cyrus
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"I’m loving how ['delusional'] pulls you along. The piano draws you through this dreamy, dark world that’s disturbingly comfortable to get lost in. For some reason I’m reminded a little of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Streets of Philadelphia’ on a bit of a rock bender…"

EJ Alyssa
March 31, 2008
www.ourstage.com
- OurStage.com


"What is the most recent CD that you actually listened to (not just one on the shelf) that you would recommend to a friend?

Name of artist, and name of CD.

OK, you can list more than one --- something current that strikes your fancy, or maybe something from the past with a sound you still love.

...

OK, I'll start it off. The past couple of days have found me listening to "Source" by rock band Cyrus more than once.

But I've also pulled out Bruce Springsteen's "We Shall Overcome:The Seeger Sessions" and kept it close to the CD player.

I would (am) recommend both to friends."

William Kerns
Entertainment Editor
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
(4/24/08)

blogs.lubbockonline.com/centerstage/ - Center Stage with William Kerns


Cyrus, a Lubbock-based rock band formed in 2001, worked to create an identity and a fan base with the release of its self-titled debut album in 2003.

Now the band is starting over.

Cyrus has gained enough experience and confidence to pose questions within its new music, and presently is capitalizing on being named the best alternative rock band in a month-long, Internet-based music competition staged by Ourstage.com in March.

Personnel has not changed at all - band members remain Chris Knight, percussion; Jude Machin, guitar, piano and vocals; Michael Sanford, bass guitar and vocals; and Nathan Timmons, guitar.

Vocalists Machin and Sanford also handle songwriting chores, although their lyrics packages often are met with varied musical contributions, according to both musicians.

Songwriting credits are shared by the entire band.

Religious imagery arrives within some lyrics for second album “Source,” but Sanford said it is not that easy to define beliefs and inspiration.

All four agreed that the 10 songs on “Source” communicate a shared feeling of desperation, but with bits of hope also present like lights at the end of a long tunnel.

Sanford said, “I think our album just asks, Why?’ ”

Band members have discussed author Brian McLaren’s redefining of a modern Christian. (And how many rockers also are members of weekly book discussion groups?)

Machin points out that the musicians’ being Christians does not mean they believe in everything done in the name of Christianity throughout history.

“We don’t want to be put in a box, and we don’t just play at churches,” the rock guitarist added. “We write songs about common problems faced by everyone, not just Christians.”

Jordan Polk, who engineered the band’s debut CD at Digital Base Productions, said, “The song-writing style these guys developed over the years taps deeply into each band member’s personality and spirit. They don’t write fluff material. Their music is as genuine and as personal as they are, and that makes them a really appealing group to follow.

” … I believe every few years a truly special band comes along that really gets it. … Bands and their fans have a tight bond, but occasionally a band brings that bond to a higher level where each listener feels part of something bigger.

“Being brought into that circle makes a person a fan for life. Cyrus has a lot of those kinds of fans.”

It was Sanford who pointed out that Cyrus’ first album was upbeat and pop-like in nature.

No one would describe “Source” that way.

Timmons also noted that, while the band was able to attract the college crowd in 2003, an entirely different college market has to be introduced to the new and improved Cyrus.

He said It helps that “a contingent in Philadelphia” and people from as far away as Norway voted for Cyrus in the final Ourstage.com competition, which found winners in each genre competing for the title of best overall band.

Cyrus came in second. More than 1,100 bands had competed.

Plus, Sanford said that Cyrus was the only winning band:

• from a small market.

• competing with a self-produced album.

• not already signed to a record label.

“Source” was released online in 2007 and in stores this year.

But Timmons said some songs for “Source” had been written by the time they finished recording their first album.

Yet there was a long gap between projects, primarily because, with “Source,” the band had an opportunity to take its time seeking perfection.

The new CD was recorded at a place they call The Studio … really Machin’s basement.

However, this is no everyday basement. Machin purchased Electric Ear Productions from Tom Prather, and a lot of microphones have been set up throughout his home studio.

Not facing time or monetary restrictions, Cyrus could devote unlimited time to experimentation, not to mention recording somewhere between 60 and 80 tracks, if Machin is pulling no one’s leg with his numbers.

It would be a difficult album to reproduce on the concert stage, yet, somewhat ironically, the band credits its ongoing popularity on its live shows.

Drum tracks were recorded first, meaning percussionist Chris Knight had a long wait afterward. Timmons said that Knight showed up for every recording session, regardless.

