This week we’re featuring the Canadian group Tyrant in Meet The Band. They just released the EP The Existential Reversal. Guitarist Marshall Dexter introduces us to his band.
Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of Tyrant.
Marshall Dexter: Tyrant began back in 2011 by myself as a high school metal band playing Metallica covers. Once Brett Reid (vocals) and Robert Brinton (guitars) joined the band, we began developing our own sound. Kurtis Marceniuk (drums) and Taylor Laroche (bass) solidified our lineup in 2015 and we’ve gone hard ever since. We are very excited to release this new material for our fans and look forward to progressing our band and sound further.
Describe the songwriting and recording process for The Existential Reversal.
I provided most of the riffs and structure, with our other guitarist Rob writing harmonies and layers. Our vocalist Brett wrote all of the lyrics. Our band as a whole then jammed the songs to determine drum patterns and hash out details. Brett and Rob are both sound engineers, with Brett doing most of the tracking, editing and mixing. Our EP was mastered by Jamie King out of New Jersey.
How would you characterize the album’s style/sound?
The Existential Reversal has a very dark and aggressive sound, which fits the lyrical content/themes nicely. We think of Tyrant as a pure metal band, as our members have influences from all over the metal spectrum which can be heard through out the tracks.
What lyrical subjects do you cover?
This EP has a broad theme of the inevitability of death and the fact that individuals have no control over when it happens and are never truly ready for it. The lyrics and sounds we’ve created are open to interpretation, and we encourage our fans to draw their own conclusions and meanings.
What led you to go the independent route in releasing the EP?
Two of our members are sound engineers by trade, so this EP was a good opportunity to develop their skills and try out new things. We knew we were capable of producing high quality material on our own, leaving more resources available to us for the music video, shows/tours, merch, etc.
How has the response to the album been so far?
We’ve been thrilled with the response so far! People have seemed to really enjoy the unique sound of the EP and have commented on the blend of metal genres heard throughout. We are very proud of the this material and look forward to developing our sound further. We want to continue to write songs that will make people say “fuck yeah, Tyrant!”
What has been your most memorable Tyrant live show?
This is a tough one, there have been many great shows we’ve played over the years. One of our biggest and most successful shows was at Shell Place in Fort McMurray in 2017, opening for Protest the Hero. We met a lot of new fans and friends that night, and enjoyed crushing beers and watching playoff hockey in the skybox (Shell Place has a football stadium) provided to us as a green room. We love playing shows, as meeting new fans and friends is a big part of the Tyrant live experience!
What are your upcoming show/tour plans?
We are going to play a few local shows over the summer and into the fall/winter, and are currently planning a bigger tour for spring 2019. Stay tuned for future announcements.
How did you get started in music?
I started with music and metal at a young age. I started playing guitar in grade 4 and learned Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth covers with my older brother Brendan. I remember when my brother got his first guitar, a BC Rich Warlock. 10 year old me thought that guitar was the most badass thing in the entire world and I’ve been passionate about guitar ever since.
Who were your early influences and inspirations?
Big 4 thrash started it all for me. Other early influences include Children of Bodom, In Flames and Trivium.
What was the first concert you attended?
First concert I ever attended was Gigantour 2005 in Edmonton. I believe that year featured Megadeth, Anthrax and Nevermore.
What’s the heavy music scene like in Edmonton?
We have a great local scene here in Edmonton, filled with dedicated and hard working people. Unfortunately we’ve been plagued with venue closures in the past few years. Even the place we shot our music video for “Spoils of Decimation” had a fire a few weeks ago. The scene and the people here are resilient, and I’m confident we will find a way through all of this. You won’t find a more passionate group of metal heads.
Seen any good movies/DVDs lately?
Just saw the Incredibles 2, loved it.
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
Sylosis, Allegaeon and Black Crown Initiate have been getting a lot of plays recently.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Don’t be scared to go check out local music no matter what genre, you will find some incredibly talented artists that need support! Every big name has to start somewhere, and owe a lot to the fans that came out to their local shows. Plus local shows are just a good time and a great way to meet people.
(interview published July 7, 2018)
Watch Tyrant – “Spoils Of Decimation” Video