At this point we would like to introduce the individual members, combined with a brief band biography. Since one of us has to make a start, we decided, that this should be the one who contributed to CEPHYREs songwriting in the first place; without even knowing back then:
(Guitar & Background Vocals)
Already while he was playing in various bands (e.g. Serenade of Silence, Bloodsky), Jakob recorded several demo versions on his own. Performing these songs in a regular band context at some point was never completely ruled out, but the foundation for that was ultimately laid in 2017 during a short-term revival of the cover project FotD; a band in which we have actually all played together, and which – for legal reasons – can only be mentioned as an abbreviation .
At some point Jakob passed the above mentioned demo versions on to a singer, with whom he had already worked as an acoustic duo, in classical duets and on FotD, said enigmatic metal cover acronym:
Johannes developed vocal lines and lyrics for Jakob’s parts and returned the favor with his own compositions, which Jakob edited in turn. Both quickly found out that the parts and songs complemented each other perfectly and continued to meet at irregular intervals to work on material and exchange their visions. The intervals became shorter and more regular; visions turned to specific ideas and so it slowly became apparent that this could become more than just a studio project if a few more musicians would join the cause.
First of all, a drummer had to be found to replace the yet only programmed (and – on closer examination – at best playable to a strictly limited extent) drum tracks with his own playing and thus add more power and structure to the existing song fragments. Of course it had to match on a human level and a certain openness to different stylistic influences was highly desirable. While Jakob and Jojo were still pondering, the incarnated solution to the “problem” moved into a new apartment and became Jakob’s next door neighbor:
Manu plays drums in the local thrash metal band Centrate and completely fulfilled the requirement profile described above. After a short exploratory talk in the stairwell and inspection of the existing material, he was immediately interested in a joint rehearsal. This musical beta test took place in early 2021, left everyone involved highly satisfied and, in retrospect, could probably be described as the first CEPHYRE rehearsal. More rehearsals were to follow and one also had to address the issue that their sound obviously lacked some lower frequencies.
There were also some tangible ideas regarding the job on the bass. Jakob’s melodies should have a brute foundation and at the same time be harmonically complemented by a certain melodic approach. In order to implement the various ideas for vocal arrangements even more flexibly, the idea was also raised to combine the full-time position on bass with a mini-job on the microphone. What initially sounds like the musical perversion of turbo-capitalism quickly culminated in the early and unanimous determination of one preferred candidate:
(Bass & Background Vocals)
Christian has made a name for himself in the hardcore scene, playing with numerous bands over the last years (e.g. Business As Usual, Blind Youth, Out for a Kill); so he could bring another musical influence to the band. In addition, Jakob, Jojo and Manu all had previously shared rehearsal rooms, stages and in some cases even the school desk with him. So there was the possibility of convincing him to get involved from several sides simultaneously. As it turned out after an email with mp3 files and a short phone call, there was no need for that much persuasion. Christian agreed immediately and perfectly contributed his ideas. The band was officially a four-piece.
Nevertheless, we mostly rehearsed in smaller working groups for the next months, sending digital data back and forth because the corona pandemic had reached a new peak in the meantime (or what we thought was a peak at this time, little did we know …).
In addition to falling incidences and broader access to vaccination appointments, the summer of 2021 brought us the possibility of further security through finally available rapid tests. So we were eventually able to rehearse regularly and in full cast, which showed us that the work of the last few months could not replace band rehearsals, but at least prepare us pretty well for them. However, working out the details together brought our focus back to the fact that our songs were actually designed to be played with two guitars from the beginning. Jojo’s performances as a guitar impersonator could occasionally cause dissonant hilarity in the rehearsal room, but didn’t seem to be a particularly promising concept for the long run. Christian’s suggestion to show the song material to his brother was much more effective:
(Guitar & Background Vocals)
Roland was a member of one of Jakob’s first bands, Serenade of Silence, and had also played as part of FotD with the other band members. His entry was so obvious that we all had to ask ourselves why we hadn’t tried to get him on board a long time ago. The actually more urgent question, however – namely, whether he himself would be interested in it – was answered quite impressively by Roland playing along with all the existing songs in his first rehearsal as if he had been doing this for years and already had a bunch of riffs in his luggage in the second rehearsal , some of which we have since released as our first song “Regret”.