Paul Masvidal of Cynic on Going the Smaller Label Route
"Let me preface this by saying there is no such thing as a perfect record company," Paul Masvidal of the recently reunited prog-metal outfit Cynic told Noisecreep, "I think they (record companies) are all inherently dysfunctional and have no idea really what they are doing; there are just maybe a few people there that understand your work and are getting behind it."
Cynic spent the first wave of their band under the wings of the metal giant Roadrunner Records. When the band re-formed in 2006 after a twelve year break up a new, larger fan base awaited them and seven different record labels had deals offered to them. But Cynic went with one of the smaller labels, Seasons of Mist for their album 'Traced in Air' that came out in 2008. "Our perspective was, these days a record company feels more like a piece of a pie vs. something your dependent on to make or break your career."
"We didn't need the Roadrunner machine to plaster us everywhere, although that would have been nice," Paul explained on not returning to their old label, "I think you have to give up a lot when you go to a label like that, at least at this stage of the game. We wouldn't want to go back there unless we had a little bit more leverage."
For Cynic, a smaller label gave the band more control. Paul says, "With Seasons (of Mist) what appealed to us was the freedom in terms of doing the kind of deal we wanted to do, and setting it up in the way we wanted to set it up. It's just a little more stable in a sense," Paul laughed, "if you can use that word to describe a record company."
Since 'Traced in Air' was released in November Seasons of Mist have catered to the die hard fans that want big and limited edition packaging like a box set, a stunning digi-cased CD that glorifies the art of Robert Venosa in the layout and a vinyl release. Paul calls this, "a more boutique approach" to releasing an album, which is why they went with the label they did. It was time for a new approach which gave Cynic a control in their future and all sides of their art while not feeling like they could lose it all because they didn't hit the right markets.
"In terms of feeling like were doing this too and it's 'not make or break' with the record company. I'm not giving them that much power anymore, which is liberating," Paul said with a smile.