May 8, 2023
A New York Musician taking the World by Storm
Cyberattack is a talented and innovative New York-based musician who is quickly making a name for himself in the electronic music scene. With music that is glitchy and emotionally complex, Cyberattack is the performance name of NYC-based guitarist/songwriter/singer/YouTuber Ivan Anderson. With the use of bright vivid imagery, he makes these incredible music videos that reel you right in, showcasing an imaginary landscape of nostalgia and charm.
His latest video, out today May 8, 2023, is for his rendition of the Tom Petty classic “Listen to Her Heart”. Cyberattack has continued to churn out quality content since launching his YouTube channel in 2017 and he shows no sign of slowing down.
The new music video for “Listen to Her Heart” is made to look like Ivan has been absorbed into an old-school graphing calculator, with a lot of painstakingly designed lo-fi special effects that must be seen to be believed. The song itself is lovingly hostile to the original Tom Petty source material. The basic idea behind Ivan’s very glitchy treatment of it is that sometimes when you listen to your heart, the message is mystifying and bizarre. The song and the video end up devolving into noisy, nonverbal chaos like a brute-force introduction to the Cyberattack aesthetic and approach to music: glitched out, unapologetic, and, underneath it all, extremely romantic.
His previous music video "Fantasy Killer" won Best Music Video in the Bowery Film Festival and was a finalist in the New York Cinematography Awards, New York Movie Awards, Jersey Shore Film Festival, and the Artists Forum of the Moving Image.
In addition to Cyberattack, Ivan Anderson has performed, co-written, appeared on records, made videos, or otherwise collaborated with Tim Lefevbre (bassist for David Bowie, Tedeschi Trucks Band, etc.), Rhett Shull, Emily Hopkins, Knobs, Fusilier, SWEET FIX, Mobile Steam Unit, and preston.outatime (aka Preston Parris).
Ivan Anderson is a busy dude.
Released in 2020, his full-length debut Cyberattack album “Hard Feelings” was produced by Geoff Stanfield (Portugal.The Man, Sun Kil Moon) and is currently available on all streaming platforms.
We took a moment to chat with Ivan about his creativity and flair for all things visual. in addition to discussing music in general. Are you looking for an amazing new artist to discover? Look no further. Here’s what Anderson had to say.
MaM: Hey Ivan! It is Ivan, right? Not Evan? For some reason, I want to pronounce your name like Ivan Drago from Rocky IV. It was what automatically popped into my brain. (laughs)
IA: I love Rocky IV and the character Ivan Drago, so I can tell this conversation is off to a great start. It is pronounced Ivan, though.
MaM: Give us a brief background about yourself. I read somewhere that you are from Englewood, NJ. Tell us a little more about that.
IA: So, I’m not actually from Englewood, but I am from a town very close to there called Leonia. It’s only a mile or so away from Englewood. Leonia is a very small town. I feel like I grew up in the suburbs of New York, but on the New Jersey side. Those who grew up in New York would have some different feelings about whether that counts or not.
I’ve been making music professionally for as long as I can remember. I graduated from college in 2009, and at that time, I was in a band called Sweet Fix and we were a New York band. I had formed the band in college, but after graduation I was just trying to make that band happen, but I still had a day job, too. And, along the way I ended up interning for a music studio and I started doing a bit of session guitar playing, too, along with collaborating with other people, and so I was starting to round out my resume as a professional musician. In 2015, my band broke up, and I was a little freaked out because I had big dreams for that band, so when [we] broke up, I was like, ‘What now”? I was still trying to do the “guitar player for hire” stuff, too, around this time, so I decided to just start my own project—my own band—which I ended up naming Cyberattack. I do have collaborators for the records and other people I use for them, but they’re all hired guys. Cyberattack is truly an Ivan Anderson solo project.
MaM: Tell us a little more about your YouTube channel. I see you have over 15.7k subscribers.
IA: I started the YouTube channel around 2016, along with securing the name for Instagram, etc. I started out by putting some music videos on there that I did. ‘Fantasy Killer’ was one of those early videos. I was still figuring out the look and vibe I wanted, though … like the visual kind of energy of what Cyberattack would be. I love all those weird old video games and the whole retro thing. It’s just insane with all the colors, so I wanted to emulate that. I was sort of figuring out what I wanted as I made the videos and a collaborator friend of mine, John, helped me achieve that. Also, too, during lockdown for COVID, nothing was going on, so I decided to start adding videos to my channel about the guitar pedals I had. I just made a demo video about some of the equipment I had lying around. Those started to catch on better than my music videos.
