Five Questions with…Tim Kasher

March 11th, 2009
Tim Kasher at The Bowery Ballroom

Tim Kasher at The Bowery Ballroom (Photo: R. Zizmor)

In support of their just-released sixth album, Mama, I’m Swollen, Cursive rocked two sold-out dates at Music Hall of Williamsburg and The Bowery Ballroom. A few hours before last night’s show, singer-guitarist Tim Kasher was kind enough to sit down with The House List to answer five questions.

Which New York City musician—past or present— would you most like to play with?
David Byrne. It’s one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen. I saw him in Vegas, and that might seem like it kind of takes away from it. It was at the House of Blues, which might seem like it would take away from it. (laughs) But he was just amazing.

What’s the toughest thing about playing in New York City?
Probably the toughest thing about playing here is the pressure you put on yourself. ’Cause you’re always trying to remind yourself that it’s just another show. It’s not as if these people in the crowd—New Yorkers—are so different than in Boise, Idaho. They want to have a good time, and they want to take it in…. I think a lot of people see it like the New York shows are the ones where you really get graded.

Do you ever experience fear onstage?
I can be prone to being really self-conscious—feeling like I’m losing the crowd. And that drives me crazy, because you really shouldn’t be bothering yourself with that. Now I’ll probably do that tonight.

Do you feel like you could ever live in New York City?
Yeah, I love it. I want to move here. I was supposed to a couple years ago and I ended up, on a whim, moving out to L.A. instead. And it’s not that I would compare the two, but I’m just kind of trying to make my way here.

Do you have to be depressed to write a sad song? Do you have to be in love to write a love song? Is a song better if it really happened to you?
I’m trying to become a good enough writer that I don’t have to do that. But I think some of the best writers—the technically great writers—would probably stop at that and be like, “Why would I need to be depressed to write something depressing?” But I still feel like I do have to lean on that. You don’t want it to be some kind of affectation. Maybe with music it’s better that it does come from an honest place. And maybe when you get into other forms of writing then it’s a little more lenient. —R. Zizmor