By: Etienne Frontera
Today we interview the italian electro-house duo, Cyberpunkers.
In the industry of electronic music, standing out with an original sound is what many producers aim for. This iconic sound defines their originality, creativity and success, forging their careers as successful artists. Cyberpunkers, the Electro House duo from Milan, Italy, takes the previous premise quite seriously. Their original electrifying, intense and hard hitting sounds have launched them into international success. Their trademark cyberpunk rebellious tracks consist of a hard hitting bass-line, synths reminiscent of punk and a little formula they like to call “Electrodirtyfuckinmetalinnovativerockinfresh”. Their recent hits such as the massive anarchical Fuck The System, I Needed To Go and Cabala are only part of what Massi Arena and Fabio Liuzzi have in their arsenal of massive tracks. Without any delay, here’s our exclusive interview with Cyberpunkers, enjoy.
Forward Musiq: How did the Cyberpunkers begin? From where did the name originate? What brought the two of you together?
Cyberpunkers: We started in 2006, after our meeting at De Sade, an historical nightclub in Milan; until then, everyone had his own career in music. We both, however, felt the need to create a new project, which could give life to our ideas and passions.
FM: Since how long have the two of you been producing music and DJing?
CP: DJing was our first job. We began to play when we were teenagers, with different and separate projects, and with different influences.
FM: What inspired the two of you to take on electronic dance music instead of pop or any other genre?
CP: We’ve always been fans of electronic music since we were kids, and give life to our musical production using inspirations from big electronic artists has always been our dream. Have success with our personal idea of electronic music has fulfilled all the efforts made to enforce our sound. We do not dislike other musical genres, but everyone makes their own choices and we followed the road that our passion always showed us.
FM: Were there artists that inspired you both? Who do you guys listen to at the moment?
CP: We had different inspirations, from Sex Pistols, Ramones, The Clash, Korn, Nirvana, The Offspring, System Of A Down, Depeche Mode, Massive Attack, Tricky, but also Michael Jackson (R.I.P.), and, for sure Daft Punk, Chemical Brothers and Prodigy.
FM: Your style is an aggressive and intense blend of house. How did you guys come by the idea to utilize these sounds in your productions? Would you say that your sounds are classified by Electro House only, or do you feel you have achieved a new category? Can you guys describe the process by which the two of you produce or remix a song?
CP: Electrodirtyfuckinmetalinnovativerockinfresh sound, one word: Cyberpunkelectro! Every remix is taken seriously and is treated with utmost detail as if it was one of our singles. We make careful choices because we receive a lot of remix requests, it is necessary that we like the song, and that the label is interesting and is willing to give us a huge promotion. We don’t take inspiration from other stuff or artists to create our sound, we estimate many producers, and listen the music of the other djs, but our production has to be always new and innovative, or at least we try to do that. It is not nice if someone says “”ahhhhhhh looks like the track of….” . We think that this idea of production could be what makes us different from the other million or so artists that are constantly trying to become main-stream!
FM: What are some of the mayor components and programs that form part of your studio?
CP: We began to produce using Virtual Instrument and some digital synth as for example Virus or Nord Lead, than we pass to all analogic synth. In our studio we use Moog Voyager, Alesis Andromeda and Dave Smith Prophet 08, adding distortion using guitar pedals. We are really satisfied for the result we’re having with this instrument, since we pass to the analogical sound we feel a big step forward in. With the sequencer we like to use Nuendo, and for effect/ec/como we use the usual Waves. We prefer to do all the post production (mixing and mastering) directly in our studio, because we never stay totally in line with someone outside of the project. All our stuff are and will be made totally from us.
FM: When playing at events, your sets are quite unique, standing out from many artists’ regular setup. You mainly use two consoles and several audio machines. What prompted you guys to play this way? Do you see some advantages?
CP: During the live set we use two separate consoles, linked each other to have the possibility to play freely, ‘cause 4 hands in one console would be limited. As all the djs, we use mixed and CD’s, but also a Mac with Ableton Live controlled using an Akai. With this we process our music editing it depending on the vibration of the dancefloor. We just begin to think to bring with us our synth and vocoders…Our advantage is the energy during the set, because we try to make our exhibition a real rock concert inducing people to jump, sing and headbang as if they’re dancing on the rhythm of guitar, bass and drums. The difference in our set is that all this sound are made using not real instrument, but a Midi controller for the guitar, a laptop for the bass, and our production for the drums!
FM: Your performance look is also quite unique, consisting in hiding your faces behind paintball masks. Why do you guys choose to perform this way? Is a sense of originality part of it, or is privacy the main goal?
CP: We use the mask because its a fusion between the human and the machine, so for us its a form to represent the cyberpunker culture. And we choose this model of paintball mask because…. We like it!
FM: Your recent hit, Fuck The System, has become quite the club destroyer. The massive tune can only be described as a perfect fusion of anarchistic intense rhythms with a hard hitting bassline. What was the inspiration for this track? Was it produced differently to any other track you had previously created?
CP: In contrast to all our other production, “Fuck the System” has been created thanks to our artistic maturity that has happened over the years. And the success received on the dance floor all around the world made it one of the tracks in our discography that represents and exalts the most our fans.
FM: Your recent tour, Fuck The System, has been quite an achievement. What have been the biggest highlights of it? Any favorite moments?
CP: The whole tour was wonderful, with large crowds that for sure influenced us to know a varied public who do not yet know us. We still remember a guy in Moscow – Russia, that to shake our hand he climbed on a 3 meter high stage, which was about to fall. After having greeted us he risked being lynched by the bouncer (so he risked 2 times) but after our request, he had the permission to stay with us with his drink, and he enjoyed his time with us better than on the dancefloor.
FM: Over the years, which have been your favorite events?
CP: Each party is incredible for us, because we met always a lot of fans waiting for us, ready to shows us how much they appreciate our sound. We don’t want to specify a party, or a festival we prefer, in this case its our public that speak for us, everyone with his personal best night. If they’re happy, we’re happy too.
FM: Music pirating has become a common practice in the internet, mainly defended as a way to achieve freedom, others criticizing it as a killer to the music industry. As artists, what are your views on piracy?
CP: The crisis of record company and piracy don’t damage us, because in our industry and especially in our niche, discography if used intelligently is just a good way to be known thus creating the business of the party ($). We think today would be stupid to waste time feeling sorry for himself because it does not sell records, you must realize that we have entered in a new era where the music is practically free. It’s double edged sword that does not make you gain nothing on sale but makes fast dissemination of music in the world thanks to the network and its peer to peer programs. With this system we feel free to express ourselves peacefully and having the opportunity to be heard by all, THE NEW SCHOOL.
FM: What do you guys seen in the future for your careers as artists? Can we expect an album soon?
CP: For sure soon there will be a new EP (February 2012) and probably now is the right moment to begin to think to an album. We’ll let you know what we decide to do.Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to know all next gigs and discovered all the news that in a few period will arrive to your brain! Are You Ready Mothafucka?
FM: Thanks for your time guys; it´s been quite the honor for you to have been part of this interview. Any words for your fans back at Puerto Rico?
CP: Thanks to you! We’d like to remember to our fans that we’ll come back to the USA and Puerto Rico next May 2012, during the next World Tour. We bring bombs for the dance floor… and you begin to build the bunker to repair yourself!! Yo