It is easy to guess why guitarist Nono Presta, bassist Christian Montagne, and drummer Jean Michel Cavallo were mesmerized when they caught Declan O'Shea singing in an Irish pub in 1995. The trio -- w
It is easy to guess why guitarist Nono Presta, bassist Christian Montagne, and drummer Jean Michel Cavallo were mesmerized when they caught Declan O'Shea singing in an Irish pub in 1995. The trio -- which later formed Cyclefly with O'Shea and his brother, guitarist Ciaran O'Shea -- could not turn away from his intense, raspy vocal style. It's a sound that permeates the act's sophomore set, "Crave," due March 26 via Radioactive/MCA.
"Crave," the follow-up to 1999's "Generation Sap," is a moody exploration of the personal limits in modern society that highlights O'Shea's immeasurable craft. As a whole, the album further marks a pronounced shift in Cyclefly's focus. The Cork, Ireland-based group's first project was angst-ridden with a punk rock feel, while "Crave" is far more mellow, with greater attention paid to songwriting and experimentation.
"A lot of stuff on this album is about the music industry and becoming disillusioned with it," Declan O'Shea says. "We went through different periods and emotions over the years [since "Generation Sap"]. We've gone through some growing up and changing."
Part of the change involved coming together as songwriters for the first time. Cyclefly wrote much of the album at an isolated house on the outskirts of Cork, which proved to be a slower, but more fruitful process. Though the band is made up of two Irishmen, two Frenchmen, and an Italian, the self-enforced collaboration served to play up on the group's varied influences.
"Everyone just jammed together. Some nights I'd write with Nono or with Ciaran, and then we'd all try it together. Later, we'd sit down and work on melodies and lyrics," O'Shea recalls. "There was lots of testosterone flying around the place, but that's good. Each person brings different aspects to the total. We're able to capture a unique sound that isn't really like anybody else."
The first single, "No Stress," showcases that quality with its burning guitar riff and depiction of a young generation under intense pressure. Other notable songs include the title track, whose powerful lyrics about falling into detrimental habits are accompanied by a catchy percussion beat, and "Lost Opinion," with its crashing guitar and drum interaction that complements the cynical chorus "It's a lost opinion in a jaded story."
Since signing to Radioactive/MCA, the band has opened tours for Tool and Linkin Park. The latter opportunity led to the appearance of Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington on the "Crave" track "Karma Killer."
Cyclefly will be touring in England throughout this month, as well as performing in Europe in April. The group is expected to come to the U.S. in May with a focus on the Northeast.
Excerpted from the March 16, 2002, issue of Billboard. The full text of the article is available in the Billboard.com members section.
For information on ordering a copy of the issue, click here.