For a while, Cursive seemed unlikely to put out another record after 2012’s I Am Gemini. Frontman Tim Kasher made another record with his other band, the Good Life, and made a film (and its soundtrack) called No Resolution. But Cursive will not play the breakup/reunion game like so many bands do, and they released a new album called Vitriola late last year.
Despite briefly breaking up in the late 1990s, Cursive is a band that just doesn’t die. Though they had not put out a record in six years, they toured to celebrate the anniversary of their biggest-selling LP, The Ugly Organ, a few years ago. Kasher and his bandmates are happy to accept the title of being lifers.
“There’s not a lot of bands that do it on the smaller level that we do for so long,” Kasher says from his home in Los Angeles. “We never really achieved some bigger height of success. That’s probably enough to drive most bands out eventually.”
Seeing how some of their peers in the post-hardcore/emo scene have broken up and reunited in the last few years, Kasher and his bandmates have opted not to go that route. Bands such as Mineral and American Football have received accolades for reuniting, but that’s not what Kasher thinks is best for his bands.
“That’s what we really should have done, which was [be] broken up for a long time and come back for a reunion tour,” he jokes.
One thing that is a noticeable callback to the band’s earlier records is found all over Vitriola. Cursive is back with a cello player in the band, so comparisons have been made to The Ugly Organ and the Burst and Bloom EP. It’s a familiar sound but not constrained by genre boundaries, which Kasher has always tried to go beyond.
Cursive is now a full-fledged six-piece. Longtime members guitarist Ted Stevens, bassist Matt Maginn and multi-instrumentalist Patrick Newberry were joined by cellist Megan Seibe and returning original drummer Clint Schnase in 2018. Having Schnase back in the band makes sense, after his being away for almost 10 years.
“It was really natural,” Kasher says. “Matt and Ted and I were floating the idea around of doing another Cursive record for quite a while but with zero commitment to it.”
At the same time they considered another album, Schnase reached out to them and said he was ready and would love to do another Cursive record.
“That was the impetus that we needed,” Kasher says.
Committed to a few tours for this record in 2019, the band won’t disappear for quite some time. While there have been times Kasher has considered sticking mainly to solo material, he always seems a find a way back to a band, whether it’s Cursive or the Good Life.
“This is just my life,” Kasher says. “I’m a writer, and I just continue to write.”
As prolific as he is, Kasher says he doesn’t write songs or scripts daily.
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“I take time off, which I think is healthy for me because [it] makes it a little more exciting when I get back into it,” he says.
For the past few months, he’s worked on another solo record, but he’s firmly committed to spending most of this year playing songs from most of Cursive’s extensive catalog. He likes to have some goals in mind for what he will do after that.
“I like to know what I’m writing for,” he says.
Cursive, Summer Cannibals and Campdogzz play Monday, Feb. 11 at Trees. Tickets are $14.50 – $20.