Mar 2012 27

The purveyors of hypersexual electro rock, Cynergy 67 speak to ReGen on their upcoming new album, revealing just what is on their mechanically perverted minds.

An Interview with VX-5, Evo-1 and Mundayne of Cynergy 67

By: Ilker Yücel

Hailing from Wisconsin, Cynergy 67 is represents a 21st century underground success story – a prime example of how talent and dedication can ascend a band from the depths of obscurity to greater fortunes. Despite the standard trials and tribulations of any group striving for success and recognition, the duo of VX-5 and Evo-1 has endured the lows of numerous lineup changes and financial strain, only to emerge with renewed vigor every time. Creating a hybrid fusion of industrial, techno and rock, dubbed by the band “hypersexual electro rock,” Cynergy 67 has toured extensively since its inception, sharing the stage with many of the heavy hitters in the industrial and alternative rock scene such as Powerman 5000, Orgy, and Celldweller, to name but a few. Garnering several product sponsorships over the years and releasing the New Machine EP in 2005 and the Project: Assimilation album in 2009, the band incorporated bassist Mundayne as the third permanent member. Releasing several remix singles in cooperation with FiXT Music as well as the Regeneration DVD in late 2010, Cynergy 67 soon began work on the follow-up, tentatively titled SINthesize and scheduled for a 2012 release on LektroLand and Praga Khan’s Sonic Angel label. Already having produced a number of kinetic and technological videos, the “Skin” video single is but the first taste of what new horizons of musical cyberotica Cynergy 67 will be exploring on the new album. In an exclusive video InterView, the trio speaks of their mechanical perversions and just what audiences have to look forward to.

Video produced and edited by C.R. Davis, courtesy of Human Twelve

Besides the financial strains, what have you found to be the most challenging aspects to touring, especially in this day and age, and how do you feel that you and the band have fared in overcoming those challenges?

VX-5: The biggest challenge is dealing with the assholes that you’re in the band with.

Evo-1: I knew that was coming up.

VX-5: Now that we’ve reduced Cynergy to three, touring is a smooth operator.

Mundayne: ‘Smooth Operator.’

VX-5: It’s a very smooth machine…except when things break. Brakes don’t brake when they break.

Mundayne: The exhaust is loud when it falls off.

VX-5: Water pumps are necessary.

Mundayne: Snapjacks can hold up a muffler.

VX-5: Yes, they can.

While the prospect for making money off of music still exists, it has become more difficult over the last two decades as digital media and the Internet have made it easier for consumers to obtain music without paying for it, making the live show more of a necessity for any potential gain. How do you feel that music – not just in the electro/industrial scene – has taken to this issue in terms of its approach to live shows? And what have you noticed from fans and audiences with regard to their attitude to live shows?

Mundayne: Well, a live show should always be worth going to.

VX-5: Hey, look at that.

Mundayne: I’m looking at you two. You just can’t see. Ooh, what’s that? Because of all the shit being so easy to get, you’ve got to step up the live show so that people want to go to see you.

Cynergy 67 has undergone several lineup changes over the years, but you VX-5 and Evo-1 have remained the consistent core since its inception. Tell us about the dynamic between the two of you and how it has evolved both in the studio and live over the years? How has the shifting lineup affected the band’s output, if at all? In other words, how has working with the various people had an effect on the way you’ve approached your material since the New Machine EP and the Project: Assimilation album?

VX-5: We went from a live, full band writing and recording to two people because we were sick of dealing with people. [To Mundayne:] Well, this is going to be your first time on a new CD. This is your first time collaborating with the writing. But with those CDs to now, it progressed from four people writing to two people writing, and it works so much better. This is the duo that started the whole thing; we knew what we wanted, that turned it into what it was. We’ve had some really cool people in the band; we’ve had some not so cool people in the band. But either way, it was always us.

Evo-1: It’s hard to get everybody together to actually do some writing.

VX-5: It’s hard to get them all on the same page, especially in a state saturated with cover bands and metal.

Evo-1: Yeah, that too.

The band was originally signed to Radio.Active.Music, and has recently signed with Lords of Acid’s SonicAngel and Lektroland labels. How did this signing come about and how has the arrangement benefitted Cynergy 67 thus far? Again besides the financial strains, what have you found to be the major difficulties for a band to overcome in the underground music industry with respect to record labels?

VX-5: Laura and Radio.Active.Music…that was awesome. We decided to just keep going our own way for awhile and go back to being independent. Praga and his crew asked us if we’d like to be the first band to sign to SonicAngel from America. And so after seeing what they were about and how their system worked, we decided that we really believed in it and the way that it worked. We thought it could be a true change in this industry that’s digging its death gasps. Benefit-wise, I can’t tell you what the benefits have been yet, because we haven’t released the first CD yet; we’re still working on that. Once that happens, we’ll be able to better assess how it’s benefited us. So far, we love it. Praga’s a great guy; he’s really good to deal with and he really is passionate about what he’s doing, and we really love that.

