Interview with David Silesu – Bass and Backing Vocals with The Cryptex and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (https://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
DS: Definitely the chaotic stereotype you imagine if you talk about artists.
If you look at my apartment you immediately notice it. Right now there are two basses, two guitars and various other instruments on my couch among pillows and cats.
I try to keep myself organised when it comes to The Cryptex, but I have to write everything down or else I forget things in my scatterbrain.
On the other hand, I am very calculating and theoretical. I analyse music all the time, sometimes when I hear something I immediately step over to my piano and try to play bits and pieces and try to find out what’s going on there.
I love to experiment with sounds and instruments and always want to listen to new stuff.
Before I joined The Cryptex as a bassist I was the photographer for their live shows, so that’s another type of art I dabble in. No matter if music, photography or paintings I’m very sensitive and always connect emotions with what I do or see.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
DS: Let’s start this with music, cause I think this should be the main focus here.
I come from a non musical family, my dad is the type that has the radio turned off while driving and my mom did not know who the Beatles were until I as a young boy introduced her to their music. She used to play German folk accordion, because she was forced to (I still have her instrument here).
But I was denied making music my whole youth.
I started with the trombone at church when I was 10, but my mom was annoyed by me practising so I was not allowed to continue.
At ~12 I wanted to play guitar in school and I was also not allowed to do so.
So I bought an electric guitar from my allowance when I was 15 and hid it in my closet and played at night. During the day I played video games, World of warcraft was big at that time so it was no surprise to my parents that I was awake late at night.
Later I formed my first Punk band, then Metal but ‘because I have some trouble moving my pinky on my left hand and did not improve a lot I lost motivation at some point and just sang more.
But music alway got me back, I took singing and teaching workshops, started as a vocal coach at a music school where I still work today.
In 2019 I started studying music from home at the water bear music collage in Brighton and was fortunate enough to get a partial scholarship from Rob Chapman.
To get the money to pay for the rest I worked as a Chef in the morning. After that in the afternoon I went to music school to teach there and in the evening/night I did my studies and recorded the stuff for collage.
But after the third semester I burned out and decided to do what brings me the most joy, I quit my chef job and college and focused on teaching the children music and getting more students… We all know what was waiting around the corner in 2020.
In mid 2021 I had a call with Simon, I was an integral part of the band since 2017 as the Photo guy and backliner and we’re good friends.
He told me that the Bassist quit and in a mood I just replied with “Huh, guess I start learning that stuff on bass, can’t be that hard.”
Damn I was wrong, the Bass is a way more complex Instrument than I thought and I really had to practise hard. I had to audition like everyone else and they decided that I’ll be the new bassist. And here we are, I recorded the new Album “Nimbus” and there are also quite a few Bass parts that I wrote and also the Lyrics for one song are partially by me.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
DS: Again the chaotic stereotype.
I will start with non musical things. Video games are an integral part of my life, damn I got a Luigi tattooed as well as Zelda and Pokemon artworks.
Also listen to gaming music, the Soundtrack of The witcher, or Zelda the Windwaker, damn great compositions.
They help me to relax and I meet a lot of awesome people around the world because of them. Another thing are tabletop games, I Dungeon Master D&D, when I am not too busy with everything else, cause I love to tell a good story and impersonate characters.
For music I am all over the place, my big Idol when I started to play guitar was, and still is, Steve Vai, I love instrumental music, to be frank I rarely listen to the words In music first, the Melody and groove is what I am excited about.
From there I started to listen to more and more metal, the first CD I wanted to buy was an Iron Maiden CD with 14 but my mom did not allow it because “The cover looks too scary”, so shame on me – I got the St. Anger album by Metallica. Still a good influence and Introduction to metal. From there I went to Grave Digger, Blind Guardian, more instrumental stuff like Joe Satriani and Eric Johnson.
Nowadays It quiet changed quite a bit. I still listen to metal a lot but also to Jazz and Funk.
I love my jazzy covers of rock songs like those done by Postmodern Jukebox but also straight Jazz like Herbie Hancock, Hiromi, Kurt Rosenwinkel to name a few.
But I am open to everything, I also listen to classical music, with my favourites being Brahms and Rachmaninoff, electronic music, musicals or Irish folk music. I am all over the place, If I like it I like it.
Damn I just go to concerts of Bands that I don’t know to be surprised sometimes.
One of the small bands that surprised me the most over the past few years live that I consider a diamond in the rough is Flight Attendant from Nashivlle and their debut album is an all time favourite of mine since October of last year.
The more I am happy that I became good friends with them and we stay in touch and see each other again this year at a few concerts.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
DS: I am not a big dreamer. I consider myself quite happy with how things are. I think a lot but I don’t have dreams like being famous or rich or something like that. If I have friends, food, water, a place to live, my hearing and a good beer from time to time I’m happy.
