Interview with CYRANOI


Modern melodic metalcore project from Helsinki, Cyranoi released their second EP titled “Exist” on February 24th this year. About the five-track EP, Prog Sphere’s Alex Nikolic talked with singer Joona Jaakkola and guitarist Tomi Pohja.

Define the mission of Cyranoi.

Tomi: I’d simply say that this is us chasing our dream. However, seeing that people like our music is a huge thing and if they really enjoy it, I think that is the biggest reward we can get from this. We just want to share something that we love to do with everyone and that is also the reason why our music is free to download.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your new EP “Exist” and the themes it captures.

Joona: Well first when we started talking about the lyrical content of the EP Tomi brought up the idea for the name of the EP, ”Exist”. He explained the meaning behind the name and I realized that I had written previously some words down that had pretty much the same meaning. That text file was already named “Abiogenesis” so we decided to keep that name and it became the first song for the EP. Then I had the idea of extending that story and keeping the same theme for the rest of the EP. So I started writing a so called synopsis for the EP of the full story and how it would continue through the EP. And after that I wrote the songs pretty much in chronological order.

What is the message you are trying to give with “Exist”?

Joona: The number one message I’m trying to tell people is to appreciate this planet and this chance of life. Being happy and thankful for every single day and respecting this planet that we live in.


How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

Tomi: Almost all of the guitar compositions were done during my summer holiday on our summer cottage so basicly whenever I’d come up with something cool, I’d tab it into a tablature software on my laptop. Later back at home I’d then program all drums and midi tracks.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

Joona: Yes, I put the most effort I have ever put into lyrics on this EP and I tried my best to make them flow and make sense as individual songs and as a whole.

Tomi: When it comes to instruments, yes. They are also planned to flow from one to another. As a matter of a fact, I wanted to form some sort of vision of the EP before I even started composing. How many songs it would include, how each song would differ from others and what kind of feeling each song had. Even the tempos, length of the songs and song structures were planned to some extent in advance. Later it would help me to come up with the riffs I was looking for each song.

Describe the approach to recording the EP.

Tomi: After the composition was done we began to work on pre-production demos. We both have equipment for recording so it made everything pretty easy. Pre-production demos were a good way for Joona to lay his vocals on these new tracks for the first time and see if they needed any polishing. It was also good for me to record everything once for practice before we began actual recordings in December.

How long “Exist” was in the making?

Tomi: To be precise, 246 (+/- few) days haha. This might sound pretty fast time to come up with a five song EP but making of the ”Exist” EP started basicly right after releasing our debut EP ”Challenger Deep”. Most of the compositions were done within a month but I’d say that all in all it took 4 months to finish up everything. Recording process took roughly 3 months. I admit that everything happened in a very short time but it was only because of the flooding inspiration.


Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

Joona: Erra, Chelsea Grin, Architects and Make Them Suffer.

Tomi: At the time of composing ”Exist” my biggest inspirations were August Burns Red with their latest release ”Found In Far Away Places” and Monuments with ”The Amanuensis”. Also ”Augment” by Erra and ”Entwine The Threads” by Circle Of Contempt have been huge inspirations since the first time I heard them.

What is your view on technology in music?

Tomi: I think that it offers great possibilities and makes some things a lot easier. For us it also means being able to do this in the first place. Being able to program drums for Cyranoi is crucial at this point of our career as we don’t have a fulltime member to play drums. I do appreciate musicians working old-school way, without the help of technology. In the end it’s about personal preference so whatever feels the most comfortable, you should go with it.

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

Tomi: I’m not sure about that but if listening to our music puts you into a good mood or you just simply enjoy listening to it, I think we have done something right and that gives us purpose to keep on doing this.

What are your plans for the future?

Tomi: One thing I can promise, there will be more. I’m just not sure when and I don’t want to promise anything until I know better. Anyway, I think now that we have released two EPs it would be time for our first full length so stay updated by following us on Facebook and download our music for free from our Bandcamp if you haven’t already!

Thank you for the interview!

Photos by Jessika Mattila

Follow Cyranoi on Facebook.

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