Bethany Curve

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Bethany Curve
Bethany Curve.jpg
Lineup circa 2001-04, L - R: Mac Wha, Millang, Lockhart, Guevara
Background information
Origin Santa Cruz, California, USA
Genres Shoegaze
Alternative rock
Dream pop
Space rock[1]
Years active 1994 — Present
Labels Hypnosigh
Unit Circle
Kitchen Whore
Members Richard Millang (vocals, guitar)
Nathan Guevara (lead guitar)
David Mac Wha (drums)
Past members Ray Lake (guitar, vocals)
Chris Preston (bass)
Daved Lockhart (bass/ cello)

Bethany Curve is a shoegaze and alternative rock band from Santa Cruz, California.


Founding members Richard Millang, Ray Lake, Chris Preston and David Mac Wha formed the band in 1994. Ray Lake and Chris Preston saw a local street sign reading "Bethany Curve" and decided amongst themselves it would make be perfect name for their recently formed band. Millang, the band's frontman, initially hated it as it reminded him of Catherine Wheel but was outvoted and eventually came to admire the name.[2] Adopting the motto "Atmosphere, Arrangement, Sound, Layering and Noise", they set out in 1995 to record a demo tape titled "Mee-eaux", an audio cassette later released through Hypnosigh Records. It was subsequently issued it to the record company Unit Circle Rekkids, who thought it was the best demo tape they'd heard. Bethany Curve became the first artist to officially sign to the company.[3]

Their debut album Skies a Crossed Sky was released in 1996 with positive reviews. Their 1998 follow up album Gold is generally regarded as their best work, becoming the first Unit Circle release to break into the CMJ Top 200.[4] The swirling guitars on the album have been compared to the sound of the Cocteau Twins' Victorialand.[5] Just prior to the release of the album Chris Preston left the band with Ray Lake departing several months later. Disagreements on the direction of the band were cited as reasons for the pair's departure[6] and Nathan Guevara was added to the new line-up as well as classically trained cellist Daved Lockhart.

A final release with Unit Circle Rekkids arrived in 2001 with You Brought Us Here. The band created their own studio so they could be free of the constraints of the rented studio clock.[7] Three years in the making, it is arguably their most complex and polished record to date. After completing their three-record deal with Unit Circle Rekkids, the band inked a new deal with Kitchen Whore Records under which the EP Flaxen was released in 2004.

Musical style[edit]

"The last thing in the world I want is the music to be confrontational, but I have to write so that I am satisfied not to satisfy the majority. One of my favorite things in the world is to hear a song change drastically mid-song either by tempo change or chord progression change. It's incredible thing! And as you often hear, this is one thing we do a lot of".

− Richard Millang commenting on the band's musical style.[6]

The sound of Bethany Curve is composed of multiple layers of guitar to create a swirling wall of sound effect with the vocals floating gently above the surface. Their sound has been compared to that of Radiohead,[8] with the band's deep love for jazz music also shining through, particularly in the drumming. On later works such as You Brought Us Here, a darker side of the band is revealed, somewhat reminiscent of Dead Can Dance.


The band has cited the Pixies along with other 4AD stable icons such as the Cocteau Twins as major influences. The Cure and Depeche Mode have also been credited as inspiration by various members of the band.[6]




Compilation appearances[edit]

Year Album Song contribution Label
1996 Nocturne Concrète "Gold" Unit Circle Rekkids
1998 Splashed With Many a Speck "Serene & Smiling" Dewdrops Records
1999 Pixies Fuckin' Die "Gouge Away" Lifelike Records
2000 Pleasure Vibe 2000 "Fire" Unit Circle Rekkids
2002 Cocteau Twins Tribute "Ivo" (Cocteau Twins cover) Dewdrops Records


  1. ^ "Bethany Curve" at
  2. ^ [1] AOL Hometown Interview
  3. ^ [2] Biography at Unit Circle Records
  4. ^ [3] "Gold" review at Unit Circle]
  5. ^ [4] "Gold" review at Evilsponge
  6. ^ a b c [5] AOL Hometown interview
  7. ^ [6] You Brought Us Here info at Unit Circle
  8. ^ [7] Band info at CD Baby

External links[edit]