Who said you can't come up with anything new in heavy metal? He doesn't know a thing, I must say. If such an idea ever comes to your mind, check out Cyberya, a German band that has just released debut full-length CD "Mindcontrol" via Breaker Records, and you will change your mind. Nothing like that has existed before. An album produced by Stefan Kaufmann (U.D.O., ex-Accept) and engineered by Peter Dirkschneider (the brother of the mighty Udo) contains a killer mixture of power metal and industrial sounds in the vein of Rammstein. In addition to being original, the young band has another great advantage, its tunes are catchy and have an enormous hit potential. MetalKings.com contacted guitarist and singer Oliver Lux to find more about the band that has all chances to become the best newcomer of 2001.
MetalKings.com: Hi Oliver, what is the band up to at the moment?
Oliver: At the moment we're doing nothing, no, we're doing rehearsals for the next gigs and doing new songs for the next album, we're composing new songs.
MetalKings.com: And where are you going to do these gigs? Your web-site only has two dates at the moment.
Oliver: Yes, they are the confirmed dates. We're looking for a tour beginning in January next year, but it's not confirmed at the moment, because our booking agency is looking for a support slot.
MetalKings.com: So you're going to be headlining, right?
Oliver: No, we're going to be the support band. We don't know who is going to be headlining.
MetalKings.com: OK, let's speak about your debut album "Cyberya" that has been released a couple of months ago. Are you satisfied with the way the record turned out? What are your impressions about the recording process? Was it easy or difficult to record it?
Oliver: It was easy to record, but it was a difficult process to rearrange the songs in the studio. We changed our style a little bit, and after that we had to think about what we were going to do with the music. It was very funny for us, it was a lot of fun to make this record. At the moment we can't say anything about the sales, because the record was released on the 15th of October and we will have to wait until the end of the year to get a bill from the distribution.
MetalKings.com: You changed the band name before recording the album, previously you were called Trinity, right? What was the reason for it? I heard there were some legal problems.
Oliver: Yes that's right. There must be a management in the UK and they registered the name Trinity for use in music, and we had to change the name, that was the reason.
MetalKings.com: You know, there is a computer called Cyberya. Aren't you afraid of more legal problems?
Oliver: No that's not a problem. You can do the registration in the sphere of music or in the sphere of anything. I know there is a computer, I found it out after we changed the name, just a few days after that, but it couldn't be a problem because there is a company in Massachussets, US, that reserves names for use in computers or in music. And we have reserved the name for use in music.
MetalKings.com: And can you tell me who came up with the new name for the band?
Oliver: It was my idea.
MetalKings.com: Why did you choose that particular name?
Oliver: I think it's a connection between a computer and music. We're doing music with computers, we have no drummer, we're playing live with a computer and using a lot of keyboards and samples, so it was naturally to adopt the name Cyberya because it has the word 'cyber' in it, it's something like the name of a country. That was the reason.
MetalKings.com: You know, there is a Russian region called Siberia, it is pronounced the same way but has a different spelling. So when I tell people I'm going to interview Cyberia they go like: "What?!" Have you ever been to Russia?
Oliver: No, we've never been to Russia. We hope to come to Russia on tour, maybe in next two years, but we don't know what the travelling time would be.
MetalKings.com: As far as I understand, "Mindcontrol" is very different from the first two mini albums you did under the name Trinity. Can you tell me how the band sounded back then?
Oliver: First it was a kind of normal power metal with a touch of gothic. The first demo CD was recorded in 1998, and it had more guitars, it was heavier. And now it's a good mix of guitars and keyboards.
MetalKings.com: What is the idea behind the album title "Mindcontrol"?
Oliver: We had the song "Mindcontrol" and everybody liked it, and we thought that this song is representing all our trademarks - loud guitars, powerful choruses and fat synthesizers, so we just took this title. And "Mindcontrol" just sounds good, we thought.
MetalKings.com: You know, I am asked to do a review of "Mindcontrol", and it is really difficult to compare it with any other bands. What are you influenced with when you're writing such original music?
Oliver: I think that we're influenced by bands like Depeche Mode, it's the synth pop part of our band, and bands like Rammstein and normal heavy metal music, I mean older bands. We're using catchy chorus lines and doing choirs quite often in the chorus, I think it's a typical trademark of heavy metal, but I don't know any current band to compare it with.
