Curl Up and Die Get Their Geek On

Curl Up and Die Get Their Geek On
"At first being geeky hindered us. I think we feel that we're the nerdy goofballs into having fun and actually playing music, but it has helped us be ourselves, instead of following trends or paths in hardcore," says vocalist Mike Minnick.

Formed in 1998, Curl Up and Die emerged from the deserts of Las Vegas, Nevada in 2000 with their independent debut EP The Only Good Bug Is A Dead Bug, a raw but startlingly moving combination of biting metallic noise/metalcore and sci-fi references and samples. Immediately re-released by Status Records, it established Curl Up And Die as one of the aggressive underground's brightest hopes, leading to a deal with hardcore heavyweights Revelation Records. But their debut full-length, Unfortunately We're Not Robots surpasses all expectations. A seamless perfection of abrasive metallic hardcore, the occasional droning otherworldly-influenced noisescape, electronic expulsion or melodic segue, bizarre guitar noise and unorthodox noisecore hostility mixed with simply terrifying vocals and intensely personal and poetic lyrics, Unfortunately We're Not Robots is the best hardcore/metal album released so far this year. And if Curl Up and Die's combination of intelligence, irreverent humour, sci-fi aesthetics and musical extremity continues to see them labelled as geeks in the testosterone-driven underground, so be it.

"A geek is a good thing," Minnick says. "I think being a geek keeps me thinking. If I didn't have these interests that I put myself into, I wouldn't be progressing. We're all geeks for different reasons. One of my favourite things in life is comic books and one of our favourite things in life is music. We are all music geeks and this band has become our lives. Me, Jesse [Fitts, drums] and Matt [Fuchs, guitar; joined by new bassist Gavan Nelson] put all of ourselves into this band, we don't really have anything else."

One primary inspiration is their penchant for irreverent science fiction-inspired album titles, song titles and visuals, a trend furthered with Unfortunately We're Not Robots. However, while The Only Good Bug… was taken from a motto from B-movie Starship Troopers, Unfortunately We're Not Robots has a deeper meaning. "It's a really simple idea," explains Mike. "Unfortunately We're Not Robots relates to everyone. If you don't want to work a job, if you've lost a family member or friend, if you've broken up with someone, you want it to be easier, you want to be a robot. You don't want to have any feelings at all. Life is hard, it sucks, so you want it to be easy and it's a giving in that you want sometimes."

While its title implies a certain regret at humanity's inherent weakness, Minnick hasn't chosen sides in ongoing man versus machine debates. "It's just a scary thing, I think I go both ways. When you hear about the advances in technology it's exciting, but you hear about how computers can eventually hit a curve where they surpass human intelligence, that's exciting in a scary way, because of what can happen, like the whole generic Matrix thing."