Have you heard about this radical battle of the bands that Music & Arts happens to be putting on? In case you haven’t, you can check out some information on it here. It plans to be fabulous. It plans to be fun. It plans to be … a battle. In anticipation of the extravaganza, we reached out to all seven finalists and asked them all the same five questions. What shall we do with the five answers we received to the five questions? Well, we shall share them with you. That’s what we shall do. We began with Israel Creek, Nasim Siddeeq, Will Wood And The Tapeworms, Chill Russell, and now, next up is Keith Pereira of CYRENIC, who will be representin’ North Potomac, Maryland. They’ll be competing Thursday night. The fun begins at 5 p.m. The venue is Champions. Go rock. Go roll.
First, tell us a little about the band. How did it come to be, how long have you been together and how would you describe your music?
CYRENIC is a Frederick-based modern-rock band that was never supposed to be. Despite having no musical training, the band’s frontman, Brian Zuckerman, began writing and recording in college and eventually had so much material that it produced two albums – “The Whites of Our Lies” (2008) and “A New Meaning” (2009). Due to their exclusive online release, the albums received quick acceptance and he got amazing feedback from people all over the world. Even with the incredible reception, there was never any real intention of attempting a full band to perform the music live. Fans persisted, however, and not long after the release of “A New Meaning” in 2009, Brian decided to assemble a live band to perform the music of CYRENIC.
Several lineup changes ensued until the right mix of individuals came along – Brian Zuckerman (rhythm guitar), Kevin Holmes (lead guitar), Chris Grimes (bass guitar), and Keith Pereira (drums). Since 2011, CYRENIC has produced another four full-length albums – “Dying To Live” (2011), “Selective Memory” (2013), “Metaphor” (2014), and “Medusa” (2016) – and they are currently composing new material for their next release.
CYRENIC’s music can be described as modern rock for the whole family. Given their extensive catalog of songs, there is something for everyone to enjoy, ranging from heavy tracks like “Crash/Kill” and “Die Another Day” to more radio friendly songs like “The Path,” “Built of Sand” and “The Whites of Your Lies.” With ballads like “Ever After” and “Metaphor,” there is also a core of CYRENIC’s music that is deep in melody, simplicity and emotion.
Have you ever competed in a battle of the bands before? If so, how did you do? If not, do you have a strategy going into this competition?
We’ve done a few other band battles before and have made it to the finals each time, including last year’s Music & Arts Battle of the Bands. We’ve never taken home the grand prize, though, so we are hoping to change our luck this year!
What do you think is the most perfect song ever written and why?
For me, it’s Simon and Garfunkle’s “The Sound of Silence.” No matter if I’m listening to the original song from 1964, the recent cover by Disturbed, or even a rendition sung in another language, this is a song that has certainly held up over time, sounds beautiful, and really means something to people all over the world.
What’s the best part about working for Music & Arts?
Music has always been a huge part of my life personally. I love that I get to work with a company that values music and is focused on helping to create and cultivate the next generation of musicians.
And finally, how would you spend the $1,000 gift card, should you take home first place?
Given how much we love to create our own music, we would most likely spend the prize money on upgrading some of our recording gear.