We met up with Mick and Jan, two (recently married) parts of THE CURLS to have a few drinks and wander about near Parson's Chicken & Fish.
Emulsion: You guys live around here right? What’s the spot you usually go to.
Jan: I mean the park. We love living half a block away from Humboldt Park. Just having that all summer long, to walk our dogs and go to the lagoon and do some swimming.
Mick: Yeah we’ve been going to this pool over at Sacramento and Divison and they have this water slide. And I’d never been there the whole time I lived in Chicago. I passed by it a few times -
Jan: Sacramento and Augusta.
Emulsion: A public pool?
Mick: Yeah. I think last year was the first time I’ve been to a public pool since I was probably thirteen, and I was like this is great. It’s free and refreshing and hilarious to watch people behave around pools.
Emulsion: It definitely is. Let’s talk a little about your music. Do you both write the music?
Jan: It originally started as Mick’s project and he did the majority of the songwriting but it's been evolving over the past couple years as members have changed. It’s more of a collaboration across all members of the band.
Mick: It was more boxed in, just like folk indie rock. I think now it’s more about coming up with weirder ideas and bringing them to practice. Jan will usually arrange things in more of a way that makes sense. There’s always a lot of freedom for everyone else to contribute too.
Emulsion: Do you have more music that you’re recording on now?
Mick: The new record is pretty much done and that’s basically with a whole new band on every tune. Anna Holmquist, our female vocalist has been writing lyrics more and doing lead.
Jan: As the music has gotten more complex I think Michael -
Mick: Well I’m still learning how to sing over playing over a lot of notes! But really it’s leaning more towards art rock & kind of synthy because I only listen to music from 1977 to 1983… so I think it’s starting to rub off a little bit.
Emulsion: When does the album release?
Mick: We’re going to do it at Emporium on November 30th. We’re going to put this out on a tape label initially called Dark Circles.
Jan: Chris Lee, who did Slice of Life with us too runs that. We just put out our first single Prickly Feelings a few weeks ago
Jan: And we have a video coming out for that.
Emulsion: Right I listened to it online.
Jan: What was your favorite part?
Emulsion: I did take a note… “mashup between the Talking Heads and Modest Mouse”
Mick: I feel like we’ve gotten both those before. We went with it for the single because Prickly Feelings is a pretty good representation of the sound for our new record.
Emulsion: And there’s a music video for that?
Jan: Right, there will be. An animated video that we're working on now.
Emulsion: Is there anywhere we can see you now?
Jan: Right in your own neighborhood! This will be out after it but… we’re putting together a little fest in our backyard next Sunday called Cheeto Fest. We got most of our favorite acts in Chicago to come over for a chill backyard show.
Jan: We will have buckets of Cheetos and...
Jan: I feel like any time we’ve hosted a house show we landed on this silly nonsensical name Cheeto Palace. The name just stuck.
Emulsion: So like a little DIY venue?
Mick: Hey, listen!
Jan: For any cops listening to this interview…
Mick: It’s not a DIY spot!
THE CURLS' new album, SUPER UNIT, drops on November 30th and you can catch them throughout the Midwest this September:
- Sept. 1 - Kalamazoo
- Sept. 2 - Ann Arbor
- Sept. 3 - Columbus
- Sept. 8 - Minneapolis
- Sept. 9 - Madison