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Five Fast Facts: Thirsty Curses "I Never Learn"

Updated: Jan 22

Based in Raleigh, NC, Thirsty Curses emerges as a compelling rock 'n roll ensemble, spearheaded by the enduring partnership of frontman Wilson Getchell and bassist Clayton Herring, complemented by the recent addition of drummer Jeremiah Rhodes. Since their inception in 2017, the band has skillfully navigated through grunge, alt-country, punk, garage rock, classic rock, and power pop influences, infusing their music with a unique blend of impassioned yet sardonic lyrics. With a discography encompassing four albums and recent standout singles like "Punk Rock Ruined My Life," Thirsty Curses' musical journey traces back to their Richmond, VA roots, where they first collaborated in their teenage punk days with Spoiled Pemmican. Now, reunited in Raleigh, the trio continues to push boundaries, with Clayton Herring taking charge of music videos, and the band collectively working on their fifth studio album. Stef sat down with Wilson to talk about the band and their latest release, "I Never Learn."

Thirsty Curses Photo credit: Teresa Tomas

Photo Credit: Teresa Tomas

1. SJ: Hey guys! Excited to talk about one of your latest tracks! Thirsty Curses have been together since 2017 but has gone through many personnel changes. Can you start by giving us some background on Thirsty Curses? How was the band formed, who is in the current line-up, and how did you come up with the band name?

TC:  We came up with the band name Thirsty Curses while on the way to play a show in Washington, DC in early 2017.  We’d been bouncing between different monikers and wanted to settle on something.  We wanted a name that encapsulated the themes of the songs, a lot of which deal with existential issues, substance abuse, and romantic turmoil, albeit with a tongue-in-cheek, happy-go-lucky vibe.  

Thirsty Curses refers to lusting after things and pursuing self-destructive things, which I think also sums up a lot of the human condition, but maybe I’m a cynic.  

Anyway, as far as personnel, there’s definitely been some turnover in the group over the years. We’ve had more drummers than Spinal Tap.  So, I hope you’re comfortable…I, Wilson Getchell, moved to Raleigh in 2015 after having bounced around the country for several years.  I had built up a backlog of songs over that time and wanted to form a band to flesh those out.  Most of those songs ended up comprising our first two albums.  

I was playing a bunch of solo shows in 2015-16 and eventually met a drummer named Tradd Yancey.  We later linked up and started rehearsing together.  Tradd brought on his buddy Keebler to play the bass and I later met Kelley Otwell who joined us on lead guitar.  We did some regional touring and recorded our first two albums Holy Moly and All Shook Up in 2017-18.  Tradd and Keebler left the band in 2018 and were replaced by Phil Harrington, drums, and my longtime friend and collaborator Clayton Herring, bass, who had already come along on some earlier Thirsty Curses tour runs.  

In 2019 we signed with Spectra Music Group and released our self-titled album in November 2019.  We were in the midst of touring and promoting that album when COVID hit in March 2020.  Kelley ended up leaving the band during the pandemic to pursue other interests and was later replaced by Alex Weir.  We also parted ways with Phil around then and brought in Evan Miller on drums.  

Over the course of 2021, we recorded our fourth album To The Ends of the Earth, which was released in March 2022.  Evan Miller ended up moving out to Asheville later that year and was ultimately replaced by Jeremiah Rhodes on the drums.  Alex also left in 2022, and we have since been carrying on as a three-piece, with occasional guest appearances for live shows from various lead guitarists.

Currently, the lineup is:

Wilson Getchell: Guitar, Piano, Vocals

Clayton Herring: Bass Guitar 

Jeremiah Rhodes: Drums 

2. SJ: How would you describe your musical style and genre, and how do you feel your sound has evolved since the inception of the band, if at all?

TC: We’re sort of all over the place genre-wise, but it pretty much all falls under the broad banner of rock ‘n roll.  We dabble in grunge/alternative, punk, alt-country/Americana, 60s-era rock, and pop.  Incidentally, the lead single from our last album was a mashup of the softest and heaviest songs, “One of These Days” and “Nothing Really Matters”. I’d point people to that to get a sense of our range.  We’ve drawn comparisons to The Replacements, Deer Tick, Kings of Leon, and Against Me! among others.  We’ve also been told that we have a sound that is distinctly our own, which is always nice to hear.   


On our first two albums, Holy Moly & All Shook Up, our sound was a bit more raw.  I think we grew a lot during the third and fourth records, Thirsty Curses & To The Ends of the Earth.  We like all our albums, of course, but those last two feel more complete and sophisticated…to me at least.  They also have a broader range of sounds and influences.  I think they are also a bit more accessible.  

Thirsty Curses "I Never Learn"

3. SJ: You released your latest single, “I Never Learn,” this summer in June 2023. Could you tell us a little bit about the background of this song; the story, and the influences behind it?

TC: I wrote "I Never Learn" in December 2022 while I was briefly involved with a polyamorous gal.

There was a lot of chemistry between us and I was personally head over heels for her, but ultimately I couldn't handle that type of relationship arrangement. "I Never Learn" sprung out of my frustrations surrounding that situation.

For whatever reason, I felt compelled to get that song recorded as soon as possible. Thirsty Curses was between drummers at the time, but I had played drums in numerous bands back in the day so I ended up recording the drums for the song. We also got our old guitarist Kelley Otwell to make a guest appearance on the song.

“I Never Learn” was one of those songs that just kind of fell out of my brain. It was a very cathartic process. I wasn’t necessarily trying to channel any other influences, but rather just trying to convey how I felt about that romantic situation, both lyrically and musically. There’s a disorienting breakdown in the middle of the song which was my attempt to express the disorientation I felt with the entire situation with that girl.

We recorded the base tracks in January 2023. I think Kelley contributed his overdubs in March.

4. SJ: What is your writing process like? Collaborative, or more individual? Was that process the same for “I Never Learn”? What does your recording process look like?

TC: The writing process is largely individual. I pretty much write the songs or at least put together the basics, and then the band will flesh them out. One exception is “Dimlit Cathedral” off of our second album. Kelley wrote the main riff to that song, and I added in lyrics and some changes. Sometimes the songs won’t change much and sometimes they’ll change substantially once the band workshops them.

Thirsty Curses' latest music video, "Jenny"

5. SJ: What’s one song you wish Thirsty Curses wrote?

TC: “Call Me Sometime” by Becky Warren.  It just feels like it should be a Thirsty Curses song.  I’d like for us to cover it at some point.  

SJ: So What’s Next for Thirsty Curses?!

TC: We are slowly but surely putting together a new album.  We’ve been working on the material for a couple of months.  It’s been a somewhat hectic year for all of us in our personal lives, but hopefully, we’ll be able to get that album done soon.  At the end of this month, we’re actually doing a band retreat to devote a few days to ironing things out for the new album.  I’ve also got a solo record, Banned from Barflys, dropping sometime this spring.  It’s got more of a folk-punk vibe. Anyway, Thirsty Curses is currently taking a break from live shows to focus on the new record, but hopefully, we’ll be back up and performing by the summer.  

We’re extremely excited about this batch of songs.  I feel certain it’s going to be our best album yet.  Stay tuned!


Listen to "I Never Learn" below!


Guitar, Vocals, Drums: Wilson Getchell

Bass Guitar: Clayton Herring

Lead Guitar: Kelley Otwell

Mixed, Mastered: Benjamin Jenkerson  


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