Face to face with //// CYTOTA

Cytota are a young and ambitious band with their own unique individuality and attitude. Their high-quality music makes them stand out among many of their peers. In this special interview for Rock Britain, the drummer of Cytota Harry Jennings allows you to get closer to the band and learn more about them.


– How did the story of Cytota begin?

– Well it all began back in 2009 in London, Joby had just broken up from his first band and was looking out for people to join a new band. Me and Joby happened to be at the same Fightstar gig at the Shepards Bush Empire and were introduced by my dad and Joby’s dad, then it all sort of kicked of from there! Youssef and Ollie joined in the weeks to follow.

– How was the name of your band born and what’s the main meaning hidden behind it?

– The name originated way back in 2007/2008 before Cytota as we know it today was around. Youssef and me were sort of in a school band and wanted a quick name for the time being, so we headed to wikipedia and noted down any words that caught our eye, and one of them was Cytota. The definition is “the superdomain of all cellular life” simply meaning an empire of life. We used this name again to create the current Cytota. We always get asked why we used it, and if they are pronouncing it right, but to be honest, we like being different and not just choosing something ‘normal’ sticks in people’s heads being that band with the weird name, its kind of cool. 

– When and how did you realise you wanted to dedicate your life to playing music?

– Well this is a difficult one, because me, Youssef and Joby have always had just our instruments/voice’s as talents, so it’s always been our goals from a very young age to make something of ourselves in the world of music, especially with the families we come from, so we have detected it from a young age. Ollie is a jack of all trades to be honest! He is amazing at sports, so it’s only been recently since joining Cytota that he believes it could maybe go somewhere in the future. But other than that he is an amazing bass player, so I’m pretty sure he has wanted to keep doing that since starting at a young age.

– Which bands were your major influences and inspirations?

– Laurso, Fightstar, Funeral for a friend, You me at six, Kids in glass houses, Killswitch Engage, A Day to Remember, Parkway Drive, August Burns Red, Texas in July, Woe Is Me, Behold The Flood, I Am Abomination, Out of Sight, Adept, Rise To Remain, We Are The Ocean. We have all been inspired by bands, mostly ones who have seen at a young age and got us into this type of music, one of them mainly being ‘Funeral For A Friend’. But the heavier, breakdown driven songs have come from listening to ‘Texas In July’ and ‘Woe Is Me’, bands like that.

– How would you describe your live shows to those who haven’t seen you live?

– Tight playing, fun and always putting 110% into everything. We always try to go past what people expect, being a young band we find we have to prove a lot more to people than a normal band would. Watching many bands over the years have taught us many things, so we apply them to our live show as much as possible. Playing the whole EP is important as well, that’s what fans want to hear, not a set of new songs that no one knows but us

– Your EP «Prosecutor» is out. How did the work at it go?

– At times it was very stressful, by March only 1 song had been fully recorded, so heading back into the studio to finish 3 more songs in the space of 5 days was a challenge. Plus we all were starting exams in the next few months to come, so pressure was building fast and hard. But, in the end, all the work paid off with the support we have gotten from the fans and friends, was heartwarming to see the reaction we got from it, couldn’t have asked for a better response!

– How did you like working with James Pinder and Carl Bown?

– Carl Bown had already done one of our favourite bands ‘Fightstar’ so it was very exciting to go into the studio with him to record ‘Hold Back’ in mid 2010. But by March 2011 he was very busy doing Rise To Remain’s album ‘City Of Vultures’ so James stepped in to take over, with Carl also lending a helping hand when it came to second opinions and using equipment. James did an amazing job on everything, he would always give opinions and add little parts into the songs that if weren’t there, would make the song sound 100x less exciting and big. For example the piano in ‘Recidivist’ was all his idea, the minute we heard him do the chords it just made the song even more beautiful. So yeah we liked it a lot! More than helpful those guys.

 – The art work for «Prosecutor» was made by Oli Sykes. How did you come up with this collaboration? 

– For the artwork we needed something bold, original and exciting, nothing that had already been done and wouldn’t catch the eyes of people. So I asked my dad if he could maybe ask Oli to do a few designs for us, which he did, and what he came up with couldn’t have been any better! the guy is amazing, so helpful and friendly, he just wanted us to be happy with the design and really took an interest in what we wanted out of his designs, no ego what so ever.

 – How would you define the philosophy of Cytota and your music?

– That we just want to have fun with the music we make, on our own terms, with the fans who respect us and love us for what we do.

– What’s your main ambition concerning Cytota?

– To play in front of a crowd that sings our lyrics right back at us with passion, but also goes mental in the heavier parts of the song! to see that happen at our local venue would be simply incredible. Or even just seeing one person singing along to every song, we’d do anything for that.

– Where do you see Cytota in five years?

– Hopefully doing tours and making more music to a wider fan base, if we are still playing and making fans happy, that’s all we could ask for.

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