Last year (2004) the Swedish melodic death metal band Cipher System released their debut album "Central Tunnel 8" through the German label Lifeforce Records. Guitarist Magnus Öhlander took some time off to answer this interview by our Mexican guest collaborator Ishtar in June 2005.

Please tell people that don’t know anything about Cipher System, where you are from, when you started to play together…. Give us some kind of quite short band history…
Cipher system first was called Eternal Grief and it was Johan and Pontus who started the band in end of 1995. in 97 Daniel joined, and Peter joined in 2001 and me, Magnus in 2002 and in 2004 we got a record deal and recorded and rest is history... haha...or gonna be, hehe...

How is Cipher System nowdays with your new album "Central Tunnel 8" kicking asses, do you get feedback about it?
Yes, we get great response all over the world...its hard to get our album, but those who bought it likes it a lot, and that's a great feeling, when you read all the mails...

I know that you got hard days and finally you have your work pressed on cd, how is the band living and enjoying this effort?
Well, its not a big change...we live as normal...but we got the luck to show our music on CD.

To be honest the first impression that I got from you guys was not exactly good, I mean you don't have a Death Metal Image at all, is more like a Grunge or Alternative thing that came into my mind, but well the music is the important thing I think, is this important to Cipher System, to have a band Image, or not?
Haha, I can tell you this, Cipher system is probably the worst band in the world when it comes to know we have talked about it, but in the band some don't thinks it matters...I want an image, but its hard when 3/6 of the band don't want or cares, you know...sad but true. maybe in the future we can get it.

Which are the influences of the band?
All from, In Flames, Soilwork, Meshuggah, ordinary soft rock like U2, Johan makes the music he likes, and he listen to Black, Death, Rock etc..

How do you guys work writing the music?
Johan makes the riff, we others want to but its often John's riff we take. we are afraid of trying new stuff...anyway, Johan shows his stuff, and we all togheter put it to its right places.

How long was the process of the recording of "Central Tunnel 8"?
Eh, 2 weeks. 25 hours a day, haha...

Is Patrick J. Sten producing at the Fredman Studios now or is Fredrik still producing?
Fredrik produces sometimes, but Patrick made the production on our album.

Your new album is definitely one of the best that I've ever heard since a long time, is hard to create an own sound now, because the people use to compare bands, but I think that Cipher System is creating a completely new sound and fresh on the Swedish Death Metal, what do you think about this?
Yeah do you think that? I don't know, we hear new things everyday...some thinks we have an own sound, and some says it is boring Swedish Death, we like it and we want to have more own stuff, it's hard, but sometimes we make something new.

How came this idea to get an electronic sound on the Keyboards department?
Ehh, was before we had 2 guitarist. Then I came, and it was easier to have a own sound with keys... we could do more.

What is the meaning behind the album title, I mean is something strange, at least to me...
Central tunnel eight is a place you go to in your mind, when you have a hard time, you can be alone there, and forget all the things you done in your past...its Henric's area, haha.

What are the topics that you guys manage in your lyrics?
Hmm, how sick the world and all people are, haha...

How is your relationship with Lifeforce Records?
It's okay, not great but sometimes they do good stuff for signing us and give us the chance to record our masterwork.

You released 2 albums, one is "Central Tunnel 8" and your Split with By Night, did you decide this or was this a label decision?
It was the label's idea. They asked us and we knew them, 'cause we played with them one time, and they are great, then the label decided to make the split ..I'm happy to have been on the same cd as them...

Let me tell you that Lifeforce Records don't have distribution here in Mexico, that's something sad because It would be great to get your albums here, have you ever thought in release the album through an American Label?
Yeah, sure... but it's not our decision, it's the label's... we have an American Lifeforce...they have an office there, more I don't know.

I know that you have a video clip in your history, do you have plans to record a new video for "Central Tunnel 8"?
Haha, it would be cool, but I don't think so...

Some of the members play also in other bands or is it just Henric (Nightrage)?
Well, yeah, Peter haves an Electronic band called 047, hehe.. I play in a cover band, Johan too... but not as serious as Henric's other band.

Thank you for your time , do you want to say something to end?
Well, get our record, you'll like it! I promise and visit our website.

Links of interest:

Cipher System
Lifeforce Records