New Haven, Connecticut, purveyors Curse the Son got their start a few months after the untimely end of guitarist/vocalist Ron Vanacore‘s prior outfit, Sufferghost. Sufferghost guitarist Tony Buhagiar was inflicted with a burst aortic aneurysm in 2007, and though he survived, that was more or less the end of the band. Together with bassist Cheech and drummer Rich Lemley, Curse the Son is now among the brighter hopes for doom in the Land of Steady Habits. The trio self-released their first full-length, Klonopain, late last year and are actively trying to ignite the Connecticut scene, playing host to the inaugural CT Fuzzfest on June 4 at Cherry St. Station in Wallingford.
It’s a formidable lineup joining Curse the Son on the CT Fuzzfest bill (you can see it below; all that’s missing is When the Deadbolt Breaks to bring in some ultra-doomed atmosphere), and I wanted to get a sense from Vanacore about what his hopes were for Curse the Son and the scene as a whole. Klonopain draws influence from a host of thick-riff purveyors, and aside from an understanding of the timeline between moving from Sufferghost to this project, I was hoping to find out what was driving Vanacore stylistically and in terms of keeping Curse the Son its own entity musically.
The guitarist was happy to cooperate, and I’m proud to say that of all the email interviews ever conducted for this site (and that’s plenty), this is the first one to have ever been done via private messages back and forth on the forum. I don’t know how you feel about that, but I think it’s awesome.
So thanks to Vanacore for taking part and please enjoy the following Six Dumb Questions:
It was not a decision that came easy. When Sufferghost ended, I was so devastated that I just stopped playing music altogether. You see Tony and I have a really cool relationship. There is this unbelievable chemistry between us. There were never any disagreements…we genuinely love and respect each other’s riffs, lyrics and ideas. I’ve never been in a situation like that where two guys are literally in the same head space all the time… It was incredible!
But when it ended so suddenly, it was a shock to the system. I couldn’t even go into the band room anymore, it was to depressing knowing it was over. I think it was about six months later, Tony and I were talking and he told me that I needed to play again. That is when I began writing material for Curse the Son.
As far as my relationship with Tony now, we talk all the time. He moved back to his hometown of Hayward, California, a couple years back. After a lot of hard work, he is back playing guitar again! His new band is called Tuco Ramirez and they rule. Good old ‘70s style hard rock. It makes me so happy to know he is playing again, I miss him dearly and hope that one day he returns to the East Coast so we can pick up where we left off.
2. What are some of the differences stylistically between Curse the Son and Sufferghost? Is there anything specific you wanted to do differently in this new band?
Stylistically, I view Curse the Son as a flip of the Sufferghost style. With Sufferghost it was classic stoner with doom accents. The Curse the Son sound is much doomier without losing the sense of melody and cohesion Sufferghost had.
Tony is a much better guitar player than I could ever hope to be. The dude has the chops. I am a much more rhythm based guitar player. So I play to my strengths… the riffs and the groove.
3. Has your songwriting process changed at all with the switch? How do you come up with riffs, and how do the songs come together from there?
The very first time me and Tony jammed I recorded it. It was such a good jam that we ended up with all the riffs for three out of the four songs on our Leave the Church EP! Most of our tunes came from jamming.
The process changed dramatically as Curse the Son began. It was me and my 8-track. Get stoned and write riffs for hours. Then hash out the quality ideas and start putting the song together. It was an abstract process but I’m pretty fortunate that I have the ability to hear a “finished song” way before it’s actually finished.
Initially there was no band, it was just my vision. I had no idea what I was going to do with the music. I just wanted to create something that was crushingly heavy and would honor my friend.
4. Tell me about recording the songs for the full-length. How do the album versions of the tracks that were originally on the EP compare to the originals?
The basic tracks for our CD Klonopain were recorded live. Just the three of us in the same room vibing off each other. It was a very cool, stress free experience. We recorded it at Underground Sound here in Connecticut. The owner Chris DelVecchio, is a good friend of mine and he gave me free rein over the place. We started recording on a nice sunny day in mid-May 2010, and didn’t wrap it up until December! I took my time with it because I could. Klonopain is the first record I’ve ever been a part of where I am 100 percent happy with everything about it.
As far as the Globus Hystericus EP goes, you have to remember that I recorded all the instruments myself. The intention was to have a product that I could use to promote the Curse the Son name and sound. Soon after its release I started to look for likeminded musicians to play with.
It was Cheech (bass) and Rich (drums)’s idea to rerecord those four songs. I was hesitant at first, but I’m really glad we did it because the new versions just bury those EP tracks, no question.
5. I know about the Redscroll Records store and Cherry St. Station in Wallingford and a couple other places around, but is there a Connecticut scene at this point? Are there other bands you especially enjoy playing with, or is everyone up in Massachusetts?
There is actually something starting to happen again in the New Haven scene. Mostly this is due to a couple friends of mine, Opus (Dead by Wednesday) and Eric Morton (Big E Promotions) who have been booking metal nights at places like Cherry St. Station in Wallingford and Bix’s Cafe in Branford. Toad’s Place has turned a blind eye towards metal for the most part, which sucks. The CT scene is weird, it comes and goes every 5-10 years or so.
Most of the bands we play with are very different from us, but we seem to fit in on any bill and we usually stand out which is always cool. I didn’t think there were any other stoner/doomy type bands around here but I was wrong!! They are just spread out all over the place and have never unified. I am hoping to give that a boost with CT Fuzzfest 2011 which takes place at Cherry St. Station on June 4. As far as I know there has never been any type of show featuring all bands like us here. I hope it gives the whole genre a kickstart around here. It’s time for Connecticut to get on board!
6. What’s next for you guys? Any plans for shows around or outside of Connecticut or more recording before the end of the year?
The next step is to begin writing for the next release. I have a bunch of riffs ready to go, and look forward to jammin’ with the fellas.
We would love to play out of state, if we can find the right gigs, right bands and the right venues. Touring is probably not a reality as of now, but if the right opportunity came, hell yeah!
I hope to get the band back in the studio by late fall and have the next CD out in early 2012.
Thanks to your readers who have responded with such excitement and purchased the CD. To purchase Klonopain, it is $5 shipped (US) $10 (UK). Core9@netscape.net is our contact email and Paypal address.
Tags: Connecticut, Curse the Son, New Haven, Unsigned bands