Have any of you played in other bands?
Andrew: In terms of other bands that are currently still active, all of us play in a hardcore/punk/thrash crossover band called Muttcrew. Though the lineup is basically the same (Cryptic second guitarist Cory does lead vocals instead of me, and I am the sole guitarist rather than one of two), we use different tuning and the style couldn’t be more different. We’re focusing on Cryptic and Muttcrew right now, but three of us are also in a deathgrind band called Decaying Uterus, and Alex and I make up an acoustic duo called Moon Shire. In terms of previous projects, I’ve done rhythm guitar and vocals in a power/thrash metal band called Vengeance, vocals in a progressive death metal band called Shattered Revelation, and guitar in a band called Incest that was kind of a genre clusterfuck. Cris and I particularly have a reputation for being band whores.
Alex: I’ve played in a few other bands, ranging from metal to acoustic. Currently in Decaying Uterus, Muttcrew, Moon Shire, and I have solo stuff.
Cris: As a drummer, too many haha
Cory: I’ve played in some pretty horrible bands over the years. The good ones were/are The Suicide Addicts, a punk band I started in high school that never went anywhere, Inspired by Hatred, A 2 piece me and this asshole started a long time ago, and Muttcrew.
How is it that you started playing music?
Andrew: I’ve been passionate about music since I was a child, and there is a recording of me at about three years old singing a ridiculous song which I think was about my uncle’s fat belly or something haha. I played sax in middle school but stopped being too serious about it when my music taste started drifting towards metal. I bought a beat up old guitar from a friend for ten bucks in the summer before 9th grade, my uncle gave me a drum set that another friend agreed to play, and a third friend bought a bass he didn’t even know how to play yet. We gave Cris a call because he had been playing guitar for a year by then, and the band that would eventually become Cryptic Prophecy was formed. I agreed to do vocals only because no one else would, and that’s kind of how it all started.
Alex: I played piano as a kid, sax for the school band, and started learning guitar in 8th grade. I also took voice lessons when I was younger
Cris; Well when i was growing up my dad and uncle would always play classics such as Maiden, Metallica, and Pantera so growing up I was like, “I want to do shit like this”.
Cory: As a kid I alway loved music. I played drums in the school band all the way from elementary school. In 8th grade I got my first guitar and have been playing ever since.
What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you?
I’m Andrew, the lead vocalist and guitarist and I’m 25.
Alex: Alex, bass, 24
My name is Cris and I play drums. 25 years old
Thy name is Cory. I play second guitar in Cryptic Prophecy. I am 23 years old I think.
Have you had other previous members?
Yeah, too many to list. Cris and I are original members but we had a different drummer when Cris played guitar way back in the beginning, and we’ve gone through numerous second guitarists and bassists. Alex has been in and out of the band a couple times and used to play guitar for us. Cory is new.
Cris: Yes but it's always been Andrew and I as founding members. I was the guitarist alongside Andrew when we first started, then switched to drums. I remember when the original drummer left they got a double bass pedal. I didn’t know what in the hell those were and Andrew told me to play real fast. I had no clue my feet were gatling guns hahaha.
Did you make music even when you were young?
Not really, aside from that silly song I mentioned before. I didn’t really start writing my own stuff until high school.
Alex: I made some crude recordings in middle school, mostly on acoustic guitar
Cris: Well we started this band when we were 14-15ish. So that was the start for me.
Cory: I started writing music in like 8th/9th grade.
Where are you from?
Andrew: I’ve lived most of my life in a little town just north of NYC called Hastings on Hudson where Cris, Alex and I met in school.
Cris: I was born in Vina del mar, Chile. Fun fact: David Mcgraw (drummer of Cattle Decapitation) and Tom Araya (Slayer) are both Chileno. Proud to say I’m one as well. The metal scene down there is insane.
Cory: I come from bumble-fuck Brewster NY
What year did the band form?
The first incarnation of the band formed in 2004 but we were completely different back then. We changed our name to Cryptic Prophecy in 2009 and by then we were playing our current style. The earliest songs we still play are from about 2007.
Cris: Summer 2004
What's your style of genre?
I’d say our core sound is melodic death metal but we like to experiment. We’ve got a little black metal in us, a little thrash, maybe a little folk and power metal too.
Alex: We cover a whole spectrum of subgenres of the general “melodic” metal.
Cris: We’re just metal.
What inspires you?
Epic, melodic metal. Sci fi and fantasy. Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy. Beer.
Alex: Prog, pizza, and good bud.
Cris: Well drummers, haha. Aaron Kitcher (Infant Annihilator), Alex Pelletier (Despised Icon), Matt of Animals as Leaders, Flo Mournier (Cryptopsy), and just the fact that I’m itching to get a chance to tour.
How often and where do you reherse?
