Cynimatics is a four piece ska/pop punk hybrid band based out of Pittsburgh that have been together (except for a brief hiatus) since 2013. These guys blend third wave ska with pop punk for a unique sound with even more unique set of influences.
Q) Cynimatics just had a release show back in April for “A Life That’s Always The Same.” Are you planning on doing some more touring with that release, or are you focusing more on the potential album you’ve got in the works?
A) That’s funny… “A Life That’s Always The Same” was sort of just a stunt to gain some momentum again and put something fresh and tangible out there since we weren’t active for basically an entire year (2016-2017). I booked the release show with 3 of my friends’ bands (FlipSwitch, Rotations, and Lotus Kid) to basically just have a good time. We gave away the CDs for free there. I’m really grateful everything went well and that everyone seems to be digging the new EP. I can’t really say that we’ll ever tour for it.
The band is pretty much just a hobby. We do this for fun, and love just being local to Pittsburgh as well as releasing everything we do DIY. I’d love to travel, but with most of us just out of school and juggling priorities, it’s difficult.
Q) What shows do you have coming up?
A) We have 2 shows coming up this summer so far. We try to play around once a month so that things don’t get stale and our friends don’t get sick of coming to see us, haha. June 24th we are playing with Johnny & The Razorblades at the Rex Theater, and July 29th we are opening for my personal heroes in Two Birds and Nightbeast at Club Cafe. I’ve wanted to share the stage with these folks for a really long time so this is sort of a big deal for me.
Q) You’ve shared fairly publicly before that your lyrics stem from different personal struggles. Has being able to get those feelings into music and share them with people who have been able to relate been a good method of catharsis for you?
A) Yes, I’d say so. Honestly pretty much everything I write has to deal with either first world problems (of which I assure everyone, I am definitely self aware) or social anxiety involving looking popular on the internet. Looking popular on the internet is virtually impossible for a ska band *laughs* so you see my dilemma. The most noticeable way the music I’ve written has helped me through my life struggles though, is after getting my anxieties and woes out of my system, looking back on what I’ve written and realizing how silly it is, then releasing it anyway, because why not.
Q) What would you say your musical process consists of?
A) The musical process usually is me writing the lyrics, rhythm guitar parts, and overall structure in an acoustic demo and sending it to Sam, our bassist. He’ll then add programmed drums, bass, horns, guitar harmonies and basically anything else the song needs. The kid is a wizard in Protools. Most of our songs we’ve built that way, as opposed to have written them as a band. Some of the songs that he’s written and sung on I’ve actually not even performed on at all in the final recordings.
Q) Stylistically, what do you think sets you apart from other ska/ska hybrid bands in Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas?
A) Honestly, I am not too familiar with too many other ska/ska hybrid bands in the Pittsburgh area. That might be a by-product of how old I am and my age group being almost 100% encased in pop punk, metalcore, or indie/emo. It might not. I don’t know. I am though, always trying to discover new local musicians no matter what genre they play. For us as a ska band though, I’d say what makes us different is we heavily draw lyrical and sometimes musical influence from bands like My Chemical Romance, Punchline, Bayside, Saves The Day, and All Time Low. Tell me what ska bands do that!
Q) Many would say that ska is dead, what is your reason for making sure it stays alive and well?
A) Ska is basically dead or at least a nostalgia type of music, guilty pleasure music, whatever you want to call it. Ska sounds will always be in mainstream pop radio songs and in all sorts of alternative/punk songs for years to come, but no one ever really refers to it as “ska.”
I play 3rd wave ska because it was one of the first types of music I had heard as a kid, (Tony Hawk on Playstation, anyone?) When I started playing guitar, I never really tried to learn how to play anything else, I just played ska and that was it, and before you know it almost a decade passed.
My final reason has always been because in my opinion ska is sort of a more interesting and unique alternative to punk or pop punk.
Q) Cynimatics had taken a break for a while, how does it feel to be back together and playing gigs again?
A) It feels great! The people in my band are my best friends and the community we’ve grown in for the past 4 years is irreplaceable. Our first show back for 2017 (March 11th with Herbivore at Mr. Smalls) I knew I was finally at home again when, the second we started playing, the crowd started a circle pit. That hadn’t happened in an entire year of me performing non-Cynimatics music. It didn’t matter that most of the audience was our friends and members of the other bands.
Q) What is some advice you wish you had had when you were first starting out?
A) SPEND MONEY. Ugh I cannot stress that enough. Do. Not. Be. Afraid. To. Spend. Money. Everything goes over better (even in DIY) if it is done in an organized or expensive looking manner. I wish we would’ve been able to invest more in social media, videos, recordings, etc. earlier on. It’s a wonderful thing having a product that isn’t half-assed.
Q) Who are some of your favorite local bands you think people should be checking out?
A) There’s tons of amazing artists in Pittsburgh. Too many to name. I’ll just give a short list of my current favorites:
- After 87 – pop rock
- Lotus Kid – angsty pop punk
- Herbivore – jam rock
- FUBAR – reggae/rock
- Rotations – alternative
- Life Is Short – pop punk
- Two Birds – pop rock
- Eternal Boy – pop punk
Q) Do you have any favorite local businesses/artists/etc?
A) Yes, in fact I want to give a huge shoutout to my good friend Bryson from Horeyezon Clothing. He owns a really cool Pittsburgh-based clothing line and is also a top notch graphic design artist. He has helped us out on a lot of our artwork our band has used, and anytime Horeyezon has supported at a show, it has been a real party. Love everyone involved.
Q) Where would you say is your favorite pizza place?
A) My favorite pizza is from The Parkwood Inn Restaurant in Greensburg. I don’t really have much to say about it. It’s just really good.
Q) How can people access/acquire your music?
A) People are able to get most of our albums and EPs on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, and YouTube. But you can actually download everything we’ve ever released for FREE on bandcamp. I encourage everyone to download our songs for free and to show your friends!