Interview with vocalist Kyle Scott
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: April 2, 2016
One might say Canadian 4-piece combo Nylithia is just another faceless new Metal act in the vast sea of Heavy Metal with hard times ahead keeping their heads up above the surface. However, as it's been proven in the past, hard work is the key to making a name in the business. The guys in Nylithia certainly know this and it can be heard on their debut album Hyperthrash, which was released digitally at the end of November 2015. The guys in Nylithia want to push the envelope as hard as they can and are talented and gifted musicians who have the whole world waiting to hear what they might have to offer.
The Metal Crypt decided to open the door to the secret world of this fine and energetic Canadian Metal act and vocalist Kyle Scott was more than eager to invite us in. Read on...
Luxi: First off, thanks for accepting my request for an interview, appreciated! So, what's new in the world of Kyle Scott?
Kyle: Thanks for taking the time to talk to me! I'm hard at work trying to push this album and schedule some touring! We're also in the process of making two new videos. When you're a DIY band like we are, there's not much time for anything else!
Luxi: Could you tell the readers of The Metal Crypt how it all started for you guys and what made you decide to form this band called Nylithia?
Kyle: Royce (guitar) and Tyler Erhardt (ex-drums) assembled an album's worth of songs in Langley, BC. Royce emailed me in 2007 to see if I was interested in doing vocals. I listened to the demos he sent me and couldn't believe the music I was hearing. I knew instantly that it was a project I wanted to be a part of. The music was addictive.
Luxi: Nylithia has been around since 2008 already but it took seven years before your debut album was released. Why do you believe it took 7 years to get Hyperthrash recorded? Were line-up problems a part of the reason?
Kyle: There were a few reasons it took as long as it did. We always like to do things a little different than everyone else so after we returned from touring with Infector across Canada we undertook a plan to record release singles accompanied by original artwork and a video. It worked really well at first but the sheer cost and workload involved in producing our own singles and directing, editing, and mixing our own videos on top of still touring and staying sharp for shows became too much. In the middle of all of that we went through a series of different members on bass and drums which also inhibited productivity. By the time we put our current stable lineup together, it was clear our music and style were changing, so we felt it was important to release all of the songs as a full album. We worked really hard crafting them and felt it was a perfect snapshot of where we were currently as songwriters and musicians.
Luxi: Hyperthrash is a pretty amazing piece of work with complex, challenging, technical, unorthodox and very tricky but still catchy songs, boundless energy, top-notch musicianship, etc. It's a breath-taking journey listening to it all the way through. Did you decide from day one that you wanted to be different from the masses or was it just coincidence that your stuff took a more technical form over the years?
Kyle: We absolutely looked to differ from the masses with our music. It sometimes sounds like bands come out trying to sound like other bands that came before them or trying to fit into a particular style/genre. No matter what the style, good music is good music. Nylithia's intention is to make fast, energetic music that's heavy, but still catchy to the point it gets stuck in your head.
Luxi: When you compose new songs for Nylithia do you try to challenge yourselves as much as possible?
Kyle: Definitely. Each song is approached as a new and different challenge. We never put a limit on how far we take a song but always make sure in the end that it has all the components to be a great track on its own. We want to give an audible shot of energy to the listener so that they feel like they can run through a wall or at the very least just get up and move!
Luxi: How have you guys shared songwriting duties within the band?
Kyle: Royce comes in first with a basic song structure which he'll upload to our server. We'll listen to it for a week or so then come in as a full band to rehearse and work out the transitions, structure, melody and vocal theme ideas. When we decide on a theme for the song, I take it home to write lyrics based on that theme while working on syncopation to fit with/between guitar and drums parts. Our music is mainly guitar-driven so I like to play off of the riffs with my vocal patterns and let the guitar carry the melody of the track.
Luxi: Hyperthrash, the album's bold title, describes your music pretty well actually as far as the relentless intensity and untamed (but still controlled) energy that you have managed to capture. Did you come up with that very fitting description by yourselves? I am just a bit curious, that's all...
Kyle: We came up with it ourselves! Our live shows are known for their energy onstage and in the crowd. Thrash music is defined by that, so we combined it with the word 'hyper' to convey that uncontrollable feeling of losing your shit when you hear it.
Luxi: As far as I am aware, Hyperthrash has only been released digitally thus far. However, I remember reading that you do have plans to get it released in a physical format as well, correct?
Kyle: We're planning on doing staggered, limited physical releases of vinyl and CDs. Each will include all 12 pieces of original artwork made for each song and lyric sheets to follow along while you listen to the album. The artwork by Humanburger Jones is extremely detailed and was custom made to reflect the theme of the songs. You can spend the entire duration of the song finding new things hidden in the artwork that might not be obvious at first glance. Details on ordering will be out in the coming months.
Luxi: Do you prefer enjoying your music digitally nowadays or do you like having it available in a physical format? Does it really matter to you?