MaM: Your music videos are works of art, man. I’m not going to lie. I went down a rabbit hole on your YouTube channel checking everything out. The videos remind me of playing my old Sega Master System back in the day at my parents’ house. See, I was never the Nintendo chick. My dad got us the Sega because he said it had better graphics.
IA: There was like a team identity to all of that. I feel like it was rare for any adult to have any knowledge of anything video game related. That’s awesome that your dad picked the Sega because of better graphics.
MaM: With you being multi-talented, what is your preferred instrument to play?
IA: I’m the best at guitar. That’s my high card.
MaM: I saw you playing an SG—is that your preferred type?
IA: I do like Gibson SG’s, although I feel like there’s just something about my SG. The instrument means a lot to me and is my main recording guitar. I think all SG’s look cool because of the devil horns on them. They’re not trying too hard to be evil looking but have this kind of low-key evil vibe look. I just love the way my SG sounds, though. I really like how it sounds recorded. It just has a basic good tone where when you hear it, you’re like, ‘Yeah, I’ll go with that.’
MaM: Do you own any other guitars?
IA: Oh, I have a few. I have a Fender Strat, which I find has a much more specific sound to it, but it’s a sound I like. I also have a custom guitar that was built for me by a guy out in Orangeburg, New York. It’s pretty cool. The shape and design are a little more in your face. It’s got curves and points. It’s definitely a little more out there. It was built by a guy named Alex Glasser with Iron Horse Instruments. The idea was to design Ivan’s dream guitar. It was made after I recorded the first Cyberattack album. It’s become my main guitar.
MaM: So, as far as musical influences go, who do you cite in driving you to create?
IA: I only vaguely remember this, but my dad used to play the music of Jimi Hendrix all the time. He was a big Jimi Hendrix fan. I connected with his music right away and he just seemed like he was the coolest guy ever. It definitely had a huge impact on me as a kid. His guitar was cool. His approach to music was cool. I just knew that I liked it. As the years went by, though, I started to learn more about music, and I started branching out with what I was listening to. As a teenager was when I started trying to write lyrics and sing. I sort of took on a new approach to caring about music, too, and just sound.
MaM: That’s awesome. So, as far as your favorite type of music is concerned, do you have one? What do you listen to in the car when you’re driving around? Do you even need a car to live in New York?
IA: I actually do have a car. For gigs and stuff, it comes in handy. I grew up in the suburbs and used to love to drive and it was a huge part of life. Driving in Manhattan is the worst driving experience ever. There are stop lights everywhere and all you do is stop and go constantly … oh, and parallel parking is everywhere.
As far as my music taste goes, it’s geared more towards classic rock. You can’t go wrong with the early Van Halen albums featuring David Lee Roth. I love early Metallica. I like a lot of guitar players and classic rock stuff. I’ve liked the same types of music since I was 14 years old, and it has never changed. I feel like that’s how my identity was formed.
MaM: Tell us a little more about your new music video for “Listen to Her Heart”.
IA: Well, that’s the fanciest video we have done yet, and I felt we had to build up to that with the previous videos. I like my videos to capture you for three or four minutes while watching them, but how do you go about that really? I don’t have a lot of money to get these crane shots over a bridge or anything like that, but my buddy John went to film school and he’s the guy who can set up the lights how they need to be and knows all the technical stuff. We usually just rent a studio that has a green screen and then go from there.
MaM: What made you decide to cover Tom Petty?
IA: I picked it mainly just because I like the music of Tom Petty. ‘Free Falling’ was everywhere when I was a kid. You could not go anywhere without hearing that song, including the mall. I was always drawn to what he did vocally, though. I just like the way he sings. He is an incredible lyricist.
MaM: When you are writing your own song lyrics, where do you draw inspiration from?
IA: Lyrics, for me, are by far the hardest thing. I can come up with ideas and melody, but the process of writing lyrics takes a bit. There’s, like, a million voice memos on my phone of me just singing little melodies that I think are good. I put enormous pressure on myself to have the lyrics be what I think are good enough, which makes it that much harder.
MaM: So, what’s going on with the new music? Have you even started the writing process?
IA: I’m gonna start recording the next Cyberattack album at the end of this year, but before I do, I want to finish making music videos for every song on the first album. And there’s only two left. One is the Tom Petty cover. After that, I will be officially done with the first album cycle, and I can start the recording process for the second album, so stay tuned!
Want to stimulate your eyeballs? Head on over to Ivan’s Cyberattack YouTube channel to experience his creativity in all its colorful glory. Also, be sure to like and follow him on social media to stay up to date on albums and releases.
Be sure to check out his brand spanking new video for "Listen to Her Heart" - out NOW!
Nicole Brice is a huge nerd. She loves listening to new music and checking out cool stuff. Want her to check out your creations? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.