unofficial website

recovery : read : Interview from "Pavement"

recovery : read : Interview from "Pavement"

Subject: Curve Interview from "Pavement"
From: (Baddiley, John)
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 94 12:26:48 GMT
from: ``Pavement'' (an auckland "popular culture" magazine)

Curve in Cuckoo-land
By Geoff Wright

Curve's dynamic explosion onto the English music scene two years ago has been well documented. A batch of EP's and the debut album Doppelgänger confirmed the arrival of Toni Halliday and Dean Garcia's insidious brand of sonic pop. After the immense expectations surrounding the release of that studio foray - and the mixed responses to it - it makes sense for Curve to tread more carefully. But if your anticipating a cautious second album, think again!

Cuckoo is a dark claustrophobic emotional trip that distorts the sheen of Doppelgänger until it is all but corroded. Like a large percentage of her generation, Toni Halliday is going through "regressional therapy". However, Toni's recent confessions in British weekly NME of her relationship problems and the void left in her life by the disappearance of her father made talking to her an intriguing prospect.

Her greatest unhappiness during the recording of Cuckoo was the result of a very intense break-up with her lover Alan Moulder, who engineers Curve recordings. Painstakingly, Toni traced other causes of unhappiness back to her father's abandonment of the family when she was still quite young. Toni and Alan are now back together, but her fathers disappearance, and the knowledge that he's still alive, have forced Toni to protect her future by confronting her past. She is now expending vast amounts of effort trying to locate her father, who was last heard of in a jail in Crete, by contacting the foreign office and advertising in newspapers in major Mediterranean ports.

"Are you comfortable with the disclosure of your personal problems to a magazine with a readership like NME?"
It's nothing that we haven't come to terms with ourselves already. They're not really deep personal secrets; they're just kind of things that have gone on. There are no gory details. It was just like, "this is what happened". I'm not gonna lie about it. These things went on around the record.

"You mean the things about your father, and the pain you feel."
When you live without your father for that long, y'know, you come to terms with it. I can't even remember what he looks like. I think when you come to terms with a situation like that, you can talk about it with not really meaning anything anymore, because there's no emotional attachment. I like it's a positive thing. Like, saying I've been looking for a long time, and I'm not gonna give up doing this because it's important to rediscover your first family and your first roots. Y'know, I never give away personal details that I'm dealing with, so people can't use them to humiliate me or hurt me with them. I leave it until I feel resolved about something to talk about it.

"Have you had any luck with your father?"
Yeah, we're getting somewhere. We've placed an ad in a yachting magazine in Malta to kind of lure him back into the picture.

"Have you thought about what you might say to him?"
Oh god no! [laughter]. I can't talk about that one because I haven't resolved that one yet.

"But do you see the confrontation leading to your resolution of that situation?"
I don't know. I have no expectations. I'm gonna try not to be judgmental, and I think it will be enough for me now just to see him and know he's alive and just see what he looks like. Y'know, maybe talk to him for not very long [laughter]. I suppose it's funny to think about walking around with someone else's genes in your body, and to think you don't really know them. And you don't know how that really relates to your character now, your personality now, what it is about them that is in you.

"When you've delved as far as possible, and you find some sense of inner peace, will you continue to make records?"
I think it's gonna take my whole like to resolve things that keep cropping up. I think it will be my life's work to do that. But yeah, if I do find peace I will look for other things to do.

"Are you happier now? Do you still have sleepless nights?"
I sleep better, but I think that I'm basically just a neurotic person.

"Toni, I've always found Curve's sound to be very claustrophobic? Is that a conscious aim?"
No, it always just ends up how we want it for each particular song. We don't really write the songs and go into the studio and think about how we're going to produce them. We write and produce at the same time, so as the ideas are coming to us, we put them down, and when we go to mix them, we weed through them.

"You've been quoted as saying you think that Curve have a totally original sound, yet it's hard not to compare a track like Unreadable Communication or Turkey Crossing to Depeche Mode or U2, your voice being the only extreme difference."
There's definitely influences, but Depeche Mode would never multi layer guitars like we do. They use, like, one guitar. When it goes into the middle section of Unreadable...that just wouldn't happen on a depeche mode record.

"Perhaps it's the influence of the producer, Flood, then."
No. Flood didn't produce either of those songs. I can't explain it; it was always there. I've always been a massive fan of Depeche Mode. I mean, that's why I worked with recoil, because I think Depeche Mode are a phenomenal band and they make fantastic records. I've always been interested in that kind of area with Kraftwerk and with DAF, and so has Dean, really. But then again, Dean is a massive Can fan, as well.

"Which artists do you feel an affinity with? Are you a fan of Patti Smith and PJ Harvey?"
Yeah, Patti Smith has always been a big heroine to me, and I love PJ Harvey as well. She's obviously really brilliant, and I admire her for her songwriting abilities. Also, that way that she kind of stands back from the hardened feminist line, which is the same as me. I think it's something to do within yourself, y'know. You make your own choices, you make your own decisions for you, and they don't necessarily have to affect anybody else. I think that is the correct way to do it, to make your own little milestones as you go along. And they're not really involved with other people. I've been listening to Patti Smith for years and I admire her fore being a strong woman in the face of adversity. It must have been far more difficult for her than it was for me and PJ Harvey at this point.

Last changed Sunday 13·May·2001 [go to top]