Last modified on October 4, 1995.
There's a music in Roger Lavallee's head that just has to get out. In the beginning, he played to an audience of one. Carefully setting his drum machine, he'd play his guitar. The music weaved through the beat, sending sweet pieces floating out his bedroom window. Usually, he taped what he played so he could put on a Walkman and immerse himself in his own homemade recordings.
The air was crisp on that fall evening in 1988, when Lavallee let Jeff Paul into his musical universe. Grabbing Paul, he said, "You've got to listen to this."
"The drum machine sucks. You need a real drummer. If you ever need a drummer, just give me a call," Paul said, and gave it little more thought.
Ron Mominee thought Lavallee was strange, sitting in Bay Path's cafeteria transfixed by the sounds through his headset. Striking up a conversation, Mominee mentioned that he played bass. Before long, the three got together, and by December had their first gig at the WAG.
Lavallee, Paul, and Mominee make up the rock trio Curtain Society. For the past five years, these Massachusetts natives have been refining the sound that was once locked inside Lavallee's head.
"Originally we were naive about what bands were like. We thought we were going to take the world by storm," Lavallee says, sheepishly looking back at the band's past. Curtain Society may not be a household name, but they have made strides in the past five years. They have two singles and an album under their belt, and recognition for the band's work seems to be growing. They've even cultivated some international interest. "We have pen-pals from all over the world who love what we're doing," Lavallee says smiling. You might want to check them out at Ralph's on Saturday, November 20.
Mominee describes the band as "upbeat depressing, alternative, progressive, pop on the Swirlie tip."
Paul says, "We're a group very interested in the sounds that we are making." Lavallee adds, "I'm a studio engineer, and that helps us be very deliberate about what we want." Live and on their recordings, the trio are indeed quite adept at utilizing echo to enhance their dream-like melodies.
Curtain Society's first release, the pretty "No Answer," was on a split single -- the b-side to a cut by the Toronto band An April March. "No Answer" has become the number-one requested song at WUNH (the University of New Hampshire's radio station). This single, and their full-length album and cassette Where Are You? have both been released on Apostrophe Records (Southbridge). The band's newest 45 "Chelsea"/"All Over You" is being released by Bedazzled records out of Washington.
Recently signing up with the very agressive Bedlam Productions, the Curtain Society are looking for bigger and better things to happen. An extended tour and CD are promised in the near future. For bookings or further information write to the Curtain Society, c/o Bedlam Productions, 31B Pierce Rd., Sutton, Massachusetts 01590.
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