What is your name and what do you do in A Cursive Memory? Colin: Hi my name is Colin and I play guitar in A Cursive Memory. Not to be confused with Cursive, whose name we stole with such malign thievery.
Shaun: I’m Shaun, I sing and play guitar in A Cursive Memory.
Dillan: I’m Dillan, I play drums in A Cursive Memory.
Mark: I’m Mark, I play bass and keyboards in A Cursive Memory.
Can you give a quick history of the band for the people who are not familiar with you guys?
Colin: A Cursive Memory was born on a warm sunny day in the summer before Mark, Shaun and I entered eighth grade. I met Shaun at a birthday party and he asked me to dance. I said yes but only agreed to such courtship on the sole term that my friend Mark could join. We danced a lot. One thing led to another. We formed a band. We would wear Dickies, listen to Blink-182 and play a lot of their songs. We still listen to Blink and play their songs sometimes, but don’t wear Dickies too often anymore.
How did you guys hook up with Vagrant? Colin: Shaun and I were sitting in our manager’s office one day and some people from Vagrant were there having a meeting. Our manager Dave played them some of our songs and they liked them. We thought they were just being nice. But it turned out they really did. A couple months later they released an EP for us, which was awesome because we hadn’t really even signed anything with them at that point. We eventually did a deal with them because they offered us like a 6 billion dollar signing bonus. They’ve been nothing but completely amazing to us. It’s an honor to be on a label that not only has a great roster, but it is run by such great people/friends. And our signing bonus was 6 billion dollars so yeah.
What was the first thing that went through your mind when you found out you guys were signed?
Colin: Getting signed was different for all of us. Obviously we were completely ecstatic because after being a band for 4 years it was wonderfully convenient to be approached by such a great label. On top of that I felt a lot of relief. Right when we were figuring this all out we were all nearing the end of our senior year of high school. I had applied to the one university I really wanted to go to and got in but was completely ready to drop that to pursue music if it got to the point where it had potential to take off. Getting a record deal was the point for us so it felt great to have that type of security my back pocket.
How was the tour with The Medic Droid? Colin: The tour with the Medic Droid turned out really well. We were unbelievably curious as to whether their fans would take to us or not, and vice versus. We both left each show with new fans that probably hadn’t originally planned to leave with our CD’s. The shows were great, we definitely made some new friends, and we definitely have some great stories out of it.
What does “Changes” mean to you? What are you most proud of? Colin: Changes is what we’ve worked on the past 5 years of our lives. So I guess it means everything to us. I guess I personally am most proud of the fact that people enjoy it. I never expected to sell records when we started this. We were just kids playing Blink songs in our friends backyards. The fact that we can travel to New Jersey or Virginia or even 10 miles away to Chain Reaction in Anaheim and having kids singing our songs while we play them is such a gift. I guess that’s what we’re proud of.
Who came up for the concept of the music video for "Everything"? Shaun: The concept for “Everything” was something that we all were on the same page about…. let’s do something different. At first we were going about it the more conventional way…asking directors for treatments and seeing if they throw out a miraculously unique idea. I think that’s when we were like…if we want to have a different music video we can’t do it the conventional way. We all got in a room together and started throwing ideas around. The second the word “celebrities” was said…I think the idea fell into our lap. To be honest we couldn’t have done it without our manager Dave Stone. He was just as much a part of it as we were. He held 1 camera with a feeble little light on top…that by the end of the shoot was held on by duck tape. For 6 months of my life I stalked celebrities and annoyed paparazzi…still having no idea what the idea would turn out like.
Where did you guys get that cool boombox? Shaun: We went and looked at all these crazy stereo stores and janky street corner venders trying to find the right “ghetto blaster”. It wasn’t until we looked on Craig’s List that we were satisfied. We saw a picture and it was love at first sight….So we set up a time and place to meet with the owner (who was the set director of one of the Run DMC album covers, our ghetto blaster was used for the shoot way back when). It was like meeting a girl on myspace (omg, omg!) and arranging a date (roflol). Only we arranged a meeting with this dude and the date was supperrrrrr fancy…in the parking lot of an In ‘n Out Burger. We bought it and from then on the 1980’s… 3-½ foot…. 30 lbs (almost 40lbs when you put 12 D batteries in it) was our 5th band member.
