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  • Tiana Speter

EXCLUSIVE: ERRA's J.T. Cavey Shares The Creative Inspirations Behind New Album 'CURE'


Photo: Bryan Kirks
 

ERRA have eternally been a band ahead of their time. Despite emerging in the progressive metalcore boom back in 2009, the Alabama-hailing group have continually been revered by their peers and critics as being at the forefront of the modern and/or progressive metalcore movement.


Along with ambience, crushing heaviness, melodic bliss and an unwavering core-shaking connection via their storytelling, to experience ERRA is to truly immerse yourself - and this fact carries abundantly throughout CURE, the band's sixth studio album dropping this week.


Hailed ahead of its release by ERRA's own guitarist and clean vocalist Jesse Cash as focusing on more groove-centric territory, the album is a plethora of heavy delights for those who like some unexpected flourishes in their listening fare. And on the cusp of the album's release, lead vocalist J.T. Cavey has parted the veil behind the making of CURE, sharing 5 x key creative inspirations that led to album #6.

 


EMBRACING THE RIGHT HAND OVER THE LEFT

Jesse [Cash, guitarist/clean vocals] mentioned this to me the other day, but he said there was a lot more focus on the right hand instead of the left. So there’s a lot more groove, and there’s only one solo on the record, which is going to piss somebody off, I’m sure (laughs)... I think that the one thing that we do try to ‘force’ is thinking about the record as a whole, looking at the lyrics as a whole, and trying to find out and maintain this identity throughout the process. We want it to feel like its own project every time. I think that is very important to us creatively.


 

WORKING WITH PRODUCER DANIEL BRAUNSTEIN (SPIRITBOX, DAYSEEKER)

Dan [Braunstein, producer] is the encouraging parent on the sidelines. He’s not afraid to voice his opinion. But he’s always positive. He’s got a great attitude every single day. When we were in the studio, he was excited to work on it. He’s excited to create something with Jesse and I, to make something fun and awesome, something enjoyable for everybody. He’s got great ideas, and he also thinks differently from the two of us; that’s why we went to him. We went to him because we knew he would provide what we were looking for with [Cure].

 

MOVIE SOUNDTRACK MODE

All the synthy, John Wick-stuff, like on Slow Sour Bleed — that’s all Dan. I love the screaming chorus instead of a classic, soaring singing one. I don’t want to take too much credit, but I feel like I pressured them to do a screaming chorus.


Crawl Backwards Out of Heaven is another favourite of mine. I’m a sucker for those heavy ones. The synth incorporates the melody from 28 Days Later. Go to the end of that song and then listen to the 28 Days Later opening theme; there’s some inspiration there. There’s like a haunting, weird note — Jesse loves finding the weird note and making it work. He's really good at that. And I love how creepy it feels; it makes your skin crawl, and it's super eerie, menacing and grimy. I like to think of The Machinist or The Dark Knight and all the tones and moods of those movies.

 

AVOIDING PEER INFLUENCE

This sounds kind of shitty, but I try not to listen too much to our peers throughout the year. Only because I don’t want to be influenced by stuff that they’re doing that I like. The reason why is because we’ve toured with so many bands that I’m genuinely a fan of, like Northlane, Silent Planet, We Came as Romans, and August Burns Red; I love all of these bands as a fan, and they’re my friends, but I don’t want to do what they’re doing. I want to do our own thing. I have to be careful when somebody puts new music out so I don’t accidentally copy a hook or a vocal pattern.

 

THE CADENCE AND FLOW OF RAP AND HIP HOP

I listened to so much rap, honestly. Well, I've always listened to rap, but I've definitely thought about that type of vocal delivery. One thing I’ve noticed is: I’ve definitely observed how other bands will deliver a catchy part, and then I think about like, "Why does that go over so well with their fanbase? What is happening during that part, the instrumental, the vocal enunciation of the singer, whatever it is - what about that part is so attractive to the fan or to the listener?". And I'll definitely look for stuff like that, too, to help break away from what I would default to when I’m writing.


There are a lot of good wordsmiths out there. I listened to a lot of Denzel Curry and J. Cole; JID was a big one this year. All those guys have so much to talk about. And even if you don’t really like the genre, I mean, the skill set, the wordplay, and the placement are crazy. It’s so impressive.




ERRA

Brand new album CURE out April 5 via UNFD.

More info here.

 

BY TIANA SPETER


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