The “Cyberpunkers” project was born in 2006, from the passion of Cyberpunk culture shared by two Italian DJ’s. The group aims to give a fresh start to this style. In a nutshell, a transposition of the Cyberpunk world in modern clubbing. Through their performances at famous clubs, “Cyberpunkers” drew a lot of interest from the European media and ended up being much talked about for both their original look, consisting of masks behind which their true identity is hidden, and for the originality of their shows, in which they use two consoles at once and powered by several other audio machines. They’ve shared the stage at the biggest electronic European music festivals with a lot of worldwide stars.
Interview Meikee Magnetic
What part of Italy are you both from?
We were both born in Italy, in Milan more precisely. We met in 2005 and we immediately created a successful plan for the Cyberpunkers project, which we will be mainly focused on going forward.
Tell us something about your musical background and what instruments do you play:
Although we’re not the same age, we followed the same path, musically; we were both into such artists as Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim), Chemical Brothers, Bjork, Air, Basement Jaxx, Daft Punk, Beastie Boys, Cassius, Moby, Prodigy, e tutta la Techno anni ’90 “909 Style”. Also The Sex Pistols, Ramones, The Clash, Korn, Nirvana, The Offspring, System Of A Down, Depeche Mode, Massive Attack, Tricky, Jamiroquai and Michael Jackson (R.I.P.). Our passions definitely led us to a career in music, although we never played in bands in our teen years. Our bread and butter are the keyboard, drum machine and synths!
Is there a big EDM scene in Italy and how has Italy supported you as artists?
We always receive great feedback in Italy, our success here is definitely connected to our sound, which is never common or average and our fans discover that every time they come out to our gigs. In Italy, word of mouth is one of the strongest promotion tools and it’s been a huge part of the support for our work. Because we feature rising Italian talents, our audience base, among the youngest fans, is consistently growing. Of course the Italian music scene reflects what’s happening in the rest of the world, so at the moment, EDM is very strong. The requests for artists like Steve Aoki and Martin Garrix keep increasing. We should remember that, thanks to Italy, we have some major talent that can compete with the new wave of US artists; I’m thinking about artists such as Benny Benassi, Mauro Picotto, Crookers and us, luckily!
Bring us into your world of music technology, what are some audio programs and plug-in’s you use?
At the beginning, we used Virtual Instruments and some digital synths (Virus/Nord Lead) before we evolved into using only analog synths. Currently we use a Moog Voyager, Alesis Andromeda and a Dave Smith Prophet 08 combined with distortion from guitar pedals. We’re proud of the results we’re getting with this set-up and with the switch to analog, we believe we’ve taken a huge step forward. For a sequencer, we really like working with Nuendo, while for effects, eq and comp, we use the classic Waves. We prefer to do the post production (Mix and master) on our own in our studio using a Culture Vulture and two distressors, one for each channel. We’ve never felt completely in harmony with the work done by someone else and so all of our music will always be done entirely with our own hands.
What are some of your favorite Synth’s vintage or new?
We’ve always enjoyed Moog Voyager’s sound and we still use it. In the past we used to work with the Korg Ms20 and Poly 61. Also the Nord Lead 1, Alesis A6 E Roland JD-800 are still carefully preserved in our studio, they made the history of our first amateur music productions. We’re young and we haven’t had much experience with many synths from the 80’s and 90’s but obviously we’re fascinated by them and maybe, one day, they will come back into fashion. About the current synths, there are a huge number of choices but in our opinion the best one is still our Dave Smith Prophet born in the early 2000.
Your image is very intense with a no holds barred feel. What’s the concept behind your video “Whatta Mask”?
We decided to upgrade our project to Cyberpunkers 2.0 and so our image also needed to be refreshed. The new masks make us more modern and unique (the old ones were common paint ball masks). We got regenerated and we wanted to show this evolution to our fans and the best way was to produce a track combined with a video that could tell our rebirth story. The project was possible thanks to Machete Production and Mirko De Angelis’ direction. We achieved our goal and we’ve shown how Cyberpunkers have been re-born, like a phoenix from their ashes with a new and more aggressive image.
Have you ever had a bad experience with a club or event, tell us some good stories:
Everyone has bad experiences and we’re not the exception. Rough flights and landings, fees never received and so on. At the beginning of our career, everything possible happened to us, the worst experience was in Krakow, Poland. It was 2008 and we were at one of our first gigs abroad, with no experience at all. After a canceled flight from Warsaw to Krakow and a three hour taxi trip to get there, we got immediately sent onstage. After the show, dead tired, we asked to be taken to the hotel but the promoters acted like nothing had happened and took us to a horrible flat with dozens of people camping inside. We spent the night sleeping on the cold floor with crazy noise and the desire to kill someone. I think that was our worst experience. Another one, not so dramatic but funny happened in the Ukraine. We got to Crimea after an eight hour road trip from Kiev and we were supposed to play at a festival at a later time. We fell asleep and maybe it was our fault and maybe the promoter’s, we woke up after three hours because nobody called us. The festival was already over and we just saw people dismantling the stage structure.At the time, we were very sad but now, thinking back on it, we laugh a lot!
Are there vocalists your interested in collaborating with?
Usually our tracks contain vocal sample created by ourselves (e.g. I Needed To Go, Whatta Mask, Shock). About some possible collaborations, we are a little bit unwilling to do that but if some interesting artists like Die Antwoord, Prodigy, Pendulum or Robyn knocked on our door we wouldn’t hesitate to open it.
What would you like to see change in the music industry?
It would be great to see all those major labels (Sony, Universal, etc) give more space to emerging artists as well as believe more in new musical projects and genres.Lately, what they do is just squeeze again and again the artists already on their rosters until they are able to create some profit and then they forsake them.There are alot of great young projects that need visibility, when we create our label (and we will!), it will be our priority to make them grow, since music is also passion and not only business.
What artists do you personally enjoy listening to?
We’re not big fans of the Italian scene and between our fellows we only like Salmo (a famous underground Italian rapper), who worked with us for the track “Russell Crowe”. In general, we listen to ROCK and PUNK music (Sex Pistols, Ramones, T.Rex, The Clash etc) We really like Royksopp, The Knife, Die Antwoord, The Prodigy, Daft Punk, Bjork, Chvrches, and Lorde.
Not long ago you played in San Francisco, my home town at EPR. Did you have a nice set? What did you think of the event?
Playing in the US is always awesome and interesting. Often you have huge crowds in front of you and they’re able to have fun and enjoy your music even if they don’t know you well. Playing at EPR in San Francisco was an experience that we want to repeat because the production was very good (it’s not easy on a Wednesday night) It always attracts a large number of people, especially since they changed the venue, which is now bigger and with an incredible sound system. Not to mention the city itself, which we consider beautiful and love, since we have been there often, we discover new things and it always gets more interesting. We love San Francisco <3
What’s next for Cyberpunkers?
We’re working on music and on our first album. We can’t say more but we will return to the music market bigger than ever, you will see.
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
It means a big window on design, fashion, photography and music. Those ideas are also the base on which we have built the Cyberpunkers project. We believe that those four elements are the form of art that compose our roots and they also reflect personal interests.Take a look at Dark Beauty Magazine, you won’t be disappointed, trust us! Thanks Dark Beauty Magazine and see you soon United States