Leo Curley

by Deb Rao
Staff Writer

Addicted To Pain is putting the thrash back in metal. Formerly of Biohazard, vocalist/guitarist Leo Curley’s 3-piece unit is ready to take the music industry by storm. Addicted To Pain has a sound that is reminiscent of early Sabbath and Priest combined with the thrash overtone of Motorhead meets Lords Of The New Church.

Not afraid to take on political subjects, the self-titled four-song EP Addicted To Pain is slated for a September 14th release on Megaforce Records and destined to take music fans by surprise. Produced by Alex Perialas, Addicted To Pain combines all of their musical influences for a razor sharp sound filled with infectious riffs and heavy vocals combined with hardcore and thrash overtones.

Hardrock Haven is proud to be one of the first to discover this new band on the rise. As vocalist/guitarist Leo Curley unveils his new project Addicted To Pain on Hardrock Haven with a special track by track description.

Addicted To Pain has just announced their first tour with Texas Hippie Coalition slated to kick off on Oct.18.

HRH: Leo, Thank you for checking in with Hardrock Haven. Tell us about your new band Addicted To Pain. How did the band come to fruition?

LEO: Bob (bass) and I have been doing the three-piece thing on and off with different drummers for close to 10 years now. About three years ago we met Greg and we knew he was “the guy” for the three piece.

HRH: I understand some members of the band worked with Shadow Fall’s Jason Bittner in Eyesore before hooking up with Addicted To Pain?

LEO: That’s how Bob and I met. I sang for a band with Jason and Bob came in as a replacement for our bass player. When that fizzled out Bob and I started up together. We both have known Jason forever. We grew up in the same incestuous music scene.

HRH: How would you describe the sound of Addicted To Pain? I know you come from a diverse music genre from your previous Biohazard days.

LEO: Describing my own music has always been tough. I grew up with all the old NY hardcore Sunday matinee shows as well as arena metal shows. My first experience with live music was Priest/Maiden touring for “Screaming for Vengeance” and “Number of the Beast” at like 10 years old. My father is a classic rock guy so as a kid I remember stuff like Foreigner, Doobie Brothers and Steve Winwood. So all this stuff is etched in my soul and what seems to come out is a main mix of metal and hardcore with some slight seepage of rock. I guess you could call it Iron Core Rock. It usually stays heavy, probably due to my anger issues. And I try to keep it catchy so you remember what I’m screaming about.

HRH: As a new band out of Albany, NY, how do you feel about the NYC music scene these days?

LEO: For me I still have great memories of how the NY music scene used to be. Now I’m not as involved in it but it seems to be a lot more difficult to get shows. Not as many clubs cater to heavy music. I know here in Albany it’s quite the same. We only have two clubs left where you can book heavy original music. GET OFF YOUR ASSES AND GO SUPPORT A SHOW. If people go they will book!

HRH: On your 4 song self-titled EP, you worked with producer Alex Perialas who in the past has worked with Anthrax and Pro Pain to name a few. How did his knowledge of hardcore bands come into play in the studio?

LEO: It’s more his knowledge in the studio than of other bands. His resume is staggering. Without knowing it he did a huge portion of my favorites of all time. When his name came up we all were psyched. He is able to capture exactly what you hear in your head. Get into your head and improve on it. He gave us the best recording I’ve ever done. The first studio experience where looking back I wouldn’t change a thing.

HRH: Would you like to do a track-by-track description of each song for the magazine?

l. Hear N Now
One of our oldest songs. Lyrics are mainly political but also apply to our society as a whole. We have no respect and no one respects us. See the problem here? Musically a straightforward pounding with a downward spiral of an ending.

2. Trust Me
The newest song of the four. This was only a skeleton when we brought it to Alex. He had a lot to do with the construction of this one. Especially vocally. It’s a good producer who can look a singer in the eye and say “that’s not working”. The result is my favorite song of the bunch. Listen at your own risk. I’m not responsible for your actions while your being assaulted by this one.

3. Abigail
Our experiment in dissonance. This song is eerie and makes you feel uncomfortable. Just like a bad relationship. This song was our biggest surprise in the studio. By that I mean sometimes a song takes a whole new life when you record it. This song breathes on it’s own. Lyrics supplied by drummer Gregory Nash.

4. Going Going Gone
Speaking of Mr. Nash, this song started from a drum riff. Yes, a drum riff. When you’ve got a drummer this good it happens. This song is another social governmental rant. A loosely focused tirade on our self-destruction and the only big business left in this country, the military. Stop treating our heroes as a commodity. Heavy sludgy and catchy just how we like it.

HRH: As a guitarist who are some of your influences?

LEO: Randy Rhodes was the guy who made me want to play. I could only imagine being that good. He can’t be touched.

HRH: As I mentioned before you were in the NY band Biohazard. What prompted you to leave the band after the 2001 release of Uncivilization?

LEO: I could give you a bunch of bullshit. But that’s not my style at all. Simple truth as simple as I can give it to you. When I got in the band they were looking for a “member” someone to write, have influence. Not just a hired gun. I fit the bill I got the gig in May 2000. We did summer festivals and extensive fall tour in Europe.

Which facilitated them getting signed to SPV. When it came time to do the record I wrote a few songs that weren’t even heard. I got the stiff arm “we can’t get you on the publishing deal bullshit” I was actually replaced for one show and they called me back. Management wanted to act as if nothing happened. The studio musician can’t pull it off live. They bumped up my salary to get me back. There it was “hired gun.” I spent another year that involved the best arena tour of my life playing with Slayer. Then they lost the “good” booking agent. We were doing crappier clubs and tours. We got home from a tour and they cut my retainer. This whole time I had to maintain part time jobs to pay the bills. None of my bosses wanted to put up with my touring anymore and the retainer, when I had it, didn’t cover anything but travel to and from Brooklyn. So I had a choice, have no income while not touring in my glorified cover gig. Or go back to work and play for myself again. At that point after how I was treated it was a no-brainer. I certainly have no regrets and no ill will. I love them for all they did for me, but at the end of the day/tour you got to eat and have a place to live. FYI I’m glad to see they got Bobby back. It should have happened a long time ago.

HRH: Did the punk movement back in the day influence you?

LEO: Not so much. I was a little too young. Punk hugely influenced a lot of NY hardcore. So I am indirectly influenced for sure. But the West coast punk thing really does not appeal to me.

HRH: How did you come up with the name of the band?

LEO: Long process. Trying to find a name that is not taken is almost impossible. We went from “the pain” which our lawyer was adamant about changing to ” feel your pain” which we didn’t like. One night after rehearsal it organically came out of my mouth, it fits our society, our music. I think it works.

HRH: What are Addicted To Pain future touring plans?

LEO: Just confirmed. Fall tour Nov.18 – Dec.18 opening for Texas Hippie Coalition.
All down south check addictedtopain.net for details!

HRH: We wish you best of luck with your new project. Hope to see you on the road soon.

LEO: Thank you. We appreciate you giving a shit!

For more info visit www.myspace.com/addictedtopain.