The album

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Matt from Cipher

1 Cipher is a new band appearing of the heavy metal scene. Can you resume its history?

Cipher has been together since Feb, 1996. The band consists of Myself on guitar, Carlos Rodriguez on guitar, Mark Shveima on vocals, Bill Cornett on bass and our drummer is Joey Eck. Joey and I formed the band and run it as far as business goes. I write the majority of the music and Mark writes all the lyrics and melody lines. We played the local Philadelphia music scene for what seemed like an eternity, and pretty much have taken it over. Now, finally things are starting to pay off. Itís all because of people like you that make this all worth it.

2 You appear in the comialtion Cd Outer limits. Can you talk more about this compilation & what happens in the following of this appearance?

The comp that we did with Eclipse was pretty cool. I liked being on the same CD as All Time Low, considering that their singer is like one of my biggest influences. Chris at ECLIPSE put it all together to kind of showcaes the underground metal scene in the United States at the time. There are some cool bands on it that really deserve to get further than some of them did. The best thing about it was the diversity of all the bands. A lot of different kinds of metal fans got the opportunity to hear usÖ it was really cool. Itís also what led to the contract with ECLIPSE.

3 Your first album is ow out! Can you talk about its realization : recording, mix, ...

The record is pretty much a monument in terms of my life. It took a lot out of me to actually see it materialize. The producer we worked with (Ernie Schaeffer) is a very special part of it because of how great he got it to sound. We recorded everything except the leads and vocals completely live. We were all in the same room just blasting away and all the basic tracks (guitar, bass, drums) are first take. Mixing was a little difficult because of all the bottom end the guitar tone has. Carlos and I really pride ourselves in having a fat guitar tone and we didnít want it to get lost in the mix. In the end, I am pretty proud of it. I think it could stand on itís own against most of the heavy releases this year.

4 I find Cipher very close to what Anthrax plays nowadays. Are you agree with me? Is anthrax one of your influences? What are the other ones

I personally donít think we sound that much like Anthrax. A lot of people say Mark sounds like John Bush, and I think thatís where we get stuck on it. Anthrax was a great band and I donít mind being compared to them. As far as our influences go, Anthrax is not really one of them. I am pretty much influenced by a lot of rare bands like Hades (USA), Flotsam & Jetsam, Sanctuary, and the best of all timeÖ Queensryche. Lately, I have been really into Nevermore and Iced Earth. Mark is really influenced by the more commercial end of things (Soundgarden, Tori Amos) and he gets some great ideas for hooks and melodies from that commercialism. Carlos really grew up listening to a lot of thrash and speed-metal, he started playing because of Helloween. Joey and Bill were into the classic rock stuff when they were younger. Bill is really into Nevermore now and Joey listens to a lot of death-metal.

5 First album & already signed on a good & promising company : eclipse records. how do you explain this : work, talent, luck, ..

Our mixed influences give us an edge to our song constructing. (our deal with ECLIPSE) It is a really great opportunity for us. Chris at Eclipse really liked us a lot and we felt we could develop everything from the ground up. Itís Eclipseís second release and our first deal, so we are all hungry and want to establish ourselves correctly. Eclipse is doing really good for us. A lot of people are starting to catch on to the Cipher vibe and we are starting to become well known. Itís all going to keep growing.

6 Do you have some tour already scheduled? Which bands would you like to play with?

we havenít really been on a full tour yet. We have been doing a ton of shows regionally however. It is difficult for us to get a tour yet because we are so young in terms of the record goes. I personally want to get to Europe with Nevermore and Iced Earth. That would be a great tour. I would very much like to do some dates with Overkill or Savatage here in the states. Hopefully, something will materialize. We have recently done shows with Fates Warning, Flotsam & Jetsam, Nevermore, Crisis, and King Diamond. We did really great at all of them.

7A last word or something you'd like to say!

In closing, we really appreciate the chance for this interview. I think that the underground metal community will embrace this band when given the resources to do so. Anybody that wants to get in touch with us is welcome to via mail or email. Mail all letters to: The Monumental Group C/o Cipher PO Box 569 Hatboro, PA 19040 U.S.A.

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