Canada is home to many a legendary bands such as Blasphemy, Slaughter, Revenge and a slew of "newer" bands such as Weapon, A.M.S.G. ,and Mitochondrion
who are setting new standards of greatness. I sat down with one Marco Banco to discuss the current state of his band Tyrants Blood amongst other things. The interrogation is as follows....
1.First off I'd like to thank you for taking the time to answer my pitiful questions and ask how things are going up in B.C.?
Marco Banco: Things are well, spring is here now, so the
torrential eternal rain has let up for a time, so the stench of rotting
vegetation and abysmal grey has subsided for a short while now.
2.Your new album "Into The Kingdom Of Graves" is set for release in July and it's your first new recorded output since 2010's 3 way split with Demonic Sacrifice and Maleventum. Its got to feel good to unleash new hellfire on the masses.
Marco Banco: Yes, it does feel good to have new material out now. It's always a feeling of accomplishment to finally dust off the remnants of a few years of steady work to be able to look back at it with different perspective rather than blinding focus all the time.
I am quickly reminded of the same feeling when we finished our last album and the
ones before. It's always a satisfying time.
3,.Who is releasing this new album. Your last release was with Invictus which seemed like a nice fit for you guys.
Marco Banco: Invictus was a nice fit. We are releasing this one on our own and
working with distribution packaging with a couple different outfits. We feel we
can achieve a fairly good outcome this way that will be very close to our last
release which was distributed through Invictus and Mutilation records out of
4.The cover for this record also signals, to me anyways a change for the band in that it is very colorful but at the same time sinister. What is the theme running thru the album and how is the cover art, (which is fucking amazing by the way) tie in to the whole thing.
Marco Banco: The theme, into the kingdom of graves, was conceptualized through
darker tones lyrically. The album cover concept was created from the song and
the album in its entirety , which embodies dark and murky passages.
The songs delve into more evil and sinister sides of humanity. So When we had the
title of the song we had the tile of the album.
Vince had a good idea of what the cover should say in its look. He sketched the idea ,and we sent it off to our good friend Paolo Girardi.He stayed up an entire night with the drawing
and oil painted the masterpiece, documenting the procedure with photographs.
I own the original proudly.
5.The new track is fucking chaotic and spits in your face like bullets!!
How did the songwriting break down for this record. You are now the sole guitarist so does most of the writing fall on you?
Marco Banco: It’s changed over the years.
Originally on the first album, I was the primary lyricist and songwriter for
most of the music. Vinnie wrote some of that album too. But it wasn’t until the
EP Prophecy where he started to really cut loose and he laid down some killer
tracks like the title song, still one of my fave tunes we have ever written.
He and I became the main writers musically at that point, I still took care of
the lyrics for those 2 first recordings entirely.
Then when we got to the "Crushing onward into oblivion" album, Matt had joined on drums, as our original drummer Kevin had left after the first album. So we really started to write some cool songs together. Slithering into Exile, cast into hell, we really did well
together there. Our original singer Andrew called it a day around 2007, so as we
were writing the new album, we landed Brian, and he added some pieces too to
finish up the final songs. So that album really took a lot of different elements
and created some pretty cool songs in my opinion.
Then for this latest album, we just let it go and threw caution to the wind really. Matt was throwing everything but the kitchen sink at us and we had to come with some pretty mental
Lyrically this album was pretty much like the last album. I write a
ton of lyrics and short violent stories, chop them up and make them fit. Then,
if I haven’t been able to set a cool pattern naturally, Brian will have to try
and stitch them up so he’s comfortable with them ,and of course Vince does a lot
of vocals too, so the tradeoffs have to be seamless and cool without too much
Brian’s written a few killer riffs for songs and lyrics on this album that worked out really well too. So it’s once again been a group effort.
6.I can honestly say that since the self titled debut, everything seems to have gotten tighter, a well oiled machine so to speak. Even the production is the best you guys have had to date, not too polished or pretty, but clear enough to hear everything well enough. Where did
you record this time, and how long did you guys spend in the studio?
Marco Banco: We recorded this in different segments. All the drums were done at .The vocals were recorded at Greenhouse studios and all the bass and guitar, effects and Mixing were done with Martin Meyer at his personnel studio and then mastered at Rockall studios.