Mark Wallney, chairman of the music business program at South Plains College, said, “Jude Machin has a haunting sound to his songwriting. This (Source’) was recorded at his home and has all the qualities of a truly professionally produced album.”

Chris Caddel oversees the Firehouse Theater at the Underwood Center, one of the band’s favorite venues and site of their CD-release concert.

Caddel said, “I love the fact that they write original music, market themselves and make a point of welcoming all types of people to their medium … They all work during the day, but always show up ready to play.

“The icing on the cake would be that I … enjoy their music.”

Cyrus makes a point of playing out of town at least once a month, and is open to a possible, if hardly probable, move. The band is in no hurry to make a lateral move out of Lubbock, although it would prefer to see more local venues featuring rock music.

Each band member is married; Sanford is a father of two.

No one is hurrying to leave his day job:

• Timmons, 27, communications director at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church.

• Knight, 27, producer, Health Net, Texas Tech Health Sciences Center.

• Sanford, 30, car salesman at Alderson Mercedes-Benz.

• Machin, 31, owner of Electric Ear Productions.

It is interesting to note that all four are fast friends, and say they spend time together even when not playing music or discussing books.

They share laughs even as Sanford reveals he knew he wanted to play music when, at age 13, he listened to U2’s “Rattle and Hum” in the back seat of an Olds Cutlass.

Knight was willing to learn any instrument just to be in a band; one just happed to need a drummer. And Timmons swears he was lured to guitar by watching The Chipmunks and “The Monkees” on TV.

Chuckles aside, “everyone in America shares questions and a common desperation these days,” Sanford said.

With no answers, the new songs by Cyrus at least push communication … and hope.

Written by William Kerns
May 18, 2008
Copyright Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. - Lubbock Avalanche-Journal


Hundreds of Lubbock rock fans braved the recent brigades of Texas-sized mosquitoes Thursday night to see a legend from their own back yard, and the Toadies left no one wanting.

The opening band, Cyrus, presented a sophisticated and melodic approach to hard rock. It was obvious that this band had many diverse influences, as they varied their sound significantly while keeping it interesting and entertaining...

Written by Jered Hochstetter
September 29, 2008
Copyright Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
- Lubbock Avalanche-Journal


"After giving a listen to Cyrus's newest CD, there's nothing but good thoughts in my head.

It's tough for a hard-nosed music critic to be surprised by anything on a new CD. But after listening to Source, the cynicism is worn down, and what grows in its place is appreciation for a band with ambition beyond the lowest common denominator. There is variety and an excellent use of dynamics throughout. Also, the songs never overstay their welcome. The album is brisk, compelling, and easy to play over and over again."

by Jack Frink
Study Breaks Magazine
Vol. 19, June 2008
- Study Breaks Magazine


Discography

LP: "Cyrus" - released November 2003
LP: "Source" - released December 2007

"Source" available online at most major retailers, including iTunes, Cdbaby, Amazon.com, and Verizon V-cast

Photos

Bio

Mixing elements of alt-rock, indie, and folk, Cyrus has gained increasing notoriety over the years for their artistic sensibilities and passionate approach to music. Based in Lubbock, Texas, the group began performing in early 2001 and released their self-titled debut LP in 2003. After touring in support of the album in Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado, the group began work on their latest effort, "Source," which was entirely recorded and produced by the band itself and released in December 2007.

"Delusional," the first single off their new album, was voted #1 in alternative-rock and #2 among all genres in the March 2008 ourstage.com music competition.

Following the release of "Source," Cyrus has exploded onto the alt-rock music scene in an area typically more-known for its contribution to Country-Western and Americana.

The group has been the subject of feature articles in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Amarillo Globe-News, and the South Plains College Plainsman Press, with Study Breaks Magazine hailing "Source" as "brisk, compelling, and easy to play over and over again."

Cyrus was recently hand-picked by the Toadies to open up for the group's Lubbock tour date in September 2008 and was the featured musical performer at this year's Flatland Film Festival in Lubbock.

Notable Bands Played With:
Toadies
Lions
Seventh Day Slumber
Tree63
The O.C. Supertones
Jet Black Stare
The Future of the Ghost

Notable Festivals/Benefits:
Flatland Film Festival – Lubbock, TX
Moshpit Mayhem Festival – Abilene, TX
Silver Screen Ball Red Carpet Event – Lubbock, TX
His Voice Music Festival – Glen Rose, TX

For More Information:
cyrusonline.net
myspace.com/cyrusonline