Which celebrities did you encounter while filming the music video that was cool to you guys and who wasn’t so cool?
Shaun: To be honest half the celebrities had no idea what was going on. Almost all of the paparazzi had no idea what we were doing either. The funny thing is we would be dancing around a celebrity and get in all the pap’s shots….costing them money, because no one wants to buy a shot of Britney Spears with 4 kids and a giant ghetto blaster dancing behind her. A lot of the celebrities were into it, especially those who notice it was all a joke and we were in no way taking ourselves seriously. A list of a few celebrity believers: Hayden Panttiere, Jenna Fischer, Nick Cannon, Elisha Cuthbert, Britney Spears, Jerry Springer. And a short list of haters: P Diddy. Puffy daddy honey combs (in the video his bodyguard slaps me in the face ☺ RESPECK!), a few more too.
What are your reactions about the video being the most watched rock video on myspace? Did you think it was going to create so much buzz?
Shaun: When the video was done I remember thinking…. I really did just spent 6 months on a 3 and a half minute video. It was a scary idea if it went absolutely nowhere. We released it on the Internet and it just started spreading like crazy. It was weird…all the websites I go to just to…you know…. lurk…waste time and surf the web…our video was popping up on. Myspace, Buzznet, TMZ…and then MTV.com - it was crazy. I never in a million thought we would set a record on myspace. I never thought it would be on all websites it made it on. Then MTV aired it on TRL. At that point I refused to believe any other good news this video could bring. After they premiered the next day our video made the countdown. I was sitting in a Starbucks in Detroit with Mark…stoked that we had 30 kids at the show (it was obviously sold out). We got a call from our manager saying we made the count down… we made a scene… everyone at the Starbucks was looking at us….it was an awesome feeling.
What is your next single going to be? Shaun: Right now we are trying to focus hard on our first single “Everything”. We still haven’t decided on a 2nd single yet…it’s still pretty early and we are still new to this whole single thing. I think we have started to narrow it down. No decisions have been made yet.
How did you guys balance being in high school and being a band? What was the hardest part?
Shaun: Well like Colin said in a question above, we were recording our record through out high school. We had management fronting the money for the recording because they really really believed in the songs like we did. The hardest part for me was waking up at 7 in the morning for school being there until baseball was over at 5, driving to the studio in Santa Monica and being there until 2 am….then having to wake up at 7 again. It got tiring at times…. but we were in the studio so late by choice it was a great experience and things were flowing. I remember spring break we got part of a tour with Boys Like Girls and Hellogoodbye, the timing was perfect to be off from school. I remember playing at the Wiltern in LA which was something like 2,500 kids on a Sunday night and the next day, Monday sitting in earth science class…. not caring the least bit about how clouds form….and yes I took earth science my senior year don’t judge me!!!
Weirdest story from touring? Dillan: The weirdest/lamest thing that happened to us on tour was on the last one with Medic Droid, which was quite the tour for stories. We were at the venue, Big Daddy’s, in Tallahassee, Florida when we realized we needed to make a run to the bank. We all hop in our R.V. to make the run and decide to go through a parking structure to get to the street, which we thought the R.V. would fit through.
Well, right before we exit the structure we here a cracking sound. I look up to see a pipe busting through the vent right above Shaun’s bed. I think it can’t get any worse until water starts leaking out of it and the smell hits me and I realize we just hit a septic pipe. By the time Andrew, our merch guy, put it into reverse, the pipe is completely broken and showering crap full force into the R.V. and it’s getting everywhere.
The funniest part about it all is that Shaun lost his bag at the beginning of tour. He bought new clothes, all of which he left on his bed that was showered on by other people’s poo. The poor guy just wasn’t meant to have clothes.
What was the biggest prank pulled when you were on tour with Automatic Loveletter?