Evo-1: That’s another good part about that record label is that somebody from the music industry is helping to run it, so he knows what we’re going through.

Your most recent release was the Regeneration DVD, which included a documentary of your last tour, music videos for Project: Assimilation, and is actually the second DVD the band has put out. Most bands, especially in the underground scene, have difficulty even putting a single DVD together. What has been the audience response to these DVD releases so far, and what have you found to be the most stimulating part of the process in assembling such releases?

VX-5: Fans seem to love the DVDs. The most recent one sold out in the first weekend, so we’re really happy about that. We weren’t expecting that. But we make them to give a view into our life and what we do. It’s not a bunch of polished up stuff to make us look really cool like our videos are. It was an actual view into ‘days in the life’ of how glamorous it is living in a Chevy van, traveling across Utah in 120 degrees.

Mundayne: Uh huh.

Evo-1: It’s also a good medium for creating, because with CDs, you only get the audio. With a DVD, you get the visual as well.

VX-5: With the CD, all they get is my voice. With a DVD, they get all of this.

Cynergy 67 is often associated with ‘industrial rock,’ although your band profile describes your sound as ‘hypersexual electro rock.’ First of all, can you give us some more detail into this description and how it applies to your music and your lyrics? In other words, how does it relate to your process of songwriting and production?

VX-5: ‘Hypersexual electro rock’ was really just a joke we put up once because everybody gives their own genre name, and we were like, ‘Well, we got a lot of sex songs, so we’ll call it ‘hypersexual electro rock.’” We were a bunch of prepubescent perverts. It kind of stayed, and as the term took, people actually referred to us that way and asked us about it a lot, so we’ll take it. I mean, personally, I’m inspired by things like that in my real life. I’m a dirty, dirty boy. I just like to be open about those topics. There’s really no angst anymore at this age, and I’m not a sullen teenager anymore; I don’t have heartbreak. I had my time during the first two albums writing about depression and sadness and insanity, things that I had in my life. I don’t have those anymore. Besides being too broke to do this for a living all the time the way we want to do it, life is pretty damn good. So I pick topics that mean something to me now.

Evo-1: Just because you can.

VX-5: Yeah, it just means something to me, and we get to put on a sexy show and we get to (have whores?) on stage.

Secondly, as the lines between genres and subgenres are blurring to the point that new terms are constantly being thought up by bands and fans, what is the significance of such labels? How do you feel they are a benefit and/or a detriment to a band’s ability to reach its audience?

VX-5: There are two sides to it. Humans need labels; that’s just how the consumers are, because this could be Cynergy 67 and you could label it country and nobody’s going to listen to it that likes this style of music because they’re just going to assume it’s horrible because it’s country. So they need that label at least to associate it to a category that they feel comfortable with. At the same time, with the ability now for bands to make up all their own genre titles all the time, while sometimes creative – like Matt Fanale of Caustic…’jizzcore’ is brilliant…

Mundayne: Yeah, it is.

VX-5: I love that title, jizzcore. We were a lot referred to…as a matter of fact, it was our former keyboardist, Dave (UV), who used to call us coldwave, which I thought was a pretty good description. It’s a way for bands to sum up the way they feel; it’s a way for the fans to get an understanding of it, but at the same time, there’s too much of it.

Mundayne: Like a slogan on a movie, basically.

VX-5: Yeah, and everyone says, ‘I don’t live by labels, man. Don’t label me.’ Well, you have to. That’s just the way it is.

Evo-1: It helps identify what music they’re listening to.

VX-5: Sorry, kids. As long as MTV exists, you’re always going to need those labels to know what you’re supposed to like.

Evo-1: The labels are starting to become so obscure that multiple groups don’t fit into one label anymore. It’s mostly just individual descriptions of a band.

Mundayne: Music is music.

VX-5: Exactly! One of the people actually asked me, ‘What do you play?’ I just said, ‘Music.’ What is that?

Over the years, Cynergy 67 has performed alongside some of the biggest names in the scene and has received sponsorship from a number of products. How do you feel product sponsorship has been of benefit to Cynergy 67 and what advice would you give to up and coming bands looking to obtain sponsorship from such companies?

Evo-1: Free shit!

VX-5: There are sponsors and there are sponsors. What I mean by that is that there are real sponsors and there are fake sponsors. A lot of companies…there have been a lot of companies in the last year that I’ve seen that just take on people just so they can say that they’re sponsoring them, and they take on hundreds of bands. They start with good intentions, but then it just becomes oversaturated, and all you’re doing is giving them a $10 discount and telling them that you’re endorsed by this company.

Evo-1: It seems like some of these companies are just looking for free advertisement, so they’ll sign anybody.

VX-5: We’ve had some great sponsors like Snapjacks, Switch guitars, Korg.

Mundayne: Ohmibod.

VX-5: Ohmibod are odd but fantastic endorsements. Those companies treat us really, really well. They pimp us as much as we pimp them. It’s just a matter of proving that you have a product that’s going to give them some attention and make it worth their time to work with you and give you their product to use.

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