Cyphier is an electropunk/industrial band based in London, Ontario. The band formed in 2015 as Louis Cyphier (vocals, electronics) and Jason Karlsson (vocals, synths, computers). The pair met while Louis was an industrial DJ at a London club. Jason records (as he does to this day) as the rhythmic noise project code 000 amongs others. With their common influences in punk and industrial music of all kinds, the music quickly started to come together.
The original concept was to set Louis’ spoken-word material to industrial music, but expanded quickly as the work continued. The duo realized that a concept for a first album was happening, and in late 2015 the album Overthought was released through Norwood’s label Hope Mansion Recordings. The album spoke in personal terms about mental illness and suicide, around a central character who was in the process of making a decision. It was also the genesis of the band’s current political expression.
Taking the material to the stage was not an easy task, but Cyphier found a strong connection with fans over the anti-suicide message of their early material. As the live show developed, so did Cyphier’s restless creativity. Most of early 2016 involved the recording of their second album Subversion. It revolved around themes of the damage of social media, internal politics, and was much more metaphorical in nature. Subversion was released on HMR shortly before the band left on their first tour of Eastern Canada.
They continued growing their fanbase, and the tour culminated in two performances at the East Coast Awakenings metal festival, which were (surprisingly) well-received. In turn, this showed Cyphier’s versatility and informed changes in their overall sound going forward.
The latter half of 2016 saw many more performances around Ontario. Cyphier released two EP’s during this period, taking a single “Breathe” off of Subversion, and following into 2017 with Hand grenade, which contained two new songs and two live from the previous touring. “Everything ends” featured Kavara lead singer Serena Dorton, furthering a heavier sound.
In 2017 Cyphier signed with the Toronto-based industrial label Electric Bat Records. The time was right to work on new music, as the worldwide political unrest following Donald Trump’s election as U.S. President continued to grow. This toxic atmosphere inspired the band to write its most direct statement to date. The single “Punch A Nazi”, a response to a viral video of white nationalist Richard Spencer being punched while being intervewed, set off a Twitter storm that saw other white nationalists attempting to get Cyphier banned from Twitter (strangely, the song was a rebuke of the left-wing violence that was a growing issue at the time). In addition, Cyphier appeared on tribute compilations covering bands such as Ministry and Bile.
Their third album followed in August of 2017. “Realpolitik” was heavily punk-inspired and in-your-face, the title a German word denoting a political style based on logic and common sense. The release again co-incided with a second tour in eastern Canada and a performance at the FreedomFest In The Field gathering.
In 2018, the political climate hasn’t gotten any less strange. Cyphier continues to perform live around Ontario, and a new EP is on the horizon, called Cerebral Warfare. In addition, Cyphier is performing on the RiseUp TV tour in May-June, which will be filmed for television. A fourth album is in the planning stages to be released through Electric Bat Records, as is more shows in the summer.