Crÿptic Shift – Not A Crossword In Sight

Crÿptic Shift are a 4 piece heavy metal band from Leeds.  Massively influenced by Pantera and Megadeth, they play a mix of Thrash and Groove Metal with added jazz/funk elements, also inspired by the likes of Machine Head, Exhorder, Death, Atheist, Lamb Of God, Sepultura and Death Angel.

Mabh caught up with them at the Einherjar Festival.  This is what they had to say for themselves:

Mabh: Thank you for talking to the WWRS, if you just want to introduce yourselves for our readers?

Xander: I’m Xander, I play guitars.

Rob: I’m Rob, I stand on things and shout.

Mabh: I’m gonna go out on a limb and say front man then?

Xander: He’s the one that pours beer on me…

Rob: I try and pour it in his mouth but it doesn’t work! Instruments end up floating down the stage.

Mabh: When I was reading your band description I noticed that Oli [bassist, now replaced by Hokumu Blitzkrieg] plays a ‘table with strings’. What, exactly, is a table with strings?

Rob: It’s a six string bass and essentially the fret-board of it is mahoosive. He wants to get a 12 string..

Xander: What is he going to do with it though? He may as well get a tree and put strings on it.

Mabh: Tell me a bit about your band name, Crÿptic Shift.

Rob: I’ve got the story behind this. I was sat in Spanish lesson, obviously not paying attention. I think I was playing World of Warcraft at the time, and Cryptic Shift popped into my head; I think it’s a spell or something really nerdy! I remember writing it down in my planner… That must have been when we were only 12 or 13. We’ve been in the band for over 5 years now.

Xander: It’s only just really kicked off in the past year. We thought, we’ll keep that name, it sounds cool.

Rob: Before that we were called ‘For Sale’. The best name ever.

Xander: Let’s not talk about that…

Mabh: And you’ve got that little umlaut accent over the ‘y’…?

Rob: That was probably a joke as well. But we’ve got over 800 likes on Facebook; we can’t change it now! We get really pissed off if they don’t put it on the posters.

Mabh: Your style is described as ‘Thrash Groove Metal’.

Rob: It goes further.

Xander: We were listening to bands like Atheist and Cynic, and Oli was playing slap bass and I was playing some funk sections…

Rob: …and it just evolved into something weirder and weirder. We sound like… We sound like Crÿptic Shift!

Xander: Which is a good thing.

Mabh: How did you get on the Einherjar set?

Xander: Er, I can’t remember…

Rob: Who begged for this gig?!

Xander: Someone got in touch on Facebook I think and asked if we wanted to play.

Rob: Did we get on because of Tyrant? [Tyrant also played Eiherjar, watch this space for forthcoming interview!]

Xander: No, we didn’t even know they were playing. We were on quite early I think.

Mabh: How was the performance today?

Xander: I think it’s one of the best we’ve done.

Rob: Yeah, the sound here is brilliant. And to be fair, with it being so early in the day, I thought we’d be playing to some fucker and his dog…

Xander: …but there must have been about 40 people there.

Rob: I didn’t count. I was already drunk at that point. Loud noises!

Xander: What kind of music do we play? Drunk Metal.

Mabh: That’s got to be an official sub-genre somewhere.

Rob: Getting attacked by some angry Northerner; ‘ere, you play in a band like?? Play me some drunk metal!

Mabh: Are you based in Leeds?

Xander: Yeah, pretty central.

Mabh: So how far afield have you played?

Rob: I’d say… right from one end of Leeds, all the way to the other! I’m proud of that.

Xander: We’ve played Bradford, Halifax, Castleford, Selby; our drummer’s setting up Thrashoholic Fest on the 16th August in Leeds, but after that we’re planning on gigging in Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool and further. [Since this interview Crÿptic Shift have been confirmed for West Stret Live in Sheffieldon Sunday 17th September]

Rob: Ryan [Sheperson, drummer] runs Leeds Metal Scene Promotions which is doing pretty good now, it’s awesome. He gets like, bear gigs… Gigs with bears!

Mabh: If people want to keep up with Crÿptic Shift, well I know you’ve got Facebook…

Rob: Facebook‘s definitely the best place to find us.

Xander: Yeah we’ve got facebook, instagram..

Rob: Get on Instagram! Be a hipster, go on!

Xander: Rob runs the Instagram…

Rob: I run the Instagram so you get to see loads of selfies of me when I’m pissed out of my head.

Xander: And we finally got Twitter because maybe one fan uses it…

Mabh: So you can keep that one fan happy!

Xander: All our music’s on Reverb Nation, Soundcloud

Rob: Youtube.

Xander: Bandcamp.

Mabh: Do you have plenty of songs recorded?

Xander: We’ve recorded one demo: five tracks. We’re currently finishing another two songs then in the next couple of months we might so another EP.

Mabh: Busy then!

Xander: We’ve got so many songs. Everyday I’m like, oh I wrote a new song!

Rob: Stop writing songs! I’ve got to write lyrics to like, 40 songs!

Mabh: What do you sing about? What are your themes, lyrically?

Xander: A lot of it’s about the music scene.

Rob: It varies. We have Mass Gathering which is about society in general. It’s just like social commentary. Then there’s Leviathan Walk which is about the music scene. We have a song about Ian Watkins called Noose Crowned Prophet. In Rev [In Revolution We Trust] I was really political; I was about 14 and all ‘Down with the system!!’.

Xander: In Rev is about the music scene, how a lot of bands…

Rob: You mean Leviathan…

Xander: Yeah, Leviathan

Rob: You don’t know the songs man! You’re tearing the scene apart!

Xander: Well come on, they’re your lyrics, you explain them!

Rob: I like to write good lyrics, I don’t write none of this ‘Oh my heart is broken…Highschool was haaaard…’ If you like really crazy, stupid music, check us out.

Check out Crÿptic Shift at the links above to keep up to date with the band.

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