Ashley: We are now talking now with Curse Mackey of The Evil Mothers of San Antonio, TX. Where are you at now?
Curse: I am in Satan Tonio Texas right now. We played here last night that ended the first little leg of the tour that we are on. I am in the final stages of recovery from last nights events. We had a really excellent show and I am paying for it now.
Ashley: So how was your home town show?
Curse: It is always quite chaotic. We do really well here and can pretty much get away with whatever we want. Which means lots of fire and shit going on. General panic.
Ashley: When you play live, how many of you are up on stage?
Curse: There are five of us. The band incorporates two drummers. One plays the more traditional drum kit and the other plays some metal percussion as well as electronic percussion with triggers. I do vocals and samples. We also have a guitar and bass player.
Ashley: Does the stage get really full with all those people?
Curse: Yes, the two drummer thing however does give it percussive punch as well as a tribal feel which is something we definitely like.
Ashley: You also played SXSW (South By Southwest) as well this past week?
Curse: Yes. It was amazing. We played with a number of bands from the west coast whole all seemed to be following along in the school of Crash Worship. Lots of drums and costuming.
Ashley: Who were some of the bands?
Curse: One was Idiot Flesh. That is the only one I can really remember right now.
Ashley: How was the response?
Curse: We do really well in all of the Texas markets because we have been around for several years and have been able to establish ourselves. I feel that Texas really is short of a hot spot right now as far as Industrial music is concerned. I was promoting bands all over down here in 1988-90 and they were having some of the largest shows they have ever had in their career in Texas.
Ashley: What do you think spawned that kind of success? Being from down south in Georgia myself, I would have never expected that kind of thing from that part of the country.
Curse: It has to be the sun. Seriously, I think people are a lot looser here and more apt to go insane and lose it at concert. They are not as uptight as other crowds and I think that is something really helps out. Everyone in the scene is always really friendly and outgoing as well. It just feeds from there.
Ashley: Lets jump back a little. How long has Evil Mothers been around?
Curse: We have been together about six years now. We have been through a few line-up changes, but the core three members have been around since the beginning. Myself, Patrick, the bass player, and Bob our percussionist have been involved ever since we first began to visually conceive the project. I think we have pretty permanent now. Our guitar player used to be in M.O.D., Mindfunk, and he played with the Skatenigs a lot. Then we have our drummer Roland who is back. He was our drummer on "Pitchforks and Perverts". I think this is most solid line up we have had in a couple of years and we have been going really well on this tour as a result.
Ashley: Where did the name of the band originally come from?
Curse: The name has often been misconstrued as 'Evil Mother ___' type of thing, but it was really taken from a Velvet Underground song from a long time ago. It really struck us as an interesting dichotomy of evil being this dark side and the purity of the mother which kind of clashed.
Ashley: Lets talk about your samples a moment since they are noted as being rather original and unique in terms of not originating from the same places that everyone else appropriates samples. Do you have any favorite films that you pull from?
Curse: I do definitely take thing from movies but I also try to find more obscure sources as well. One example would be from a track off our last album in which we sampled a street hooker in Bomont, Texas who was basically propositioning every member of the band. The guy wanted to come hang out with us on the tour bus and asking where we were staying. We told him Motel 6 and he replied, "Oh, the murder motel?" and started to tell us this long story about this prostitute that got murdered there. Apparently he and his friends got to go in and see the room where the murder actually occurred. Lucky for us we tend to carry around a miniature tape recorder for moments such as that so we recorded his story. A lot of our samples are true life, right off the street type of things.
Ashley: It is amazing that you can find those sorts of things.
Curse: I think it important to progress past just grabbing samples from movies. I think we really need to move onto to find new sources. I do really like using spoken word samples, but at times I feel there is a kind of a redundancy in it as well in this genre of music that we kind of get categorized into.
Ashley: How does that make you feel? Do you see yourself as an 'Industrial' band?
Curse: I would say that we would be best classified as Sinister Rock. There are definitely industrial elements of which I don't have any problem being labeled as because those are my roots. I started as a DJ in clubs which was where I met everyone who I am now involved with now, from Martin Atkins, Ogre, to all the guys from Thrill Kill Kult. I do think we definitely transcend that style of music as well with all the tribal percussion. The last album has sitar on it. One of my favorite thing about Evil Mothers is that we really can't be categorized as just one type of music. The songs do cover quite a nice spectrum of sound. Alternative Press did a review of our last album and referred to us as being Thrill Kill Kult, The Melvins, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden rolled into one. I really wished they had used some adjectives to talk about the music as opposed to trying so hard to pigeonhole our sound.
