In-Depth Interview with CURSED BLOODLINES: Shaping the Future of Death Metal with “A Nightmare Grotesque” and the Emergence of Poverty Metal

CURSED BLOODLINES Promo Pic - Cover Photo

In the ever-evolving landscape of death metal, CURSED BLOODLINES has emerged as a band unafraid to redefine the boundaries of the genre. Hailing from the Joshua Tree area of the high desert in Southern California, they’ve been carving a unique niche since 2015 with their distinctive style of “Poverty Metal.” This genre, as defined by the band, transcends mere sound to embody an ideal – a testament to perseverance, grit, and overcoming adversity through sheer determination. With their new single, “A Nightmare Grotesque,” CURSED BLOODLINES continues to push the envelope, blending brutal guttural vocals and tight rhythm sections with an increased emphasis on melodic hooks, offering a tantalizing preview of their upcoming full album, ‘Virulent.’

A Nightmare Grotesque” isn’t just another track; it’s a statement of intent from a band that refuses to be pigeonholed. Building upon a series of singles, this latest release sets the stage for ‘Virulent‘ and further cements CURSED BLOODLINES‘ place in the death metal world. In this exclusive interview with INFRARED MAG, we delve into the depths of CURSED BLOODLINES‘ music, exploring the influences, aspirations, and relentless drive that make them one of the most intriguing acts in today’s metal scene.

INFRARED MAG: What is the story or concept behind “A Nightmare Grotesque“? How does it Align with the themes of your upcoming album, ‘Virulent‘?

CURSED BLOODLINES: “A Nightmare Grotesque” is a story meant to convey that we are all essentially wage slaves. It is intended to bring to light how corporations and companies will only give you enough to be satiated and complacent so that you remain under their control while they remain in power. Probably won’t be forever. Humanity is like a virus and the world is ill.

INFRARED MAG: You have described your style as “Poverty Metal” How do you translate the themes of perseverance, grit, and hard work into your music, particularly in “A Nightmare Grotesque“?

CURSED BLOODLINES: It is a story about how companies are sucking us dry and forcing us to do “Poverty Metal.” “That’s funny. I don’t like it” -Tim. On a serious note, we try not to take the easy way out. The high energy and fast pace of this song allowed us to improve our skills as well as our sound and it lets the audience feel that drive.

INFRARED MAG: Since forming in the Joshua Tree area in 2015, how has your sound evolved, and how is this reflected in “A Nightmare Grotesque“?

CURSED BLOODLINES: All of the original band members are gone. “Nightmare” is one of our oldest songs, and the first on this new album. This song is us setting the stage and defining our sound for our new album. You can find the first album “Extinction” on YouTube.

INFRARED MAG: Your latest album is noted for upping the melodic hook of the riffs, what inspired the shift, and how do you balance it with the brutal aspects of your music?

CURSED BLOODLINES: How did it do that? If anything, we went less melodic. Tim joined the band, and it was the first song he helped write lyrics to; but it was mostly Malcolm. Our previous Brian added to this song with his hillbilly southern rock roots and helped shift our sound to what we have now.

INFRARED MAG: What diverse influences have you converted into your unique “Poverty Metal” sound, and can you give examples of how they manifest in “A Nightmare Grotesque“?

CURSED BLOODLINES: Malcom was the only one left who was there during the composing of the song. Tim came in and changed up the bass Line. Some of the musicians that Malcolm is influenced by are THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER and CATTLE DECAPITATION. Also, TOTO, we have to incorporate some 80’s. Finding an 80’s pop type song and adding the craziness of death metal, converting it into something that would be catchy for everyone. Tim’s influences are more creative and less musical. Van Gogh being a major one. “It is more about a feeling than a sound, it’s about turning pain and sadness into something beautiful.”

INFRARED MAG: Being from the High Desert in So Cal, how has this environment influenced your music and band identity?

CURSED BLOODLINES: You have to be in poverty to live out here. It doesn’t seem like it now, but it was back then. We wanted to emerge from the wasteland as better than we were before. This is not an area that accepts our scene easily. We are always on the outskirts and have to struggle for our sound. When we grew up, there was nothing out here. You either had money and off-road vehicles or you were bored which led most people to addiction. We chose Metal.

INFRARED MAG: Can you delve deeper into the lyrical theme of “A Nightmare Grotesque” and how they reflect your bands ideals?

CURSED BLOODLINES: “Nightmare” is about punching up at those who own and run this country, the world really, and it stands as a call to unity. One person may not be able to change the world but put a fire in the belly of the people and boom.

INFRARED MAG: How does “A Nightmare Grotesque” set the stage for the full album ‘Virulent‘? What can fans expect from the album?

CURSED BLOODLINES: It sets the stage because it was the first song in our new album that is bridging the gap from our old to our new sound. It was a way to introduce old fans into what we are going to be doing going forward.

INFRARED MAG: How do you plan to bring the intensity and energy of “A Nightmare Grotesque” to a live performance?

CURSED BLOODLINES: Sheer grit and determination. We do our best to play it at the same tempo and pulse as the album. Also, Malcolm is good at amping people up.

INFRARED MAG: What kind of reaction have you received from fans regarding “A Nightmare Grotesque” and how do you engage with your audience?

CURSED BLOODLINES: We engage through social media; Instagram is the biggest one at the moment. The point of “Poverty Metal” is to be relatable. With enough work and determination, you can conquer this. The response has been very positive so far. We love to hang out and talk with our fans at shows because it keeps us humble, and we don’t want to be more than just people.

