Shockwave Magazine conducted an interview with CYHRA vocalist Jake E (ex-AMARANTHE) at this year's Sabaton Open Air, which was held last month in Falun, Sweden. You can listen to the entire chat via the SoundCloud widget below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the progress of CYHRA's second studio album:
Jake: "I have been really stressed the last couple of weeks because we're still putting all the songs together and they're not done yet. I am far from done with the songs. I have all the songs, but they're not structured. There's a lot of pieces missing. I don't like to be too well prepared because if you do that, then you start changing stuff that doesn't need to be fixed because you always want to fix stuff, so it's actually better to be 80 percent ready, then do the last fixes in the studio with the producer. And we're recording with Jacob Hansen."
On the response to CYHRA's 2017 debut, "Letters To Myself":
Jake: "I was amazed, to be honest. We were talking a little about the feeling I had before. I did not know what to expect. I had a brand-new band, the start of a brand-new career, even if I have been in the business for 15 years. It's like starting on a blank piece of paper. We had no idea. Like, will people like this? Will people be haters? Will people love it? We had no idea. It turned out that 9.9 out of 10 people that heard it, loved it. We got so much love from the fans. We got the SABATON tour, we've been playing huge festivals. Everywhere we go, people seem to love what we're doing. That's really touching. That's over my expectations. We did this album for ourselves. We made music that we want to listen to and we wrote the music we wanted to hear."
On the recording process for "Letters To Myself":
Jake: "I think I've said it before, but I don't know if I've told anyone about this, but to be really honest, I felt that I had no idea where this is taking me. I took the recording budget and did exactly what I wanted with it. I went to four different studios to record the album with different people. For myself, with the vocals, I took the producer, Jacob Hansen, over to New York and we stayed for over a month and I wrote the lyrics and finished them up sitting in Central Park with a cup of coffee and just watching one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I got inspiration from having New York surrounding me. I have always loved New York, so to be able as a musician in a brand-new band, that meant a lot to me. I felt that if no one is going to like this, at least I will know that I did everything in my power and I had a great time doing it and I know all the money spent would go to something good."
On the combined experience within CYHRA:
Jake: "When I set this band together, I was never out for some kind of fame, people have called us a supergroup or project. That was never the meaning of it, but what I wanted to have, was experienced musicians. I have a family, I have a kid and I have another kid on the way. I have no time to stand in a rehearsal room with some young 20-year-old guys or girls and go, 'Okay, now we have to take this again.' In this band, with these phenomenal musicians in the band, they know what to do, they know where to stand and how to interact with each other. It's just another show for them. That was important so we could just focus on playing the songs."
On how CYHRA has evolved from the debut going into their second album:
Jake: "It has evolved in a way where we used to be five, so now we're four. [Laughs] It's evolution, but it will feel bad if we evolved as human beings, like 'Okay, now we have one arm.' [Laughs] No, but Peter [Iwers, bass] decided to leave the band and we have decided to continue as a four-piece. That's something that has happened. What we have done as a band, when we wrote the first album, as I said, we wrote music that we wanted to listen to, but one thing we figured out along the way when we've been touring, is that some of those songs are not really fit for live. There's a lot of emotions, a lot of slow parts, a lot of things that are great for an album, but now we need to come up with some songs where we think about the live situation. We have to think about the transitions from the old songs into the new songs, so songwriting-wise, we've evolved in that way where we're thinking more about how we're going to set up the show. I think that's important because we are playing for people who are buying our music and people are coming to our show and pay money to see a show. Then, we have the feeling we have to give everything we can to make it as good as possible for them."
CYHRA is rounded out by guitarist Jesper Strömblad (ex-IN FLAMES), guitarist Euge Valovirta (ex-SHINING), and drummer Alex Landenburg (LUCA TURILLI'S RHAPSODY). The band's sophomore album will tentatively arrive in early 2019 via Spinefarm Records.
"Letters To Myself" was recorded at Top Floor Studios in Gothenburg, Sweden.
CYHRA made its live debut in October 2017 at Nosturi in Helsinki, Finland.
This past spring, CYHRA completed a successful North American tour opening for SABATON and KREATOR.