The only thing I might dream of is the right woman on my side at some point that supports me and that I can support in her decisions.
But until that, a beer with my friends in the pub with some music or band just does fine.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
DS: The main songwriter is Simon, starting with the Once upon a time André started to be a co songwriter and with “Nimbus” they worked closer together than ever before, André is also a quite good pianist and drummer so it helped a lot.
At some point I also got involved in the process, I am the person for some colours among the musical black dots. I see myself more as an “improver” or producer kind of than a songwriter. Simon plays something and I start to have small ideas for sounds, harmonies or something.
Especially during the Vocal recordings we 4, with Markus started to work closer together than ever before, every Idea that came up was listened to and we tried out quite a few things on the spot.
For what they are about, that Is a question I don’t like to hear but I know it has to be asked.
I think people should decide for themselves ad Identify themselves with the lyrics.
But I think, especially “Nimbus” as an album, is quite dark. Topics are our society, the darkness deep down in all of us, problems we have in our lives and how we cope.
For example lines like “Psychonauts are brewing liquor, grim and dark to praise my demons“ in “Son of Fortune” are not rare.
The whole album is a story about deep and strong emotions.
Just wait till you hear it, and decide for yourself what your very own interpretation is, and then please send it to me, cause I am excited to read that.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
DS: We are all about Fan service, and no that does not mean we get naked on only fans.
First of all, we got something very special for everyone who Preorder the new Album in our shop, but I can’t say more at this point in time.
For general Promotion, we work with a few agencies but our own focus is the product, the music.
Still we manage all our social channels ourselves, post Videos and Pictures, hell we still create Facebook events.
Then the standard poster prints for shows and stuff and our music videos, at time of writing we released two for the new Album with the next one coming on september 1st, and that one will be much bigger than the two before.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
DS: I mean at least we’re not in Napster times anymore.
As long as you pay for it it’s fine I think.
We are in a digital age and If you just want to have files instead of a lot of CD’s I can accept that. I still have my CD collection but nowadays I have no means to play them. I don’t have an optical drive in my PC anymore. And booting up the Playstation to listen to an album… nope. But concert DVD’s yes, for that sure.
Only things I buy physically are Vinyls, they look nice and I still have an old deck from the 70’s with the original speakers.
But especially HiFi enthusiasts I can see buying Digital. If they have very good speakers, a Media server and just want those Flac files in super high quality, go for it.
– We offer those too by the way.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
DS: Probably the hardest question of the bunch for me.
I could really think this through and could settle on some famous Queen, Pink Floyed or Steve Vai song.
But on the spot one comes to mind:
Devin Townsed – Singularity from the Empath album.
What a musically diverse journey, almost 24min of pure awesomeness, close your eyes and just feel it, it changes, evolves. I love that piece cause it triggers so many emotions.
Actually that LP is on my Vinyl player right now.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
I dislike people that judge too quickly, we all have our luggage to carry and you should give everyone a fair chance. Doesn’t matter if it’s in music or whatever.
Oh and doing chores – back to dreaming, I’d love to be able to afford a cleaning lady that comes once a week.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
DS: Funnily enough It does not have to do with myself being on stage.
The proudest moment I can think of is when my first student in the music school was on stage for the first time at the summer festival of the school.
I was so happy for him, sure he was nervous and made a few mistakes, damn he was 9 years old at the time. But It was heartwarming.
And with students those moments happen all the time, one better than the other.
I am always proud of my students, no matter if they are 7 or 60 years old when they perform live.
And it’s always cute If they ask me to come up on stage with them for moral support.
I now teach vocals, guitar, bass and keys, so there are so many different characters and problems they encounter and being able to help them and see them do well and smile afterwards makes me happy and proud, even when they are not my children.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
DS: With the Band we’re full out in release mode right now, Advertisement, booking, music videos. It’s quite a lot. At the same time songwriting will start again soon. We obviously want to present you with even more music in the near future.
Personally, I want to do a bit more for our local newcomer scene and support new artists and help out in town when it comes to music events, planning or sitting at the mixing desk.
PD: Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
DS: There are two important shows coming up and both have the potential to become my proudest moment in music.
Our next show is at ProgPower USA in Atlanta and we will play some new songs exclusively for the first time there, even before the Album release. Scarring a stage with Artists like Kamelot and Caligula’s Horse will be amazing. I mean look at the Lineup for the 4 Days if you like Prog- or Power Metal that’s where you need to be!
Also we might have something very special planned for that show too.
The other one is the actual album release in Hannover.
That will be a big night for us and every The Cryptex fan, we will go all out for our fans!
We also bring 2 support acts and for 20 quit that’s a bargain.
The tickets are still available in our shop
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