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Derek Bean (Blessed Curse)

Interview with Derek Bean from Blessed Curse
by Lior Stein at 14 April 2012, 5:58 PM

After Thrash Metal received a blow back in the mid 90s, its comeback was considered as a pretty big event. BLESSED CURSE, hailing from the Californian scene, recaptured the evilness and crudity of Thrash along with European influenced. Lately they released their self-titled debut through Cyclone Empire Records. Steinmetal talked to the band’s drummer, Derek Bean, about the band, the new album and their road ahead.

Hi Derek, how have you been? I thank you for sparing the time for this interview with Metal Temple magazine.

My pleasure, I’ve been doing great especially with everything going on with the debut BLESSED CURSE album and playing shows.

As the drummer of the rather newcomer band of BLESSED CURSE, what you can tell the Metal Temple readers about it? Why BLESSED CURSE?

BLESSED CURSEis a “newcomer” band only in the name, the same lineup of Tyler Satterlee (vocals/guitar), Patrick Hamby (bass) and myself (Derek Bean-drums) have been playing in the same band with different names since 2001.  Tyler and I formed ATROSITY in ‘01, with Patrick joined the band in ‘02.  Since then we have released three EPs, played around 350 shows, and changed our name from ATROSITY to DEVASTATOR and from DEVASTATOR to BLESSED CURSEBLESSED CURSE represents more to us than just a cool name for a Metal band. The meaning behind the name can also be seen as a metaphor for the music business and life in general.  Because of where we are located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, there has never really been a ton of support from people around here for our band or the path we chose in life.  But because of this we have gone out of our way to carve a path for the band everywhere we can.  There have been a lot of ups and downs over the years, but I can say that right now is definitely the most exciting time in our history so far.  The release of our debut album “Blessed Curse” represents to us the best parts of our past and a new direction now as far as attitudes in the band, work ethic, musicianship, and much more.

I know that once there was a band name DEVASTATOR where all you three were members. Was the formation of BLESSED CURSED laid in the reason of DEVASTATOR’s disbandment or was it something different?

DEVASTATOR became BLESSED CURSED because for a while all of us kept noticing that there were a lot of “___tor” bands being formed especially in the California region.  There were even bands with the name DEVASTATOR forming.  We decided that the best way to stand out besides our music was changing our name.  Tyler brought to the table the name BLESSED CURSED, which I thought was a great name.  Because of the meaning behind B.C. as well, I was 100% behind the name change and the change was done.

Recently I had a chance to listen to your debut self-titled album under the BLESSED CURSE name, which was released via Cyclone Empire. Along with the fine resemblance to a variety of old American, mostly Bay Area style, and European Thrash Metal bands, do you think that your material is a sort of protecting the old flame or an innovation?

All of us in BLESSED CURSE love the original thrash bands, especially the Big 4 as well as others that were releasing albums in the ‘80s and onwards.  But our music tastes do not stop there.  We like a variety of music including Classic Rock, Jazz, Pop, Prog, Death Metal, Crossover, and anything else that we happen to like.  I like music overall in general, not just a small segment of a genre, for example liking only Thrash Metal and nothing else.  As for what the BLESSED CURSE sound is, we like to make music that people can move to and has a lot of groove to it and doesn’t put us in a corner. It can be fast or slow the only thing that our sound needs to do is make our audience headbang, mosh, move, whatever makes them feel alive. Everybody has their own opinion of what combination of bands another band sounds like. And like all bands, influences show through the music.  For us though we never had any intention of trying to sound like any other band. We just wanted true headbanging Metal to return again.  Our sound is a reflection of the music that we want to play at this stage in our band.

What can you tell the readers about the tracklist? Does the band has a fascination with the occult or there is something to it?

