Cabinets of Curiosity is:
James Naprawa, Lead Guitar
Jared Hirst, Bass
Bran Blackmire, Guitar
Justin Jones, Keyboards
Kristina Bacich, Flute
Anthony Warga, Saxophone
Nat Hornyak, Vocals
Fragile-era Yes meets Kamelot. Frank Zappa meets Fiona Apple. It’s hard to summarize the diverse array of sounds Cabinets of Curiosity puts down, but guitarist and songwriter James Naprawa definitely has his own ideas.
“There are so many talented prog metal bands out there, but we really wanted to touch on what made the classic era of prog so magical,” says Naprawa. “Sometimes that means getting super technical and torturing my bandmates with insane time signatures, but one thing I love about bands like Yes, Rush, and Genesis, is that it’s always musical. It’s always hummable. That’s what we want to bring to the table, but with a fresh, 21st century twist.”
What would become Cabinets of Curiosity formed over the course of several months in 2015. Long-time friends and bandmates James Naprawa (guitar) and Jared Hirst (bass) decided they wanted to turn their attentions from metal to a more classic progressive rock sound, a la Yes, King Crimson, and Jethro Tull, whom they recently had gotten into in a big way.
Gradually, the lineup grew to include Anthony Warga on saxophone, Kristina Bacich on flute, Nat Hornyak on vocals, Justin Jones on keyboards, and Bran Blackmire — another long-time friend of James’ and Jared’s — on guitar.
“It had been months since Chris Squire [arguably the mastermind behind Yes] had passed, and I felt this near existential urge to pick up the baton, so to speak,” says Hornyak. “Imagine my shock when I found a bunch of ungodly talented 21-year-olds making legit 1972-era sounds — but with their own fresh, creative spin — in a basement in the backwoods of southern New Jersey. I think I believe in fate now. Or at least the transcendental power of Craigslist.”
In May of 2016, Cabinets of Curiosity released their first EP, EPonymous. A milestone for the band, the EP contained four diverse tracks that served as a wide sampling of what was to come.
Critics praised the band’s sound, calling it mysterious, technical, and unyielding.
Two years later, and Cabinets of Curiosity have put together their first full-length album, The Chaos Game. Based on an in-progress novel by vocalist Nat Hornyak, The Chaos Game is a concept album that follows the trials of a young paralegal as she’s faced with the tall task of destroying, recreating, and preventing universe from ceasing to exist — and she can’t complete her mission until she blows up a mountain.
“The Chaos Game is something that we’ve all been working on since before we even released Eponymous,” says Naprawa. “It contains bits of all of us. We’ve put everything we have into this album — and we’re thrilled that we finally get to share it with the world.