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Why Cypher16 ditched the UK music industry

Frustrated with the slow workings of the UK music industry, London metallers Cypher16 took matters into their own hands. What happened next was little short of extraordinary

Name a British metal band who can regularly pull in crowds of 5,000 for headline shows, have shared a stage with the likes of Children Of Bodom, Lacuna Coil and In This Moment, consider members of Metallica their friends, and yet have only just released their debut album. Admit it – you’re stumped!

Despite forming in 2007, London-based quartet Cypher16 have yet to make a sizeable splash in their homeland. But, due to the borderless exposure that the internet can bring in the modern era, they’ve instead been building their reputation in some of metal’s less obvious outposts. “I started writing our first EP, The Man Of The Black Abyss, in 2008, and there was obviously no support or no interest,” vocalist and guitarist Jack Doolan tells us. “Then suddenly, these more remote parts of the world started hearing our demos and taking an interest in us, from India to America. We thought, ‘Why do we have to wait to get big in the UK before we start branching out and hitting these places?’ Just because we’re from the UK, it doesn’t mean that we can’t start creating music and going to the people that actually want to see what we’re doing from the get-go.”

It was a huge leap of faith to play India

Which is certainly taking a huge gamble, and the members of Cypher16 had no way of knowing whether it was going to pay off. On one hand you could call it brave, on the other you could say... “We’re completely stupid!” laughs Jack, cutting us off. “Yeah, early on we had this offer from India, and at that point no other metal bands had even been out there, with the exception of Iron Maiden. We honestly thought that it might be a scam. But we worked out that it wasn’t going to cost us that much money to get out there, and the rest of costs were taken care of out in India. So we thought, ‘Why not?’ Why not go out there just to see this place that you might never have a chance to see again as a human being? Let alone going out there with your friends as a musician and getting to play these venues that were totally unknown to you at that time. We weighed it up, and the reasons for going seemed to outweigh the ones to not go.”


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