Ashley: It seems to me that the "I Like Fur" EP has electronics mixed higher than some of your older material?
Curse: That was kind of the concept behind that particular EP. I definitely was trying to gear to dance floor accessibility on that release along with some new aspects of production. We recorded it live to tape, then dumped it into the computer, to tighten things up and going for an aggressive dance sound, especially with the drums. I think that we achieved what we were going for on that release but it doesn't necessarily mean that we are going to be a dance band on the next album. It was just what we wanted to do this particular time. However, you will in the future continue to find out songs growing more and more dense. I have definitely been getting into a great deal of classical music lately and finding that it is one of the only 'alternative' musical styles as compared to the bands who have been labeled 'alternative' by the media. I've been sampling very large portions of classical music and integrating that into our music. We are definitely headed in that direction in our writing style as well. We have a few tracks that are very slow and pleasing to the ear as well as still remaining dark and sinister.
Ashley: Do you think any of it was inspired by getting to work with Mark Spybey?
Curse: Well, I have always been into the horror aspect and dark things. I think it is just now finally rising to the surface as we as a band have begun to feel comfortable with ourselves and the music we make.
Ashley: Have you started writing any new material since the last release?
Curse: Yes, on this tour we are playing a lot of new songs already. We've got nine new songs written for the next album and we are playing four of those live. It is a totally fresh and new set. We have all percussion tracks that we have written so that when clubs allow it we can set metal drums on fire and play them. We do have to be careful when we do that if we want to get paid at the end of the show.
Ashley: Are you going to be touring Europe after your next few US dates?
Curse: We have been out for two weeks, we have a few days off then we play a few dates in the midwest, moving eastward to New York. We leave from there to play a week and a half in Europe to sort of make a splash over there.
Ashley: Will this be your first time in Europe?
Curse: Yes, it will be the first Evil Mothers trip to Europe, although I was over there with Pigface back in December. We are just going over there to generate some press and play a few full scale shows. Then we will come back and finish up the east coast and play our way back to Texas.
Ashley; Do you want to go into any detail about your involvement with Pigface?
Curse: Well, after the Route 666 tour, I went to Chicago to finish the "I Like Fur" EP and ended up helping Martin produce a band out of Memphis called Deus Requiem. We did that and ended up being involved with a Psychic TV remix, and it sort of evolved into putting together a Pigface tour. It was definitely a natural progression since Martin and I had been working together constantly since March of 1995. It was just a really cool thing at a really great time. It was wonderful to share the stage with all the really great people who influenced me in the past. It was a great honor and I would love to be able to do more of it in the future.
Ashley: Did you learn anything from playing with all those different people?
Curse: For me it was all a new prospective on performing because it was not being out in front and having to push the audience to get into the music. There was a great deal of interplay between the artists that I have never experienced before. It definitely help me grow at least a bit musically.
Ashley: have you had a chance to listen to much new industrial music besides the material you worked on with Martin?
Curse: I have kind of fallen away from listening to a great deal of new material since I am no longer DJing as much. I tend to spend most of my time on Evil Mothers. I do try to get turned onto new stuff but I tend to only listen to what I am given free because I have no extra cash. All my money goes directly back into my own music. I do still have favorites like Coil, Young Gods and Einstruzende Neubauten. I am not really into any of the current state of techno.
Ashley: Are you into any of the new darkwave bands like what Dead Voices on Air is now being classified as?
Curse: I suppose you could say that. I did do vocals with Mark Spybey on his new album. I also did work with Spasm.
Ashley: Are you going to be involved with another Spasm release?
Curse: We are talking about doing another Spasm but Mark is getting ready to go on tour so assuming we can get together and schedule the time you will probably see another release planned for late this year.
Ashley: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Curse: What has the response been on our new EP?
Ashley: I've been playing it but people seem to be liking it, although I have no idea how it is doing saleswise. People at least seem to know what I am talking about when I mention it which is a good sign. Most of us have been trying to figure out if it was a pro animal rights song or an anti animal rights song.
Curse: It is up to the ear of the listener to decide for themselves. It can be taken anyway you want to see it.
Ashley: Do you have any last thoughts you'd like to add?
Curse: Remember that choosey mothers choose evil and so should you!