School of Seven Bells co-founder Curtis dies at 35

By The Associated Press Published: January 1, 2014

Benjamin Curtis, of Lawton, spent years on the adventurous edge of modern rock music, playing in several bands that were internationally acclaimed, including Tripping Daisy, Secret Machines and School of Seven Bells. Curtis died Sunday after nearly a one-year battle with T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma. He was 35.

Brady Brock with New York-based GoldVE Entertainment, which co-manages the band, said Curtis died at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Curtis, a talented multi-instrumentalist, reinvented and evolved his sound several times. The Curtis family was a hub of Oklahoma-Texas alt-rock over the course of two decades. His cousin, Josh Garza, was in the early 1990s Norman band Syringe with Flaming Lips visual artist/Delo Creative mastermind George Salisbury. Curtis and his brother, Brandon Curtis, formed UFOFU in Dallas around the same time, and then parted ways musically in the late 1990s when Benjamin Curtis became the drummer for Tripping Daisy and Brandon Curtis and Garza formed Captain Audio.

Two years later, the Curtis brothers reunited and formed Secret Machines with Garza, quickly becoming one of the foremost psychedelic rock bands of the 2000s. After releasing an EP in 2002, Secret Machines signed with Warner Bros. and released their debut full-length album “Now Here is Nowhere” in 2004.

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