Cursor Major Interview - February 2014

by John Simon Ritchie

Cursor Major

Give us a brief potted history of the band…

I (Andy Norton) was a member of the John Peel-championed band the Crimea and occasional guitarist/bassist for Charlotte Hatherley (Ash). Cursor Major's initial material was largely written in the basement of the Bristol Backpacker hostel and recorded in various bedsits around Bristol. Kieron Pepper (Dead Kids / Prodigy/ Radio Phonic Workshop) added additional songwriting and production and the final mixes were done at J and J studios by Tim Allen (Adding Machine / Bat for Lashes) One by one I met fellow band members Benjamin Johnson (guitars, glockenspiel, bv's), Charlie Inshaw (drums, bv's) and Scott Neilson (bass).

How would you describe the sound of Cursor Major in three words?

Retro Rousing Pop

Lyrically the ‘Interloper’ EP incorporates a blend of humour and darkness where does this come from? Who are your main lyrical influences?

My lyrical themes touch upon mental instability, anesthesia, getting into trouble and trips to the sexual health centre (positively negative) I love Morrissey’s dark miserable humour though I could never match that. I dig the David Byrne / Frank Black/ David Bowie approach to lyrics with their seemingly fractured phrases which form unusual pictures in your mind. Also you can't beat classic clever pop lyrics; the best ones are seemingly sugary on the outside yet often contain some form of toil and troubled turbulence underneath.

LMS hears that you have made a number of music videos for each song on the ‘Interloper’ EP - could you tell us about the thought process / reasons behind this?

The process of visually representing elements of the songs and the band is fun. Most writers/producers have little pictures in their minds when recording/mixing. It might be something odd like an elephant on a carousel, but it helps to subconsciously steer the sound. Obviously it’s hard to budget for elephants on a carousel but Rataplan Films and Loose Rabbit videos got me swimming in the freezing cold coast of Cornwall, puking up on a funfair, drunk in my bathroom and performing a Phoenix Nights style video.

There are a lot of interesting electronic elements and multiple layers on the recordings - how do you intend to translate this all across to the live show?

It will be a mixture of guitar and bass fx pedals, casio keys, live drums and spsx sampling pads. The sampling pads will contain some of the studio production loops, the rest we will bash out organically.

You’re teaming up with LMS local favourites Artscare to celebrate the release of the ‘Interloper’ EP at The Golden Lion, Bristol - What can we expect from this hotly anticipated show?

You can expect a circus of video projections, balloons and sweat. I’m also personally hoping to see Artscare head honcho Dave dressed up as a teddy bear, he's kind of cuddly looking.

Tell us something you’ve not told any other press / interviewers…

Our drummer Charlie is physically incapable of vomiting. I still can't get my head round that.

Did you actually dream that kids TV legends ‘Rod, Jane and Freddie’ died as mentioned in the opening line of ‘Give up the Ghost’?

Very astute! I did daydream that happened. Didn't we all daydream the death of kids show characters?

Catch Cursor Major live: Artscare Presents ‘Interloper’ EP Launch Party

Thursday 20th March

Golden Lion, Bristol


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