By Lais

Birmingham’s finest metalcore upstarts, Cytota, consist of five members: vocalist Joby Fitzgerald, drummer Harry Jennings (son of Raw Power’s Craig Jennings),  guitarists Youssef Ashraf and Ryan Hamilton, and bassist Oliver Pike. Although they technically formed in 2009, the band were still at school, and so haven’t been able to throw themselves into it fully until now. But now they’ve truly committed to Cytota, their hard work is paying off. We spoke to vocalist Joby Fitzgerald and drummer Harry Jennings to shed more light on their back story, and tell us what they have coming up next.

Rewind to Halloween 2009: Harry and Joby met at a Fightstar gig in Shepherd’s Bush. Despite both coming from Birmingham, their formation began in London, but the rest of the band members were chosen back at home in the Midlands. Frontman Joby says, “I think we were both interested in forming bands before we met. And then we knew other boys who wanted to be in a band – Youssef was in school with Harry, Ollie was in school with me, and then I met Ryan at college a couple of years later. Personally, I don’t consider us a proper band until Ryan joined. He brought loads to the band and he made a really big difference to us.”

Cytota released their debut EP, ‘The Prosecutor’, back in 2012. Instead of releasing an album too hastily, the band have been slowly releasing singles that reflect where they are at that time. Joby says: “When we formed the band we were 14 and the EP in its final form was everything we’d been doing since we started. Each song we’ve released has been a massive step forward for us musically. Because we were so young when we started the band, the music has matured with us.”

Although it’s great to release songs that reflect who they are at the time, do they have any plans to release a full-length? “It’d be nice to have one out by 2015. We just want to make sure that it’s absolutely perfect by the time we release it, but we’ll still release songs in the meantime to keep it exciting. We just want to make sure it’s right and not rush anything.”

Sound-wise, Cytota describe themselves as being within the genres of rock, metal and metalcore. Each member is influenced by different types of music, so Joby is a fan of bands like Taking Back Sunday and My Chemical Romance,  Youssef and Ollie are into rap, and Harry is into prog metal from the States. Harry says, “We’re all into completely different stuff. We try to bring all those elements in without it sounding like a mess. That’s why we spend so much time writing, because we want it to be just right.”

Along with playing several festivals this summer, Cytota will be going out on tour with Memphis May Fire this month. It’s an exciting time for them, as Harry reiterates: “It’s absolutely incredible, because we’re all massive Memphis May Fire fans. I was on holiday when we were told that we were on the tour. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about something in my life. It’s such a huge opportunity, and we want to make sure that we really take advantage of it and get our music out to as many people as possible and hopefully grab some new fans and bring them along for the experience. I still can’t get my head around it.”

The plan for 2014 is to play festivals and then concentrate on writing music. The aim is to release singles, which will hopefully lead up to an album release, but nothing is set in stone just yet. The band seem to have a very healthy attitude to their new lifestyle – “Even if one person comes up to you at a show and says they’ve enjoyed it, I feel like it’s worth it” – and if they carry on this way they might just do well for themselves. Keep an eye out for these ones.




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