Kyle: I personally prefer music digitally and streaming these days. I do have a small collection of vinyl that I keep, but I threw out all of my CDs. The convenience of building massive offline playlists to listen to with head phones or speakers anywhere is incredible. I'm obsessed with finding new music/bands and streaming makes it easier to listen to more music in a year than I've ever been able to before.
Luxi: Do comparisons to Vektor bug you at all? The Sci-Fi themes and some musical similarities that you have with Vektor's tricky and adventurous approach obviously create an illusion in people's heads where they make these comparisons to Vektor...
Kyle: It's flattering being compared to a band of their ability, but no it doesn't bug us at all. I think they are excellent at carving out their own style in the genre, which is probably why we get compared to them sometimes. Both bands are doing something unique in music which people appreciate and I think they tend to lump us together in the same category.
Luxi: I noticed that Nylithia is an experienced live act. You have shared stages with many bands including some bigger names like Hypocrisy, Infernäl Mäjesty, Brutal Truth, At The Gates, Suffocation, etc. Have there been any special and/or memorable shows that felt truly honored to be a part of?
Kyle: I think At the Gates was the most special. They hadn't played live since the late 90's in the Pacific Northwest and when it was announced they were only doing three North American dates (Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal) playing Slaughter of the Soul front to back, it became a can't-miss event. That album was so important to me growing up and we met so many people that flew in from all over the continent just to see that show. We got the opportunity to open for them and meet the guys in the band. It was a highlight for sure.
Luxi: Undoubtedly getting a chance to play live in front of crazy and wild metalheads is one of those most important reasons you do this. There's nothing as rewarding as seeing people going totally berserk because of your music, right?
Kyle: That's the main reason we do this. Our shows are always fun for everyone in the crowd. We encourage audience participation yelling lyrics and if you've never crowd surfed before, I highly recommend trying it at one of our shows!
Luxi: Would you say that you have managed to create a fan base for Nylithia during the band's seven years of existence, especially in your home territory of Vancouver, British Columbia?
Kyle: We consistently play in Western Canada and have built a loyal and awesome fan base. The scene in Vancouver is strong and the support is amazing for local talent. Not just in Metal, but all genres. The city has a reputation of closing venues to build condos and generally just gentrifying everything. In spite of that, the music scene always seems to find a way to prevail and setup a new venue every time another one closes. The resilience of the music scene here is really inspiring.
Luxi: Talking about your home area of Vancouver, British Columbia, it's always been known as a favorable and fertile ground for heavier music in general. Do you see this the same way and does it have something to do with the "interesting tasting" drinking water that people in your area use on a daily basis?
Kyle: Haha our drinking water is pretty good, I must say. I can't quite put my finger on the reason completely but it's not an easy city to live in. Sure the landscapes are beautiful and lots of people do yoga everywhere, but it's extremely expensive to live here and the gentrification has caused all of the homeless, mentally ill and drug addicted to gather within a few square blocks in the downtown eastside. Ask any touring act that comes through and plays The Rickshaw Theatre and they will tell you the craziness that can be witnessed down there. Most people in bands just scrape by being able to afford to live and maintain a rehearsal spot for their music. Often people will hold multiple jobs just to make enough money to pay rent and buy groceries. I think that struggle contributes to the prevalence of heavy music spewing from this city.
Luxi: How's the rock club scene in your area? Do Metal bands have enough venues or could this situation be better?
Kyle: Most of our Metal shows are relegated to the aforementioned downtown eastside. There used to be live music venues everywhere, but most have been torn down in favour of Starbucks and million-dollar condos. Overall we can't complain too much though as places like The Rickshaw, The Media Club, Funky's, etc. are great places local bands get to play often. Some cities don't even have more than 1 or 2 spots to see a good Metal show.
Luxi: How does 2016 look for Nylithia? Obviously you are aiming to play as many gigs as possible plus perhaps enter the studio to record another EP or who knows even a new full-length?
Kyle: It's looking busy! We have a short upcoming tour with Dying Fetus, The Acacia Strain, Jungle Rot and Black Crown Initiate, and we're looking to start lining up some dates south of the border (USA) and hopefully get over to Europe at some point. As far as a new album goes, we've already started pre-production on new songs for the follow-up. All of them are nearly complete so we're going to try and get them recorded in between tour dates. Whether or not we make another full album or release a couple of EPs, hasn't been decided yet, but either way we'll keep the music coming!
Luxi: Thanks so much for your time Kyle and all the best with your future endeavors with Nylithia. Any closing comments perhaps, other than eat a turkey and listen to Thrash, ha ha!!
Kyle: You took the words right out of my mouth (*laughs*). I'd just like to thank everyone that has bought the album, bought merch, and come to our shows. We're still an independent band and the support people have shown from all over the world has kept us driven and motivated to see this project through. We won't be happy until we visit every place in the world that has fans of Nylithia and heavy music in general.
Thanks to you as well Luxi, your questions were very thorough and I appreciate you taking the time to inquire about us, Cheers!
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