Andrew: We rehearse about once a week in a room we rent in a nearby town. It’s cool to have our own practice space now, up until not that long ago we used to jam in my family’s basement and piss off the neighbors haha.
Cris: Well Andrew and i used to practice every single day before college and jobs happened haha. Now I practice 4 times a week for up to 5-6 hours just jamming to tunes and playing grooves.
Cory: Once or twice a week at this rehearsal studio we rent out in Mount Vernon.
How have you developed since you started with the music?
Andrew: Well for one thing we’ve all gotten a lot better at our instruments. We’ve also expanded our horizons. Most of us come from a background in heavy music though we’ve all played different kinds of it. I mentioned some of our other bands when answering your first question, but some of us have even done completely different stuff.
Cris: As a musician, I definitely got a lot better, before it was more about speed and blast beats. Now it’s more grooves and keeping things interesting while keeping it brutal.
Cory: My tits came in a little late which caused me to get picked on as a kid, but I don’t want to talk about that. I started out writing songs more towards heavy metal and thrash metal. As I listened to more music I grew more into hardcore, punk and other metal genres.
Do you have other interests of work outside the band?
Andrew: I work in retail but I can’t say it interests me haha. I’m working on my master’s degree in history and hoping to become a teacher. I want to be the kind of teacher who supports kids like I was that never really fit in. Plus, summers off so I’ll have time for music.
Alex: I work at a coffee shop. It’s interesting, the people who come in are interesting too (only in NYC)
Cris: Yes. Cooking, going to killer restaurants and working out. Absolutely love it.
Cory: I go to school at The Institute of Audio Research and am studying to be an audio engineer. I love reptiles and actually work at a pet store. If I had the time and patience I would love to become a breeder.
Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that?
Andrew: Not really. I think right now we’re just working on solidifying the new lineup, rehearsing until we can play a tight set, and we’ll start looking for shows once we feel we’re ready. We kind of have a DIY attitude towards that stuff. Our most fun and best attended shows have been the ones we threw ourselves.
Cris: For sure. I would love it.
Cory: As long as they don’t steal our fucking money like half the ones do here. I prefer hosting my own shows with NO strings attached for any of the bands. In fact I host one couple of times a year and call it ‘Fuck You’. I pay for the whole thing and don’t charge people to get in. I do it as a big middle finger to all the money hungry douchebags that don’t give a fuck about bands they book.
Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that?
Andrew: It would be cool to have a label promoting us but it’s not a priority right now. I think first we need to step up our game in terms of our performance and our equipment. I feel our material is very solid but we could use a lot of work on the business aspect of being in a band. I think most of us are turned off by the idea of treating it like a job.
Alex: We don’t need a label. We can do everything on our own. A label would only make us poorer.
Cris: Hahaha you can ask anyone in the band. It's like a sickness. Im dying to be part of a label.
Cory: I’m open to the idea.
What made you decide to make this music?
Andrew: When I was younger it was about finding an outlet for my aggression. Later it became more about making the kind of music I wanted to listen to. Often when I listen to bands I think of what’s missing, and what I’d do differently. So I try to combine influences in ways I think work well, Basically I write the kind of music that I want to hear.
Alex: It’s fun to play. It’s got a point to it I guess. You can do a lot with this style, and we’re incorporating a lot of cool ideas into our material. It’s different.
Cris: Andrew and I just started writing.
What are your songs about? I’m a big fantasy fan so I write a lot of lyrics about epic battles and such, but also sometimes touch on feelings like anger and depression. Usually when I write about feelings I still use dark fantasy imagery to kind of fit it with the rest of the material. Cris: Fun fact: I have no idea!
Who does the composing and writes the lyrics?
Andrew: I write all of the lyrics and do most of the music composition, though some of our music was written primarily by other members, past and present. Generally I write the guitar parts and the vocals, let the drummer and bassist do what they want as long as it fits, and sometimes the second guitarist adds to or modifies what I write. In cases of songs started by other members, it was them writing the skeleton of the song and me doing the modifications.
Alex: Andrew plays me the song and I come up with boss parts.
Cris: Andrew does most of it and I just hit shit and he always digs it.
Do you start with the music or the lyrics?
Andrew: I generally start with the music and write the lyrics later, though sometimes I’ll repeat certain parts more or less after I’ve written the lyrics in order to make them fit better. After I write music I think of what kind of feelings or imagery it conjures up, then do the lyrics.
Cris: Music always.
Do you compose in a certain inviroment?
Andrew: Not really. Sometimes melodies just come to me and I try to hold on to them long enough to remember them next time I pick up a guitar, and figure out how to play what’s in my head. It can happen at any time. Other times I sit down more consciously to try to write, but the best stuff usually comes to me spontaneously.
Cris: Back in the day Andrew and I would just jam and come up with sick riffs and from there we would go forward.
