Annabelle’s Curse is one of the hottest bands from this area right now. Their 2013 album, ‘Hollow Creatures’, is one of the best releases that has come out of this area in a very long time. Vocalist and Guitarist Zack Edwards recently took time out of their schedule to answer a few questions for Yeti Music Review on Monsters of Geek. By Yeti Collier
Yeti: First and foremost, thank you for agreeing to do this interview. You are the first band interview for Monsters of Geek and you guys are literally one of my favorite bands in the area.
Please inform our reader who’s in the band and where they are from and how you came together.
Zack Edwards : Tim Kilbourne and I met at Emory & Henry College through a mutual friend and hit it off immediately. After playing and writing together for a bit, we met John Warren Watson in Bristol. We pulled our money together and purchased our first upright bass, “Annabelle,” who inspired the name of the band. We officially started in the early Spring of 2010 as a three piece on the porch of Tim’s old house in Abingdon. After a couple years of playing, we added a few extra musicians to our 2012 Rhythm and Roots show to do something different and make a lot of noise. Travis Goyette was one of those “hired guns,” immediately after the festival he was added as a full time member of the Curse. Later that year, we met Carly Booher who seamlessly fit the musical puzzle that is Annabelle’s Curse. She came over to jam one night, things sounded great, and she never left.
Y: On January 13, 2014 you announced on your Facebook that John Warren is leaving the band. How does that affect you as a group?
ZE: Any change in line up is hard, especially if it is a founding member, but we are a band whose sound is always changing, so as in anything we strive to do, we will work hard and push farther. We support John fully in whatever he decides to do and have high expectations for him.
Y: Let’s talk about your newest release, “Hollow Creatures.” I can’t think of words to describe it. In my opinion, it’s perfect. The best album to come out of the region in years. With that being said, explain to our readers what the album is about and how you came about writing it?
ZE: The album, “Hollow Creature,” focuses on love and its aftermath. Every song relates to the balance between longing for the fullness of an honest heart and the emptiness left from a lust for love. This album takes the complexities of love and intertwines them with personal experiences and a relatable human condition. The album is not a result of just a single event, but it is more so a combination of everything. From a lovers’ first kiss to the rage that creeps out of a broken heart, from finding confidence in yourself to seeking shelter in your friends. From feelings of being lost to celebrating a New Year.
Y: You recorded “Hollow Creatures” at the Suma Studios with Dave Mayfield at the helm, what was that like?
ZE: Our experience in the studio was great and his expertise was much appreciated. He helped us figure out some of our stuff that we had not set in stone yet and pushed us musically. Keeping six creative and loud personalities contained in one house for many hours at a time led to some interesting times when we were able to go out at night.
Y: “Monsters” was a very good album as well. Where have you grown the most since you released that album in 2011 to where you are now with “Hollow Creatures” ?
ZE: The biggest area of growth in that time of transition would most definitely have to be our live show. “Monsters” was tracked one instrument at a time (for the most part) and everything was recorded until it was right. Between the three of us, we were pretty much able to play everything on that album. As we started to tour those songs out, we felt the sound to be a little thin. Taking the massive sound of a song like “Oh, Annabelle” and stripping it down to just an acoustic guitar, bass, and banjo will do that I guess. As we transitioned into a 5-piece later on, our live sound thickened out and we simultaneously started writing with that in mind. Once that big sound was created, we recorded “Hollow Creature” in more of a live setting in an attempt to capture it. I would, however, love to go back and re-record that album just to see what happens. A lot of those songs weren’t finished until being in the studio so now that we have had almost a year of being played out, they have gotten much tighter and a lot faster [laughs]. I am extremely happy with the album though and [it] feel[s] like it does well to offer the audience a different experience from our live show.
Y: Looking back at 2013 and having such a great album come out, what are a few of your highlights from the year?
ZE: 2013 was a hell of a year for us. Just a few highlights: we played 65 shows, wrote a full album, had the chance to record at Suma Studios, ran a successful Kickstarter campaign, had our music put in a commercial for Abingdon tourism, made a lot of new friends, got to meet some amazing people, and we got to sleep on a lot of floors.
Y: What is in store for Annabelle’s Curse 2014? Any breaking news we can release?
ZE: 2014 is looking very promising for the band. We have already put shows on the books in new towns and are working on several other opportunities that we’ll be announcing very soon. We plan to increase our touring this year and push a lot harder geographically. Musically, we are conditioning ourselves daily and focusing on creating a bigger sound. There is talk of a new album this year but I am not at liberty to say just when it may be released.
Y: In closing, tell the readers where they can get your album?
ZE: You may purchase our album in Abingdon, VA at Capo’s Music Store or at the Harvest Table in Meadowview, VA to support not just local music, but also two great local businesses in our area. Both albums are available digitally on iTunes, CDbaby, and Spotify. Alternatively, you may download or order a physical copy at annabellescurse.bandcamp.com along with all of our other merchandise!