You’ve probably never heard of Curses. However, you will be hearing a lot about this new local band soon.

Miguel Guizar (vocals), Mani Beltran (guitar), Ozzy Cervantes (guitar) and David Ceballos (bass) have been staying under the radar while they write material and perfect their sound. However, that’s changing: Curses is in the process of releasing an EP and will soon start playing live.

The band’s roots date back to a few years ago, when Ceballos and Beltran would jam and write songs together.

“We tried to start bands, and it would never work out, because we could never find a singer,” Beltran said. “We would always go through singers left and right, and we never really had that chemistry with them. Then I found Miguel at a show in Coachella, and he came up to me and said, ‘Oh, you’re in that band Curses.’ It was just David and me at the time, but we had instrumentals out there, and he’d heard that before. He said, ‘We should jam out sometime,’ and we got together with him.”

The band’s post-hardcore sound reminds of bands such as Bullet for My Valentine, Escape the Fate and A Skylit Drive. The singing goes back and forth from melodic to intense, often with brutal guitar riffs.

Guizar said he had to adapt to an entirely different sound when he first joined Curses.

“I just did screams before, and I played in deathcore and metalcore bands. That’s what I started with originally,” Guizar said. ”I was into that stuff, and it wasn’t until I joined this band that I started singing clean—and I really liked it. I started experimenting, and I began exercising my vocal chords.”

Cervantes joined the band after Beltran met him at school and heard him playing Avenged Sevenfold covers.

As the band has shaped its sound, the members have experimented and have tried develop their own spin on the post-hardcore sound with which they identify. The results can be heard on “You Know I Care” and “On My Way,” preview tracks for the EP.

“People are going to be surprised when they hear it, because it has a wide range of sound,” Beltran said. “Those two songs that we have out, they sound just like post-hardcore songs, and they’re catchy. When the EP comes out, I think it will be completely different than what people are used to hearing.”

Guizar said the band has an entire album’s worth of material, but is focused for now on six songs.

“We’ve been focusing on the songs we really want to put out that define the band and our sound,” he said. “We haven’t really made anything new recently, but I’m sure the other guys are writing music, and I’m always writing lyrics and sending them to David.”

Why hasn’t the band yet played any live shows? The members said they were focused on making sure they were ready to do so. Also, most the members are enrolled in college; in fact, Ceballos is attending college in Pomona.

“We just wanted to do things differently,” Beltran said. “We’ve been in bands before, and we know about going out and playing all these shows for people, and it’s awesome. But it’s hard to break out of that. We wanted to do the opposite and record first, get our songs out there, and have people listen before we play shows.”

The band members concede that Curses’ sound may fit better at house parties and underground shows than at some of the indie-rock- and punk-focused local-music venues. However, they have a great DIY ethic, and are confident in their musical potential.

“We haven’t even scratched the surface yet as to what we can do,” Guizar said. “We’ve gone pretty far. Manny and David are marketing and using social networking on the Internet. That’s what it is—a lot of marketing, mostly.”

Beltran agreed.

“The music industry has changed so much that it’s pretty much up to the artist now to put themselves out there,” he said. “Labels care about the music, but they also care about how well you put yourself out there. “

The members said they are ready to finally start playing live.

“I’m not nervous about it; I’ve been waiting for a while to play live,” Cervantes said. “I’ve played in a bunch of bands before, and I’ve been playing with my friends at Tilted Kilt’s open-mic night. That keeps me motivated.”

Guizar said he’s ready to get the band’s name out there.

“We’ve been really frustrated in a way, because we’re really hungry, and we really want to go out there and play. As far as whether I’m nervous or not, that just comes naturally. I get nervous before any show, and nervous if I have to sing in front of anybody, usually, but I know how to channel it: You channel your nerves, and it’s like a shot of adrenaline.”

For more information on Curses, visit

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Brian Blueskye

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Brian Blueskye moved to the Coachella Valley in 2005. He was the assistant editor and staff writer for the Coachella Valley Independent from 2013 to 2019. He is currently the...