Montreal’s Fractal Cypher are in the spotlight for this week’s Meet The Band. Every Saturday we give you the chance to get to know a new or up-and-coming artist. Vocalist Simon Lavoie introduces us to Fractal Cypher, who just released their debut album The Human Paradox.
Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of Fractal Cypher.
Simon Lavoie: We are a Montreal based progressive metal band. Every musician in the band has been in the music industry for around a decade. In 2014, Vincent on the guitar, Ludovick on the keys and myself on vocals gathered together after the breakup of our former band. We decided to keep pushing this thing that was growing in our heads.
When the band got completed with the addition of Steven on the drums and Tommy on the bass, we started to compose and finally hit the studio in 2015. Since then, we have tried to break through with our music and the album. The music style of Fractal Cypher ranges from djent, death metal, power metal, classic and modern rock. So the style is wide. Every song has its own vibe and dominant style.
Describe the songwriting and recording process of The Human Paradox.
Concerning the writing, we’ve found a working method that works well for us. We have a main songwriter in the band which is Ludovick, the keyboard player. He usually completes the songs and we go over them as a band. They evolve to their final stage during this time. The lyrics are composed mainly by myself, with a few exceptions where other members of the band contribute. Once the songs are composed and arranged with the vision of the composer Ludovick, we go over them and rearrange them in a way that everyone feels good about it. You know, we should cut that part, stretch that one, and so on. The final cut of the songs is a collaborative effort.
The recording process has been done over a long period of time, from April to August 2015, mainly due to scheduling problems. But the advantage is that we really took our time to do everything like we wanted to. Nothing was rushed and we had the time to change our ideas if needed. Ludovick produced the album with the help of Christian Donaldson, head engineer of The Grid studio where we were recording. They have worked a lot with me, giving me some good cues and ideas for the vocal lines and backing vocals. Ludo was also there with Chris during the mixing process to guide him and make sure everything sounded like he wanted and like we wanted.
How would you characterize the album’s style/sound?
It’s hard to exactly characterize this album, because every song has a different mood and feel. The main idea behind The Human Paradox was to make a blend of styles and atmospheres to make the listener travel throughout different state of mind, from emotional songs to aggressive ones. The track list has been carefully chosen to maximize a roller coaster effect to make this journey non-linear and interesting to listen to.
Each song has its own story, so there’s no storyline throughout the album. Still, the topics can easily fall under the same themes, exploited with a different perspective. Musically, the music as well revolves around a few themes all along.
What are your upcoming show/tour plans?
We mostly play in our area for the moment. We have a couple of gigs planned for October and November, and a lot a projects with other bands but still have to be booked and organized . Concerning tours, obviously we are working hard to make it happen. Nothing really concrete so far , but we are in contact with a couple of great promoters. We are working hard to make it happen for this year with the release of the album.
One thing is sure, we won’t go back in the studio to record another album if we did not promote this album to the maximum. We need to reach new fans out of our area and we can’t expect it to happen if we just rehearse in our basement all the time.
What has been your most memorable live show?
We did a show in Quebec City last October at Le Cercle with our good friends of Universe Effect and it was a fantastic gig. The venue was super cool, the sound was awesome, the crowd was attentive and the conditions were perfect. That’s our best gig so far.
What’s the heavy music scene like in Montreal?
There is so many bands that are trying to break through with their music, and there’s a lot of competition. Here in Montreal, the metal scene is active and there’s a lot of opportunity. Obviously, you still have to work hard and have a good show to present to get gigs, nothing happen this easily. We are kind of lucky so far because gigs are coming to us without too much work, but we are trying to get a step higher, you know play outside of our area, maybe get a tour to promote our album but we still have a lot of work to do to get to this step.
Anything else you’d like to mention/plug/promote?
Don’t forget to get your copy of our album The Human Paradox, available digitally on iTunes or our Bandcamp, or physically by visiting our Facebook page and click on the Merch button. also visit our YouTube channel and share our videos as much as possible! Cheers!
(interview published September 17, 2016)