Tyrant Interview

Let’s see which one is the funny one.

By Chelf

Let’s head to your workspace. Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?


It’s hard to say. I mean my (Brett) home studio and our jam space is always growing and we’re always adding new gear to it. It’s more of a “how did I go so long without this” type deal once we something super sweet. Usually, we’re just happy to have a power bar to plug the amps and PA into and a couple cold beers in the fridge upstairs.


When do you know when an album or song is finished? Are you tempted to go back and fix things all the time?


Once we’ve written a song, we usually jam it a good handful of times to add any extra sweet bits to really make it pound and once we’re ready to throw it into the live show rotation, we usually know we’ve got the product we want. Our old EP Limitations has evolved a fair amount over the past three years so we have plans on re-recording it so that it replicates its’ live rendition.


When you put your work out there you unavoidably expose yourself to criticism. How do you cope with bad reviews?


The short answer is that we usually don’t give a shit, but there’s a lot of different sides to bad reviews. There’s always the classic, “Wow! That sounds great, but the screamings a little much, eh?!” (usually the same people that say, “That sounds like Disturbed, I love them!” …yeah not that’s a compliment bud), which is always hilarious and we don’t mind at all, and there’s some constructive criticism that we definitely acknowledge because it’s always interesting to hear the listener’s perspective. But, then there’s those people who like to shit talk and just trash stuff, which is all part of it, and luckily it’s hasn’t happened all too much. You just gotta laugh at how savage some of that shit can be.

What’s the craziest thing a fan has ever done or said to you?


We have a lot of crazy fans. We’ve seen a dude break his nose in the pit at the start of our set and he was front row windmill headbanging the whole god damn rest of the set. Just blood and shit all over the place, it was awesome. We’ve had people run up to us in Calgary, Fort Mac, and in Edmonton repping some Tyrant merch and being just super fired up about it, which is always super cool. We met some fans at an out of town festival that ended up carpooling into Edmonton from just to check out a couple of our shows out, which is pretty gnarly. One time a guy called me (Brett – vocals) out on fucking up the lyrics and asked if I had changed them for the one song. He ended up becoming our drummer a couple years later.


Technology has radically transformed and influenced the music industry. But there are some contradicting opinions about whether that’s a good or a bad thing. Did it help the industry grow or is it killing music as the record sales are plummeting to new lows given that people don’t actually have to but music today?


It’s a pretty big can of worms, I mean technology has given and taken so much from music and it’s industry that it’s tough to sum up. There’s no doubt that record sales have taken a devastating hit with the development of music sharing and pirating, but it also allows you to connect with musicians around the world, opening the doors to a global community based around creating and/or listening to music, which is something to be grateful for. Our biggest challenge is finding ways to adapt to the technological advancements in both music creation and sales. it definitely keeps you on your toes.


Every group of people has its own dynamics. E.g. there’s the ‘funny’ one, the “parent” one, the “party animal”. Say we are at a pub having a pint. I’m obviously the curious one who asks a lot of questions. How about you all?


There’s definitely a pretty hilarious dynamic in Tyrant, but if we were all meeting up in a pub, I’d say I am (Brett) the one who’s likely going to order another pint before anyone even finishes their first one, Marshall’s the one to wander over to the jukebox to switch it to some Zeppelin and then toss up the horns from across the room, Rob’s the one to show up at the pub about 5 minutes late and say, “Sorry, I just woke up,” and Tay and Kurt are the two fussing over what they’re gonna order while making some fuckin’ hilarious observations from around the pub. And then we’d probably all get our loonies together and go crush some pool.


You release self-produced material. Why self-produced? Does this help you avoid “limitations” and give you more freedom as musicians?


Nice pun. Yeah we went the self-produced route because two of us in the band are  audio engineers, so why not utilize that? Sure it gives us more freedom to put out what we want to put out, but aside from being super fucking fun to do, it also gives us a bit more time and flexibility to capture what we’re going for. If something is really not working, it’s not a big deal if we need to go into the basement and rethink it. We all work well together and understand each other well enough to bring out the best potential the band can offer. It was an amazing experience putting this EP together and we’re incredibly excited to take what we’ve learned and apply it to the next record.


You just released the Existential Reversal.  What kind of internal “decimation” leads to such an existential reversal?


You’re killing it haha. Well, all the tunes related to one another through their representation of the unwillingness to be called by Death. Each of the songs represents their own specific scenario of a slow transition into nothingness. There’s a lot of terrible shit out in the world and you don’t want someone/something to take away you and your existence. Like in Spoils Of Decimation, the song is a representation of the negative aspects of the music industry. It conveys the idea that some (not all) promoters ripped bands the fuck off and cause so many problems that it leads to the destruction of  the music scene and all these kids’ dreams to start rad bands and play shows.

Formed in 2011 by founding members Marshall Dexter (guitars) and Brett Reid (vocals), Tyrant quickly gained a local reputation for an energetic and powerful live performance. This was solidified at Boonstock 2011, where Tyrant shared a stage with the likes of Trooper and Creedance Clearwater Revisited. A picture of vocalist Brett Reid was featured in local Edmonton print, along with an article praising the band’s performance at the festival. Guitarist Robert Brinton joined the band in 2012 and Tyrant began to develop their modern sound. Tyrant continued as a hobby band over the next several years, playing a large number of local bills and festivals while the members pushed to finish their post-secondary educations. Current drummer Kurtis Marceniuk and bass player Taylor Laroche joined in early 2015 to solidify the band’s lineup. The band quickly recorded the self-produced demo Limitations and released it in the summer of 2015. With this new release Tyrant began to earn spots on bigger bills through 2016 and 2017, as the band opened for large touring metal acts Skeletonwitch, Protest the Hero and Goatwhore. Tyrant also began building its fan base outside of the Edmonton area, as the band played multiple bills in cities across Alberta including Calgary, Red Deer and Fort McMurray. Today Tyrant is highly motivated and driven to advance their career as a professional metal band. The band is set to release the self-produced three track EP The Existential Reversal in 2018, along with a music video for the track Spoils of Decimation. The EP contains Tyrant’s most technical material to date, complete with a unique blend of crisp guitar work, smooth bass lines, blistering drumming and devastating vocals. Tyrant is relentless in the continuous development of their sound and crushing live performance.

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