Just over a year old and riding on the wave of their self-titled release, Cycles have discovered their role as a breathe of fresh air in the world of Jambands. Michael Wood, Patrick Harvey, and Tucker McClung meld to form one single powerful sonic force that’s been thrilling people around the country. Relentless touring has sharpened their skills and strengthened the musical bond between them. Grateful Web got a chance to talk briefly with Michael Wood (drums) right before they embark on their biggest tour to date.
GW: You guys are still pretty fresh on the music scene, how would you say your first year as a band has gone?
Wood: It's been amazing. We started touring a lot last summer and it's been pretty intense since. We've done so much; the past year feels more like five years.
GW: Cycles has a very unique sound going on. What are some of everyone’s strongest influences?
Wood: Yeah, I would say the sound is mostly influenced by bands from the 90's like Primus, Rage Against The Machine, and Phish, but also influenced by fusion in general and a lot of hip hop producers.
GW: You guys have covered a lot of ground on the road in your relatively short existence. What has been your favorite tour so far?
Wood: My favorite has been the South/Southeast. I'd never been to the south much but it was so welcoming to us. We had some good turnouts at the shows and managed to get away from the Colorado winter for a bit which was nice!
GW: Can you share with me one of your favorite memories from the road?
Wood: We drove out to the Gorge Amphitheater in Washington State for the Phish shows out there, and we set up a little stage area in the campgrounds. We weren't sure whether was going to be ok with security so there was some uncertainty about whether or not we would actually be able to play, and driving all the way out there and then not being able to play would've been a huge bummer. Anyway, it worked out really well and we we're able to play a full show for probably around 300 people after the phish show let out. Eventually the security guards showed up and tried to get us to stop but the crowd was big enough that their insisting chants of "let them play!" bought us a few more songs. So that was great, and we still have people showing up to shows in random towns where we have no history in because they saw us play at the gorge.
GW: Has touring so much taught you guys any valuable lessons you'd like to share with musicians just beginning to tour?
Wood: If you war hamburgers and candy everyday you will not feel good. The fast food salad is your friend.
GW: How has Cycles' musical direction changed and developed since you first started the band compared to now?
Wood: We do a lot of group improv so the more we get to know each other musically, the tighter and smoother the improv gets. In general though, I think we have a pretty unique mixture of heaviness and jammyness, and those features are becoming more emphasized.
GW: You've got a big tour coming up with The Jauntee from Boston, MA, how did that come together?
Wood: Our booking agent is the manager for The Jauntee so we were lucky enough to get a chance to team up. We've been checking out their videos and live recordings and can't wait to share the stage with those guys!
GW: Which cities are you most looking forward to on this next tour and why?
Wood: I am really looking forward to the Indianapolis show because a lot of our friends out here in Denver are from there and are flying back for the show to rally the troops for our first stop in Indy. I've never really hung out there so it will be a great first impression of the city! Chicago will be a big show as well. I'm from the area, and Patty spent a lot of time in the city developing his skills in all the jams around town. This will be our third time back and we couldn't be more excited to be headlining Martyrs'. We've got so many spectacular musician friends in Chicago, so you can expect some sit-ins!
GW: What can we expect to see from Cycles in the near future?
Wood: You can expect to see us coming out with some more recordings, both live and studio. We've been working on putting together our first official live release. We'll be announcing some really unique Colorado events, summer festivals, and nation-wide tour dates!
GW: Thanks for your time today, Michael! Hope to catch up again soon.
Check out all of Cycles upcoming shows below and make sure to capitalize on seeing these guys rock intimate venues around the country.
CYCLES FULL TOUR SCHEDULE
2.10 Dick's Tap & Shake Room | Cedar Rapids, IA
2.11 Bierstube Moline | Moline, IL
2.13 Woodlands Tavern | Columbus, OH
2.16 622 North | Blacksburg, VA *
2.17 Stanley's Pub | Cincinnati, OH *~
2.18 The Mousetrap | Indianapolis, IN *
2.22 Park Theatre | Holland, MI *
2.23 The Loft | Lansing, MI *
2.24 Martyrs' | Chicago, IL *^
2.25 Lee's Liquor Lounge | Minneapolis, MN *
2.26 Bodega's Alley | Lincoln, NE *
3.02 Altitude Bar | Vail, CO * $
3.03 Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom | Denver, CO *
3.04 Lazy Dog Live Music | Boulder, CO *
3.10 Hodi's Half Note | Fort Collins, CO *
3.11 Stage Stop | Rollinsville, CO * #
* with The Jauntee
~ with Jahman Brahman
^ with The Dropper
$ after party for Twiddle at Burton U.S. Open
# after party for Frozen Dead Guy Days