make kick ass Coldwave/ Industrial metal. I recently spoke to the band's vocalist/ programmer Sean. Heres what was said.
First of all, Give us some back history on Cyanotic. Has the lineup stayed the same? Were any of the members in any bands prior to Cyanotic?
I started messing around with keyboards and programming in late '99, recording it into a 2 track recordinger, experimenting with audio, like sampling direct into a television with a microphone running through a guitar pedal, really primitive stuff. Late 2000 or early 2001, thats when I really began to learn about song structure, building verses and choruses and all that, thanks to my experiences doing some really old demos with my buddies from the band PTI.
It wasn't till around late 2002 that I really began writing anything solid, around the same time I became a non-solo musician, with Drew coming in the picture. We made some demos together over the course of a couple months, recorded guitars and vocals in a friend's living room, mixed some with Eric from PTI and Chris from Iammynewt. Around the time we were putting together the demos for the "Mutual Bonding" E.P. was also the time we got the chance to go out on tour with Defragmentation from Invisible Records, who was this really noisy drum ''n' bass / IDM project we had been enjoying for awhile.
The lineup is constantly changing. I joke that we have probably used anybody in our circle of friends who has the slightest form of musical talent (and sometimes we don't even require that much), but in the studio, its always been me and Drew. We added Brian to the studio fold last year, but "Transhuman" was pretty much done by the time he came along, so he just added some bass and some help with lining up the sequencing. He's going to have a much larger role in the next album, and so will Eric from PTI.
you guys are working on a new cd. is the material on this disc so far similiar to the tracks on transhuman, or should we be expecting something totally different?
This new album is actually a companion CD to "Transhuman", with some remixes, outtakes and an E.P. worth of new songs, so its definitely still in a similar vein. It will always be in a similar vein. I mean, we aren't going to turn into some metal band with a sampler like you saw alot of bands doing after the mid 90s. We are a heavy electronic band first and foremoest, and we don't have any interest in becoming something different. The new sounds are alot bigger thanks to all the production techniques we adopted from doing "Transhuman" with Jason Novak ( of Acumen Nation / DJ? Acucrack). Its alot bigger, alot angrier. We aren't planning to mellow out anytime soon.
You guys recently toured with Dismantled. How did that go? Any memorable experiences you’d like to share? Did the crowds dig you? Also, tell us a bit about the new tour you have lined up soon. This is gunna be with Acumen Nation, right?
The tour with Dismantled was a fucking blast. Two weeks of non-sobriety and some mighty fond memories. Having a prostitute trying to sell herself to a hotel room full of wasted youth (namely us and the fans we were partying with) at 4 a.m. in New Jersey was definitely a fucking riot. New Jersey as a whole was like, the pinnacle of fun. That place gets a bad rap. We had more fun in Jersey than pretty much anywhere, besides Lancaster, PA, the few days we spent at the alt kid commune.
The winter mini tour is happening December 15th-18th. Its Cyanotic with Acumen Nation, DJ? Acucrack and Stromkern. Thats my all time favorite lineup that we have yet to be a part of, no question. Great bands with great people as members. I just wish it were longer. I could have a blast with that cast of characters for at least another month straight.
Speaking of touring, does your live sound differ a lot from the records? If yes, how so?
Its louder, heavier and thicker. Not heavier in the sense that we crank the guitars and pretend that we are a metal band with some backing loops. I really hate it when bands do that. We just go up there and make sure all the audio is screaming, loops loud, live drums pounding, keyboards buzzing, guitars chugging, etc. We stumble on that stage, have ourselves a blast and hopefully walk away from the whole thing with some heads bobbing in the audience.
Describe your songwriting process.
It always starts with a strong rhythm, usually some programmed beats, sometimes a synth riff. I put together the basic construct, then Drew comes in and figures out what the guitars will be doing, adds some synth, fucks with the drums. Brian basically does the same thing as Drew, though he's usually more of a prominent help with production tweaks, effecting loops and making some ace synthlines.
Tell us a bit about Glitch Mode Recordings. Are you going to be releasing any new bands soon, or is the label only for Cyanotic releases?
Glitch Mode is our little imprint that we started when we released our demo E.P., "Mutual Bonding Through Violation" (which is now out of print). It was originally just a way for us to self-release our own music, but then we started getting interest from all these great unsigned acts who were wanting to release CDs through us or include tracks on the (two) compilations we just put out back in October. There are some definite plans to help a couple bands with releases in the near future, its just a question of how soon and who gets first dibs right now.
How important is stage presence in live shows? Does it matter at all, or is the music the only important thing?
Not enough of the smaller bands seem to embrace stage presence, especially in the electronic / industrial scenes. You can't just go on stage and hide behind some lights and a screen projecting images from World War II anymore. I see a good number of bands hiding behind gimmicks in favor of bringing a real energy to the proceedings. I think energy far surpasses the need for gimmickry. Thats not to say we don't want to get onstage with a bunch of awesome lights and a projector slide show (we really do), we just plan on dedicating ourselves to putting forth some energy, like alot of the old school bands that got it right.
How do you feel about the Industrial/ Cold Wave “scene”?
In my eyes, its pretty stagnant. There's a great deal of clones and a general sense of "safe" music making thats really dragging this "scene" down. To me, this type of music was always about experimenting, mixing styles, having some fun. So much of what I hear today from the industrial scene is really formulaic and trite dance music, like Euro house with "scary" German vocals or whatever. That kind of style just bores me to tears. Still though, if thats somebody's interest, far be it for me to make 'em feel like a schmuck for enjoying it. Its just not my cup o' tea. There's some really interesting sounds I hear from certain rhtymic noise artists like Izsoloscope, Tarmvred, Antigen Shift, etc. Its a shame to say, but I really think fans of electronic music in general are beginning to ruin any sense of unity by segregating so much, having to lump artists into sub-genres of sub-genres and all. I remember, and honestly, it can't be very long ago, since I am only 22, when this type of music was just known as "industrial" or "heavy electronic". You didn't have all these dumb names like cyber tech digi slaughter or whatever. Thats when "the scene" was really growing, like big time, pseudo-mainstream, in the mid 90s. I wish we could get back to that mindset and just enjoy music for what it is, whether its "post-cold ubercore" or "Euro death demon beat".
Cyanotic has done a lot of remixing for some pretty big bands. How important do you think remixing is to electronic music? Do you think it’s a vital part of being in the genre, or can a band make it without it?
Its an awesome promotional tool, a great way to get your name out to potential new fans, raise general awareness. I think a band could make it without remixing. We honestly haven't done that many remixes, maybe 4 in total. We have a couple more in the works, but we don't plan on becoming remix whores or anything. Its a pretty difficult process for us, fusing our style with another artist's work, without us feeling like we either totally raped the source material or didn't do enough to make our version sound different from the original. Its a constant flux for us.
Last question. Where you you see the project in 5 years? Where do you want to be? What would you like to accomplish that you haven’t already?
I hope to accomplish WAY more touring, more collaborations with other artists, more liscensing deals for TV, movies and video games. Thats just the immediate future though, like the next six months or so. I haven't really thought too far into the future. I just hope we have a long shelf life and get heard by the people who enjoy this kind of sound, hanging out with new fans, do some overseas shows and all that.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Just a thanks to all the people who have been supportive of the Glitch Mode squad since the beginning. All the fans, forumites, Cracknation, PTI, DJs, magazines and radio stations. Thanks alot for the help in getting us heard.
For more info on Cyanotic, visit http://www.cyanotic-online.com