INTERVIEW: CUSPS

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Good good, thanks for asking. super-busy with all life things– luckily there’s music to make it better.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Shrapnel?”

“Shrapnel” is an example of our experimentation of mixing genres: drum-n-bass with rock-n-roll.
Also, we have a super dope AI art music video for it about to drop!

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

No set event, but more of a conglomerate of events going on in the world. I’m reminded of the line from Bukowski, “War all the time.”

The war within. The war outside. It’s like no matter what you set out to do, there will be blow-back and unforeseen consequences. Hence the emphasis on the word “Shrapnel”

How was the filming process and experience behind the video for “Activated?”

The video was shot in our studio, mixed with drone footage we got access to. The filming we did was a blast– I was trying to find a prop for us to emulate a sci-fi neck-bomb. contraption — Ha, I don’t know what else to call it. I feel like it’s a recurring theme in futuristic dystopian films. Anyways, I ended up buying off of Amazon this, like, shitty set of muscle stimulators. They send an electrical shock out and its suppose to help tone your muscles or whatever– anyways we wore these straight onto our Adam’s apples– long story short: I would not suggest doing this, ha.

The single comes off your new album Out For Blood – what’s the story behind the title?

It’s a phrase I use often when I’m talking about someone who’s out on a dead-set mission. This album, being much more driving and harder-hitting — and the lyrics being what they were– it felt like an appropriate title. We actually knew that this would be the name of the album before we even had the title track with the same name finished.

How was the recording and writing process?

We write and record in a stream-of-consciousness style. Most of the takes that are on the album happen to be the very first take from conception. Lyrics are freestyle’d and then edited and cleaned up later somewhat, but all & all, we let the concepts and the riffs write themselves.

What role does Kansas City play in your music?

I’d say it plays heavy on our vibe. It’s very gritty and rough in this city still– with a lot of big, unresolved energy from its inhabitants. People go hard in their own casual way here. I would not be making this music anywhere else.

Several of the songs on the new release reflect on life in late-stage capitalism. How did you land on this for a theme and what can listeners expect?

We don’t ever talk about in music how much more we all have to work now. It’s like everybody has to have all these side hustles and various revenue streams they gotta reach for— its too much. We can’t approach lyrics (or life) in the same way we did the Ought years or whatever. We’ve hit this weird peak. I think that’s what you’ll step away from this album re-questioning, I hope.

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Inspiration is over-rated! There’s an ocean of things to make and say in all of us. I don’t even try to sort it out anymore– that is, all the inspirations.

What else is happening next in CUSPS’ world and where can people go to find out more about the band?

We are currently rehearsing the new album for a live set. As introverts, this is a big next step for us! We are rather quiet but follow us on instagram, c_u_s_p_s_ ,  or cusps.org for the latest updates.

RJ Frometa
Author: RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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