY sort of band; we do all our own production and art design and put our videos together and stuff, so we’re pretty self-reliant. We’re close friends outside of the band, too.
In November, you released your first single 'Fall Apart, Crash Together,' showing the great potential. Are you happy with the feedback?
Aaron: Yeah, we’re very satisfied with the feedback. We spent really a long time working on it, to get it just right, and it took a lot of patience and self-belief to keep plugging away at it when really we just wanted it out there. So, it’s nice to see that the effort paid off. Like a lot of people that we don’t know and that don’t even listen to alternative music can listen to it and respect it and that’s really cool. So yeah, we’re happy.
With the new music coming soon, what can we expect from it?
Aaron: ‘Fall Apart, Crash Together’ was a solid introduction to our band I think, but I wouldn’t want people to expect that everything we do will sound like that. The record that we’re working on right now is really varied. There’s stuff that leans more heavily on rock, but also a lot that takes influence from pop music and isn’t really super guitar heavy. Personally speaking, I’ve grown up on bands that bounce between styles really well so that’s what I’ve always wanted to do.
You state Fall Out Boy, Paramore or Bring Me The Horizon. However, there are also some electronic influences in your music. Are you fans of electronic music?
Aaron: Yeah, I’d say Dave knows a lot more about that sort of stuff than me. He’s really into vocal-based EDM, like Snakehips, Zedd and Avicii and the way they put their songs together, that sort of thing. I can admire that sort of music too, and I’ve dabbled in it in the past. I think we’re both big on like really polished poppy production so we try to apply that to what we do. Our next single ‘Lost Out’ really demonstrates that. There’s this big electronic drum loop that carries the whole thing, and some Auto-Tuned vocals and a lot of synthesizers all over the place. It’ll raise some eyebrows I’m sure (laughs) but yeah, the electronic influence comes through loads.
Can we expect some collaborations with the electronic music artists in the future?
Aaron: I was thinking about this the other day actually, we have some friends that make EDM stuff and I think it might be cool to maybe have them do some remixes down the line. It’s just a thought though.
Besides music, do you take your influences from any other art form, such as the literature or film?
Aaron: In all honesty, the answer’s probably no (laughs). I guess I do tend to think of my lyrics in terms of narrative, but it’s not linear in the same way as films and books tend to be so it’s a bit of a stretch.
In the recent years, I can't recall many bands coming from Liverpool, and gaining the international recognition. Can you tell us more about the scene in your city?
Aaron: It’s a really diverse scene. Liverpool has a really proud history of music obviously, being where The Beatles came from, so there’s tons of little venues and bands and stuff. We have a lot of friends in indie bands and pop-punk bands and I know heavy music does really well here too. You can be going to gigs every night of the week here and you’d always see something new, so it’s an exciting place to be music-wise. You might be right about the international recognition though, off the top of my head I can only think of WSTR and maybe this heavy band called Loathe; they’re both signed to American labels so that counts I suppose (laughs).
Social media was a game-changer for young bands. It's much easier to reach a huge amount of people, but on a downside, the competition is insane, and fans seem to have an extremely short attention span. How do you see that and how to fight this as a young band?
Aaron: It’s tough to answer that. I wouldn’t necessarily agree that fans have a short attention span, they just know exactly what they want to see and what isn’t interesting, so from my perspective we just have to find the right balance between posting often, and making sure everything we show people is of a high quality. The way things work now, you can start a band on Monday and have demos online by Friday and tweet every thought that comes out of your brain and you might look active, but if none of it’s good then no one will care, because at the end of the day people want something of substance.
It seems like today, being in a new band means being a musician, producer, manager, PR, social media manager, and much more. How hard is to keep everything going and still stay focused on your music, especially with only two people in a band?
Aaron: You’d be surprised at how few people being in a band are that way. The music doesn’t promote itself and so many bands forget that I think (laughs). But really, for the most part, it comes naturally. We write music, so we’re creative people, and creativity can feed into all that other stuff. Like thinking of ways to promote yourself and solve problems and utilize resources and all that, those tasks are very complimentary to a creative skillset. It’s half that, and half being willing to really work and learn and understand that if you want to make music professionally, you have to behave like a professional from day one. So there’s room to focus on everything because it all works together as one.
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