MetalKings.com: You have two singers in the band. Whose idea was that?
Oliver: It was me to come up with that. Paul, the other singer, used to be in a metal band from Wuppertal, our home city, it was called Regicide, and I am a singer of Contradiction, the band we are working with at the moment, we just released our fourth album last week. At first I thought that we should take only one singer, but Paul persuaded me to sing together, and this pattern developed over the time.
MetalKings.com: A couple of years ago I heard a demo CD that you recorded with Contradiction, it was called "Good Company". It's very different from what you do with Cyberya.
Oliver: That's right. Why I should do the same thing in two bands?
MetalKings.com: As far as I understand, Contradiction was founded 12 years ago, right?
Oliver: Actually it's about 13 years now.
MetalKings.com: However there are not many records that you have put out. Why is that?
Oliver: We released our first record in 1993, it was a self-produced album called "Rules Of Peace". The second album came out in 1995, the label was Midan Records that shut down soon after that. Then we released "Good Company", it was a demo that we did after splitting with the label. And on the 16th of November 2001 we released our fourth album, it is self-produced now. We have our own studio at the moment and can do records on our own, it's just for fun.
MetalKings.com: And what about the first two Trinity mini albums? Were they self-produced too?
Oliver: Yes, it was a self-release. Each of them has only four tracks, the first is called "Born" and the second is "Gods", we distributed them on our own. We sold about 800 copies of "Born" and more than 1,000 of "Gods".
MetalKings.com: You know, I've got to ask you some very obvious questions, because there is not much information on Cyberya around, I only have the press release and your web-page. Tell me how the band was formed.
Oliver: Well, we started in 1996, it was me and Matthias on the guitar. We just played in a cover band at this time, but we decided to make some own songs. It was the beginning of it, we recorded three songs on a four-tracker, and we gave them to Paul to sing, and soon he joined the band.
MetalKings.com: How did you meet Peter Dirkschneider?
Oliver: Oh, he's living in Wuppertal, too, so he's a friend of ours, we just met him in a bar or at a discotheque.
MetalKings.com: Was it difficult to get a contract with Breaker Records?
Oliver: No, it wasn't. We were on tour with U.D.O. and Raven in the beginning of 2000, we went through Germany and then played in Sweden, Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands. After Udo (he actually owns Breaker Records - ed.) saw us a couple of times he offered us the contract.
MetalKings.com: How was it like working in the studio with Stefan Kaufmann?
Oliver: Very nice. It was very productive and very good work, he's a great musician and we liked it.
MetalKings.com: Do you have any guest musicians on "Mindcontrol" or did you record everything yourselves?
Oliver: We did everything yourselves.
MetalKings.com: Do you plan to get some guests for the next record?
Oliver: Maybe if we need some. I don't know but I think we'll do it on our own.
MetalKings.com: Have you ever thought of using female vocals? You have a girl in the band.
Oliver: Yes, we have a girl, but she's unable to sing, she's singing a little bit in choruses, but only live.
MetalKings.com: Have you ever thought about writing lyrics in German? Bands like Rammstein made a name on that.
Oliver: They're doing it, but we don't think this way, because it's just a trend at the moment - metal bands doing German lyrics - but I don't like German lyrics. I think bands like Rammstein are very good at what they're doing, but that's their own style, it's a little bit… I don't know how to say it… ubermenschensich ("supermen-ish" or something like that if I'm not mistaken - ed.), you know what I mean? I don't think that we'll do that.
MetalKings.com: Who is writing lyrics in Cyberya?
Oliver: Paul and me.
MetalKings.com: What inspires you to write lyrics like "Mindcontrol"? Is it television?
Oliver: Oh, that's just a fiction. It started with the title. We just took the word "mindcontrol" and thought about what could be the lyrics for it. It's just a fiction, we were not influenced by a specific thing. The other tracks are influenced by our life, just like "Rumors", it's about a guy who said bad things about the band.
MetalKings.com: Who did the cover for "Mindcontrol"?
Oliver: The concept was my idea, and at first there was another cover, but the other guys didn't like it, so we hired a guy from the United States called Paul Lesh and he painted the cover for us.
