Finland's Kaaos TV recently conducted an interview with vocalist Jake E and guitarist Euge Valovirta of multi-national pop metallers CYHRA. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On what CYHRA wanted to accomplish with its forthcoming second studio album, "No Halos In Hell":
Jake: "What I felt when I started to write songs was that this live thing needed to come in as a more central point in the band. Because when we wrote the first album, we wrote the first album as just songs. In the beginning, we had no idea if we were going to form a band, me and Jesper [Strömblad, guitar, ex-IN FLAMES], or if we were just releasing an album together. We were just writing songs that we liked. Then it became a band. We toured a lot. As I said before, some songs didn't fit into the live set. My main priority, when I started to write, was that I want to make songs that will work out live. And I think that we made an album that where we can put any of the songs into the live set at any day. They are all switchable and they will all work in front of a live audience. That was the thing that I concentrated on the most."
On the currently vacant bass player position in CYHRA:
Jake: "Obviously we don't have a keyboard player and we don't have a string section. After the U.S. tour where Peter [Iwers, bass, ex-IN FLAMES] couldn't join us because he has a brewery and a restaurant, he's an entrepreneur; he couldn't go on the U.S. tour and then during the U.S. tour, he felt that, 'I'm sorry guys. I don't have time to do this full-time.' Because the band grew really, really fast. When we were on that tour, instead of trying to find someone to play bass in the last second, we just realized, 'Okay, we put it on the backing tracks.' It actually worked out really, really well. What's most important in CYHRA for us is the band dynamics. That all of us should get along great. Because we're out on the road so much, we need to be brothers when we're touring. We can't fight or argue. We need to have the mission set straight that we want to go from here to here and we want to reach the same goal. Just putting someone else into that machinery, we just felt that, 'Let's go with the bass on backing tracks until that day where we find that dude, or girl, that just 'This fits.''
On Strömblad's involvement on "No Halos In Hell" considering he currently doesn't tour with CYHRA:
Jake: "The first half of this album you hear a lot of Jesper's melodies. He hasn't been that much into that writing in like writing whole songs on this album. But he has come in and done a great job — you can hear that on the album — the old Jesper melodies."
Euge: "One of my and Jake's songs, it was kind of finished, but it needed something. I was like, 'It needs the Jesper touch.' Then I said, 'Jesper, come here.' We were in the studio. 'This part, what should we do about it?' He was like, [mimics guitar playing] 'Yeah, that was it!' He came up with something like this [mimics playing again] 'Yeah, cool. Thank you, I'll put a harmony on it!'"
Jake: "On this album, what I meant with Jesper not writing songs himself — on the first album, Jesper came with full songs, like, 'I have this full song.' The songs me and Jesper had written, like a lot of the songs together, but to answer your question, not like, 'Here's the song.' It was a good collaboration. After listening to the mixes a little bit, he sent an e-mail to Euge, 'This part, I don't like the keyboards on it. Can you play solos?'"
On whether the musical direction of "No Halos In Hell" is similar to their "Letters To Myself" debut:
Jake: "I wouldn't use 'similar' as the word. Of course, we have not started to play death metal or something like that, but we play CYHRA songs, obviously. It's melodic, it's catchy and it sticks to your brain. That's the formula of what CYHRA really is. Still, we bring a lot of new things up on the table on this album. We have harder songs, we have faster songs, and we have even more melodic songs."
"No Halos In Hell" is due November 15 via Nuclear Blast.
In early 2018, CYHRA completed a successful North American tour opening for SABATON and KREATOR.
CYHRA's European tour with new labelmates BATTLE BEAST will kick off in Sweden on November 15.