CASSANDRA’s CURSE On ‘Groom Lake – Act 1’

As part of the emerging Texas Prog Rock scene, Dallas band Cassandra’s Curse have been steadily turning believers out of mainstream Rock fans over the last decade. The band traces its beginning back to 2007, when vocalist and guitarist Charan SpidaFingaz decided to take the next step from his Hard Rock background and dive into the hallowed world of Progressive Rock. After enlisting drummer Nicholas “Ginger Jesus” Burtner and bassist Joe “The Blade” Sharp (yes, they all assume nicknames in this band), the band released its first album False Flag in 2009. Although the album was deemed to be in the realm of Crossover Prog, the sound was distinctly discernible from mainstream Rock.

“We were looking to bridge the gap between the seeming aloofness of Progressive Rock and the accessibility of mainstream Rock,” says SpidaFingaz. “And that has been our goal since day one of this band.” After the first album, it took them 10 years to release their follow-up album Groom Lake – Act 1. It’s natural to ask why it took them that long. “Mostly just a string of unfortunate events!” SpidaFingaz remarks in jest. As with a lot of bands, Cassandra’s Curse had to deal with band mates leaving and new musicians coming in to take their place. Finally, the band settled on Kelley “Viking” Raines on keyboards, Rishab “ProDigi” Thadani on drums, and Gary “Samurai” Sanders on the bass guitar.

Beyond these common delays, there was also the ambitious nature of the album itself. “Our first drummer Burtner originally came up with this short story as a basis for the songs on it,” reveals SpidaFingaz. Based on the story about a secret military base at the infamous Area 51, SpidaFingaz then wrote a script and recruited voice actors for dialogs that play like an audio drama. The band recorded background music to create the feel of a mystery show without the visuals. The album’s songs are anchored and contextualized by the dialogs. “I was a big fan of Queensryche’s iconic Operation Mindcrime, which influenced my approach to this album,” says SpidaFingaz. “Not to mention a heavy dose of The X-Files.”

Charan SpidaFingaz – Vocals, Guitars.
Kelley ‘Viking’ Raines – Keyboards.
Gary ‘Samurai’ Sanders – Bass Guitar.
Rishab ‘ProDigi’ Thadani – Drums.

Read our review here.