Thirteen-plus years after the breakup of Curl Up and Die, vocalist Mike Minnick listened to some of the beloved Vegas metalcore band’s early work recently, in preparation of a possible reunion. His take on his lyrical contribution to that music?
“I was like, ‘Yeeee, it sounds like a dude huffed paint and then wrote down whatever was on his mind as quickly as possible before the paint high wore off’,” Minnick laughs. “But at the same time, it was kind of endearing and fun. Like, oh, I was a kid then.”
Minnick, now 37, says he feels much better about Curl Up and Die’s final recording, 2005 album The One Above All, the End of All That Is. “I feel like it’s our strongest output, and it’s where I figured out my vocal style and my own style lyrically,” he says. “When I was a kid I didn’t know what I was doing at all. I was just trying to create noise and a feeling from being chaotic with it. But I felt really good about our last record, like we were getting into good territory. And then we broke up.”
Curl Up and Die’s now-confirmed second life is intended to pick up where that last phase left off in 2005, when the band called it quits after seven years with a pair of final shows in Southern California. The band recently announced its first return gig—June 22 at Chain Reaction in Anaheim, California, with support acts Taken, Seizures and Regional Justice Center—and will bring three-fourths of the lineup that made The One Above All to the stage: Minnick, guitarist Matt Fuchs and bassist Ryan Hartery.
Minnick says efforts to include former drummer Jesse Fitts didn’t work out, so the band recruited a close friend whose name should be familiar to many Vegas music fans—Keil Corcoran, who also occupies the drum seat for synthy indie band STRFKR. “He’s someone we knew from other bands, and who we’re really good friends with,” Minnick says. “He and Matt had gotten together, and he was working some on his own on the songs. When we went to do the initial practice with him, it went really well.”
Though Curl Up and Die will begin its new phase with a concert in California, Minnick—who has spent the past few years fronting Less Art (a band that also includes members of Thrice) and Puig Destroyer—says a Vegas show is already in the works. Some of those details, and more:
Shows: “We wanna do a Vegas show next and make it special if we can. We’re trying to figure it out right now, but it’s not set. It’ll be a cool Vegas hardcore thing, hopefully. And we want to make sure it’s all-ages, even though all of us are super old (laughs). And then after that we’ll probably do a West Coast thing, and then an East Coast thing."
“I was joking there might be three people interested in this, counting the four people in the band (laughs), but we’ve had a really positive response. People have been reaching out and getting in contact from all over.”
Reissues: “We’re going to try to reissue the records. We only did one pressing of vinyl ever—[2002 LP] Unfortunately We’re Not Robots through Rev [Revelation Records]. We would love to do all of them again, making sure it’s done well. We’re not trying to make money; we’d just like them to be nice, well-printed, well-sounding releases.”
New material: “For sure. I want to limit the nostalgia factor—not just have it be, let’s play a show every few years and play old songs. Matt and I have already been working on stuff, and he’s been working on stuff with Keil a little bit. So we definitely want to do that concurrently with playing shows.”
Logistics and chemistry: “Matt and I are in Vegas now, and Keil and Ryan are both in LA. You can do a lot of stuff remotely at this point, band-wise, but we don’t wanna go that route. We have some stuff scheduled throughout this month and into June, when Keil gets home from tour, and we’re gonna huddle away and practice being a live band, here and in LA.”
“When we broke up we would see each other, but we didn’t hang out that much. It’s like a breakup, and technically that’s the longest relationship I was ever in at that point. There was no ill will toward anyone, but there was a period of time where we didn’t hang out as much as when we were in the band. I think you just need a cleansing, a reset.”