It was a half an hour before they were set to take the stage at Boston’s Harper’s Ferry, but the band members of A Cursive Memory weren’t wasting time stressing over their upcoming performance. After all, there were zombies to be killed and no time to waste.
“Since Colin (Vocalist and guitar player Colin Baylen) got the PS3, we have done nothing but play ‘Nazi Zombies’ from ‘Call of Duty: World at War’,” confessed Shaun Profeta, 19, who plays guitar and sings alongside Baylen, who’s also 19. “Like literally. I wake up and I’m thinking about killing zombies. I go to sleep, and I’m thinking about killing zombies. And while I’m sleeping, I’m dreaming about killing zombies. I’m playing a show on stage, and I’m thinking about killing zombies.”
They were required to take a respite from the murder and mayhem Wednesday night as they took the stage in Allston. They tried to make a shout out to the game during their performance, but the audience dominated by girls who looked at Baylen with blank stares as he asked who had ever heard of “Nazi Zombies.”
“We’re the band where (people ask), ‘Hey, do you want to go to this chick’s house,” Baylen said, “and we’ll be like, ‘Umm, yeah, we’re actually going to this different chick’s house.”
“And we’re actually playing ‘Nazi Zombies,” Profeta confessed.
“Bands hate us,” added Mark Borst-Smith, 20, who is the bassist and keyboardist for the group.
Profeta, Baylen, Borst-Smith and drummer Brian Bolen formed A Cursive Memory when they were in seventh grade. Back then their band was called Sincerely Me and not The Vagrants, contrary to information on Wikipedia.
Baylen said the band wrote and recorded most of the songs they perform now when the band first got together six years ago.
“By the time we were seniors we had a record done, and by the time we left high school we had a record contract and we were signed to Vagrant (Records) and on tour the summer after high school,” he said.
Drummer Dillan Wheeler, 20, eventually replaced Bolen. Profeta, played drums in between Bolen’s departure and Wheeler’s arrival.
A Cursive Memory was the first band to be signed by M-Music, the music management provision of Bunim/Murray Productions — the company behind shows like “The Real World” and “The Simple Life.”
The band’s managers incorporate their singles into the various television shows produced by Bunim/Murray and then allow viewers to go to websites like MTV Overdrive to find out what the songs were. Profeta said it was a good opportunity for the band to gain recognition.
“We’ve been their first project,” Profeta said. “They put some of our music at the end of some of the TV shows and it’s like, kids will watch their favorite show and hear a song and [...] if they liked it then they will check [the band] out.”
Profeta is the younger brother of ex-Hellogoodbye drummer Chris Profeta. He said Chris’ experience with Hellogoodbye allowed A Cursive Memory to understand what type of people they should and should not gravitate towards.
A Cursive Memory’s first tour was opening for bands like Hellogoodbye, Boys Like Girls and The Rocket Summer in 2007.
“For a first tour for such a young band, that was something cool that my brother and his band helped us actually get and do and that was really cool,” said Profeta.
A Cursive Memory’s performance on Feb. 18 was their third time returning to Boston. They said though they weren’t fans of Boston sports, they enjoyed their time in Boston Wednesday. It was an abnormally warm day for this cold Boston winter, so it was almost as though the Los Angeles-based band brought a bit of California to the east coast with them.
“Respek,” A Cursive Memory’s first EP, was released in 2007. The album derives its title from an episode of “Da Ali G Show” that the band quotes as an inside joke.
Baylen said the idea for the title came when the band was trying to come up with a name for the album, and someone said, “Respek! What should we call it?” The name stuck after that.
“You’re the first person that’s ever asked or ever brought up the (reference), so that’s kind of cool,” said Profeta of the album. “Not a lot of people know that EP, either.”
Their full-length album, “Changes,” was released almost a year ago on Feb. 19, 2008.
The band said they have big plans ready following the conclusion of the tour.
“I think once we wrap up this tour, we’re going to build a spaceship,” Baylen said.
“There’s a really great recording studio on the moon,” said Profeta.
“Yeah, drums sound amazing there,” agreed Wheeler.
All joking aside, Baylen said they would definitely begin working on a new album when they conclude the tour.
“I feel like we’re all so much more focused,” said Profeta. “Before we didn’t really know what we were, what A Cursive Memory was. We’ve found sort of our niche and our sound for the next record. We’re definitely excited.”
As for the influence of the song, some of their enthusiastic gaming might find a way to leak itself onto the new record.
“(A song) about a Nazi zombie?” asked Profeta. “I’m pretty sure there’s already three of them written. There’s nothing subtle about it.”