Interview: Cure My Enemy’s Funk Rock is Seeded with Deep Soul

They started playing, and within seconds I was mouthing to my friends, “Whoa, they are REALLY GOOD.” In a night of very fun, very talented bands playing mostly covers at Atlanta Garage Fest 2018, having Cure My Enemy in my face with RADIO READY fully-original-set BAD-ASSERY was a thrill.

Cure My Enemy performs at Amy's Garage Fest 2018, covered at LibroMusica.com

While frontman Colt Coates acknowledges that the sex appeal and fuller sound of a couple of female backup singers might complete Cure My Enemy, they had me at “Window.” And kept me.

Atlanta Garage Fest 2018 Cure My Enemy Set List

A sign of impending greatness in an emerging band is a cohesive sound among the songs in their bag. This bag has cohesion, swagger, integrity, and all the reason you need to get up, get out, and get down. Yes, I said it — this bag swags. Check out Libro Musica’s video of Cure My Enemy‘s “Unpredictable”, and “The Dark Prince,” and the acoustic solo version of “I Know What You’re Looking For” on Facebook, and you’ll know why I still have goosebumps.

Cure My Enemy “Unpredictable” | Libro Musica Live!

Cure My Enemy | The Band

  • Colt Coates – Lead vocals & Guitar
  • Mason Coates – Guitar
  • Ronnie Collier Jr. – Drums
  • Dwayne Jones – Bass guitar

The Adam Ant-reminiscent style of Cure My Enemy‘s lead isn’t shared band-wide, but the drummer in his black hoodie who seems dressed for a contentment to fade into the background plays like he’s doing anything but. And the pretty, beard-wielding guitar player who maybe rolled from dorm to stage brings it with such ease it’s like he doesn’t know his future self is going to be dressed by major industry stylists. Then there’s the striking bass player who Flea’d his way into my heart instantly, banged the heavenly crap out of that thing over the course of the set, and can wear whatever he wants ’cause we’re just man-crushing on that smile and answering every call of his demanding groove.

It’s true I’m a sucker for a great smile, and when Colt smiles, and when Dwayne smiles (and when Ronnie smiled that one time!), in the middle of all this grinding funkery, it’s Live Music Cloud Nine. I like it, a lot, when I witness musicians truly enjoying the moment. Yeah, the dark moments of dark songs are poignant and great too, but I want to know, or at least be fooled into believing, we’re all here right now in this room doing this music thing together because it feels soooooo good. Sharing is caring, and I gotta thank y’all for sharing your bliss with us.

Colt Coates | The Interview

I got to fan-girl it today, sitting down to talk with Colt to talk about Cure My Enemy. Curious about what’s behind this music that felt personal and soulful while making me bang my head, I grilled Colt about the past, while super excited about their future.

The Name

Colt: I was about fifteen years old when I started playing in this band [Cure My Enemy] with some friends and we actually played metal, metal core, death core, all that scream-o stuff. We broke up and I branched out, played a bunch of other stuff. This band used to be called Sound Wave. Just a year ago, we changed the name to Cure My Enemy. I was like, well I used to be in this band, Cure My Enemy, when I was little. Everybody was like, whoa, let’s call it that! Would the other guys get pissed off, nah, man. Alright, well let’s use that.

I’ve always had a really strong relationship with God, or at least tried to. I’ve always kinda stayed out of churches but I always have believed in Him, and believed in Him working in my life. And believed in trying to glorify Him in every single situation that I possibly could. Cure My Enemy just kind of came from that.

When I think of God and His love for me, and how I should glorify Him in every situation, well, one of the biggest things that we deal with is the people we don’t like. How do you love people? An easy way to love people is to see them in their broken hearts, and to see them in their sorrow. To actually see your enemy in their sadness, in their brokenness, you can fall in love with them, you can heal them, and in every situation put aside your disagreements. So that’s where it comes from.

Background

Colt: I’m from Virginia, lived there all my life. I desperately wanted to get out of the area that I was in. Only a thousand people in the town where I grew up. Had one of the highest opioid addictions. Where my dad built the house where we lived, we were one of the first ones to ever get electricity back there. We were just way way in the back woods, we’d chop down our own trees for firewood, we hunted, did all that junk. So I was like, man, I gotta get outta here, and I quit school when I was thirteen years old, and just went to work with my dad as a steel worker and a blacksmith.

My dad was in a Blues band, and he was a song writer, and a vocalist, and a front man. And my dad was a single parent. He raised me and my brother by himself and played music. And so wherever he would go play, even if we were too young to be there, we would be there. I really have never gotten any formal training. I taught myself to play a bunch of instruments and I just played in as many bands and in as many situations as possible.

I wanted to leave, I wanted to see more, so I applied to Berklee College of Music up in Boston, Massachusetts [for drums and songwriting]. I went up there and I fell in love with it. I was like, this is amazing. It’s the first time I’ve ever been in a big city. But a week before those classes started, I said, aww man, I don’t want to come out of this school with a bunch of debt, and [the lack-of-life-experience culture there felt somewhat like] a meal without salt. So I dropped it, and I threw as much as I could fit in my truck and just came down to Atlanta and slept in my truck.

