If you’ve been paying any attention at all to the music industry lately then you’ve probably already heard of the promising new industrial hybrid, Cyanotic. This band, with only one full-length release and a demo E.P. under their belt, has managed to defy all genre boundaries, touring with the likes of the Dillinger Escape Plan, Zao, and industrial’s own Dismantled. With the united forces of Cracknation and Digital Brothel, among others, behind them, Cyanotic appears an unstoppable force. Cyanotic’s own, Sean Payne, vocalist and programmer of the band, recently took the time to speak with Chain D.L.K. to give an update on their progress…
Chain D.L.K.: How did you come to start writing music/forming Cyanotic?
Cyanotic: Just tinkering with drum machines and old Casios in middle school. I got a hold of a sequencer around late 2000 and began working from there; learning to build rhythms, and later noises, structure songs, etc… I guess it was late 2002 when I really began working full force to get a demo E.P. put together. By that time, my entire setup was 100% software. Not by choice, but none-the-less, it served its purpose. I still am in need of a real synth though. We had one on this last tour and it was just a total fucking blast to play. They are so much more fun to actually play, instead of just programming.
Chain D.L.K.: What is the major difference, from your perspective, between Mutual Bonding Through Violation and Transhuman?
Cyanotic: The recording quality. That and our goals have much more focus now. My initial want from the E.P. was nothing more than getting our name out, and that it did. Thanks to the E.P., we were able to get in touch with a number of artists and people who were helping spread the word like a mini-plague. “Transhuman” is something more. I always had a definite track list in my mind from the beginning, even though the songs hadn’t been written yet, the flow was there long prior. It was interesting, working with that structure, knowing what had to go where before we really made any of it, adhering to a strict web that only we could really understand.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you set out with any goals for how you want your music to sound?
Cyanotic: We don’t have a set formula yet. We just know we want our music to be something a little different than what people are calling “industrial music” now-a-days. We try to be a little more bombastic, harder, meaner, etc… than the average band. I have heard a couple people and publications refer to us as the antithesis of futurepop. I guess I could see that.
Chain D.L.K.: Is there any specific theme or aesthetic you try to put in your music?
Cyanotic: No specific themes, really, except for the promotion of technology and its advancements. As for aesthetics, we always try to keep the sound thick, to give the listeners something fresh through repeat listens. A lot of layers and production nuances. Also, it’s a definite plus if our music causes some gyration in the hips. Making a song worthy of ass-shaking is never a bad thing.
Chain D.L.K.: What is the fueling force behind Transhuman?
Cyanotic: A long running obsessive-compulsive disorder and a good deal of contempt for the current state of music. That and some caffeine, Green Thumb, liquor and an extra dash of contempt just for good measure. Seriously though, the main fuel for making music for me is interacting with the fans, being able to chill out with people who share similar interests and have a good time. Seeing people enjoy the work we put into the final bastard-beast of an album that we have all been working on for nearly two years.
Chain D.L.K.: Coming from the smaller label, Glitch Mode, how has the experience been working with larger labels, Cracknation and Digital Brothel?
Cyanotic: Working with Cracknation, Digital Brothel, Music Non Stop, DSBP, etc… is no different than working for yourself. No hassles and a nice boost in promotion. All the labels and distributors have been nothing short of overly kind and helpful. It’s always nice to see unity in full effect. There hasn’t been enough of that since the bigger electronic labels ate up all the indies like Re-Constriction, Pendragon, 21st Circuitry, Zoth Ommog, and others in the late 90’s. I think we are in the midst of a resurgence though, and that thought only makes me smile wide, the possibility of unity amongst the underground again.
Chain D.L.K.: You’ve previously hinted at a possible remix album in the works, including a remixing competition based off of your webpage-how is this taking shape?
Cyanotic: 30 remixes thus far and the numbers keep growing. It’s great to have so many people taking an interest in mangling our sounds. It’s seriously been one of our most humbling moments, having people interpret our music, adding individual flavors. My favorite of the bunch would have to be the “Sensory Deprivation” remix by GenCab from Jersey thus far. Deadliner, Powerled, UCNX and a couple others have really done a couple awesome reworkings, as well. We are just waiting to see how many great mixes accumulate before we decide to either release a full album of remixes featuring a couple other artists or just re-release Transhuman with new mastering and a couple extra mixes.
Chain D.L.K.: Have you considered working on other projects in the future?
Cyanotic: There are a couple projects I am contemplating, just as long as none of it interferes with Cyanotic, as I always want to be putting the most focus into making more of that. I am going to be starting Halon Systems, my little drum ‘n’ bass / industrial hybrid project, after I make my move to Chicago with my wife in the next few weeks. There’s been talk of a couple collaborations with other artists as well, just not sure if that will become more material for Cyanotic or something else entirely. We just put the finishing touches on remixes for Chemlab and The Aggression, both of which will be available in the very near future on both bands’ upcoming releases, and we’ll be starting to work on bits and pieces of a new Cyanotic record, as well.
Chain D.L.K.: You toured with Dismantled recently. How did that come about, and how was that experience?
Cyanotic: Chris Cozort from Iammynewt is a mutual friend of Cyanotic and Dismantled who initially put us in touch. Gary (Zon, vocalist and programmer for Dismantled) heard a couple of our songs and thought the sound would fit well with Dismantled. Two days later we are booking shows together. The overall experience was great. We had a Lot of fun on the road; hanging out and partying until early hours of the morning with fans, sleeping six to ten people in a single hotel room per night, playing some great venues with architecture that looks like something out of a sci-fi movie, etc…
Chain D.L.K.: Do you have any future tours in the works right now?
Cyanotic: Even though we just got home from our last show no more than four hours ago, there are already a couple vague touring ideas coming together possibly for late fall or early winter. At this point, it’s just going to be another mini-tour, 6-8 dates, and a full tour should be coming within the next year. There are also big hopes to play overseas, where we have been getting a fair deal of attention from promoters, DJs, and fans of the electronic / industrial styles.
Chain D.L.K.: How do you approach your live show?
Cyanotic: Our live set never stays the same for more than a few shows at a time. We are always changing around the line-up and using different approaches, just to see what works best for us. This last incarnation was a very straight forward four piece band approach. Drew, my co-writer, was alternating between guitars and synths. Our new addition and old friend, Chris, was stationary with guitars, and the other new addition, Jan, was playing electronic drums. All while I did the vocals and triggering samples / sequencing. Prior to that, it was a guitarist, two keyboardists and myself. Next time around, it’s looking possible that we will be dropping the live drums again, as our new live drummer just found a job making nice dollars and most likely won’t have enough vacation time to dedicate himself to playing on a tour. Still though, we shall see, as I would very much like to keep Jan playing live. Either way, we will be making our show more of an audio / visual experience, juxtaposing clips from all sorts of digital media with the blasting beats and samples.
Visit Cyanotic on the web at:
[interviewed by Shaun Phelps] [proofreading by Shaun Phelps]