Cynthesis – A Second Progressive ReEvolution

Sunday, 9th June 2013

At one time, progressive metal as a genre represented the big three: Dream Theater, Fates Warning, and Queensryche. During the 1990s thanks to all three acts extensive touring domestic and abroad, the genre exploded, and with it, new ideas and influences that keep the movement vital today. Contrasts enliven the aural experience – some artists pushing the intricacy and technicality of performance and songwriting, while others seek out lighter and sparse avenues to still get across progressive outlook and thoughts.

For guitarist Jasun Tipton, he’s never been content to stay in one specific mode with his writing. Thus out of necessity, he currently has two projects going: the instrumental act Abnormal Thought Patterns and the vocally-driven Cynthesis. Luckily for the music community at large, both bands have new releases to devour. I figure it’s time to give Jasun a chance to discuss more behind both bands, along with a supplementary answer from Cynthesis vocalist Erik Rosvold regarding the lyrical content.

In the meantime, don’t hesitate to expand your horizon, because Cynthesis and Abnormal Thought Patterns to these ears are just getting started and the future looks very bright.

Dead Rhetoric: Zero Hour has been on hold for five years now due to the significant injuries of your bass playing twin brother Troy. What exactly happened and what is the state of his condition currently? Do you ever foresee the band becoming active again?

Jasun Tipton: Troy was working out at the gym doing bicep curls. There was a pop in his left arm and basically the bone crushed his ulnar nerve. He had very limited blood flow to his left arm and hand due to what happened. Troy had to have the ulnar nerve sub-muscular transposition surgery. If he didn’t have the surgery he would have had muscle atrophy in his left arm. He had the surgery and has been working hard to get back into playing shape. He’ll never be perfect but he’s gaining some strength in his arm and pushing forward. Much of the Zero Hour material Troy played with a lot of left hand strength. In Zero Hour there’s a lot of tapping and legato bass line in the material. Troy can’t and will not put his arm through those problems again as he still has issues. With that said, Zero Hour is no longer.

Dead Rhetoric: Which developed first: the progressive metal side project Cynthesis or the instrumental tech/ progressive metal side project Abnormal Thought Patterns? Also, how did you decide who would be the drummers for said bands (Enchant’s Sean Flanegan for the former, Zero Hour’s Mike Guy for the latter)?

Tipton: Cynthesis is what I first sought out to do but without knowing I started writing the Abnormal Thought Patterns material. Sean and I always wanted to do some music together. At this time Zero Hour was on hold so I knew this was the opportunity to work a progressive act with Sean. I talked to Sean and he said I’m 100% in. Troy just had surgery and he was going need a lot of time to heal. Knowing that the writing process would not include Troy I started putting together my recording studio. After the studio was complete I decided to do some test runs recording a couple of instrumentals, so I could get the ins-and-outs of the new system that I had. One of those songs was all four movements of “Velocity and Acceleration.”

My brother was like, “We should do an instrumental band.” With Troy excited about it and having Mikey on board, Abnormal Thought Patterns was born. After writing the couple songs I need to take a break from the instrumental material. I started the writing process for Cynthesis and as the material developed I told Troy I hear Erik’s voice all over this thing. Soon after that Troy and I were attending a Heaven and Hell show and guess who comes walking up in the same row as us. It was Erik and we hadn’t seen him in five years. We gave each other a big hug and I said we missed each other. I told him later I want you to sing in our new progressive band. Erik said that would be great.

Dead Rhetoric: You have a new release for each act coming out around the same time: what can you tell us about the writing and recording process for ReEvolution and Manipulation Under Anesthesia? Do you block off specific times to write material for each act, or do you just let the ideas flow and then decide where everything should go?

Tipton: It really depends on my mood at the time. Both bands have progressive elements but I think it’s fair to say Abnormal Thought Patterns is the more aggressive, technical, heavier band, while Cynthesis is the more spacey, emotional, progressive band. Both have their feel, emotion and technical ways about them yet have a bit of a different voice. I just let the ideas come to me. It’s usually in cycles of two to three songs at a time. Once I finish two or three songs from Cynthesis I need a break and a different outlet. Abnormal Thought Patterns is that outlet and vice versa.

Dead Rhetoric: One of the things I enjoy about Cynthesis is the exploration of progressive metal without succumbing to bludgeoning the listener with instrumental prowess or overt ‘look at me now’ technicality. Has that always been part of the band’s make up and game plan- to explore the lighter, more atmospheric shades of the genre while still being left of center and unique?

Tipton: Absolutely! I’m a big fan of Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree. Guitar players like Gary Moore, John Sykes, Neal Schon and David Gilmour can soar a note for miles. They just have that thing in their playing where they hit a note and you’re in their liquid world. I’m listening to Pink Floyd- A Momentary Lapse of Reason as I’m doing this interview and my ears get drawn to some of the notes and progressions I hear. Cynthesis is my take of that spacey, liquid-like world.

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