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STRYFE comes from the word “strife” which means struggle – mainly struggle against human evil, hatred and treachery. Our message communicates the anxiety of the inner world of the human, desperately searching for harmony and purity. Stryfe’s utmost focus is to bring people together and create a sense of unity and significance within the individual and together as a whole.
Stryfe was conceived in 2003 when three guys in Yerevan, Armenia decided to work together to form a band. In its first incarnation, Stryfe consisted of Kay (guitars), Al (drums) and Wild (rhythm guitar). Yura, a friend of Al and Wild was helping the group with bass parts until the group found a permanent member and bassist in Goox—a friend of Kay. At the time, the group had dubbed themselves ‘Crucifixion’ and were focusing mainly in Thrash Metal stylings.
The group’s first live performance was at the Center of Contemporary Art in Armenia in the summer of 2004. Crucifixion had shared the stage with a number of other local acts, but they quickly noticed for their clean sound and technical proficiency. After their first performance, the group halted activity as Kay had left for the USA for four months. By the end of 2004, Kay had returned to Armenia and the band added a vocalist to their lineup—Yeva Sujyan. Consequently, the group had also lost Al which resulted in Wild and Goox leaving the band.
Losing two of the founding members of the group didn’t stop the band‘s progress. Kay invited his brother Dave as a bass player and a friend of his Artur to fill the position of the second guitarist. Later, they sought out a new drummer, and soon Kore (one of the best metal drummers in Yerevan, Armenia) joined them. Stryfe had a couple of shows with this line-up. Wild and Goox returned to the band once again.
At this time, instead of hastening to perform, the group decided to work intensely on creating a solid foundation and dynamic. The group’s new lineup became Yeva Sujyan – vocals, Vilen (Wild) Osipyan – guitars, Karen (Kay) Khurshudyan – guitars, George (Goox) Pirumov – bass, and Koryun (Kore) Bobikyan – drums and percussion.
The group, with its new lineup, grew together and created a musical ideal and philosophy for the band which became more progressive, melodious, and technical—at which point the group changed its name to Stryfe.
In 2005 due to busy schedule Wild left the band. The band performed several concerts without a second guitarist. He was replaced with Erik Seyranyan in the beginning of 2006. In the end of 2006 Erik left the group and was replaced by a new member, Hov.
In a very short period of time, the group took part in several festivals geared towards political and social improvements in their region, such as ROCK AGAINST AIDS – devoted towards the struggle with AIDS in 2005 and another geared towards the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. The group also received financial support from the British Embassy of Armenia and organized a festival in November of 2005 which was devoted to a Referendum to amend The Constitution for The Republic of Armenia—the festival was dubbed Rock the Referendum. Another festival organized by Stryfe was ‘Rock the Borders’, which was sponsored by OSI and the Stryfe welcomed bands from Kazakhstan, Georgia, Russia, Turkey, Italy, and Armenia.
Alas, in 2010, Kay and Kore moved to California, where they continued their musical journey together. They prepared their new lineup, and by 2012, they had completed that task. Kay and Kore joined forces with their new vocalist, Oshin Manoukian, bassist Karo Torosyan and Erik Seyranyan who was living in California too. Later, Erik went back to Armenia and a new member joined the band – guitarist Avo Nersesian.
With their new line-up, the group and their fans enjoyed several mind-blowing performances at some of the best clubs Los Angeles has to offer, such as the Key Club. However, by the end of the year, creative differences set in and Oshin Manoukian and Avo Nersesian left the group.
In 2014, Stryfe found themselves a new vocalist—Nicole Bouffard. With Nicole, Stryfe was able to better define their sound and quickly resumed performing in Los Angeles. With their newfound traction, Stryfe began recording their EP, Beyond Reality, with hits SPEAK TO DREAM and WHEN ALL HOPES ARE GONE in 2014. The EP was released in early 2015.
In January, 2015, Stryfe found themselves a second guitarist—JD McGibney.