The track listing of the songs on the debut album were put together in the style of a vinyl record. We are fascinated with the occult only in a fantasy context.  Like a horror movie taking you to a dark place in a musical story form. Horror / Fantasy / Science Fiction stuff has always interested us since we were little kids. We wanted to have the songs flow well together like a rollercoaster ride but also if the album does get released on vinyl we wanted the songs to flow well from side A to B.  Without losing any of the impact of the faster numbers to the slower songs.  The album also runs about 65 minutes in length because we felt that fans and supporters of the band have been patient long enough for a debut album from us and we have an extensive history of songs that were accepted well with audiences. When we write music, there is no given formula to anything we create so a song can be 3 minutes or 11 minutes. Whichever feels good to the band is what is used and included on releases.  Songs that appear on the “Burn the Beast” EP which was recorded with Juan Urteaga (and “Blessed Curse”) were featured on the BLESSED CURSE debut because most debut albums are a culmination of what bands have been crafting before they record their first album.  Brand new songs were written in late 2009 into spring 2010 for the album including “Bleeding Cross” and“Something Evil” and a few others.

What are your favorite tracks on the album? Can you tell if those chosen meant to you in any way? If so please do tell.

Every single one of the tracks off of the album means a lot to me because I think all of the songs represent our best effort at the time we recorded them.  I wouldn’t change anything about anything on our debut.  Each song was a different experience putting them together and rehearsing them to the bone.  It was a very positive time for us with many changes happening but all in a good way.  We were all well prepared to hit the studio and record this album at Trident Studios with Juan Urteaga.

How the relationship with Cyclone Empire started in the first place? Was it the regular – you sent over material and got linked or something else?

Marco Barbieri, our incredibly helpful and insightful publisher who runs Salem Rose Music and M-Theory Audio, had been talking with them and we were lucky to secure a licensing deal to get our debut album released in certain territories. It has been great so far and we were very happy to have the debut album distributed through them. Martin Purr and all that work at Cyclone Empire have been very cool and have said they enjoyed the album. We just hope everybody everywhere else enjoys the record when they hear it too!

In comparison to what you present on your debut album, how do you perceive the New Wave Of Thrash Metal? Do you think that the bands have what it talks to bring Thrash Metal back to its former self of the late 80s?

I think it is great that there are bands out there who want to play music that is reminiscent of music released a long time ago.  If people are inspired by bands that came long before them, so be it.  Everyone is inspired by something and I think it is wrong to like something just because it is the newest thing out there.  As long as the inspiration is genuine and not forced then it is a great thing and that will show naturally in a band.  Our inspiration from the Big 4 is heard in our music, but we have never wanted to sound as if our music was recorded in the ‘80s.  Our approach is to sound like we are in the now and are making music in the modern age but with inspiration and energy from bands that came before us, instead of just following a trend and playing music we hear our peers playing around us.  We were the first band in our area to play music that sounded like this, and we are one of the first young bands in the California scene to play this kind of music again.  To me it’s not important to try and recreate anything or bring something back.  What I want to see are original and diverse bands who play Metal to start working together and supporting each other, especially in our American scene instead of their being so many egos and walls up with a lot of bands in the world.  That is the only way to make our scene, and especially true metal overall, get really huge again and continue to grow instead of being mainly underground and looked down upon.

Where can people see you live in the coming period? What are your future plans for an album, tour and such?

Right now we are currently embarking on a West Coast tour with Los Angeles bands SACRIFICIAL SLAUGHTER and MONOLITH promoting the new album beginning April 5th-14th. We play live throughout California yearly and are hoping to keep touring this year trying to get the album anywhere there are headbangers. We have plenty of new ideas for material set aside for future development, just right now we want to concentrate on getting the album as known as possible everywhere. Beware, because the BLESSED CURSE Beast is coming to tear apart this worlds cities very soon!

Derek I wish to thank you for taking this interview for Metal-Temple. BLESSED CURSE is a good band and your album is a good start with what I hope would be a solid career. Take care and cheers!!

Thanks for wanting to do this interview with me and the kind words about BLESSED CURSE.  And best of luck with Metal-Temple!


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