Dillan: There was a lot of pranking going on between them and us, but the best one took place on their last show of the tour. There is this acoustic song they play in the middle of their set that Juliet does all by her lonesome while the rest of the band walks off stage. All of our stuff is back-lined on stage, so Colin and Shaun have their amps all set up. Juliet starts playing the song. Right after the first word she sings, everyone hears “chugga chug chugga chug Wer Wer” Colin and Shaun have their amps on and are hiding back stage playing a metal break down while Juliet is trying to play. She immediately stops and they all look so confused. So she starts the song again, “chugga chug Craig!” It goes on like this for five minutes. They got us back, which Id rather not talk about. Our prank was better.
What do you like and dislike about being in a full time band? Dillan: Traveling to a new city everyday and playing music is awesome. The downside to it is that you have to put up with things like gas station food, a poo smelling R.V., pranks that aren’t as good as ours, Texas, a lack of showers, and little sleep.
What are some things you guys want to accomplish in life? Dillan: For me, it has always been a life long dream for me to make it into USA Rock Paper Scissors League and make it to the finals in the competition. You see, RPS can help you figure out the right thing to do in any situation in life. If I were a finalist, I figure all other parts of my life would work themselves out. I don’t know what the other guys want to accomplish. They’re kind of hopeless.
Upcoming plans for the rest of the year? Dillan: We have Warped Tour this summer dates 7/11-7/26, which I am really stoked for, and other tours in the making. We are also going to be working on our next video, which will be insane! I am afraid of what I might do for this video and hope to come back from the filming location alive.
Whose idea was it to cover The Party Song with Jordan from Set Your Goals?
Mark: I remember being in Santa Cruz when we were on the Bamboozle Road Show, and Jordan had this camera and was filming everything that was going on that day, and we started talking about Blink and how much we loved them and how they’ve been such an influence for both our bands. Long story short, we started talking about our favorite songs, and decided that the “Party Song” would be such a great song to cover. So we figured out how to team both our bands up, who would play what, and whoever wasn’t playing an instrument would be armed with silly string and confetti. The coolest part about the guys from Set Your Goals was that they were so avid on making this happen. There have been many times we’ll be on tour with another band and someone will have this great idea of doing something on stage or whatever… but it always would fall through for some reason. I’m just glad we made this our goal to accomplish, and it turned out to be a lot of fun.
What do you think of Jenna Fischer (Pam from The Office) putting your song on her Myspace page?
Mark: I called her up and said, “Jenna, since we got you in our video, and you’re even more famous than you are now because of it, can you please help us out a little bit and put our song on your profile?” She said she would, and she eventually did. I found out about it when I was checking our myspace one day and this guy left a message saying it was pretty cool how our song was on Jenna Fischer’s actual myspace page. I didn’t believe it at first so I quickly went to her page to see if it was true… and it was. We all are HUGE office fans and it was pretty cool to see she did that. She was also my favorite celebrity we got when we we’re filming the music video. She was one of the few to ask what we we’re actually doing and for what purpose.
What happened to Brian Bolen? Mark: He asked me to prom and I said no…. Brian was one of the original members and used to play guitar in the band. We played together in this band for about 4 years all throughout high school. Long story short, he was going one direction and we were going another. He had another musical project he was working on and had other interests and it just made sense for us to go separate ways. He is still a very close friend of ours.
Who are your biggest influences? Mark: When we first started playing together we would pretty much just cover our favorite songs from our favorite bands. There was a lot of Blink-182, Jimmy Eat World… etc. Still to this day we are influenced by those bands. We recently have been extremely influenced by The Wiggles… much love to them.
Anything else you wanted to say? Mark: Is that a fan submitted question or are YOU just wanting to know? Honestly, if that’s the only question YOU have you’ve come across the least bit interested in this interview. You’re really going to ask that? Why do you want this interview to end so quickly? Anyways, I will answer the question… Come see us on Warped Tour! Check out “Set Your Memory” cover the Party Song! See you soon, and thanks AbsolutePunk.net!
What do you like and dislike about being in a full time band?
Dillan: Traveling to a new city everyday and playing music is awesome. The downside to it is that you have to put up with things like gas station food, a poo smelling R.V., pranks that aren’t as good as ours, Texas, a lack of showers, and little sleep.