Picture this. It’s a beautiful evening. Birds are singing their last goodbyes before settling in for the night. The last warm rays of the sun are giving in to a cool fresh breeze. All is good with the world. You hear a noise. You turn your head around to find a closed garage door. A dark aura is inviting you to step in and curiosity takes over. “Just one peep and I can continue with my life”. You take a step inside and you’re instantly sucked into a vortex. A vortex called Cyberia.
Standing before me lies a mystical scene. Numerous drum machines, grove and insane noise boxes are littering the place making you wonder if you’ve stepped into a garage or in fucking Narnia. Positioned solemnly around Gilbert il-Kuzza are his own three musicians: the softly spoken lead guitarist, Andru Christie, wearing a black shirt and an expression of mild distress; the wisecracking bass player Joe il-Pannol, his curly mess of hair wound up in a Brussel Baseball cap and his feet encased in a stout pair of orange slippers; and the synth player Toni Vella, green shorts, old Agassi T-shirt and sitting cross-legged and silent on the floor. I resign to my destiny and with a nice cup of soothing coffee in one hand, I sit down and have a chat with these foul blood sucking creatures.
Guys…I’m going to start by asking you something which I’m sure everybody’s dying to know. What are your favourite potato crisps?
Bacos and Jungle sticks. They give us the motivation to keep going on, no matter what.
Right. Apart from being rock stars and self- proclaimed objects of lust, what is your culinary speciality?
Toni: Spaghetti Bolognese.
Pannol: Chilli beans.
Kuzza: Baked ravioli.
Speaking of lust…you know, sometimes when I’m walking all alone, I notice people having dark obscene thoughts about me. I don’t really mind though…the feeling towards them is reciprocate.
Oh. Guys if I’m going to spend the rest of the evening having this wonderful chat with you, I will need a stronger coffee please. Now, if you had to add up your ages, how old would Cyberia be?
What characteristics have you inherited from your parents?
Kuzza: My hair.
What’s your most unpleasant characteristic?
Pannol: My ability to talk nonstop. It’s like a beautiful curse. I have a lot to say but somehow I manage to bore everyone out and it’s sad because even when I think I’ve said everything I still have quite a lot to say….
Joe I think I understood your answer about 15 minutes ago when you said the first sentence! What were you guys like at school?
Kuzza: I was a rebel. Actually I used to be punished quite often for that but it never stopped me from rebelling against things I did not like.
Andru, Joe and Toni: We were quite introvert when we were young but were punished and hit often.
If you weren’t the good old rockstars you are now…what would you be?
If we weren’t celebrities we would be government employees, physics/chemistry teachers, photographers, VHF electricians and researchers.
What’s your most treasured material possession?
Definitely our guitars and our motorcycles. Oh and in my possession I still have some pubic hair from my first girlfriend (side note: for his own safety I will not disclose the name of the member who said this!)
What is your greatest fear?
To be misunderstood or to be completely understood. To search and not find what you want.
Have you ever been arrested?
Three members out of four have have been arrested at some point in time.
What do you think is Malta’s greatest export?
A lot of people would say Kinnie is our finest export. We honestly don’t agree. By far, Malta’s greatest export is the Maltese potato. It’s renown world wide for being deliciously round and leaves an after taste in your mouth like no other common potato would. It truly is in our blood.
What music would you have at your own funeral?
Toni: Abba…especially ‘Chiquitita’ *starts singing*
Andru: Albinoni’s ‘Adagio For Strings’ would be quite fitting for my funeral.
Do you believe in an afterlife?
Joe (Pannol) does believe in living in a ‘happily ever after’ life in heaven. I don’t know…maybe there might be an afterlife of some sort…maybe death isn’t really the end of it all. Or as said in ‘Irrid insir xejn’, it’s a cycle where we, being made mostly of nothing, only find ourselves when we become nothing…
What was the first gig you ever went to?
Forsaken, Manslaughter and Hinge. Kuzza was 17 years old when he attended a gig and saw Cyberia for the first time (it wasn’t his first gig though). Coming to think about it, we do have a video of that gig and in it you can see Kuzza sporting an enormous Mohawk (yes a long time ago he actually did have hair).
What are your songs about?
Life in our solar system. Sex and eroticism are recurrent themes in some of our songs too especially in the old material like for example ‘Lill-kanarin tieghi’ and ‘Dominatrix’. That said, ‘Lill-Kanarin tieghi’ has never been played during a gig…yet!
Were there any arguments during the recording of this album?
Hah! There were times when the keyboardist actually forgot the notes he was supposed to play. Then there were more frequent times when a member or friend tempted us with the idea of getting drunk during the recording. Needless to say, during such times, the recording of the album would have to be postponed. But hey…they say time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time at all.
Your sound is, in parts, rather extreme. Are you worried about losing fans?
We already did. It’s not our main aim to sound extreme however we create music based on our mood or on who we feel we are during that time. It’s a normal process. It would be more worrying if artists created music using the same sound over and over again.
Is the new music completely different to play compared to the 1990 stuff?
The music produced in the 90’s was heavier, with more influences of doom and metal. Nowadays our music is multi-ethnic and influenced by different subcultures. Since Kuzza’s arrival in the band, our lyrics are mostly written in Maltese too which is a welcoming change to the old material.
What about the term “kaxxa filosofika” in the song Maskri?
“M’hemm l-ebda ghixien li jaqa’ f’kaxxa filosofika” for us means that no man should classify himself by just one philosophy. Most of the times we don’t practice what we preach; in fact we act differently to what we believe we (or others for that matter) should do. Why should we close ourselves in one philosophy when life is so varied and unpredictable?
God bless you Cyberia!
Cyberia together with DJ Hades will be performing live at Coconut/Remedy on Friday 26th June. For more information visit the event’s page: https://www.facebook.com/events/380765575462441/