Cypher 16 offer there own form of metal with a electronic and industrial twist. After recent performances with bands such as Mudvayne, Chris Storey was able to catch up with the guys and have a chat about current goings on in the Cypher 16 camp and any future plans that are in the pipeline. Here is what they had to say…
First formed in 2005, would you believe. So we thought we should touch on a few of Cypher 16’s notable past ‘moments’ before we talk shop.
Our story begins in 2009 the band filmed their debut music video for the lead track off their 2008 EP ‘Symphony To End It All (III)’ in the incredible Gloucester Cathedral (the location for scenes from the Harry Potter films). Still just in their teens, the band then went out on their first tour of America, playing with metal heavy-weights, Mudvayne as well as In This Moment, Head P.E. and Nonpoint. The tour was a great success and the band have had numerous invites to return from fans and industry alike.
In the autumn of 2009, Cypher16 became one of the first British metal bands to tour in India, playing shows in Goa, Bangalore, Mumbai and Pune. 2010 saw the release of ‘The Man Of The Black Abyss’ mini-album, as well as tours around the UK, America, India and Europe, video shoots, and much more. Cypher16 are currently in the studio working with Dan Weller (Sikth/Enter Shikari/Gallows) with new material to be released soon.
Most recently Cypher16 played a sold-out show supporting Swedish metal veterans Dark Tranquillity, before heading out to India, where they played at The Great Indian October Festival, with Lacuna Coil. Time to talk of 2011 and the future…
Hi guys, I’ve just listened to your most recent EP ‘The Metaphorical Apocalypse’ and I have to say it’s a keeper. Are you guys happy with the finished product?
“Yes, we are happy with it – for us it was a massive step both musically and in terms of the production. We were lucky enough to have Dan Weller (Sikth/Enter Shikari) handling duties behind the desk, and it was the first time that we’ve been able to really capture the balance between the very heavy low frequencies that we have in our music (we tune to Drop-A), whilst also allowing the melodic elements to come across clearly. We feel that we’re almost there with the sound that we’ve been for, so on the next record we’re looking forward to really nailing it.”
Your genre of metal is very out there, as if you have torn up the rule-book and rewritten your own. Is there anything musically you come up with that you think can’t be used for Cypher 16 as its too out there?
“To be honest we wouldn’t say that we’re a super-progressive band. We definitely sound a bit different, and when comparing us to other bands I do think that we have a unique thing going on, but it’s a subtle difference and we’re not even sure ourselves what that is yet!
With regard to writing, I’m always coming up with ideas that I think are great, but that I know wouldn’t fit into what we’re doing at the moment (they get shelved for the side-projects!). We always try to serve the song, which means that the occasional rambling idea might sound fantastic on it’s own, but would be hard to fit into a cohesive structure of a track. It also keeps us grounded as musicians – if something works for the good of the song then great – it’s not about showing off any particular band member.”
“Ha personally I’m a big Metallica fan, and I’m very fortunate to have fulfilled a dream of watching them onstage, at The Big Four show in the UK this year. I think that we are just a bit young and I think we’ll miss out on the opportunity to tour with them, but I hope to have a jam with some of the guys one day.”
The band have just come off shows with Mudvayne and Lacuna Coil. What was that like?
“The Mudvayne show was an amazing experience, firstly because it was the first really big band that we have played with, and also because we were out on our first tour in America at the time. It was a great learning curve just watching the band and crew at work, and then later when they were playing, to know that we had been on the same stage as them a few hours before. It was a massive sense of achievement as a 19-year old!
The festival we did with Lacuna Coil was another big one – we headlined the second stage at a festival out in India, and the reaction we received as a band at the show really kick-started things out in India for us. We actually spent a bit of time hanging out with the LC guys as well as we were in the same hotel with them, and they were very humble and down to earth – again, it was fascinating learning how they operate as a band and I personally learnt a lot from them.”
Obviously playing with bands of that calibre is a great form of exposure for a band Do you feel that there is more of a buzz around Cypher 16 since these shows took place?
“Those shows were certainly great for the band’s CV, as you do get more people showing interest in you after they read a few familiar band’s names that are connected to you. To be honest though, we take the view that you can have toured with lots of bands, but its what you do out on your own that is really important. That’s why we’ve always gone all-out with our music video concepts for example (Battersea Power Station being the most recent), as it gives you an edge and is something really interesting for people to talk about.”
“What band would you most like to tour with?
“Ha, personally I’m a big Metallica fan, and I’m very fortunate to have fulfilled a dream of watching them onstage, at The Big Four show in the UK this year. I think that we are just a bit young and I think we’ll miss out on the opportunity to tour with them, but I hope to have a jam with some of the guys one day.”
Are there any plans for a UK tour in the near future?
“Yes, we’re hoping to be out on the road around the UK in February 2012. We have a few shows coming up before the end of the year, including a big London date, so in the mean time check those out!”
What can our readers at with guitars expect from a Cypher 16 show?
“We’re pretty energetic live – we like to move, and to really perform for the crowd – the music is a major part of the performance of course but some bands forget that it is a ‘show’, so you have to try and engage the audience if you can. For us it often means that myself or Carl (bass player) actually end up in, on or surrounded by the crowd, and due to the joys of wireless technology it means we can take our instruments with us!”
With this new EP and constant big shows coming your way is there going to be an opportunity for you to get back into the studio any time soon?
“We are only doing a few more shows before the end of the year primarily so that we can really get down to writing material for the next record during November/December. If that goes well I would like to try and get into the studio in January/February before we head out on the road, but even as I write this it seems like time is getting short! We’ll see what we can manage, as we’re still very busy getting people to hear ‘The Metaphorical Apocalypse’ and we would hate to rush out another effort before we feel it’s due!”
What can fans expect from new material?
“We’re really happy with how tracks like ‘The Metaphorical Apocalypse’ and ‘Lonely Road’ turned out so at the moment we’re looking to try and continue in that direction. We’re in the business of making epic music that is both heavy and melodic, and consequently accessible to more people. We’re the sort of band who want to eventually be able to play stadiums, and at the moment we’re developing a sound that we think would work well in bigger venues. We’ll see where the ideas that we’re playing around with at the moment take us, but that should give you some idea!”
Are you so metal that you rust when you take a show(er)?
“I wouldn’t say that! I don’t think I’m metal at all actually – I just like the music, ha ha!”