Six Dumb Questions with Doctor Cylops (Plus Full Album Stream & Tour Announcement)

doctor cyclops

[Click play above to stream Local Dogs by Doctor Cyclops in its entirety. Album is out March 31 on Heavy Psych Sounds.]

Italian heavy rockers Doctor Cyclops are gearing up to issue Local Dogs, their third full-length and Heavy Psych Sounds debut, on March 31. Recorded by James Atkinson of Gentlemans Pistols and boasting guest appearances from Bill Steer of Firebird (also of Carcass, but it’s the boogie that’s way more relevant in this context), the 10-track/47-minute outing follows 2014’s Oscuropasso (discussed here) and finds the three-piece skirting the line between classic heavy rock and more metallic impulses — songs dipping into NWOBHM stylizations in a way that, even three years ago, might have been out of character. As it stands, they find a basis for nuance in this meld, and with the clarity of production and the push of songs like “Wall of Misery” and the stomping “Druid Samhain,” it feels all the more intentional on their part that one might relate their work as much to Dio and Iron Maiden as to Sabbath and Atomic Rooster.

Of course, speaking stylistically (and literally too), it’s not the first time the ’70s have given way to the ’80s, but what Doctor Cyclops use to draw these elements and influences together is a healthy coating of tonal warmth, plus-grade songcraft and a clear-headedness of performance that makes songs like opener “Lonely Devil,” the acoustic-infused “Epicurious” and the swinging, organ-laced penultimate track “Witch’s Tale” all the more memorable before the finale “Witchfinder General” draws a direct link to the NWOBHM and brings Local Dogs to a galloping and righteous close. Striking throughout is the confidence and the poise with which the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Christian Draghi, bassist Francesco Filippini and drummer Alessandro Dallera pull off playing to one side or the other and the assured feeling that what they’re doing with their sound across Local Dogs‘ span is the right way to go, wherever an individual track may actually be headed. In no small part because of that confidence, they turn out to be 100 percent correct.

Doctor Cyclops have live dates lined up through the Spring — they’re working with Heavy Psych Sounds on booking as well, and in May, they will take part in the label’s Sonic Ritual Fest (info here) alongside Yawning ManEcstatic Vision and others, right after they hit the UK with Cybernetic Witch Cult (info here). One can only assume there are more shows to be announced through the end of 2017 and beyond, so keep an eye out., but here’s where they’ll be over the next couple months:

Doctor Cyclops on tour:
14.04 Pavia(IT) Spaziomusica
15.04 Francavilla (IT) Tikitaka Live Village
22.04 Tortona (IT) Dazibao
2.05 St.Gallen (CH) Rumpeltum w/Farflung
3.05 Ins (CH) Schuxenaus
5.05 Ipswich (UK) The Swan
6.05 Banbury (UK) The Wheatsheaf
7.05 London (UK) The Dev
8.05 Bristol (UK) The Gryphon
9.05 Plymouth (UK) The Junction
11.05 Olten (CH) Coq d’Or
12.05 Erba (IT) Centrale Rock w/Crowbar
20.05 Mezzago (IT) Bloom
07.07 Salzburg (AT) RockHouse “Dome of Rock Fest
08.07 Nandlstadt (DE) FreakinOut Festival

In the meantime, Local Dogs can be ordered now from Heavy Psych Sounds, and Draghi was kind enough to take part in a short interview about making the album.

Please enjoy the following Six Dumb Questions:

doctor cyclops local dogs

Six Dumb Questions with Doctor Cyclops

Tell me about recording Local Dogs. How was it working with James Atkinson from Gentlemans Pistols as producer? What made you choose him to record the album?

Was nice and easy, as James is a super cool and easygoing guy. At the same time he is really professional and into the kind of music we are as well, so it was a relief for us to find someone we were in complete harmony to work with. We chose him as we knew he could have been the right person to help us catching on the record those dirty and honest sound you normally get just by recording on tapes in your rehearsal room. We met because of a common friend, Steve Lloyd. He introduced us to James, we had a talk and then we sent him some rough recordings we did. He understood immediately what we were looking for. He was the right guy at the right time.

What were you going for sound-wise coming off of Oscuropasso?

We decided to go for a simpler approach. We just wanted to capture the sound of the rehearsal room, so once in the studio we played all together in one room take after take, trying to put down every song in the faster and more natural way we could. No click tracks, not that many overdubbings, just straight playing, one song after the other… that’s it, good old ’70s rotten rock way.

Songs like “Stardust” have a lot of classic metal to them as well as ‘70s rock. What is the relation between classic and modern sounds for Doctor Cyclops at this point? Are there specific albums or bands that drove your love of older metal?

I guess some of our songs could sound like the lost connection between the early 70’s sound and the proto-heavy metal era… We are into bands like Captain Beyond, Dust, Sir Lord Baltimore, but also into the early Iron Maiden, Witchfinder General, Budgie. I guess in some songs we cheated on the pure ’70s groove by flirting (or petting) with the heavy metal/hard rock lustful chick.

This is your first full-length for Heavy Psych Sounds. How did working with the label come about and how has it been leading up to the release?

We know Gabriele [Fiori], the HPS master, since years as we played together with his band Black Rainbows somewhere around Europe. We are both in the same scene and country, so we kept in touch easily. Once we had this record done we started spreading it around, Gabriele gave his feedback, he was really happy and offered us to release it. We agreed that HPS is a growing label on the market. The names he is signing in and musicians he is working with prove that. He has very good connections in the scene and – things that is really important for a band – he does booking and follows his bands step by step with a careful promotion planning. He is passionate but also a wise business guy. A good mixture for a label boss.

How did having Bill Steer contribute to Local Dogs come about, and what was it like to work with him?

We’ve known Bill since years. We were great Firebird fans, we attempted many of their shows and we played with them as well in 2009. Since then we kept in touch. Of course we love Bill as a guitar player, but the cool thing is that he appreciated us as well as musicians. We simply asked him if he was into recording a couple of solos on the album and he said ‘yes’. He is also a really generous and humble person, a super cool guy. He overdubbed his solos after we finished our recordings as at the time we were in the studio he was busy with Carcass. But I can tell that we were amused about the work he did from the first listening on! We are proud and thankful he did that.

Any other plans or closing words you want to mention?

Now we just have one thing to do…going back on the road and rock as many asses out as we can! Follow us on the web, Facebook or website… touring dates will be announced very soon.

Doctor Cyclops on Thee Facebooks

Doctor Cyclops on Bandcamp

Heavy Psych Sounds on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds website

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One Response to “Six Dumb Questions with Doctor Cylops (Plus Full Album Stream & Tour Announcement)”

  1. […] have unleashed a full-album stream of their new studio record Local Dogs; listen below courtesy of The Obelisk. The effort hits stores this Friday, March 31st on Heavy Psych Sounds. Pre-orders can be picked up […]

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