Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Interview: Cyril Snear

Manchester experimental rock quartet Cyril Snear headline a show at Chorlton’s Dulcimer bar on Thursday. We have a quick to and fro of words with them on the subjects of genres, venues, praise from The Mars Volta and the merits of musically induced blindness.

Now Then: Superstar Destroyer Records recently said before a gig that you headlined that it was “a line-up so hardcore it'll rip out your eyes and piss on your brain”; is that your intention?

Cyril Snear: No! Who was it out of SSD? Alex? He’s a wordsmith isn’t he! But, no, it’s not what we intend to do – if you ripped out someone’s eyes they’d never be able to see again and they wouldn’t be able to come to the next gig so it’d be a lose/lose situation.

NT: Your last record seems a while ago now. Is there any news on a new one?

CS: Yes there is… It’s going to be called The White of Colour and it’s definitely coming out this year, definitely!

NT: Is it full prog ahead as with Fluent In Seven Types Of Monotone or will the acoustic guitar style of Four In Hand – One In Face feature at all?

CS: Well there is a bit of acoustic guitar but it’s a bit different. I’d say it’s more prog – maybe more classically-sounding than the lo-fi, indie sound of the early stuff, which sounded like that because we didn’t have any money and recorded it for free! But it does have strings and piano – even has a sitar.

NT: Do you see your music as prog or prog (or neither!); is there a deeper meaning behind it or are genres just for list-makers?

CS: We always get asked questions about genres; they’re just for list-makers really aren’t they? They’re useful for people to get an idea of the music before actually listening to it, but we never set out to be prog; it’s just been applied to us.

NT: You’ve played at all sorts of venues, large and small, from The Castle to Antwerp Mansion to Kraak Gallery. Do you prefer larger or smaller settings for shows and which has been your favourite venue to play at?

CS: I think it’s Academy 3 because it’s not too big but it’s not too small either and you feel professional when you’re on there. We like playing at the Deaf Institute as well – there’s a good vibe there; good decor. I think with Sound Control we’ve never played when there’s been enough people to get that vibe. So we like medium sized venues, but wherever is full really. If you have a small venue that’s full then it’s going to trump a medium sized venue with about two people in.

NT: What has been your favourite memory in music so far?

CS: That’d be last week actually when Juan Alderete – the bass player out of The Mars Volta – complimented the whole band, but was mainly commenting on the bass guitar.

The album launch was mint just because it was the first album. We still don’t feel like we played amazingly at it but that’s probably the busiest gig we’ve had even though we arranged it ourselves with help from WotGodForgot, plus the light show was extreme so that made you get into it a bit more.

NT: Do you have any festivals lined up for the summer?

CS: Well we’re doing Eurocultured at Sound Control on 3rd June but we’d like some more festivals so someone get us some more festivals!

Interview & edits by Ian Pennington

Cyril Snear’s next show will be at Dulcimer bar in Chorlton on Thursday 3rd May. They will be supported by Outer Dark and Neko Neko.

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