Interview with British Metal Band “Cypher16” exclusively on Calling All Gigs

Cypher16 are a young, talented new organic rock band, who fuse electronic and metal influences with hints of industrial to create their own unique musical mix. Cypher16 from London is heading their third tour of India in this September, 2011.

Yesterday we had a chat session with Jack (Jack Doolan) lead vocalist , Guitars and Synths of Cypher16

and here it is…

CAG: How do you feel about this coming tour to India?

Jack: We’re very excited to be coming out to tour in India again, and pleased that it is actually happening! There have been a lot of delays due to the Cricket World Cup and Indian premier League, but now that’s finished we can finally make it over to provide some light warm up entertainment before the main act arrive in October!

CAG: Tell us some memorable experience of your last tour here

Jack: Last year we were invited out to headline one of the stages at The Great Indian October Festival in Bangalore. In the Indian style to which we are slowly becoming accustomed, we didn’t actually get confirmed on the bill until less than a week before the show, something which is practically unheard of in the UK, and we were very worried that we would play to an empty venue. However when we played it was totally packed out, and the response we got from the crowd was incredible. I think a shared experience that both us and our fans will remember was the Wall of Death – clearing the floor from the front to the back, and then thousands of people destroying the place was an amazing sight from up on the stage – have a look online for the footage!

CAG: Metal in India – tell us something about it

Jack: It’s still a largely unknown phenomenon in the West, although thanks to some of the bigger Indian bands and International acts who are beginning to see the potential of the market, it is gradually becoming more prominent. If Indians can keep improving their organisational skills then in a very short period of time the metal scene could really come to be recognized across the world as a major force, because as we know there is some serious talent in the country and some great fucking music being made! Obviously you have the biggest metal band ever (Metallica) about to visit for the first time, which will be a great experience for all Indian metal fans and will hopefully inspire a new generation of music lovers who will help take the genre forward.

CAG: How was the response on the last tour?

Jack: We were only actually in India for the weekend on the last trip – primarily to play The Octoberfest with one other warm-up show, but the response then and since has been amazing – we have been doing our best to keep up with fans via the internet and hopefully not too many of them have forgotten us!

CAG: Are you going to do anything new in this India tour?

Jack: We released ‘The Metaphorical Apocalypse’ EP back in May, which obviously hasn’t been heard live in India yet, so the set will heavily feature tracks from that record as well as some fan favourites from ‘The Man of The Black Abyss’ record. We will also be visiting some new parts of India that we haven’t been too before – Chennai and Delhi need to show us what they are made of!

CAG: What genre of music do you consider your work to be?

Jack: To be honest, we don’t really see where we fit in the ‘genre’ categorization system. Obviously what we do has a lot of different aspects – having very low bass tunings but with a lot of melody/synths/electronic instrumentation, and of course clean vocals tends to set us apart from a lot of other bands. We’re not claiming to be radically different, but mixing all of these things together is a little unusual, and that makes it a lot harder to put what we do into one particular genre. We usually just tell people that they’ll have to listen to the music and then decide themselves where we belong!

CAG: Who are your major influences?

Jack: We take inspiration from all sorts of things, as we all play lots of different types of music apart from metal. Personally in the world of heavy music I’m a big fan of Metallica/Nine Inch Nails/Meshuggah/Lamb of God/Mastodon and Gojira.

CAG: How long have you known each other?

Jack: Me, Chris and Carl all met at a London music school in 2009, with Stu coming on board in 2010

CAG: When did the band form? What inspired you to play together?

Jack: The original blue-print of the band was formed way back in 2005 or so when I was still at school. However Cypher16 as we all now know it wasn’t really put together until abound 2008.

CAG: How has the music evolved?

Jack: Going into the studio this year with Dan Weller (Sikth/Enter Shikari/Malefice) really helped us develop the sound that we had been looking for. The production of the music took a massive step-up when he became involved and my dreams of being able to make huge soundscapes which had really low and heavy bottoms but without losing all the melody started to become a reality. Now that we know that we can write huge sounding tracks and have them turn out great on record, we’re just going to keep on going – it’s all about ‘Epic’ with us!

CAG: Tell us something about yours Stage gear / equipment:

Jack: I endorse Blackstar guitar Amps, Carl endorses Warwick bass Amps and Stu endorses Diezel guitar Amps. Chris plays DW drums and we are currently using Audio-Technica wireless systems, who we also work with, as well as various bits of rack gear and a few pedals here and there. We’re not able to bring very much at all with us when we come to India, but we’re doing what we can to get some of the more useful stuff out – any gear heads who fancy a chat should just come and hang out as its always fun to discuss!

CAG:  What advice do you have for others who want to form bands?

Jack: Try and find a group of like-minded, and more importantly COMMITTED individuals who share the passion and who really want to be in a band. There’s nothing worse than having to drag one member along who isn’t pulling his weight. It’s a group of musicians looking towards a shared goal – so everyone should take an equal responsibility in it’s running – there a lot more than just music to concentrate on doing in the early days!

CAG: What do Indian bands need to do to gain more exposure/fans?

Jack: I think some Indian bands underestimate the power of the internet and especially at the moment the power of social networking sites, in particular Facebook, which we have noticed is heavily used by Indian fans. As acts such as Demonic Resurrection and Bhayanak Maut have shown, if you utilise your band’s Facebook page effectively you can grow from a small unknown group into a national or even international touring act. By putting in a small amount of promotional work every day you can watch your band steadily grow in size and influence.

CAG: Has the internet really helped spread the word about the band and its music?

Jack: Absolutely – it’s now possible for any musician almost anywhere in the world to have their music heard by others and the way that has changed things for everybody is simply mind-blowing – it is an essential tool for us and is a part of pretty much everything we do, from the first bits of organisation right up to stepping out on stage. Without the Internet many of the amazing things that we have been able to do so far in our careers would simply not be possible – we certainly never would have made it over to India for example!

CAG: Any message for all calling all gigs readers and all Indian metal bands?

Jack: We’re looking forward to seeing you all again and playing with many of the musicians and bands that we have made friends with over the last year. Apologies for how long its taken to get back over to India but we’re humbled and amazed everyday by your support and dedication to the band – make sure you and your friends all come down to the shows and we’ll see you in the pit!