Bassist Roy Stanley of Merced metalheads Cursed Interviewed

Originally formed in 2002 by ex-members of Infestation & Fetus by the Pound, Cursed has survived a revolving door of members til a solid line-up of Roy Stanley ( bass ), Jon Deaver (guitar), Curt Beliew (vocals), Reggie Villegas (guitar), and Scotty Whitfield (drums) was established. Cursed is a solid veteran act having shared the stage with death / thrash acts such as Vio-Lence, Morbid Angel, Deicide, Vital Remains, Testament, Exodus, Possessed, Death Angel, Forbidden, Warbringer, Dying Fetus, Exhumed, and many, many more. Bassist Roy Stanley was kind enough to answer some of our silly questions via email.

How did you first get in to music? Who turned you onto rock/metal? Did you ever get into funk, jazz or hip hop?

I didn’t get into music till junior high, but the bands that got me into rock / metal were bands like Motley Crue, Judas Priest, and Maiden. It wasn’t until one of my friends turned me onto a new record he picked up, Metallica’s “Ride the Lightning”, that I started getting into heavier and faster music, and its been that way ever since. I never really got into funk or jazz, but I can appreciate the talent….I do like some rap / hip hop, stuff like old House of Pain & Cypress Hill. I remember way back when I roadied for one of my friends bands at a gig in LA with a bunch of other extreme LA metal bands and we had Ice T cranked in the van out in front of the venue and all these kids walking into the venue were giving us the look of death for having rap on the stereo at a death metal gig, LOL.

How did you become a singer or guitarist and are you proficient in any other instruments?

I was a getting my chops up on guitar when one of my friends band suddenly needed a bassist and they asked if I’d be willing to convert over, so I scrounged up some used bass gear and have been playing bass ever since, so another case of bad guitarist turned bassist.

Were you forced to go to church as a youth, if so were you an altar boy or participate in some other ways?

I grew up in a Catholic home, so yeah, I got dragged into church well into my teens. I never really bought into the whole thing…it was more a “you better do this if you plan on going out with your friends or if you want some $$$ to go to a concert” type of thing from my parents.

Were you troubled as a youth, juvenile delinquents, burn ants with a magnifying glass, trouble with law?

I was your typical “metal head” teen who hung out with the guys “fishing” for beers on the weekends and trying to find the next party. So yeah, a few run-ins with the law…nothing worth bragging about.

What was the local scene in like in the beginning , was there a particular band you aspired to be like, favorite local bands back then, favorite local bands now? 

I grew up in Merced, Ca which is smack dab in the middle of fucking nowhere in Central California, so our music scene back then in the late 80’s / early 90’s was fairly small but pretty tight knit. But here we had a band named Fatal Rage ( who at the time featured CURSED drummer, Scotty Whitfield ) who were heavily inspired by bands like Kreator & Possessed and we all wanted to be like them. We were fortunate enough to have a guy here named Marty Eager who brought down some Bay Area bands like Vio-Lence, Heathen, and Forbidden ( at the time Forbidden Evil ) to Merced and that spawned a number of good thrash / death metal bands here, one of which was my first band, Infestation. Of the current crop of NorCal “locals” that I really dig now, I’d have to list Infex, Cultural Warfare, His Name Is Robert Paulson, Hang the Kode, and Sworn to the Black as my favorites.

Who are your biggest musical influences? 

My biggest musical influences as far as my bass playing come from the Swedish death metal scene….shit like Unleashed, At the Gates, and Entombed. But music wise, I take a little from the Bay Area thrash scene and a little from the OG Death Metal genre.

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How would you best describe your sound?

CURSED’s sound is a hybrid of all the various musicians who have been in this band….so many influences due to the number of guys and one gal who’ve played under the CURSED banner….we’re a mix of death and thrash….the closest thing to a specific band I can think to describe what we are doing is Witchery.

How important is coffee in the morning and will you drink anything?

