Photography by Brett Walker©
Curls is the new Girls
An interview with Curls
By Robin Ecoeur
It is fair to say that whatever Christopher Owens touches turns to gold. Now, I have something to confess. I learned the guitar by playing Girls' songs. And I've always wanted to ask him one thing: C/Am/F/G...it's kind of your trademark, isn't it?
"I'm a self-taught musician", Christopher tells us. "So I don't know a whole lot else, but it's great to work with different musicians that can take a basic chord progression like that and play over it". Fair enough. It's maybe too common to consider a "trademark", but I've always been fascinated with musicians who can use the same chord progressions over and over yet spark countless melodies. This is where real and true talent lies.
"We've got a solid rhythm section, solid songwriter, great in-house producer, and the single uniting goal of making these songs reach their potential"
Christopher has that talent, and with new band Curls he is once again showing it to the world. Joined by Luke Baće and Cody Rhodes, the band's début EP Vante feels very familiar and you'll swear you've heard that melody before. And you probably have. But not like that. Not like the way Owens and his new pals have managed. Because it will always have that magical touch. Always. It's still original.
Why? It's difficult to say. Owens has always been a very open artist who makes deeply personal music, full of emotion. That's also why so many people relate to his music. And at the end of the day, Curls is a continuation of Girls. But maybe just a more stable and focused band, who seems to work together a little better.
"Solid" is the term Cody Rhodes uses, and the solidarity might be key to Curls' future. They might just have found the stability needed to grow in a musically healthier way. The result might just be as good as Girls. Perhaps even better.
On social media, Christopher, you wrote "we’re all working boys too, so this won’t be about touring and PR, etc." Is that still the case? // That was the case in the beginning but things are constantly evolving. We did just get a minivan with bucket seats though! Maybe we can put it on a ship and sail it out to your wonderous island.
Cody, what musical direction is Curls taking? We're taking things one song at a time right now with no real stylistic or aesthetic destination in mind. We've been bouncing the new songs around with some friends in town that play excellent guitar and keys and are always pleased with their different interpretations.
Steely Dan-ing the songs with different players possessing diverse strengths on a song-for-song basis might be just the ticket for these new ones. That being said, we've got a solid rhythm section, solid songwriter, great in-house producer, and the single uniting goal of making these songs reach their potential.
I love the Velvet Underground vibe on Emotion. Your top 3 Velvet songs? Chris: To me, the Emotion riff came from Tommy James and the Shondels' Crimson and Clover. I like Velvet Underground the group, but to be honest, I don't own any of their records. I love Nico and Lou's solo records. // Luke: Sunday Morning, Sweet Jane, Heroin. // Cody: Gypsy by Fleetwood Mac.
Christopher, I have always wanted to ask. C/Am/F/G, it's kind of your trademark, isn't it? What's so magical about this chord progression? // I'm a self taught folk musician so I don't know a whole lot else but its great to work with different musicians that can take a basic chord progression like that and play over it. I feel like that progression is pretty common in Rock & Roll or Pop music like The Beatles.