Cursive’s Tim Kasher has a problem with cellos. Not in how they sound or what they bring to the party, but more with the baggage that’s associated with the words ‘Cursive’, ‘cello’, and ‘The Ugly Organ’.
It’s been fifteen years since the Nebraskan indie-rockers last used a cello on an album, despite the critical and commercial success of ‘The Ugly Organ’. Since then, Cursive have dabbled in brass (‘Happy Hollow’) and keyboards (‘Mama, I’m Swollen’ and ‘I Am Gemini’) to significant effect. But the cello has remained off limits. Until now.
Cursive’s eighth studio album, ‘Vitriola’ has been labelled as “a return to form” – something that does a massive disservice to the group’s last three vastly different but equally-merited albums.
What it is, however, is a return to a previous style, characterised by the atmospheric cello; at times haunting, at others purposeful and driven. Naturally, such a decision to work with strings again was one not an easy one for Tim, guitarist Ted Stevens, bassist Matt Maginn, and returning drummer Clint Schnase.
“The cello is such a huge decision for us that we didn’t make it lightly,” considers Tim. “It took us a long time to decide whether or not we wanted to use it. There’s kind of a stigma to it, and there’s a certain old-school attachment to ‘The Ugly Organ’. And also, we don’t want to feel like we’re being redundant.”