Cytota are a five-piece melodic Post-Hardcore band hailing from the home of metal – Birmingham. Having formed in late 2009, the young band have achieved quite a lot so far; support slots with Funeral For A Friend, While She Sleeps and Rise To Remain. Whilst airplay on major radio and TV stations has given the band plenty of worth exposure and new fans, something which Cytota are bound to get more of in the coming months.
With their debut EP, ‘The Prosecutor,’ Cytota blend crisp metal riffs with appreciative melodic vocals that put them on the same level as their peers; despite their young age. Tracks like ‘Between Jokers and Jesters’ and ‘Absorption’ show the bands heavier side with the occasional infectious melody, whilst ‘Hold Back’ and ‘Scars’ sees the band take a more dark, experiemental approach. The end result is that ‘The Prosecutor’ is a focused and varied post-hardcore release that fulfils any hype Cytota may have.
Already Heard recently caught up with drummer Harry Jennings to discuss the bands formation, ‘The Prosecutor’ EP, joining up with Believe Revolt and collaborating with Rise To Remain’s Austin Dickinson and Ollie Sykes of Bring Me The Horizon and much more.
Already Heard: To begin with could you introduce yourself and your role in Cytota?
Harry: Hey I’m Harry and I play drums in Cytota.
AH: Can you tell us how the band started out?
Harry: Well it was nearly 3 years ago in October 2009 at a Fightstar gig and before Joby (Fitzgerald) our singer had just quit his old band, his dad knew mine so decided to email him asking if he knew any drummers. So at this Fightstar gig in London me and Joby met up for the first time, and just knew after chatting for ages that we needed to make this happen. Then at the time I was in a garage band with my mate Youssef (Ashraf – Guitar)who was on board from the moment I asked him, eventually Ollie our bassist joined after Joby mentioned he used to play with him in a school band, then that was the line-up for the next 2 years until finally Ryan (Hamilton – Guitar) joined us, to take over Joby’s guitar duties and that’s how the five of us came about!
AH: You’re just about to release your debut EP ‘The Prosecutor.’ What can new listeners expect from it?
Harry:Great strong choruses, hard hitting breakdowns, lots of strings, music 3 years in the making, top class production and catchy, relatable lyrics! We’ve spent a lot of time on these songs, they aren’t just something we wrote over a 2-week period then recorded them, we must have re-wrote every song on that EP at least twice. So they are well thought out and have a lot of emotion that we’ve experienced over the 3 years.
AH: Since forming what bands have influenced Cytota?
Harry: The list is endless really, there are so many bands we all look up to, even stuff like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. But I guess modern metalcore and rock has been a major influence on how we write, especially how I write. Getting into bands like Fightstar, Funeral for a Friend, Texas In July etc, has allowed us to really develop on all our favourite things from those artists and blend it together for what we believe is a great sound if you’re into those genres
AH: I understand you started recording the EP back in 2010. What has delayed the EP until now?
Harry: Well we recorded the first version of ‘Hold Back’ in that 2010, and released it as our introduction song to anyone who wanted to check us out, then the year after in 2011 we wrote songs like ‘Scars’ and ‘Absorption’ including the rest of the songs on the EP, so we just decided to record them all together and whack them on a début EP. We realized it needed to feel ‘together’ so we went back to the studio and did it all properly, fixing mistakes and generally making it better. Then, Believe Revolt have come along and helped us improve it all. They really pushed the band forward and allowed us to make it even better than we had hoped.
AH: How did the addition of Ryan Hamilton effect the band and ‘The Prosecutor’?
Harry: It really allowed us to expand our musical abilities, Joby was a great guitarist but really wanted to show the world and our fans what he could do with his vocals and with his stage performance, Ryan came along and really blew us away with his singing ability and guitar skills, being a classical guitarist he really got how to make a song sound great, he helped us write the finishing touches to ‘The Closest Thing’, ‘Absorption’ and ‘Between Jokers & Jesters’ which we all recorded in February.
AH: For the EP release you’ve joined the newly formed Believe Revolt. What attracted you to the label?
Harry: Well Gary and Tom at BR contacted our good friend Ryan Richards asking if there was any good new bands that were without a label, Ryan pointed them in our direction and the guys really loved the music and wanted us to join their ranks, which we happily agreed to and so far it’s been brilliant!
AH: Having received exposure from several TV and radio stations, are there any expectations from fans for ‘The Prosecutor’?
Harry: If you’ve only ever heard what we’ve put on TV and on the radio, like ‘Between Jokers & Jesters’ and ‘Preparing For The Worst’ you’re going to love the EP, it starts out really aggressive and in your face then mellows down to ‘Hold Back’ and ‘Scars’ which just capture both elements of Rock and Metal, then it goes back into the faster music to round off the EP! We really hope it lives up to expectation, it’s everything you want from a Cytota EP!
AH: How do you want fans to react when they hear the EP?
Harry: We wanted them to be excited, blown away and wanting to see it live! The songs are so fun to play live and they really get crowds going, really hoping it captures their imagination and gets them down to a show to experience it!
AH: The lead single is ‘The Closest Thing To A Hug Is A Headlock.’ Could you tell us what the track is about?
Harry: Its about a girl Joby was seeing who led him on, and although he could see she was doing it he let it happen. He blames it on her enjoying the attention he gave her (“You keep me hopes alive, so you can use me as a vice”).
AH: I understand there’s going to be a video for the song soon. What can expect from it?
Harry: Our first two videos were performance based, to show people what we could do. Now with ‘The Closest Thing’ we’re still keeping the performance there but adding in a story line that we believe will really capture the audience that’s watching online or on the TV.
AH: One of the key songs on the EP is ‘Absorption’ which features vocals from Austin Dickinson. How did that collaboration happen?
Harry: began last year when we did 4 shows on the ‘Rise to Remain’ headline tour back in September 2011. We had an early demo of ‘Absorption’ and we had no vocals on the breakdown section, so everyone in the band thought, including Ryan who was our tech at the time, “we should get Austin on the track”, and we played him the demo, he loved it and was a top guy and recorded it for us 4 months later, we really can’t thank him enough for the help he’s given us over the past year.
AH: The artwork has been done by Bring Me The Horizon’s Ollie Sykes. How did you two partner up?
Harry: For the artwork we wanted something really different, that no one had done before, or no one we knew of at least. We decided just for a long shot drop Ollie an email and within 2 weeks he replied. He was such a cool guy about it! He really helped us out and gave us loads of options to choose from, he got heavily involved and we really can’t thank him enough, such a lovely man.
AH: After the EP and single, what else can we expect from Cytota in the coming months?
Harry: Lots of shows near you! We’ve been working on our live performance for a very long time, and we loved our first tour so much back in March, so getting back out there is our top priority! So if you get a chance come down and check us out at a show near you!
AH: Finally why should readers give Cytota a listen?
Harry: Because we’ve worked on this for a very long time, and we really have put everything into it to make sure it’s what people are expecting and hoping us to sound like. The songs have great choruses, great breakdowns and amazing lyrics from Joby, so you should definitely check it out!
‘The Prosecutor’ by Cytota is out now on Believe Revolt.
Words by Sean Reid (@SeanReid86)