Music News

Cowboys to Girl

Cowboy Curse ain't full of cowboys, nor does the band curse (very much). The three-piece is made up of two guys -- Ben Bergstrand and Tyler Campo, who sing like girls -- and Erin Tidwell, a girl who drums like, well, a beat-keeping madwoman. The Curse plays pop like socially conscious indie rockers serious about having fun. Since its three-song EP debut back in September 2004, the act has been busy solidifying its lineup and writing and recording Nod Up and Down (to the Simulcast Singing), its long-anticipated full-length on Public Service Records. So was it worth the wait? Yee-haw.

Westword: You guys generally have a very upbeat pop sound. Do you ever fantasize about one day breaking out a wicked metal riff or something?

Ben Bergstrand: Lately... [laughs]. Actually, lately I've sort of given thought to what would happen further down the road. I play clarinet. I've played clarinet since I was five years old. And that's still sitting in a closet someplace. Maybe that's the next thing.

Tyler Campo: Yeah, down the line. Three bass players and an accordion -- that'd be sweet.

BB: Israeli Cowboys. That'll be the name of the band.

Erin Tidwell: I dream about the drum solo.

Do you ever consider the effect of having a girl in the band?

TC: I don't really think about it. Me and Ben are pretty big wusses, so having a girl hasn't really changed much.

BB: It's definitely not a negative thing. When you go to a rock show here, it's a lot more dudes out there than girls, generally. So if anything, it's probably a good thing for us. Instead of three dudes up there, at least there's somebody else to look at that's prettier than me or Tyler.

TC: I think people are really impressed by her drumming. That stands on its own, anyway. But the fact that she's female adds something to it. There's not a ton of female drummers in the world, and very few that play at the caliber that she does.

What are your lives like outside the band?

BB: I'm a first-grade teacher, so that's a big part of my life. And I feel that it's a very important part of my life. I'm very passionate about that job. I'm married, and I have a kid that will be here in November. It's my opinion -- I mean, if your life is solely invested in a band, how well-balanced are you?

TC: Especially, and I would just say this as a generalization, if you don't have a life outside of just music, what the fuck are you going to talk about? Are you going to write about hanging out at bars? That's cool and all, but how many albums can you really milk out of that?

BB: I really think it's important to do other things in your life. Maybe being in a band is just an impetus for that. Maybe you're in a band, and that makes you more politically active or something like that, and songs come out of that. So, yeah, I don't have to write songs about sitting on a bar stool.