Local Musician Spotlight: Andy Cyphert
There are a lot of local bands based here in the Vail Valley, so keeping an open mind is important for local musicians, especially if you want to stand out and succeed.
“Sometimes you’ll get a request and you say, ‘Sorry, I don’t know that one,’ and they say, ‘What? How do you not know that?’” said local musician Andy Cyphert. “Then a few months later, you get the same request, so maybe you do need to know that one.”
So Cyphert learns the songs.
Believing in the importance of having a diverse catalog to keep everyone happy, Cyphert noted that Vail is a melting pot of cultures, and the valley sees visitors from all over the world, meaning that having a diverse sense of music can really only be of benefit to him.
At any given gig, Cyphert will play music that ranges from The Beatles to country music to Eric Clapton and everything in between.
“A lot of (musicians) out here like to stick to their guns and play the same stuff, and I really respect that,” Cyphert said. “But having a diverse catalog is really beneficial because it keeps everyone happy. ”
It’s not just his neighbors’ suggestions that Cyphert listens to, but tourists as well, noting that he often caters a set list to what visitors in the audience like.
While cover songs make up a large portion of his set lists, Cyphert likes to slip in some originals as well. His music, which he composes with his ohio-based band — named Cyphert after its front man — is heavily influenced by ’90s rock artists such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Foo Fighters, but also sees influence from classic artists like the Beatles and the Eagles as well as more mellow musicians such as Jack Johnson and John Mayer and icon pop bands such as Coldplay. Cyphert characterizes his eclectic music as alternative melodic rock, noting that it’s hard to describe.
Cyphert’s case as a local musician is unique in the valley; he’s a full-time musician.
“It’s so enjoyable to be able to play music for a living,” Cyphert said. “I never would have thought that I’d be playing music for people and they’d be responding the way that they do.”
Cyphert is able to maintain a strong full-time career as a local musician by regularly playing some of the area’s hottest and most prominent venues, such as the Hotel Talisa, White Bison, Turntable Restaurant in Minturn, the West Side Cafe and the Tavern on the Square.
Cyphert’s band self-released “Cloud Cover EP” on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon in 2013, featuring five original tracks for only $4.95. The best part? There’s more music on the way — Cyphert is currently working on brand new music, and is hoping to have it out by the end of this year, though no official release date has been set.
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“Instead of throwing $1,000 to a music relief fund — that’s great — I’d rather throw it to the three local guys who are struggling in my backyard.”