EMQ’s with CYANIDE PARADISE
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Noord-Brabant, Netherlands based Melodic Death Metal band Cyanide Paradise. Huge thanks to bassist Jeff Wennekes for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
Hey there! My name is Jeff, I’m the bassist and co-founder of Cyanide Paradise. I started the band together with our guitarist and vocalist Martin last year (2019). Martin and I played together in another band before, where we discovered we really ‘clicked’ musically. After we both quit that band for several reasons, the natural next step was to start working on new music together. So, the both of us started writing, partly based on material Martin had laying around already. At the time Martin was doing all of the vocal work as well as the guitar parts. Linn had been a longtime friend of us and showed great interest in what we were doing, so she kind of naturally joined the project as vocalist. The three of us went on to produce our debut EP ‘Reach for the Stars’ in June 2019, all recordings and production done by ourselves. We received a lot of positive feedback on our release and we really craved being on a stage again. So, with some material to show, we started looking for a drummer and second guitarist to back us up and enable us to really get our songs out there in a live setting. We were fortunate enough to get the attention of Sebastiaan and Fabrizio quickly enough for them to join our formation in the closing months of 2019. Since then we had a really successful first live show in March 2020, before the Covid-19 virus put a temporary halt to our gig plans.
How did you come up with your band name?
I actually had the band name in my head for a while, and when we started this project it suddenly felt really appropriate. Besides having a certain ring to it, it also hints at a theme really fitting with where our songs are headed. Without spoiling too much, the title song from our debut EP ‘Reach for the Stars’ is actually the start of a prolonged story arc we are planning over the course of several releases.
What country are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We are from the Netherlands, a rather small country on the North Western coast of Europe. Our metal scene is actually not too bad, albeit still quite underground. The majority of metal bands over here are mostly playing small venues and bars and being, a naturally somewhat reserved people, it usually takes some work to get the Dutch audience excited. Despite that there’s a really dedicated scene, with a lot of great bands making awesome music and supporting each other!
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single or Video)
Our latest release has been a single, recorded at Project Zero studio in Belgium. After our fully self-produced EP it’s a step forward for us in terms of production quality while also further defining our sound as a band, since it’s the first release in our current (complete) formation. The single, called ‘Downfall’, was released in April 2020 and is available on most popular streaming platforms!
Who have been your greatest influences?
We mostly just write music we think sounds awesome. A lot of the time this happens to be heavily influenced by melodic death metal with some, by lack of a better word, epic influences. Some bands and musicians we listen to a lot and on some levels identify with are, among others, Amon Amarth, Devin Townsend and Scar Symmetry.
What first got you into music?
Personally, I grew up with the classics, Beatles, Rolling Stones etc. along with some heavier stuff like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest etc. thanks to my dad. This led to me developing more and more interest in music and picking up the guitar around the age of 10. I gradually started listening to the heavier stuff and felt really drawn to the lower frequencies. After getting a job and earning my own money I decided to buy myself a bass and join a band. That was pretty much the start of it!
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Part of me wants to say Amon Amarth, because I love their theme and I think musically we do draw some inspiration from them. On the other hand, I personally have great admiration for the talent of Peter Tägtgren (Hypocrisy, PAIN, Lindemann a.o.) and I would love to be able to work together with this amazing multifaceted musician. So, for me it would be a toss-up between those two.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Any of the big ones would be amazing of course! But after visiting there, MetalDays in Slovenia holds a special place in my heart!
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
As of yet in our short existence we haven’t received any gifts yet, besides a lot of kind words we are really grateful for! But if anyone feels inspired, be sure to hit us up through our website! 😉
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Keep enjoying the awesome metal scene and support your local bands! Most bands really depend on people coming to their shows and buying their merch to enable them to keep making their music, so check your local venues and take a chance on some lesser known bands. And if you happen to like their stuff, buy a t-shirt!
If you could bring one Metal/Rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
To be honest I wouldn’t know. There are so many great musicians, living and dead, that I find it impossible to choose!
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
The energy you get from being on stage and playing your music for an enthusiastic group of people. There are few things better than that feeling. Besides that, I really enjoy working with a group of likeminded people and channelling our creativity into creating new songs.
My least favourite aspect is probably all the work that goes into band management. For a small band that isn’t able to afford a manager, this can really cost a lot of time. Time I would rather spend making music!
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
More diversity! Or at least, more attention for different genres and types of music, at least here. In The Netherlands, there is one type of music that apparently sells the best, resulting in every radio station playing the same songs, leaving so much good music undiscovered by the public. I think it would be amazing if there was more variety in what gets attention, even if it’s not what makes the most money.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
There are so many bands I like and so many albums I listen to, and I still discover awesome new albums every day. I don’t think I could possibly pick just one!
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
For convenience I make a lot of use of downloads/streams. However overall, I would have to say CD’s, because buying them supports the bands a lot more. Of course, the same goes for vinyl and cassettes, but since they’re a little less widely accepted, CD’s it is for me!
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Obviously, we have only played one gig yet, but I play in another band called Pictura Poesis and have played in other bands as well. It’s hard to pick a favourite since each had their own charm. If I had to pick, I would have to say Cyanide Paradise’s first gig is actually up there, since this band is the most personal for me.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Unfortunately, being a musician is already a part-time endeavour for us. In these days where supply of bands is usually greater than demand, it is extremely difficult to make a living solely by making music. Because of that most our time is spent working regular jobs or studying for those.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Friends and family, in the end those are the people that support me and I want to spend the most time with!
What’s next for the band?
Since we can’t play live for the time being, we’re currently working on new material which we plan to release in the form of a second EP or maybe even an album. We do have some more shows planned for later this year and for 2021. We’re also working on adding more to those, so hopefully there’ll be a lot of live playing ahead for us once the current crisis is over! Keep an eye on our website for the latest updates!
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
We have our own website with all the important information about the band. Besides that, we use a Spotify channel to get our music out there and both a Facebook and Instagram channel for events and other updates. Check us out at:
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
I can’t say that I have ever eaten one that I know of, so I have no idea whatsoever! I might have to try one and come back to you about that!
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Thanks a lot for having us and for your support!
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