In late 2015, four friends from Dallas embarked on a Doomsday road trip to Colorado that would change their lives forever. Obviously, the apocalypse never came. However, somewhere in between Amarillo and Colorado Springs, inspiration took the place of paranoia and Dallas’ ‘Best Group Act’ of 2017 was born.
Cure For Paranoia have become the new face of Deep Ellum and are taking the storied Dallas neighborhood worldwide with their ‘psychedelic, soul-saturated hip-hop.’ The Doomsday prepping quartet consists of lyricists and frontman Cameron McCloud, with Stanley Francisko providing vocals and Tomahawk Jonez and JayAnalog building the production. The band dropped Side A, the first half of their two-part, self-titled album the exact moment they stepped on stage last Thursday at The Parish during the Traffic Music SXSW Showcase. Side B will be released during the band’s performance at the Bomb Factory on May 12th.
For McCloud, who was recently diagnosed with bipolar paranoid schizophrenia, Cure For Paranoia is more than a name. Creating music with Francisko, Jonez and JayAnalog provides him clarity and he lays it all out on Side A as he boldly details his personal struggles and self-acceptance. “In the end, it only took me 100 attempts of being somebody else for me to realize I am the person that I’ve been so desperately trying to be this whole time,” he declares during ‘Just Like You’. “And that’s the Cure For Paranoia.” But when it all boils down, “they’re just four friends making music together on the eve of the apocalypse.”
We got our prescription filled with Cure For Paranoia after their SXSW showcase at The Parish. Read the doctor’s notes below and pick up Side A at your nearest digital pharmacy.
How has Cure For Paranoia’s SXSW 2018 been so far?
CM: Man, it’s been awesome, bro. Honestly, yesterday, low-key felt like the best show I’ve played personally. The energy out here is crazy. It could be because I knew we were about to catch some other shows too and also because our album released with us being out here.
TJ: Honestly, it’s been a real good reset. Luckily, we’re not playing as much. So, we’re not just constantly in the cycle of things…the whole mundane shit doing the same thing over and over again. We’re used to playing five shows a week and we took a break these last couple of months to finish up this album. So, we’ve gotten some time to build up all of that energy and then put it into a single show instead of week after week. Having that gap between shows allowed us to bring a totally different energy to the table.
What has been the best part of SXSW for Cure For Paranoia?
TJ: My favorite thing about SX is all the contacts and everybody you meet throughout the year from all over the world…they all meet up right fucking here. This is the time that you get that face-to-face interaction with them.
How are you feeling about the new EP and why did you choose to release it during your SXSW set time last night?
CM: We’re feeling like it’s been about time! We didn’t have any projects release for two years. So, there hasn’t really been anything for people to go back to after we do a show. We’d always have to tell them something like, “Hey, hit us up on email,” or “Go get a pill with the album on it.” But, other than that, there’s nothing they can go back to after they leave a show and attach to. People had to follow us from word of mouth and believe in our story. I’m just glad to finally have that now. It’s been a long time coming. This is the shit we’ve been waiting to take for two years.
TJ: It was time for the album to come out too….at least the first half of it. The whole thing has been done since last year and we’ve been kind of sitting on it. We wanted to take a couple of opportunities to help propel it. But, at this point, we’re almost done with the second album and we knew we had to do this shit now. We were just like, “Fuck strategy!” We’ll let it work itself out.
CM: And saying “fuck strategy” has turned out to be the best fucking strategy. It’s literally on some chess shit. Now, we’re three steps ahead. All we’re doing now is waiting on some horns for the second album and we’ll be done with that. We’ve had the first album done for a while and now we’re damn near halfway into the third album.
Side A covers some very personal issues. Was it difficult detailing those issues in your music or did you find it cathartic?
CM: I’m paranoid that everybody can tell anyways. You know what I’m saying? I thought I might as well beat em’ to the punch. That’s why in ‘Just Like You‘ I say, “I’m paranoid that you niggas could tell / That’s why I decided to tell you myself.” It’s definitely a huge release…especially when you go back to the last question about how it feels to have the album out. It’s like the same kind of release you get from performing. I mention in our sets all the time, ‘This is why it’s called Cure For Paranoia.” That release is now cemented in something that’s online for everybody to go back and listen to whenever the fuck they want. So, now my truth is constantly out there.
Do you have plans to tour in support of the EP?
TJ: Honestly, we’re just focused on the second album right now and when that’s wrapped-up we’ll make some plans. We recorded the entire album for vinyl. So, as far as digitally goes, we wanted to release one half now and the other half at a show we’re playing in May with Nas and the string section from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and then we’ll have a vinyl release. After the vinyl release we’ll start making plans. The EP almost seems like promotion for the full album.
Is there a certain message you hope fans will find in this album?
It’s okay to be you. But, it’s also okay to not be okay with who you are. You can do whatever you want to do. When you stop looking and just feel for it, it eventually shows up. So just be kind to yourself.
Cure For Paranoia can been seen next at Fortress Fest on April 28th and at the Bomb Factory on May 12th when Side B will also be made available.
Photos by: Demetrius Judkins @wolfspiritofthesun