Have you done any covers live? Andrew: Yeah, a couple. For a little while we were known for covering Mayhem’s Freezing Moon. We’ve also covered Kreator’s Tormentor a couple times. Back in the day we covered In Flames’ Subterranean a lot, and once we covered Ensiferum’s Treacherous Gods. Currently we’re working on a cover of Amon Amarth’s Hermod’s Ride to Hel.
What language do you sing in? Andrew: English. Unfortunately it’s the only language I know how to speak.
What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs?
Andrew: I think the least was a couple times when we just played for the other bands at this hole in the wall pub we used to play a lot. The most was probably, oh I dunno, 50 or 100.
Cris: Always our friends haha, but we do have some fans that come and rock the fuck out
What ages are most of your concert attendants?
Andrew: They tend to range from about 16-30, not counting the older people who have been present but weren’t there for the show when we played bars.
Cris: Damn it can go from 16-60 year olds
Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary?
Andrew: We vary. We have a couple staple songs in our set but those have changed over the years.
Cris: We definitely keep some songs in the set that we think are stamp approval but we do change it up.
Do you have a regular place you play live often? Andrew: Since we just got back together, we haven’t played any shows yet, but we’ve had a couple regular venues at different times. With Muttcrew we’ve played a lot at a local studio where we rent a big room for a couple hours, invite a bunch of people, let them bring their own beer. It’s great. We’re probably going to continue that with Cryptic.
What was your first gig like?
Andrew: Terrible and embarrassing. We played an open mic night at our high school. We barely knew how to play and weren’t ready for a show, and it didn’t help that most people in our high school hated metal. Even when we started to get pretty good they still hated us for the style we played. Thankfully later on we found more legitimate venues to play where people liked our style.
Cris: Imagine a bunch of pissed of outcast teens who just picked up an instrument and two months later play a show. Yup let’s not talk about it. I wore a mask because I thought I was Joey Jordison hahaha.
What was your latest gig?
With Cryptic Prophecy our last gig was a couple years ago at a Battle of the Bands at Webster Hall with our old lineup. We didn’t win, but a decent amount of people showed up to see us play and we got a good reaction from the crowd.
Cris: At a shithole bar in our town and we had a blast but not everyone else. The bar is more for shitty cover bands that play country and soft crap. The bill had all metal bands as well as my other grind/powerviolence band 51B.
Have you had to cancel a gig?
Andrew: Yeah. We were offered a spot opening for D.R.I. which probably would have been our biggest show but there was no way we’d meet the ticket sale quota and we didn’t have the money to front it ourselves.
Cris: Yup D.R.I. but the ticket sales were insane.
Where have you played live this year?
Andrew: No shows with Cryptic Prophecy yet but with Muttcrew we’ve played a local bar and a studio, and some place in Brooklyn. I’m not sure if those were this year or late last year.
Cris: Not one show this year. Actually I played with a grunge side project of mine at a bar but it was whack haha.
Where do you plan to gig the comming year?
Andrew: We’re definitely going to throw one of those DIY shows at the studio, and probably look for more gigs in NYC. The scene in our county is pretty dead.
Cris: Definitely in the city hopefully (NYC) and wherever else. No more bar shows for me haha.
Cory: North Korea.
When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale?
Andrew: We don’t have any merch other than CDs and we generally give those to people for free.
Cris: In their dreams until we actually make some.
Cory: I prostitute myself in the name of the band.
Where can people buy your merchandise?
All of our halfway decent material is available for download at http://crypticprophecy.bandcamp.com/album/cryptic-prophecy-ep. The self titled EP is the best recorded though we’re probably going to re-record a lot of the other stuff soon. Paying is optional.
Cris: No merch but we've been talking about it.
What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records nowadays?
Andrew: I’m honestly not sure how I feel about it. I’d be a hypocrite to say I was against it because I’ve downloaded a lot of music myself, but I tend to buy the music of my favorite bands.
Alex: It is what it is. I download music and I buy records. For the sound quality and aesthetic appeal, I prefer vinyl, but for the convenience of having music anytime I want, digital is better.
Cris: Honestly I torrent music and if I like the album I buy it. It’s just how it is nowadays. If people actually get our shit and dig it it's an honor for me.
Cory: I download music all the time. If I like it enough I will actually buy it. I actually encourage people to illegally download our music.
How do you think the music industry have changed because of this?
Andrew: I think due to music downloads bands now have to rely a lot more on tours and merch than record sales for profit.
Alex: Oh yeah, a lot of these bands are pulling their stuff from these sites because they make nothing. But it’s a lesson in self promotion I guess. You see a lot more bands self-releasing their stuff. It’s yours, you get to keep the money.
Cris: Bands make no money haha simple.
Cory: Bands have to sell merch instead of selling records I guess.
What do you think of my work?
