Interview: Byzantine talk on “The Cicada Tree”


Concert Crap: You guys are releasing album number 6, The Cicada Tree, July 28th. How would you describe the progression from album number one, The Fundamental Component, to now?

Chris “OJ” Ojeda: The progression has been slow but consistent throughout each album. Our 1st album was one of our heaviest and more technical records. We’ve slowly added more clean singing into our music as well as more dynamics. We also started foraying into longer arrangements on album 4, which has been a fun ripple to add to the mix. I feel our newest album, The Cicada Tree is the perfect blend of chaos and melody at the right time for this band.

CC: Did you come at the writing and / or recording process differently than in the past?

OJ: No. I typically have a standard ritual of holing myself up for about 4 months in my basement and demoing out material on my PC for the guys to scrutinize and pick apart. The only change was I upgrade from a desktop PC to a laptop MAC with Pro Tools. That made everything WAY more efficient!

CC: If you had to pick three words to describe the album, what would they be?

OJ: Exploration, explication and explosion!

CC: What should listeners pay special attention to when they listen to the album?

OJ: I really enjoy it when listeners take the time to spin the album from front to back. We spend a great deal of time sequencing the album to make for a thoroughly enjoyable experience. If fans pay attention to the interplay of one song to the next I think they will really dig the album.

CC: What are Byzantine’s plans for the rest of the year?

OJ: We begin our touring for the album this summer through Fall and then we will stay home for the winter to be with our families during the holidays.

CC: Do you have any fun summer plans? 

OJ: We have a few regional headlining shows in August and then we do a full US tour as direct support for Sacred Reich in September.

CC: Is there anything else you’d like to add to this interview?

OJ: You can pre-order “The Cicada Tree” and any Byzantine related merchandise through

All questions answered by vocalist/rhythm guitarist Chris “OJ” Ojeda.

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Post and interview by Karen Shalev

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