INFRARED MAG: What were the most significant challenges you have faced while creating “A Nightmare Grotesque“?

CURSED BLOODLINES: This was the first song that Tim had to write bass for. The first song in our new album ‘Virulent.’ This was also the first song that paved the way for a new sound. It was our tipping point.

INFRARED MAG: How do the dynamics within CURSED BLOODLINES contribute to the creation of songs like “A Nightmare Grotesque“?

CURSED BLOODLINES: We have a lot of different influences going into this from Tim’s folk /black metal to Brian’s old school thrash. We ensure that this is something that we are all happy with. It is a huge collaboration.

INFRARED MAG: Each single you’ve released seems to be a carefully crafted piece of a larger puzzle. How do you envision these singles coming together to form the complete picture of your upcoming album ‘Virulent‘?

CURSED BLOODLINES: They are going to be on the same disk. They all fit the theme of ‘Virulent.’ Each song has a different story of what a virus can be whether in the fabric of space, humanity, or an actual virus. We are pointing out the forms of sickness in our world and mixing it with cosmic horror all while making people think about what it is to be alive. The hope is to strive for a better world. Our world is becoming static, and humanity is in a state of stasis. It all culminates into an homage to the godfather of cosmic horror himself; H.P. Lovecraft.

INFRARED MAG: What message do you hope to convey with “A Nightmare Grotesque” and your music in general?

CURSED BLOODLINES: We are trying to convey that if we all stand together then we can make a change in the world. Level the playing field. Stand up and fight for better. Maybe we won’t all suffer if we unite.

INFRARED MAG: After the release of ‘Virulent‘ what direction do you see CURSED BLOODLINES heading musically?

CURSED BLOODLINES: We are going to keep working on ourselves and pushing the limits. We are not in competition with anyone but ourselves. The better we can be, the further we can push the envelope in the hopes to positively influence others.

INFRARED MAG: How do you think your music, especially songs like “A Nightmare Grotesque,” contribute to the death metal community and culture?

CURSED BLOODLINES: It shows that you don’t have to stick to one formula. You don’t have to adhere to any rules or standards. Death metal is what you want it to be, and it can be for anyone.

INFRARED MAG: What does “A Nightmare Grotesque” Mean to each member of “Cursed Bloodlines?

CURSED BLOODLINES: Brian – “This was the first song that I learned for the band. It was a start to a new beginning. “A Nightmare Grotesque” was an introduction into a new style that they have now formed together”. Malcolm – “This song was a step in a new direction. An attempt at stepping things up and a reflection of how far we have come. People coming together to make a change for something that matters rather than being complacent with the status quo.” Tim – “This was about breaking out of myself. Striving to be better, and inspiring others to be better. Standing against corruption and hoping that if we band together then we can overcome anything and make the world a better place. Catharsis is also a big part of it.”

INFRARED MAG: How do you think “A Nightmare Grotesque” contributes to or challenges the current landscape of the death metal genre?

CURSED BLOODLINES: This song is a “fuck you” to conventions like most metal, but we approach it differently with a jazzy middle that you don’t typically hear. We are not afraid to take in influences from unsuspecting places and to let the music go wherever it feels right.

INFRARED MAG: Were there any collaborations or notable contributions in the making of “A Nightmare Grotesque“.

CURSED BLOODLINES: No. Just a bunch of dudes doing what they love.

INFRARED MAG: What advice would you give to aspiring musicians who want to develop a unique sound like “Poverty Metal”?

CURSED BLOODLINES: Malcolm – “Never stop because stopping is not going.” Tim – “Do what Malcolm said. Don’t be afraid to embrace your truth and push yourself to do better with each new creation.” Malcolm – “They can’t all be zingers.”

INFRARED MAG: Finally what message would you like to leave for fans about “A Nightmare Grotesque” and your journey with “Cursed Bloodlines”? Can you give us a hint about what’s next for the band?

CURSED BLOODLINES: It is one of the songs of all time and we will continue to make songs that will be one of all time. If you like this one, then you should get excited to see what is coming next. This was a song that turned the page for us, and we hope to keep pushing the envelope and ourselves.

As CURSED BLOODLINES stands on the precipice of releasing their highly anticipated album ‘Virulent,’ their journey from the rugged terrains of Joshua Tree to the forefront of the death metal scene encapsulates more than just musical evolution; it’s a saga of defiance, innovation, and unity. Their story, woven through the gritty anthems of survival and rebellion, resonates deeply with those who find solace in the raw, unfiltered expressions of “Poverty Metal.” “A Nightmare Grotesque” is not merely a song; it’s a clarion call to the disillusioned and disaffected, a reminder that in the cacophony of corporate greed and societal neglect, there exists a voice loud enough to challenge the status quo.

Looking ahead, CURSED BLOODLINES doesn’t just aspire to leave a mark on the death metal genre; they aim to transform it, to infuse it with a spirit of resilience and a message that galvanizes change. With each riff, growl, and drumbeat, they extend an invitation to listeners to join them in a movement that transcends music. It’s about creating a community that thrives on mutual support and shared aspirations for a world unbound by constraints, where the power of unity and music ignites a fire for action. As we await ‘Virulent,’ let’s not forget that this is more than an album—it’s a testament to the enduring spirit of CURSED BLOODLINES and the unshakeable bond they share with their fans. In their own words, they are not just making songs; they are crafting anthems for change, one nightmare at a time.

Malcolm Driggs – Vocals, Keyboards
Tim Morris – Bass
Brian Oakes – Guitar
Nick Echelberger – Guitar

Listen on Apple Music

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