We spent 1 day on drums, a day or 2 on vocals and about a week for bass and a week or so for guitars. Then we added effects and solos and stuff. The mixing took the
longest ,as there were some delays with the studio we were mixing at. They ended
up moving, so that put us back a bit. But that was just fine.
7.You guys have been pretty busy lately with gigs. I always seem to see flyers and promotion for gigs. Do you guys find it easier to do sporadic shows like this over bigger tours? Are you ever going to make it to the states?
Marco Banco: Well we hope to play the states, we have done some touring in Europe and South America. We want to make the U.S. for this albums support. So we will be getting
that done hopefully soon.
8.This is the second full length with Brian in the band. How do you feel he is fitting in compared to Andrew and what does he contribute to the writing process.
Marco Banco: Andrew had a great voice. He is a good friend, but he wanted to finish school and head home back up north, but that was no problem, because Brian came in perfectly
timed ,fresh off of Infernal Majesty, so it was a smooth transition for us.
Brian plays guitar, so whenever we write, he usually brings his guitar to add
riffs , octaves, whatever, just to color and put in his mark on the songs. Also
he writes some of the lyrics as well.
Outside of that, as does everybody in the group, he gets to have a say in what and where we are going. So everyone contributes to the final product.
9.You label the music as "Extreme Speed Metal". You can
definitely here the different styles, raging Black Metal, one minute, crushing
Death Metal the next, with a sprinkle of thrash thrown in for good measure. Not
many bands can pull this off, but you have effectively for 8 years now. Was this
the initial goal when you founded this band, or is it just a measure of your
Marco Banco: We call ourselves extreme speed metal, and this is why. We do not play what would be called traditional death metal or do we play all out thrash metal or black metal, war metal, whatever.
But A lot of our riffs are fast picking Razor, Exciter, slayer,
possessed , style riffs, played against death, black and grind drums, with
elements of Death metal, thrash and traditional metal riffs too.
So we came up with Extreme speed metal to describe our sound because of this. I think it is
a good description because it does give us a bit of a different sound and style
,and therefore we are not unionized to play in any certain way that would be
considered out of character for any of those genres. It keeps us able to explore
on our own terms. Over the last 7 years we have changed immensely in our
sound, but as a group, the ideals have remained steadfast. We do what we want
because we perform within our own style.
10.A lot of bands, especially the Black/Death bands
in Canada seem to borrow heavily from your former outfit, Blasphemy. You guys
kind of stand out in a way. you like that versatility musically and as far as
Marco Banco: Of course. I was a member of Blasphemy in their heyday from the Blood upon the Alter west coast tour in 89' to the Fallen Angel of Doom days until 93'. That was a long time ago. I do not live artistically or musically in the past. Nor do I have any desire to try and recreate anything from by gone eras. Retro fashion is like watered down whiskey
to me, it is not something I thirst for in the least. I am quite capable in
conjuring up fresh ideas and my own style without depending on old dusty
days. I leave the past where it belongs, in its grave.
11.I know this is probably a question you have heard a million times and feel free to skip it if you want, but do you think you being a part of such a legendary band helped get Tyrants Blood going and more notoriety out of the gate?
Marco Banco: Of course it has. Anything we do in our past will influence how you are perceived now. So I am very aware of this and welcome the challenge. I live for it actually.
12.Tyranst Blood absolutely stands on it's own two feet. What are the bands goals for the rest of this year?
Marco Banco: Release the album, tour, write the next album and release a live album by mid 2014.
13.Ok last one. I have to ask man, what the hell
do they feed you guys up there that makes you so fucking huge Haha!!!
Marco Banco: HA! I don't know, its cold, we have to pack on the weight so we don't freeze to death in our igloos and when we tip our canoes.
14.Well that's all I have my friend. Any last words or statements.
Marco Banco: I would just like to thank you for
the time, and thank all the head bangers, fire breathers, black metal skinheads,
witches and destroyers for their dedication and undying loyalty, all power to
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Check out TYRANTS BLOOD'S Opening teaser track off the new
album scheduled for release July 2013!!!!