Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Cyberphonics - Losers

A. Losers

B. All The Time

Losers b/w All The Time
Cyberecords (CYB 1001/1002), 1981

1979 saw the birth of a new Dallas-area band called The Cyberphonics. Drummer Paul Cox and guitar/keyboardist Mike Pierce began collaborating and then recruited their friend Steve Mentzer on guitar and Paul’s brother Glenn on bass. All self-taught musicians, they focused on writing original material.

Their first gig was part of a multiple band bill on March 14, 1980 called “Stars Over Texas,” which included The Telefones, The Doo, Quad Pi, Teenage Queers, and others. Glenn worked as a delivery driver for a local company and struck up a conversation about music with a dock worker named Scott Light. After mentioning the band, Scott asked if he could try out and soon landed the job as lead singer. The five-piece Cyberphonics began playing at punk and new wave spots like the Hot Klub and Metamorphosis.

In 1981, they went to Crystal Clear Studios in Dallas and self financed a quick session that produced two songs, “Losers” and “All The Time.” It took them several more months to come up with the funds to get records pressed. Paul worked in an office supply store so he was able to print the foldover covers and lyric inserts there. He also cut over-sized manila envelopes to house the sleeves and records in a promo package with rubber stamps on the front. Most of the promo packs were sent to labels or radio stations while the rest of the copies were given away to fans.

The band rehearsed five nights a week for hours on end. Tensions began to grow within the band and it was decided to move forward without Mike Pierce. They replaced him with guitarist/songwriter John Churchill who Scott knew from Jr. High. Scott moved over to keyboards and did some guitar parts while he and John shared lead vocals. They changed the name of the band to The Look but that only lasted for a single gig and then they played a couple more shows as The Nu-5. Ultimately, it was decided they could only be known as The Cyberphonics and they changed the name back again.

They acquired talent and business manager Bruce Stover & Associates and he took the band into the studio to record a four-song demo to shop to record companies. BSA told the band not to worry about gigs and concentrate on writing songs. Management eventually took the band to Los Angeles to play Madame Wongs in China Town, Gazzari’s on the Sunset strip, and the legendary Troubadour. On two separate occasions, the band opened for the Romantics. They even got their music to a rep at Geffen, but still, they never got their big break.

The band continued to practice but rarely played in public. BSA took the band into the studio three other times to record more demos, but no other records were released and no major labels came knocking. In 1984, BSA told the band the drumming was the reason they didn’t have a record contract so Paul was fired and replaced by David Lee. The chemistry was lost. John went back to school and before long the band had fully run its course.

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