It’s no easy task finding Adelaide Hall’s main entrance in the maze of streets that is King and Adelaide. Amid the heavy car and foot traffic of Adelaide’s numerous shops, 250 Adelaide Street takes you to a rock and roll saloon bar that Adelaide Hall operates directly behind. Once you manage to find the back entrance and walk the red carpet into the venue (feeling a little bit like a celebrity yourself), it is easy to see how this venue manages to attract so many local bands who start out in smaller, more intimate venues.
The headliners of the show on October 9th were Toronto’s Curses who were releasing their first five-track EP, The Bridge. Formed in 2014 with lead singer Martin Broda on guitar, Daniel Ennis on vocals and guitar, Michael Ferreira on vocals and Bass, and Michael Farina on drums, Curses is a an indie-rock band from Toronto that first caught our attention when they debuted their song “Until my Heart Stops”. Having just released their debut EP and getting set to play in some of the most coveted indie venues in North America next month, the band seems to be gaining momentum in their rise to the top. Naked Underground got a chance to chat with the Toronto foursome before their set. We asked them a few questions about their music, their upcoming North American tour, and how they came up with their interesting name.
NU – Let’s start with your name. That’s a really interesting name, ‘Curses’. Where did that come from?
Michael Fa. – I always get thrown under the bus on this one. But the name Curses came from when I sarcastically said once, ‘It’s like I’m cursed with this forever.’ I mean, we all came from a place where we were kind of disillusioned about how we felt about playing music. And we kind of stepped away from it, but after a while we all collectively and individually… we didn’t even know each other- outside of me and Mark knowing each other- but it was like, man, I gotta keep doing this. I really like playing music. I really like creating. So it started from just a sarcastic comment saying ‘Man, I feel like I’m cursed to do this forever’, so… Curses.
Martin – Mot with a negative connotation, though. It’s a blessing.
NU – So when did you guys first become interested in music? Were you introduced to music as really young kids, or did you have musical families?
Daniel – Nobody in my family is musical. I picked up a guitar by myself when I was 12.
Michael Fa. – My dad is a drummer and I grew up on tour stories.
Michael Fe. – My dad was a guitarist, and I started playing guitar and music after I went to my first concert, which was Sum 41.
Martin – Nobody in my family is musical. But I got into music through elementary school. I was in the concert band; it sort of took off from there and I started playing in bands all the way through high school.
NU – So you guys sort of had different beginnings in music. How did you come together in 2014 to form this band and start doing music together?
Martin – Me and Mike [Farina] have history together. We were touring with The Hollywood and Dead for about a month in Canada, and we kind of talked briefly about starting a project in the future, we just didn’t know when it was going to start. As far as these two guys, I met them through Joe [their manager].
Michael Fa. – I met Derby, Michael [Ferreira], our bass player, at a show and I was incredibly drunk and we were looking for a bass player and I go ‘Hey, aren’t you a bass player?’ I somehow knew him through somewhere.
Michael Fe. – Creeping my Instagram…
Daniel – Part of me and Michael [Ferreira] being in a band together, is that I basically lived at his house for an extended period of time.
Michael Fe.– And his old band and my old band used to play shows together, and I knew Dan before ’cause he was really close with my roommate. So, when it all sort of came to be like, me and Dan knew each other. He was basically at my house sometimes more often than I was.
Martin – So, we’ve all been in the music scene.
NU – The music scene is massive in Toronto. Speaking of, being from Toronto, how has that influenced your music? Does it play into it at all?
Daniel– I was born and raised in Toronto so I’m sort of jaded by that aspect. That’s something that other people would have to tell me.
Martin– there’s definitely a lot of talent here
Michael Fe. – I think the influence comes in that there is so much accessibility to the arts in Toronto. So we kind of, growing up in or near Toronto you’re exposed to all kinds of music.
Daniel– and all kinds of a******
Michael Fa.- You can go catch a show at any given time of the day. Maybe there’s where the influence comes in.
NU- Cool. Let’s talk about your new project for a bit. How would you describe the sound of this new EP? I know that’s always a hard question because you want other people to describe it but what would you say you were going for?
Martin– We weren’t really going for anything. We just into a room together and honestly whatever came out, came out. And I think the diversity on the EP is…it’s quite diverse. One song doesn’t sound the same as the next. I think that’s how we wanted to do music, whatever we feel at the time is whatever comes out. We don’t really want to stick to a certain brand or guideline. From what it sounds now, it’s a rock-indie-pop vibe. I mean, it could change.
Michael Fa.- like Martin said, I actually really agree with him. I hope that it’s diverse.
Daniel– I made breakfast for a friend this morning and I was like “oh s***, our album just came out right now, alright let’s go!”
NU- So is that a surreal moment for you guys? Knowing that people are actually listening to music you made?
Michael Fa. – For me, if even like one person cares..
Martin– it’s more than just JOE!
Michael Fe. – you know what it is, we spent so much time together, secretly putting it together so for anybody outside of us to be excited about it…it’s like we’re still putting it together. For me, the surreal part was when we had practice a few weeks ago and Martin showed up and gave Mike and I our CDs he was like “oh, here’s your CDs” and I saw it still sealed and it was like “holllllyyyy, this is just f*****”
NU- So, tell me about your new video. We watched it…we loved it. Who came up with the idea?
Michael Fe. – I think it was mainly Martin and Joe (our manager). He spearheaded…like ‘this is what I have in my mind, what do you guys think? I had plans for these certain shots like in a laundromat’. And we even went out this arcade by his cottage, 3, 4 hours away. Yeah, I was like this is f****** prime spot, I want to do it here. So a lot of that video was Martin and out manager Joe and then our director filling in like I have this car idea, or this idea. It’s sort of just all came together pretty organically.
NU- You’re going on a North American tour soon. How are you feeling about that? Excited? Nervous?
All – This is really surreal.
Michael Fe. – Everyday has been just up and up and up, and now we’ve just hit this point where the tour starts. Okay, we actually don’t work for the next month. I can’t wait to wake up in Brooklyn or just New York in general.
Michael Fa. – It still hasn’t set in for me because we’re still in Toronto. It’s our first night, so it just feels like a hometown show. There’s still like, 23 days left.
Daniel– It’s hitting me right now.
All- Now it’s hitting you, during this interview.
After concluding the interview with some impromptu photos and well wishes, we went out onto the main stage to await their performance. Following exciting performances by Brady Harding, Navigate the Sky, Stuck on Planet Earth and Jesse Lawson, Curses were up next. As expected, the performance area was packed with adoring fans by the time Curses took to the stage. It was clear to see that most people had come specifically to see them, and needless to say, they weren’t disappointed. Led by front-man Martin Broda’s stellar vocals, and the rest of the band’s contagious high energy, Curses entertained their adoring fans throughout the whole set.
With their somber melodies, high-energy choruses, and indie rock sensibilities, Curses command the stage. They play tunes that, somehow, manage to make you feel nostalgic, while still offering something discernibly new – you can’t name it off the bat. Whether it is their perfect pitch, their somber lyrics, or the suddenness at which the songs turn to upbeat anthems reminiscent of All American Rejects (a la “Gives you Hell”), they manage to make their sound simultaneously old and new. All I can say for sure is that it works.
We wish them all the best in their upcoming tour and hope that they retain their authenticity and humility in what is sure to be a wonderful rest of 2015 and beyond.
*All images courtesy of @Danii.dk