At that time, my brother had gotten in a band called Poverty Level, that was already based out of Atlanta, Georgia. I moved in with him and eventually started playing bass in that band. I went back up to Virginia for a while [for a few years to work], and just recently came back [to Atlanta]. I definitely came here for the music scene. I definitely knew that I couldn’t have any sort of life that I wanted back where I was living in Virginia.

Right before I left to go back to Virginia, I started Cure My Enemy, me and the base player did, and we kept the band going. We just did long distance, met in the middle, played some gigs, and kept writing music. Yeah, I definitely chose this spot to come back to. I’m gonna stay here for a while and make something happen.

I’ve got a background in metal work, so I’m a skilled laborer. I can pretty much get a job anywhere doing metal work and welding. I’m a welder and fabricator. That’s what I’m doing, and playing on nights and weekends after I get off work.

Heritage & Stage Persona

Colt: Me and my brother are half Native-American. They’re kind of a suppressed people. My mom was part of that suppressed Native-American scene, and she just kind of took off. I did meet her later on and I can definitely tell you that I’m so happy that my dad fought for custody of us.

I grew up in a white culture, but I’ve always really loved the Native-American culture, and the fact that I was half Native-American made me really want to be a part of that. So I guess me putting on some makeup is part of wanting that. Part of the makeup thing came from me having a really hard time being a front man, I’m a Grade-A introvert. I remember we had somebody helping out the band and they were like, Colt, you gotta figure out a way to connect with the audience more. I said, screw it and went all out and got my stage clothes and slapped on the makeup [and the rest is history].

The Writing

Colt: I pretty much am writing all the music. Every now and then Mason and I will co-write, but most everything that you hear, I probably write about 80%. Normally I tell everybody it’s Soul-Rock. Soul music mixed with Rock music — maybe if John Mayer got heavier and funkier.

The songwriting comes from just wanting to write music for broken hearted people. If you were going to talk to that friend [who’s going through a difficult time], you wouldn’t talk to them necessarily about what you want. You would talk to them differently. I yearn to have this connection with you, so I’m going to write in this sort of way [that show’s you] that I really want to relate to you. So that’s where the songwriting comes from, in me at least.

The Band

Colt: I started getting on Craigslist looking for musicians and the surprising thing is, I actually answered an ad looking for a Blues singer and it was the drummer who put out the ad. So I showed up there, Dwayne just happened to be on bass. I heard him playing and I’m like, oh man, I really like that guy, and so we traded numbers.

Time went on and [Dwayne] called me up and said, hey man, we’re doing a little funk cover band, you think you’d wanna sing and play guitar for it? And I’m like, aww man, I’m not a guitar player, I’m mainly a drummer, I’m not really a singer either. But I’m like, sure, I’ll give it a shot.

So we started doing a bunch of cover stuff, and I just started writing some music, and he’s like, you wrote that? Yeah, man, I wrote that. And he’s like, let’s play it! Next thing you know, more originals, more originals, more originals. Then I asked my brother to join, and then Ronnie.

We went through drummer after drummer, and finally we had this lady who was helping out our band when we first got here to Atlanta, and she said, hey, I know this drummer named Ronnie. He was part of this band called Graham’s Number, maybe you all would like to give him a call. We did, and he showed up, and, it worked.

Ronnie was like this hard core dude. He’d done all this time in the military and he was all hardened. And he walked through the door and he had this stern face and no crap attitude and just walked over to the drum set and was like, alright let’s do this. He killed it. We love Ronnie. He looks so hard, but he’s one of the most spiritual, loving, just energetically connected human beings I’ve ever met. He’s a healer. He’s a beautiful human. He’s been through it too, man, his life has been rough.

I love playing drums [but] I’m just leaving that to Ronnie. Ronnie’s definitely a permanent member. Before I got in this band, there was a lot of bands I played in where I played drums and sang at the same time. That’s probably where my full expression is, is on the drum set. That’s where my comfort zone is as well. When I got into Cure My Enemy, when it kind of started turning into more of a thing and started writing a lot more music, I took the initiative to be a front man when we got together to play.

Next Steps

Colt: Ronnie’s getting ready to move in with us, we’re getting ready to settle down [to recording]. We’re going to be holed up in that house recording a bunch. The whole goal of my life in music is just not necessarily riches, not fame, not girls or anything, but just to love people for who they are, whether they’re good or evil or happy or sad. That’s the whole goal. That’s why I write the music and lyrics that I write.

Kari Leigh London: [And I think that’s ultimately why they’ll be successful.]

Cure My Enemy performs at Garage Fest 2018
Cure My Enemy performs at Atlanta Garage Fest 2018

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Cure My Enemy “The Dark Prince” | Libro Musica Live!

Kari Leigh London Written by: