INTERVIEWS

Cosmic Rock

Today on Cosmic Rock. com we have a new interview with singer Chelsea Strickland. Chelsea is the frontwoman of Florida powerhouse death metal band Accursed Creator. Contributing writer Gail Ice had a great talk with Chelsea about her music, influences and many subjects.

How did the band form?

It started with me and Derrick. I was on guitar and vocals and Derrick on guitar.. but then due to an injury I just switched to vocals. We've been through a couple of different members but for the most part we've had the same ones for the majority of Accursed's existence. We're coming up on 4 years now!

 

Who are the other members of the band?

Derrick Javier - Guitar

Taylor Tidwell- Guitar

E. Rojas- Bass

Nate Flores - Drums

 

Your band name makes me think of a quote from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Was that the inspiration for your band name or was it something else? Absolutely! So many people take it into more of religious context. Not the case. One day I asked my mom which name we should go with.. I dont remember what the choices were but her being the bookworm and lover of spooky stories she is, she picked Accursed Creator. I tried to pick just Accursed or The Accursed to keep it simple but our past drummer also liked Accursed Creator. So it stuck.

 

You guys hail from Florida, a state known for turning out death metal bands like Deicide and Morbid Angel. What is it about Florida that makes it a hotbed for death metal bands?

I don't know. Probably because it's hot/humid as balls and they're pissed haha

To be honest, it seems to have died down a bit. But... I feel there's going to be be some major movement in the Florida Death Metal community, once again.

 

Death metal as a genre has a reputation for negative attitudes towards women. Have you encountered any misogyny or discrimination from other bands or fans of the genre?

Most people we've encountered have been supportive as f*ck.

 

(In regards to this post, Quick shout out to my distant homie Amanda Gjelaj. Check out her band, The Machinist)

 

I feel like it still exists... but I also feel we're making an imprint and the change is definitely more welcome in our time. I don't experience it much as of now, But I'm sure once we're more... well traveled and gain publicity, I'll experience it more so. If I do encounter it now, I dont really hold on to it or pay any mind. I love what we do and that will always triumph over any trivial comment made. It's a different world. Cry about something worth a damn, and let people express themselves how they want. Music is for everyone. Not just wieners. Haha

 

What is it like touring as an independent band? It's been a trip so far haha

No one knows who you are. Booking a show in a city you've never been can be tough. Once people have us though, we've always been welcomed back. So far so good. Hopefully we continue to have that luck!

 

Explain the songwriting process? Is it a collaborative effort or does one member of the band handle the songwriting?

We all contribute. All of us know how to play guitar too, which is really cool. If someone has an idea for a part we communicate. Things are always open for change. I think that's what makes us work so well together. A band is a machine. It's a group effort and we try to include everyone's feed back in the group.

 

Why did you start singing? Did you have any formal training?

Well.. I've always been kind of a quiet song bird haha confidence wasnt my biggest quality. I really had to push to get to where I am now.

So my first instrument was.. ok laugh if you must. In middle school I played flute. Also was in choir, but I didnt continue that. When I was 14 I ventured into guitar..

On and off I've had vocal lessons. I went to school/college for music 2010-2013

And about 2014 or 2015 I really started to focus on death metal vocals. I've always wanted to be a death metal front person, but growing up, my older cohorts in the music scene would just pat me on the head "awe that's cute"

So for a while I had the mind set that no one, locally, would be down for a female front person. I just stayed with guitar.

When I met Derrick, he kind of changed everything for me.

 

 

Talk about your experiences on the road. What are your favorite places to play? Are there any places that you will not return to? Do you have any upcoming shows?

 

One of my favorite places to play, to this day is Uncle Lou's in Orlando. It was such a small and intimate venue. I definitely hope to go back in the future.

I really don't want to talk sh*t about other venues. Sometimes a place needs to grow, sometimes promoters aren't promoters. I try to see our experiences as situational.. or maybe places could be awesome in the right hands.. deep down sometimes I'm like "yeah, I'll never go there again," but give me the right show and change of pace.. who knows!

 

We have a tour coming up! We're also playing Las Vegas Death Fest 11 this year! Come out!

 

Stoked to have the opportunity to play all the shows including Las Vegas DeathFest 11 with ACCURSED CREATOR this year!

it's creeping up super fast-like!! Dates below!