I’m not a coffee person….get me a Pepsi to get me going. But if it was a long night, then get me a Rockstar to get me moving in the morning.

What ingredients are in your secret sauce?

My special sauce is probably beer and tapatio, lol!

How did the band meet and how long did it take to finalize this lineup? How many other musicians did you try out that didn’t make the cut? How stable is the current lineup?

The constant turnover rate in this band is pretty legendary by now….CURSED has literally gone thru probably 10 guitarists, 5 or 6 drummers, 4 or 5 vocalists, but only one bass player. I’ve done my best to keep this thing chugging along all these years. You know, every time I think “this line-up is set for the long haul”, we’ve had a member have to move on…..and it’s been everything from home life, people moving, job changes, arrests…you name it, we’ve had it.

How soon can we expect new Cursed music. Will you be releasing it yourselves? Will you be releasing it on cassette and vinyl. Do you own a cassette player, are cassettes silly? Will you be recording cover songs for the new album?

If all goes to plan, our CD will be out this September. We recorded it at the Ice Chamber in Modesto, Ca and we’re releasing it thru a new local independent label, Seventh Sun Records. It’d be cool to have our new one out on all formats including cassette and vinyl….I’d love to see CURSED in record form! You know what, I think I still have an old school boom box in my storage and there is a bag full of old cassettes and demo tapes in there as well. We do have one cover on the new release. Its the old Vio-Lence / Torque tune, “Breed” We even got Ray Vegas to come out to the valley and record it with us. We’ve had this CD ready to go for months now, just waiting for the label to get all the pieces in place.

What other bands are you guys in and what plans do you have with them, recording, touring?

Scotty & Curt both are in a cover  band called “The Best Of’s” and its something they do for a fun and a little extra $$$. But that’s the extent of side projects right now.

Do you follow President Trump on Twitter?

I personally do not follow him, but with every stupid tweet he puts out and everyone retweeting it with their views on what he’s done, I feel like I follow him, LOL.

Do you ever fart in the house and blame your dog or other family members?

All the time and I claim my own, haha!

Whats the biggest show you have played so far and do you still get nervous before a gig?

The biggest show CURSED has played probably was either the Suicidal Tendencies or Exodus shows we did at Strummer’s in Fresno….both were sold out and were totally killer gigs, but the biggest gig I personally have played would’ve been Morbid Angel at the peak of their popularity at the old Maritime Hall in San Francisco….the place was hella packed.

Out of all your songs which one gets you excited the most when you perform it? Are there any political or social issues besides the obvious hidden in Cursed songs ?

My personal favorite is probably “In the Trenches”….just a total old school feel about it. Sorry, no covert lyrics in our music.

What endorsements do you have and what endorsements do you still want? What gear are you currently using, amps, effects, guitars?

No endorsement deals currently, although our man, Ben, at the label is working on that…..I’d love to get an endorsement for Coors Light, LOL! As for my current gear….my basses are a LTD F-205 & a Yamaha TRBX305. I currently run a Tech 21 VT 500 bass amp thru a pair of GK cabs.

Bands you would love to tour with and musician or artist you would like to meet and interrogate.

A national band that I’d love to tour with would be Ghoul, just to be able to watch that circus show every night would be killer, but on the local scale, a couple of bands I’d love to hit the road with would be either Infex or Sworn to the Black.

Song to be played at your funeral and 3 albums to take to your grave?

Hmmm….song to be played at my funeral….how about “Wake Up Dead” just for the title alone…..but for the 3 albums I’d take with me to the grave, it’d be Megadeth’s “Peace Sells”, At the Gates’ “Slaughter of the Soul”, and Death’s “Leprosy”. I’d be down to listen to those for eternity.

Whats your next gig?

Our next scheduled gig is the Fresno Death Fest August 12th….a lot of good bands scheduled to take part in that one!

Final thoughts, shout outs, dirty jokes?

The CD is done, the art work is done….we’re set for a September release, so thank you to everyone for being patient with us. We hope you all dig it when it FINALLY comes out.

 

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