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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Exclusive Interview: Cyanide's Rob Hussey Talks New Music, Fan Support & the Vegas Music Scene

(Photo: Leah Burlington Photography)

Las Vegas is a literal playground for rock stars looking to breathe a new kind of life into their decades-long careers. Shows like Raiding The Rock Vault are rated some of the very best in town so it's no wonder the musicians and vocalists' alike still think that performing on the strip is a great career move. The rising local band scene has proven to be just as fruitful, with metal acts like Cyanide (fronted by Rob Hussey) more than holding their own opening up for what could easily be described as their own musical heroes. I caught up with Rob this week and he was more than happy to give me an update on the band.

Cate Meighan: Cyanide is that rare Vegas project that found almost immediate success isn't it?

Rob Hussey: Definitely. We started doing shows in Las Vegas in 2013 and we put our first album, Lethal Dose, out in 2015. Then came a barrage of shows for several years that allowed us to open for some of my personal musical heroes like Ratt, Loudness and Steel Panther, a literal bucket list of bands that I would want to open for. They gave us opportunities that I've always dreamed of having and then life came along, as it always does, and disrupted a little of our momentum.  We lost a few band members and then tried out a few other band members that didn't work out. It was never anything personal between any of the guys. 

A lot of the musicians in Vegas are in several bands and they're trying to earn their entire living by just playing music. In Cyanide, we already have great jobs so we're not delusional in thinking that we're going to be big rock stars and tour the Orient (laughing). The competition here in Vegas is so fierce because a lot of real rock stars have moved here and they are doing very well. They're playing a lot of shows and it's hard to compete with that level because they've already accomplished the things in their careers that earn them the right to command the big shows here in town. We've been lucky enough to open for some of them, but I'd have to say it's definitely the love of music that motivates what we do. 


CM: Do you remember particular moments that have helped to shape that love of music?

RH: Oh there are three moments that have kept me on this musical path for sure. When I was very young my dad had a turntable with his collection of vinyl, and I always bugged him about being able to put the records on. I was probably four when he finally relented and that really aggravated my sister because she had to wait until she was ten (laughing). The first record that I put on myself was my dad's Abbey Road album by The Beatles. I played that record pretty much non-stop until we moved to Las Vegas a few years later. 

Another time I was hanging out with these older kids on my block and we were at this kid's house and he put on Love Gun by KISS. That was the first moment where the needle dropped, the song started and I was blown away. He had a KISS poster on his wall, the album is on the turntable and when "I Stole Your Love" started my whole world changed. I was looking at the poster wondering if they were girls (laughing), I had no idea what was going on but the sound coming out of the speakers was blowing my mind. From that moment on my whole world revolved around that band. No matter what time of day it was, if you were speaking to me I was talking to you about KISS (laughing). 

That continued until about 1983 when I turned on MTV and "Looks That Kill", a Motley Crue video was on. I'm pretty sure we were supposed to be leaving to go shoe shopping or something and I just stood there in a trance. I told my mom she had to give me a minute because I had to keep watching. The hair on the back of my neck stood up and I didn't know what was going on but I knew this song just changed my life. These are moments that made me who I am today, musically. All these years later I still love and listen to those records. They still affect and motivate me.

CM: How is the second Cyanide album going?

RH:  Right now what we're doing is regrouping with the lineup that we have now and kind of getting back into that mindset of being a band and picking up the pieces. Marc Andrews (guitarist) and I have been the only constants during the changes of the lineup which is kind of ironic because the two of us actually wrote and arranged the first Cyanide album together before there even was a band. We have all of the songs written for the second album and we've always written together because we work so well together. The melodies are written and all we really need to do now is to go into the studio and finish them up.


CM: You guys have such a loyal following. I know that they'll be excited to hear those good things are in the works.

RH: There is one song in particular that we've played live that the audiences have responded so well to that we're thinking of maybe finishing that up and releasing it ahead of the second album. It's something that we're considering doing because our fans are so loyal and they've already patiently waited a little longer than we would have liked for a full album. I really would like for us to be able to give them something really soon, plus one song would make them really excited about the rest of the album to come.

Even if we're not playing I'm always trying to get the band together just for the sake of keeping us together and on track. I've heard big bands say that getting all of their members together in the same room becomes a monumental task and I feel like we've experienced some of that as well (laughing). We just need to have four or five people in our band doing it because they love doing it and they're having fun. That really is the secret to keeping Cyanide around and thriving, being a band that is in it for the love of music.

CHECK OUT CYANIDE!


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