MetalKings.com: Cyberya has a very nice and informative web-page. Who is its webmaster?
Oliver: It's Paul.
MetalKings.com: Is he a web-designer by profession?
Oliver: No, his profession is cleaning windows, web design is just a hobby.
MetalKings.com: As far as I understand, you also have a day job?
Oliver: Yes, I'm a nurse. I'm working in an intensive care unit.
MetalKings.com: Is it possible to earn your living by only doing music in Germany?
Oliver: No, for us it's not possible at the moment, we're doing it just for fun. Maybe we will be able to earn our living by doing music someday, but it is not the goal, the goal is to make music and have fun.
MetalKings.com: What are you going to do on the next record? Are you going to change your style again?
Oliver: No I don't think so. I think we will make it more perfect.
MetalKings.com: What if a company like Nuclear Blast asks you to take part in its tribute series? Would you agree and whom would you like to cover?
Oliver: Oh, we haven't thought about it. But if you ask me who I would like to cover, it's Depeche Mode (laughs). I like this band. The good thing about them is their melody lines, and it would be nice to cover their song and make it harsh. You know, "People Are People" was covered by… what the hell is the name of the band?... I don't remember the name, it was a German band, they did it very nice. (I guess he's talking about Squealer - ed.) I think we can do something like that. And if we should cover a metal band, it may be Judas Priest or Accept or something like that.
MetalKings.com: My next question is about computers, since Cyberya has no much to do with them. Computers are gaining more importance in our lives, do you think their influence is generally positive or negative, or are there two sides?
Oliver: I think it's generally positive, because there is a lot of things that I can do on computers that I couldn't do many years ago. I can write letters, I can write e-mails to you, so we contact via computers. I think the influence of computers is generally positive because they make some processes easier.
MetalKings.com: What do you think about music files that are distributed through the Internet, mp3 and stuff like that?
Oliver: I think it's OK. I don't believe that copy kills music. That's bullshit. We had tape trading a couple of years ago and we had CDRs that can be burned at home, it wasn't a problem. The problem is that too many bands are in the business.
MetalKings.com: Are you planning to shoot some videos for the album to promote it?
Oliver: I don't think so. We have no budget to make videos. We're on a small label, Breaker is a small label, I think. Maybe if sales are good, we will make the video next year, but at the moment I don't think so.
MetalKings.com: What has been the most exotic place that you played in?
Oliver: I think it was Stavanger, Norway, it was very funny. The weather was very cold and rainy. And the most fucked-up place that we played was in the former GDR two weeks ago. The venue was very very fucked up.
MetalKings.com: In general, is it difficult for a young metal band to survive in Germany, to gain popularity?
Oliver: I think it's very difficult for every band to gain popularity, it doesn't matter from where you are. In some countries it's easier because there are not as many bands as here. But I think that if a band sounds good and has a little bit of its own style, it has a chance to get a record contract. In the end the people who are buying CDs decide which band is coming up and which not.
MetalKings.com: What are your preferences in music?
Oliver: I'm a big fan of Megadeth, that's my favorite band, but I've got over 800 CDs at the moment, so there are a lot of bands that I like. At the moment I'm listening to Slipknot. Their new CD is great, "Iowa" rules! Very fat production, very high aggression level, I like that.
MetalKings.com: Do you have other hobbies beside music?
Oliver: No, at the moment I have no time. But I like reading a lot. At the moment I'm reading Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" in the original.
MetalKings.com: Yes, I understand, with two bands and a day job your hands are full already. By the way, are other members of Cyberya involved in any projects outside the band?
Oliver: Yes, Matthias, the guitar player, is involved in a band called Obnoxious. Paul was involved in Regicide, but the band has just split. Manuela is not playing in other bands at the moment, she's just a girlfriend of Peter Dirkschneider (laughs).
MetalKings.com: Finally another very trivial question. Do you have anything to say to your fans over here and to the people that will buy your record?
Oliver: I would like to thank everybody who's buying the record, because they're supporting us. Hope we will come to Russia some time to kick some asses!
MetalKings.com: OK, that's it. Thanks for the interview and good luck with Cyberya and Contradiction.
Oliver: Thank you. Good-bye!
Roman The Maniac, MetalKings.com
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