Good + Evil = Rock

Cain and Abel? Scar and Mufasa? Cursive adds another pair of dueling brothers to the classic storytelling theme

click to enlarge Tim Kasher (center) and Cursive
Tim Kasher (center) and Cursive

A new album is always a welcome event for any band’s fans. But with Cursive, it’s not just because it means there’s fresh music to hear and enjoy. It’s more because no one is ever quite sure that there will be a next Cursive album.

For years now, the Omaha band has generally finished touring in support of whatever latest record it has just released and then, inevitably, gone on an open-ended hiatus.

In recent years, those hiatuses have seen the band’s songwriter and singer/guitarist Tim Kasher do outside projects — something that probably only increased questions about when (and if) another Cursive CD would happen. First came Kasher’s band project, the Good Life, then in 2010, he released his first solo album, The Game Of Monogamy, followed last year with the EP, Bigamy: More Songs from the Monogamy Sessions.

Don’t expect that approach to change much with the band’s latest effort, I Am Gemini. The band has been on tour much of the year and is doing a string of headlining shows this month. And while it certainly seems like all is well with Cursive, Kasher said the group isn’t planning anything major beyond the touring.

“We do one record at a time,” he said in a phone interview. “It just offers us a freedom,” he says. “We don’t ever feel bound to the project. So we really only come together when it feels right. … And I, ultimately for myself, I don’t really plan on doing a Cursive record until all of a sudden I’ll get excited about an idea.”

For I Am Gemini, Kasher definitely had an idea he couldn’t turn away from. It tells the story of twin brothers, separated at birth, who went on to pursue separate paths — one good, one evil.

Kasher says it’s themes like these that help Cursive tick.

“I don’t see songwriting as generally writing songs and pulling them together, like, ‘Oh, there are enough songs, we’ll put out an album,’” he says. “I think more specifically of, ‘I’m going to set out to write an album now.’ So everything I’m writing is sort of geared toward that. I think it’s just kind of a natural thing to do is to have some kind of cohesive subject matter.”

With I Am Gemini, though, “everything just kind of fell into place earlier on,” Kasher says. “So I just kept pursuing it, seeing how far I could go with it. That was kind of what, I guess, was unusual about the writing process for this. Everything just kind of clicked together.”

The idea of having the twins as main characters, Kasher says, gave him a way to express his thoughts on what he sees as a very universal subject: “a very classic battle of good and evil.”

And though it might seem like a departure for some Cursive fans, Kasher ensures that this is the band at its purest.

“These translate better than some of our previous albums,” Kasher says. “In other words, what we recorded is pretty close to the same versions that we practiced in the practice space.” 

Cursive with Terrible Buttons and Drag Like Pull • Sun, Nov. 18, at 7 pm • A Club • $13 • 21+ • • 624-3629

TLC @ Coeur d'Alene Casino

Thu., Aug. 13, 7 p.m.
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