In a conversation with the Dhaka Tribune Showtime’s Nazia Adnin, ‘Jake E,’ vocalist of Swedish metal band Cyhra, talks about how the band came to be, their next album, and how they would love to tour Bangladesh
The super group features ex-members of In Flames, Amaranthe, Annihilator, and Shining. The debut album “Letters to Myself”- featuring a total number of 12 songs-was released in 2017. It was widely accepted among the metal music lovers for its lyrical depth, heavy drumming, and great guitar riffs associated with Jake’s hook lines. It was nominated at German Metal Hammer Awards as the best debut album of 2017.
Tell us something about your music?
We play metal music yet our music has over crossed potential. Cyhra is probably one of these bands that regular music listeners will find attractive and at the same time it could be a stepping stone into finding “harder” metal bands than us.Fans of In Flames, 30 Seconds to Mars and Linkin Park will probably like our music a lot.
Most of the members are former members of different bands which are much popular among the metal heads. How does it influence Cyhra’s music?
Cyhra’s music can be described as a mix of all the bands that we (the members) have formerly played with.Jesper Strömblad is world renowned for his amazing twin melodies from In Flames and I am probably best known for my hook lines that stick to your brain from my time in Amaranthe.Alexander Landenburg has played with progressive bands like Kamelot and Annihilator and his drum patterns and playing style in general is always making the song progress in an interesting way, and Euge Valovirta’s amazing guitar work is added on the top as something very special.
What are your plans to reach international listeners?
We have already started our journey in a very successfully. We have played most of the bigger festivals around Europe as well as a US tour together with Sabaton and Kreator earlier this year. We have just finished recording our second, yet unnamed album, which will see the light of day early spring 2019.We are working hard to book more shows and tours and we want to spread the work about Cyhra as much as we possibly can.I guess you can't really plan how to reach fans in other countries but to tour and hopefully get a hit video or single that spreads through social media these days.It’s a lot of hard work and decent dose of luck I guess.
The band was formed in 2016, how mature has your music become over the couple of years?
Well, all of us have been in the business for 15-20 years each and I guess we have released over 40 albums all together.We are a new band but I guess the maturity in the songs comes from our former careers more than from how Cyhra is progressing. We, more or less, already shaped our sound to what we want it to be, and we will probably stick to that road for now.
Tell us something about your world tour? So far in how many countries have you performed? Is there any memorable concert?
I guess we haven’t played in as many countries as we would have liked to but it will come, so far we have toured the United States, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, but next year we will do both a EU and US tour and hopefully also cover Japan and Australia.
How different is your live music from studio albums?
We try to stick to the album versions as much as we can! Live is of course a show for the eye but musically we try not to change too much. The listeners want to hear their favorite songs; not experimental versions of them.
When can the fans expect a new album?
As I replied in the question above, the new album will be released in spring 2019. The new album has been recorded and is just waiting to be mixed and mastered by Jacob Hansen.
Who writes the lyrics? Who plays the guitar solos?
I am the main lyricist, but on this album all the others have contributed with ideas as well. Euge and Jesper are the ones between the solos but it’s that usually writes most of the songs. Euge has been doing a great job on songs on this album and Euge and I actually sat down and wrote three songs together for this album.
You are all from different countries, how does that have an effect on the outcome?
Only outcome is that we only see each other when we have shows. But we are all full time musicians and we are not in need of any band-practice. So it’s sad in a way to be apart but it doesn't really change anything for the live sets.
Which musicians or bands inspire the band members?
I know Euge loves John 5, Alex loves anyone that owns a drum kit and Jesper loves all sorts of music.I myself am not really a music listener. I work 10 hours a day with music and enjoy silence when I am home. Musicians that have inspired me throughout the years are Michael Kiske, an Helloween, Geoff Tate, Joey Tempest and Jon Bon Jovi.
As a metal band, do all of you try to maintain any fashion statement?
We are working close to the brand VANS but that’s where our knowledge of fashion ends. (laughs)I would probably win the competition “the worst dressed rocker” every year. If that would be an existing competition.
Bangladesh has huge fan followers of metal music and In Flames, Amaranthe, Annihilation are familiar names here. Therefore, in near future would you be interested to perform in Bangladesh?
This information actually hit me as something I had no idea about, but it’s great news. We would love to come. I really hope we could gather enough interest and build a fan-base in Bangladesh so that we could come sooner than expected.