Andrew: I think that your interview questions are very thorough and have the potential to be very informative.
Alex: Interviews are awesome. I enjoy answering questions.
Cris: You ask real good questions
How do you think and know that this interview will help you in the music business?
Andrew: I’m not sure it will, but your questions were fun to answer and if we gain a few new fans because of this interview I’d be happy with that.
Alex: Who knows, maybe some dude will find us and offer us a million dollar contract of bitches, beer, and bud for life as long as we keep releasing music, or maybe we’ll be another insignificant band to roam this earth, but this was cool.
Do you have any role models or idols?
Andrew: Musically I’d say Dark Tranquillity has influenced me the most. I love that they’ve managed to evolve over the years while maintaining a core sound, and I can’t say they have a bad album. Jari from Wintersun is another big influence, and Dan Swano because he’s been in a million bands and plays pretty muc everything. Black Sabbath for basically inventing metal, Iron Maiden for influencing almost every band I like, and Dave Mustaine for being an awesome and influential guitarist and not giving a fuck that everyone thinks he’s an asshole.
Alex: Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa, Iron Maiden, prog, industrial stuff, Jean Paul Sartre.
Cris: Yes. Definitely my father, my uncle Leo, and my balls. They just hang there enjoying life...
Cory: I actually really enjoy the stories of Thomas the Tank Engine.
Why do you think that they exist?
Andrew: I think they all did something that was a little different from what everyone else was doing, or maybe they were just a little better at what a lot of other people were doing, and that gained them some well deserved recognition. But I think some of them don’t get enough recognition.
Alex: To bring us something to make us think and show us something different.
Cris: My balls, well I was born with them.
Cory: Because trains are fucking awesome
Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? Andrew: Older bands when it comes to American metal. I’m not a big fan of what’s been happening with U.S. metal since, I guess I’d say the mid-90s. I still find inspiration from relatively recent bands coming out of Europe.
Alex: Older bands. They were the originators! I think artists today are too generic. But for the ones who do stand out, it’s really nice to hear.
Cris: Definitely the active bands today hands down.
Cory: Both I suppose.
What have been your biggest obstacles? Andrew: There have been a lot of obstacles. Not being able to find a stable lineup was one of them, though I think we have that now. Money and equipment was another, but now we’re all working now and can step up our game there so I think that’s going to improve. The big one is promotion, and the business aspect of music in general. I think we make great music and we’ve received some recognition for that. The biggest compliment we ever received was when Lou from Subzero told us we had “our own sound”, which a lot of local bands don’t have. Or maybe it’s because we just rip off more obscure bands haha. But it’s become clear that if we want to get past playing local dive bars and such, we have to step up our promotion, maybe get a manager who’s got more of a mind for the music business than any of us do.
Alex: Finding shows that aren’t pay to play
What advice would you give other bands or artists?
Andrew: Don’t expect success to find you. Play music because you love it, but don’t expect recognition to come easy. Definitely become a tight band with solid material before you promote extensively, but don’t expect any success just for playing well without educating yourself on the business aspect of music.
Alex: It’s an expensive, time consuming experience. You’re either in it to win it or wasting everyone’s time.
Cory: Wear a condom and don’t share needles. Don’t let assholes talk you down when it comes to what you love.
How do you get psyched for a gig?
Andrew: I still get stage fright even after playing more shows than I can count. I might have a few beers to loosen myself up, but not too many, or it will affect my playing.
Alex: I get anxious, so I like to get fucked up. Sometimes. Sometimes I don’t go too hard, or hard at all.
Cris: Have a beer, and mosh if we're not opening. If we do open I go for a quick run around the block.
Cory: Drink a long island ice tea or 7.
Do you have any new material? Andrew: Right now we’re mostly working on teaching our new guitarist old stuff but yeah, we’ve started to work on a new song or two.
What are your web sites?
Andrew: We used to have a tripod site but it hasn’t been updated in a long time. We mostly use facebook, and people can listen to our music by clicking the link there to our reverb nation. Everything can be downloaded from bandcamp.
How can people reach you?
Andrew: Facebook is the best way.
Cris: facebook (crisleiva), instagram (thechileanseabass) or email
What are your plans for the future?
Andrew: Record a lot of our material that’s never been recorded, play live more often, and find better ways to promote ourselves.
Cris: Work, keep playing music, and if iImeet a nice girl start a family.
Cory: Play in bands, be an audio engineer and then the grand finale of dying of lung cancer.
Do you have something to add?
Andrew: It’s been a pleasure. I hope you and some of your readers check out our self titled EP. Any compliments or constructive criticism is welcome.
Alex: Thanks for the interview. Now buy me a beer!
Cris: Diabeetus. Keep it brutal. Always do what you love and what keeps you happy. Don't let ANYONE tell you otherwise
Cory: I think your baby’s dead?