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Melbourne- based desert rockers' Cicadastone are set to release their second studio album, Cold Chamber on March 19th via Golden Robot Records. The band formed in 2003 by brothers Matt and Mark Robins, who have spent the past 5 years writing and touring their brand of 90's grunge with a dark twist.

I had an opportunity to speak to Lead singer Mat Robins about the new album, Covid, and signing with Golden Robot Records.

Hello, could you introduce yourselves to new listeners?

Hi guys I’m Mat Robins. Singer/guitarist/songwriter for Cicadastone from Melbourne Australia. Thanks for having me!! 

Your music has elements of 90’s grunge, How would you describe your style of yourselves?

90’s grunge is a fair assessment. I grew up in that scene and it definitely shaped who I am. So there is no denying Cicadastone’s origins are from those 90’s bands. But I think we also take a different approach. It’s hard to put a finger on but we definitely have our own thing going on also. 

You have a new album coming out called Cold Chamber, could you explain the idea behind this album and the reasons behind the title? 

Cold Chamber is a song from the album. We latched on to that as we felt it had great dark themes to it and we could definitely tell a visual story with that title. It was a clear stand out for the album direction. Once we settled on that we never swayed from it and developed what is now a record with some big highs and lows and moods which are more like a journey as the album progresses. We are very proud of what we have created with Cold Chamber. 

You have released three critically acclaimed singles in “Box of Anger”, “Dying in Sunshine”, and “Out of Sight”, Could you tell me a bit about the songs, and do you have any personal favourites? 

Box of Anger, Dying in Sunshine and Out of Sight all bring different elements. But I think equally strong singles. However, none of the songs I write is ever penned as a “single”. I just write and what comes out is what comes out.  So to me, they are just part of the album's journey and take their place on the album. They all touch on different themes that’s for sure. It’s hard to pick a favourite as I go through different stages with them all haha!!  

Maybe at the moment, I think the album closer “Down River” is my favourite, but ask me again tomorrow and it’ll be a different answer. 

What was the writing and recording processes going into making Cold Chamber?

The writing process is a never-ending journey for me. So when we finished recording “Chance Collide” I already had a few songs for “Cold Chamber”. And now it’s the same for the next album. I’m not always writing. I don’t force it. But it’s luckily been a pretty constant thing in my life. 

As for recording, It wasn’t easy. We tracked all the drums with a different drummer and then realised it wasn’t really working. So we got Jarrod on board and re-recorded the lot. Was definitely worth it as in that time a few more songs were written, like “Out Of Sight” and the album title track “Cold Chamber”. 

Did you have any influences on the music, or yourselves in producing the album?

Yes we definitely did as I produced the album, and also recorded and mixed it myself. It’s something I’ve always done and enjoyed it. I’m all for producers helping a band realise a vision but in this case, I knew exactly what I wanted and producing the album myself made sense to do. 

 There are two live acoustic tracks on the vinyl, edition, what was the reasons behind that?

Well we realised that not all the songs would fit on vinyl, so we decided to go with a double vinyl but this meant the last track would be on side 4 on its own haha..! Plenty of spare space. So we recorded two live acoustic tracks in the studio which are from “Chance Collide” and thought it could be cool to have them as an exclusive vinyl thing. It worked out great. 

Am I correct in saying this is your sophomore follow to your debut album, which was released n 2016?  How come you have chosen now to release it?

Yes. It took way too long to get it out. The next one will be done a lot quicker I’m sure of it. Writing took a while, plus re-recording the drums, then I took my time to mix it, I didn’t want to rush it. I would take weeks off to clear my head haha!! But it was worth it. Then of course the album release date was pushed back due to the pandemic. But here we are finally !! 

Were there any great expectations for yourselves heading into the studio?

There always are great expectations yes. I think this time all I wanted was to better our last efforts. To record it better, mix it better and produce it better. We have all learnt a lot in the last 5 years and I feel we did that. But I do still love our first album and what we created. 

You recently signed with Golden Robot Records, which has some great artists coming through. How much of a boost has this been on the band when making the album?

Yes Golden Robot Records are great. They believe in what we have to offer and you can’t ask for more than that. They have helped us so much with getting these songs out there further than we could do on our own. We have a great working relationship with them and I’m sure it will only get better as time goes on. 

 I wouldn’t be a great music journalist if I didn’t mention the pandemic.  How much had this affected the band in the past year?

It definitely tested us as it has any band. But I think we were lucky as we were about to release singles. So it’s kept us relevant all year. It’s forced us to be creative with our videos as we made them during the lockdown. So they took a whole new direction.  But now things are returning back to normal and we are still here and ready to get this album out and move forward. We are excited about 2021 and can’t wait for people to hear this album. 

 And finally, what next for Cicadastone?

What’s next? Well, we would love to tour the album even in these Covid restricted times. I can’t see us getting overseas in 2021 but hopefully in 2022. We have a song featuring on the Rue Morgue Records compilation album “Murder in the Rue morgue Vol2” which comes out later this year. Which has a bunch of amazing Australian bands. We also will begin recording album number 3 later this year. It’s written and ready to go. So I’m really excited about that. So yes we have things to do that’s for sure. There will be more Cicadastone to come, just wait and see!! Thanks for the chat!! 

Words by Anselm Anderson

for further reading on the upcoming new album, Please click on the link below;


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