Profil Radio – Quebec
You’re back after 10 years of absence. What are the reasons of this pause ? Profil Radio
Stewart – In real time the album took about 6 months to complete, in other words if I had sat down and worked 12 hrs every day for 6 months it would have been done in that space of time. As it was, it was done in sporadic episodes over the course of the 10 years. This was mainly down to me. I went through a long period of soul-searching over those years and for long periods. I would get nothing creative done, there was a total lack of inspiration. Needless to say I found myself eventually and got my old muse back with a few new tricks to boot.
Cyrus – 10 years is a long time between albums, C-Cain has never produced an album without care and attention, ten years worth of attention? Over those years changes in our life stations, personal and collective, set things back quite a bit and there was a time that it did look as though Skies Darken would not in fact evolve past anything but an idea, but, as you can see, we did complete the work. It is a comforting thought that after such a long interval we are still remembered and welcomed back.
When you decided to reform the Group?
Stewart – We were always active during the 10 years so we didn’t reform as such but it was around 2009 that we really started to work hard on the new album and get everything moving again.
For those who did not have the chance to you can know before, you make a small summary of the early career of Citizen Cain?
Cyrus – I find the memory of past events and there recall an unecessary exercize and prefer to keep my face to the front, looking ahead. There are those who have believed that the wandering into past events can, and do, imprison a man, fixing him to yesterday.
Stewart – Deep thoughts Cyrus! Let me wander into Citizen Cain’s past, I promise we’ll come back to the present afterwards, we really wouldn’t want to get stuck in the 80’s would we! 1981, London; Cyrus and Gordon Feenie recruited Tim Taylor and spent a few years writing, rehearsing, gigging and recording. It all fell apart and Cyrus returned to Edinburgh. 1989, Cyrus met me through an old friend Frank Kennedy. The 3 of us recruited Dave Elam and formed C-Cain mk 2. That marked the begginning of the current day band although only the core of Cyrus and myself have remained throughout. Various other members have come and gone during the last 20 years and each of our 6 albums has had a different line-up, the exception being the last two recordings which have both featured Phil Allen on guitar.
You have always been compared to groups as Genesis, Jethro Tull in particular, for the music but also for the vocals. What leads me to ask the question, you were aware of the comparison that would be because of your voice?
Cyrus – YES all to often, however, I dont see that our music resembles genesis at al. Cain, like all prog bands, have similarities but with an open mind then maybe listeners will see huge differences between us and genesis.
The “X” grasping your name have a special meaning? And the title of the album is in Greek, I think. Why?
Cyrus – No real reason just a fancy. Or is it?
Can you quickly raise the subject of the texts of “Skies Darken”? Are there topics in particular you want to talk about?
Cyrus – I dont know that i want to describe what the concept is, listen and see what you find. I will say this though; my world view is the world i see presented to me, a world that most turn there attention away from, the world where we kill our fellow man ,our true brothers and sisters, for what? PERSONAL GAIN! Through hate and deceit, most of us blanket out what others suffer because its easier to turn a blind eye than to act So we put our heads in the sand and only ever shout help when its our turn to be brutalised, and guess what, every one else has buried their heads in the sand, for fear that it may make them think. How long can we last as consumers of material goods and wealth, the truth is that through the material goods that we depend on for our happiness and contentment we are blinded to the truth that man is powerful yet fast asleep. Now is the time to awaken to your true, uncorrupted self, your energy self. We live in an important time as the world and man is evolving into a new cycle of light. We have come to the end of a great age but sadly you cant make an omlette with out breaking the eggs. SO, MY DEAR FRIENDS, KEEP YOUR HEADS DOWN, A STORM IS COMING!!
For all these years, one has the impression of know you, without you know really! Can make us a small presentation of each of you (if this is not too intrusive)? (Family, hobbies etc…)
Stewart – Small, complicated quiet guy, introduced to prog music at 13 around the same time as i acquired a piano, moved onto drums at 15, gigged with local blues band, met old friend of Cyrus through that band, introduced to Cyrus at 18, moved back to keys, reformed C-Cain. Worked as a joiner 15 years old until 22 then decided id had enough of the rat race, retired to do full time music! (C-Cain plus other local projects). Currently 40, officially old and married with a 9 month old boy. Other than the music my main hobbies are cycling and lucid dreaming.
Since its creation, your line-up has changed and you are now a trio from the album “Ghost Dance”. Is there a particular reason?
Stewart – We are reduced to a 3 piece line-up at the moment, as it was in the days of Ghost Dance, but only Cyrus remains from the original band. The main reason for these changes is the fact that the musicians we have had over the years weren’t willing to commit to the big workload that a C-Cain album requires for so little in return. The band is a passion for Cyrus and myself and it’s difficult to get other people to share your enthusiasm for something that is basically an expensive hobby.
During this downtime, have you even followed what was happening in the progressive rock? If Yes, what would be the groups that you have discovered and that you particularly enjoy?
Stewart – I quite like Spocks Beard, Dream Theatre and Porcupine Tree. Theres a lot of music currently that is classed as prog but doesn’t quite fit the bill in my opinion but i guess its hard to pin down exactly what is meant by the label of prog. Theres an awful lot of straight rock music that for some reason is being passed off as prog because they maybe do an odd time signature here or there but in my mind just because a band can count beyond a simple 4 doesn’t make them progressive. For me the whole genre is about complex song structures, exceptional musicianship and clever concepts or stories behind the music. Maybe i’m old school, maybe i tried so hard to get away from the utter tripe that passed as music while i was growing up in the ’80s that i’m very unforgiving of anything that is remotely mainstream. I’m a prog snob and proud of it!
You signed with F2 for your new album and the re-release of all your previous albums. That is what prompted you to sign with them?
Stewart – F2 asked to re-release the back catalogue, we thought it was a good idea and we said yes, we also agreed to give him our new album. We were just happy someone was willing to take us on after such a long time away.
Is 2012 means the definitive return of Citizen Cain on the progressive scene?
Stewart – Yeh, we’re back and we’re working on new projects as we speak so you wont be getting rid of us anytime soon.
Do you show projects? If Yes, how will be composed your scene group?
Stewart – We are both working on solo projects at the moment. My own project will feature both cyrus and phil on vocals which will, technically, make it a citizen cain project. Phil will be reprising his role as guitarist also. Only difference is that it will feature another 2 vocalists (one male, one female) in order to fill the roles of the other characters in the story. That story is based on my life as an oneironaut, ie, an explorer of the dream world. I have been a lucid dreamer since the age of 6 and I have many interesting experiences from that world to share, including the synchronicities that have developed between it and the real world, the strange and wonderful encounters I have had there and the profound questions that inevitably arise when one lives in two separate worlds for most of their life. Its already well underway so there will be no more ten year waits for anyone yearning another fix of cyrus, phil and myself at play.
Finally, is there a dream that you would like to achieve?
Stewart – Surviving death!
Cyrus – Yes, to WAKE UP!