LOCAL INTERVIEW: The Great Curve | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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It can be a struggle to keep a clear vision in mind when creating music in a group, with so many different opinions and influences fighting to take precedence. Imagine how much harder it must be when band members drop in and out like hotel guests due to other commitments, and you’ve got some idea of how difficult it must have been for The Great Curve’s Mick Rolfe to keep a clear direction for the band. Now fully realised and (hopefully) with a cohesive line-up, the indie alt. rockers are poised to release their debut EP this month.

It seems though, that Mick never really set out to make expansive guitar-driven indie rock… “We were certainly initially setting out to make something away from a typical ‘indie guitar’ type sound and for a while Chris [Wallace, guitarist and other founding member] and I were really battling against what we were naturally producing as a band. But then one day it just clicked that what we were doing was good and rather than fight against it, it would make a lot more sense to just go with it. Just because we weren’t creating the weird, jazzy electronica or whatever it was that we were wanting to do, it didn’t mean we weren’t creating something great! With anything creative I feel it’s generally best to trust your instincts and do what comes naturally, otherwise you may lose an element of authenticity.”

“With anything creative I feel it’s generally best to trust your instincts and do what comes naturally, otherwise you may lose an element of authenticity”

Having spent the last few years making music essentially on a laptop as a member of DJ collective Last Waltz, Mick was keen to get back to the live stage, and singing in particular, and it’s the vocals that really stand out on the tracks from the EP. Mick’s voice – reminiscent of a less gravelly Kelly Jones – manages to be anthemic without being overblown. The songs are full of texture, with shades of light and dark that leave no room for fat or filler. Big Business is big all round, with a massive chorus, glimmering guitars and a crescendo that leaves you beaming with satisfaction; while Carried Away and The Peril of It All have ‘hit song’ written all over them. They may not have set out to produce expansive indie rock, but they do it really bloody well.

According to Mick, the songs centre around the human condition, but he’s loathe to set out with a clear goal in mind when writing. “I hate writing lyrics and I always start with a melody. Often certain words or phrases will form from the melody and they can end up dictating the theme or subject of the song. I never really sit down and think ‘I’m going to write a song about that’.” Mick takes a ‘director’ role in the shaping of the band’s sound, but he’s more than aware of the necessity for collaboration. “I’ve tried to avoid coming in with fully formed songs, A. to keep that collaborative thing going and B. because when I write on my own I naturally write kind of big poppy choruses and stuff so I’ve been quite keen on trying to steer away from that and just see where the music takes us…”

The Great Curve play Cobalt Studios, Newcastle on Saturday 11th April, with support from Young Liar. The band’s EP is released on 13th April.

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