Andy of -VS- Paul of CYNIC (rip), DEATH (rip) PORTAL (rip) and AEON SPOKE



This is one of the moments, the past comes alive...
I am talking to band founder Paul Masvidal (Ex-PORTAL, Ex-DEATH, now in AEON SPOKE) of the “Progressive Death” sub-genre inventors CYNIC (rip).






Hi Paul. Hope you're doing well!

First some questions about the presence...
You, Sean (Reinert) and Jason are in the Emo-Rock band AEON SPOKE today.
How are things going?

Jason is not in the band. But things are going well. We (Aeon Spoke) are
releasing our debut record 'Above The Buried Cry' in
Europe before the end
of the year. And hopefully will be touring soon.

Are you doing AEON SPOKE full-time?


What happened to PORTAL?

We wrote and recorded 10 songs (as a pre-production for the record), 3 of
which are on the Cynic reissue through Roadrunner that came out October 5th.

After about a year of playing together we quietly went our separate ways.

It was some kind of suprising how soft your new band really is.
Tell me honestly - how is this kind of soft music selling?
I mean even this is not the kind of music which is "in" today as maybe HipHop...
(even I'm pretty sure you're not doing for the money)

There are over 6 billion people on earth, if only a tiny fraction of those
humans connect - we have done our job. I surrender to the result, all I
can do is the best work possible.

How have your musical skills developed since mid-nineties?
I mean, you were already technically nearly perfect back then...

I still have technique when I need it. My melodic sensibilities have
expanded, I'm breathing more these days and focusing on larger more
expansive sonic shapes.

Are your lyrical influences still the same as in CYNIC?

Same universe, different planet.

According to your biography you had a job where you took car of dying people.
What were your experiences?

I was a music therapist for terminally ill patients. I also accompanied
some patients, reading poetry, talking, just to be with them. My
experiences were heart opening, revealing and humbling. I discovered the
value of impermanence and the incredible fragility of human life.

Are you into religion?

I'm a vibrationalist. I'm into living in the present...

1988 Cynic Demo CoverBack to the past... :o)
In the demo times you always jumped from Brutal-Death to Speed with
1989 Cynic Demo CoverPunk-influences to Thrash from one demo to another...
it seems that you didn't really knew what you wanted to do?!

1990 Cynic Demo CoverWe were kids with eclectic musical tastes, interested in all the colors
and variations available to us, - exploring and finding our voice.

How turned the band's style in what it was on "Focus"? Did you have
influences - like for example the Death/Jazzers ATHEIST?

We listened to everything (from jazz, classical to metal and punk) and
practiced relentlessly until the vision was realized.

What influences else did you have (I mean this Fusion/New Age elements don't appear from nothing)?

 - Alan Holdsworth, Pat Metheney, etc... the new age sound came from
spiritual indian music and meditation.


CYNIC - Focus
Have you ever thought - back in the early nineties - that you've created a
whole sub-genre with "Focus"?

No - we were just creating.

Have you considered yourself as DeathMetal?

That felt a bit narrow for Cynic. we were something else.

Why did CYNIC really broke up in 1995?

A combination of life change, music business distrust, and a deep knowing
that we had finished that work.

Do people often ask you about the old Metal - days?

Not often.

Have you ever missed the hard side of your musical past?

The soft overcomes the hard.

Do you still listen to Metal stuff today?

Not often. I occasionally hear something interesting and would be curious
to know more about what's out there.

When Chuck Schuldiner died in 2001... what were your first thoughts?
I sent him love and energy for a peaceful transition to the other side.

What remembrance do you have on Chuck and the DEATH days?
I remember laughter, intensity, anger, joy. A friendship with someone who
was very passionate about his work.

I've watched a German video-interview from the "Human-tour".
The gig seemed to be a lot of fun... how was it this year?

Great. we had a lot of fun times.

Are you still in contact with Malone (the bass-god) or Teegarden

(did you know that he's in a band with Owen of CANNIBAL CORPSE now for example?!)?

Occasional contact with Malone and Teegarden.

What about the "guest-vocal girls"?

Sonia? no contact.

As far as I know you got a own studio in LA? What bands are you producing?

I have a studio in my home. I'm not producing anyone at the moment.

Have you ever heard of OPETH?

Heard of, yes - but not heard.


Are you reading books? What are your faves?

Current reading, 'Emerson: 'The Mind On Fire by Robert Richardson,
Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling by Ross King, Zen Flesh Zen Bones
( Great publisher!, the occasional Carson McCullers short
story re-read, 'The Nature of Personal Reality' by Jane Roberts, Various
selections from lectures by Manley P. Hall,'On Love and Loneliness' by
Krishnamurti, and always have Pema Chodron near by.

Sorry, I'm always in the middle of numerous books.

What about movies? You like Shamyalan flicks, right (Unbreakable – The Village, etc.)? :o)

Not hip to Shamyalan or film culture in general...yet. I intend to explore further...

I should know more as a result of osmosis living in this town (Los Angeles)

- it's easy to become a recluse workaholic.
I do enjoy great film.

 ...And to the future...
What will - or better: should - future bring for you and your musical career?

I can't predict the future bit I can promise you an interesting uncharted
present filled with more music and life force!


There were rumours about a CYNIC - DVD that should come out next year. True or wrong?

1. Cynic Dvd: true
2. Next year: 2005 perhaps



And the questions all have waited for: What about a CYNIC reunion? Any chance?

It's happening now! In the form of our reissue and all the amazing fans
opening their hearts to us.



Ok, Paul - thanks a lot for your time!
I wish a lot of succes to you short-haired soft-rock guys! :o)
May the spiritual gods be with you...
(the last words are for you!)

Thank you Andy and to the readers whom have taken the time to read.
stay tuned...check out