For Marcos Curiel, there is life after Death.
After an ugly split with former band P.O.D. (Payable on Death), the guitarist is focusing his energies on the Accident Experiment, a musically adventurous group that sounds like an unlikely hybrid of Tool, Rush, Pink Floyd, Disturbed and Queensrÿche.
Curiel has been playing with the Accident Experiment since October 2002, but the former side project became his full-time gig in February when he left his former bandmates, who he said would not allow him to pursue a side project while he was still in P.O.D (see "P.O.D. Split With Guitarist Marcos Curiel").
Joining Curiel in the Accident Experiment are vocalist Pete Stewart (ex-Grammatrain), bassist Tony Delocht and drummer Ernie Longoria (both ex-Sprung Monkey). The band's six-song debut EP, Arena, will be available in August through the band's Web site, www.theaccidentexperiment.net. The disc will feature the tracks "Scream to Breathe," "Seeds of Black," "Songs for You," "Nevermore," and "Million Dollar Hell." The latter addresses the three musicians Curiel once considered his best friends.
"It's about getting paid to be a fake," he said. "Once people hear it, they'll be like, 'Whoaaa.' With P.O.D. things were supposedly handled in the name of God, but they were actually handled in the name of greed."
The Accident Experiment aren't a religious rock band like P.O.D., but that doesn't mean Curiel isn't still motivated by spirituality. The group's name even comes from a vision that popped into his head as if beamed from above.
"I suddenly started thinking about the force inside an accident," he said. "The force of what happens when you fall to the ground or get into a car crash is really strong and it's something that no one can control. It's not really an accident that we got together, but there's a strong force there, and it's kind of an accident that I'm not with P.O.D. anymore."
The Accident Experiment are more eclectic and musically adventurous than P.O.D. In addition to rib-sticking riffs and head-bobbing choruses, the band's songs are filled with abrupt rhythm changes, meandering midsections and busy guitar work.
"We just feel like music nowadays is lacking substance," Curiel said. "It's just really straightforward and to the point. Musicians don't have to play their instruments because they have ProTools and samplers. We like to take it old-school, kind of like Led Zeppelin did. The great bands used to jam and it was cool. But we're not just a jam band, either. It's basically just good, old-fashioned rock and roll, man."