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Needed a week to breathe out after a time-machine CYMANDE concert to start writing this interview. On the 15th of April 2024, ZART Agency graced Berlin with the concert of the band, which transcends generations and defies conventions.

Since their inception in the early 1970s, CYMANDE has been at the forefront of musical revolution. Their music is not just a melody; it's a movement – a fusion of political commentary and spiritual enlightenment, centered around themes of peace, unity, and love. The dove, their emblem, symbolizes their commitment to spreading messages of harmony and understanding through their music.

Anastasiia from XJAZZ! team asked Steve Scipio and Patrick Patterson 3 questions about 3 cornerstones of their music: PEACE, UNITY, and LOVE.

Anastasiia: For almost 30 years, the whole world has missed you. How did it come about, and what have you been doing for all these years?

Patrick: Well, it was a combination of things. First, we came off the road and needed to get proper recognition after our solid work in the United States. After coming back to England, there wasn't anything happening, so we decided to pursue different roots for a little while. We never fully came out of music because we worked on all sorts of projects going forward, but Steve and I pursued a completely different area of professional activity. We practiced law for many years, so that was an all-consuming career. In the meantime, the others pursued all kinds of musical interests of their own, joining various bands, working with various high-profile musicians. It took quite a while for us to get back into the groove, but we never lost contact with the guys.

Thank you so much for reuniting and for coming back! Touring since the 70s until now might be a hardcore trip. I bet A LOT of wonders happened. Can you recall the most surprising moments in your touring career?

Steve: Well, there are two touring experiences. In 1973, we did two tours, our first ones in the United States, that was quite an experience for us as young musicians. Playing before Al Green and other big-name artists, playing in front of 30,000 people and so on, that was a new experience for us. But the other one was back in 2011 when we reformed for our first shows in Le Trianon in Paris and in London. It took us all by surprise that the audience was so young. You know, we thought there'd be more curiosity within people of our age group, who might come to see what the band was about and who could remember the band from the 70s. So to see such a young audience and also to see them so familiar with the music, because they were singing along with the music as well, that was quite an eye-opening experience for us.

That made us realize just how current the music was.

Your music is a strong message, which clearly promotes values of unity, love, and peace. So I have three questions regarding unity, love, and peace, as you might understand. The first will be about peace.


I think that nowadays the interpretation of pacifism is distorted. Feels like being a pacifist is somehow taken as being weak, not having a strong position in the environment, where the wars are happening on one side and on the other side, we should everyday fight for being seen, being respected, for being accepted. The fight comes along with aggression, fear, cruelty, and anger. So how to fight with the power of love?

Patrick: I would say that

pacifism is probably one of the highest degrees of self-discipline.

It has nothing to do with cowardice or not wanting to get involved. It has to do with having an appreciation of bigger things. But taking a fight route also smacks of the extent of manipulation that is upon us every day. Many of the things that we are forced to swallow, deal with, and underscore, like for example violence. This is what people shove down our throats and tell us, “This is the reality, this is what we need to do, this is how we need to go.” And I'm against that sort of manipulation. I wouldn't say that I'm a pacifist.

But I believe in a peaceful route, a route of dialogue.

That starts with a peaceful approach to the resolution of conflict.

© photo provided by CYMANDE


I was listening to this song "it ain't a lonely feeling, talking about mine and me instead of family", and I thought, "Wow, this is so archaic." Modern society is so much oriented either on building personal boundaries, having a very private space, or building communities according to any kind of social, ethic or whatever belongings. How do you think it's possible to build a strong commune, to bring people together, while maintaining personal boundaries?

Patrick: You're talking about the impacts that identity politics, used in the broadest sense, have on us now. We have built structures: political, religious, and moral structures to help us navigate our way through all of this. In the political sphere, we built the United Nations to enable us to deal with political conflicts. We had religious pursuits and persuasions that gave us a grounding in some sort of way. And we had a sense of international morality that also guided us where we should go, what we should do. To a large extent, much of that has been subsumed within individual pursuits. And group pursuits loosely referred to as identity politics in this time. So, unless we are willing to reconnect with those structures that we've established over the years, to once again be able to guide us, we will continue to have the instability that you speak about. There is no one-way solution. But the first thing to do, as I try to do for myself, is

to rationalize and understand what it is that has brought us to the point where we are.

And much of that has to do with what I refer to below: manipulation in our headspace, giving us opinions, views, and desires of others to achieve their own agendas. If we're able to disconnect ourselves from that, we'll be in a better place to make important moral, religious, and political choices.

Steve: I think we'll continue to have these conflicts because the major powers will continue to exert their influence as far as they can exert it. And the kind of conflicts that we're experiencing at the time are all about the impact. It's the urge of major powers to influence and exert their influence wherever possible.

Most of the conflict in the world is conflicts of ideology and conflicts in terms of certain influences.

And the impact of the internet, of course. Because people are now aware to have access to the kind of information that they may not have had before. And as you can see, they're forming groups and other alliances, too.

© photo provided by Cymande


When I put a CYMANDE track on, it somehow fills the room with love. This music makes people smile. The energy you've sent travelled through dimensions and time to be present here and now, as a great sonic gift. How does it work?

Steve: We were brought up in the kind of environment where the teaching we were exposed to was "peace and love". Love is seen in our community as the ultimate power, the power that can trump anything.

You know, if you give love a chance, love will find a way.

And that's essentially a kind of overriding message in our music, recognizing that there are all these issues that we have to deal with, but that if you give love and peace a chance, it would come to a role.

The sad thing is that we are moving further and further away from what used to be the prime resource for spreading peace and love. It was religion. There are now more atheists in the world than ever before. People are no longer believing in religion in the same way as they did in the past. Religion no longer has that kind of power, that kind of influence that it had, and that might be contributing to the increased conflict zones, conflict areas that we are experiencing in the world.

Patrick: And notwithstanding that your views might be atheist, you can still appreciate and convey and accept the concept of the importance of the power of love.

Steve Scopio and Patrcik Patterson interviewed by Anastasiia Pokaz on 5.4.2024.