 

5/31 Pensacola, FL - chizuko

 

6/1 Metairie, LA - The Twist of Lime

 

6/2 Houston, TX - The White Swan

 

6/3 Austin, TX- Come and Take It Live

 

6/4 El Paso, TX - Rockhouse Bar & Grill

 

6/5 Phoenix, AZ - Starlite Lounge

 

6/8 Las Vegas DeathFest 11

 

6/9 Albuquerque, NM - Moonlight Lounge

 

6/10 Tulsa, OK - Soundpony Lounge

 

6/11 St. Louis, MO - The Way Out Club

 

6/12 Memphis, TN - The Hi-Tone Cafe

 

6/13 Nashville/Murfreesboro, TN - Media Rerun

 

6/14 Atlanta, GA - The Highlander

 

What are your goals? What do you want the band to achieve? I feel like a cannon ball with this band. Just trying to push it as far as it'll go I guess. We have a group of really talanted people, I hope to show the world what they are capable of and not keep it in the dark. Although E prefers the dark lol

 

Who are some of your influences?

Ugh this is a hard question. I have a lot of vocalists that I love, but have never been able to mimic so I just focus on my own sound. The more I've tried, the more frustrated and bummed I would become haha

 

But vocally, I really dig Francesco Paoli, Ben Falgoust, Travis Ryan, Piotr Wiwczarek.. and so many more

 

What has been the biggest challenge the band has faced? Were you able to overcome that challenge?

Just scheduling and planning. It's a constant battle but I feel like we're reaching compromise and understanding. Sometimes lol

 

Where do you draw inspiration for your music?

Personally, dreams, experiences/emotions, or stories/articles that stand out to me. Or just listening to my band mates play. Sometimes I get better ideas in the midst of it all. I visualize by listening to the music I'm writing to.

 

Tell me about your work as a studio vocalist. Who are some of the musicians that you have worked with? How much different is it from working in a band?

It's a totally different beast for sure. I feel like the creative aspect is different. I can really hone in on details of the song once I hear and see it out in front of me. You have to really focus on timing and technique in a studio setting. It can be exhausting in a different way. You're not using so much of your emotional energy. You have to simmer the f*ck down and focus on the product.

It can be a lot of fun though! It's like painting, to me. You get to see/hear the picture change in front of you as you go. It also gives me the ability/courage to try new things. I've worked with Sam Schneider(former Inferi vocalist, currently Abyss Walker and Sammy Slamdance), J.J. Polachek (former Monotheist vocalist, current Nekroi Theoi). I was also recently featured in a "deathmetal choir" in the new Doom game along with 23 others including Svencho (Aborted Vocalist), James Dorton (Black Crown Initiate), Chelsea Murphy (Dawn of Ouroboros), Lindsay O'Connor (coma cluster void), and more! Keep an eye/ear out for Doom Eternal btw 🖤

 

 

What advice would you offer to musicians just starting out?

Don't listen to everything the public tells you... unless it's professional help... Do what you feel with your music. If you hate it, why do it? But at the same time... Be open to criticism. It's going to happen. But don't let it get to you. Use it in a positive way. I feel like that's what holds people back the most when starting out. It was definitely a hindrance for me starting out. Friends or family telling you "you suck" lol

Blot it out. Get better. Do more. Push harder to get what your heart wants. F*ck everyone else.

 

I noticed that you donate your time to charitable work. What kind of charities do you support?

Animals, Veterans, Trama/abuse victims. Any cause worth fighting for.

 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I work at a vintage store called Nearly Dead Threads and Oddities! Also.. I walk my dog. Read short comics, binge watch murder documentaries, paint/sketch, hang out with a tight lil group of people, massage bodies lol I don't know, I try to do as much as I can when I can. I really enjoy doing outdoorsy sh*t when I'm able to get out.

 

What is the hardest thing about being in a band?

Handling all of the external things.. promoting, networking, planning for video,album, song release, tours, merch order, art, etc.. it takes a lot more than people realize to keep you relevant and running. I don't think people see that part. It's definitely a 24 hour job.

 

Who are some of your favorite bands to tour with? Are there any bands you would not tour with again?

We haven't really gone on tour with anyone. We've definitely collided dates on more than one occasion with Inanimate Existence. They're fun to be around! Love those guys Check them out!

 

Where can people follow your music?

We're on Facebook! Also you can find our EP and single on spotify, iTunes, etc

 

 

What does the future hold for Accursed Creator?

I guess we will see!

 

https://www.facebook.com/AccursedCreator/

 

https://www.instagram.com/accursedcreator

 

https://open.spotify.com/artist/6AMPbqpO1yVDOxN5UUJUBY?si=xdA1YP4pSgyGKHUTBHm24A