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A Dirty Dozen with PHILIP WINTERS from TYRANT – September 2022

| 29 September 2022 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “Tyrant is a Lansing, Michigan based heavy metal band formed by brothers Philip and Andrew Winters in 2012 while they were still in high school. Fueled by a passion for music and life on the road, Tyrant has grown into seasoned road warriors. In addition, the band has benefited from consistent radio play, including hitting No. 21 on the NACC Metal Chart and No. 3 on the Metal Contraband Chart. Beyond that, the group has garnered ample positive press via Metal Insider, Metalsucks and even the legendary Metal Injection.” We get vocalist / guitarist Philip to collectively discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release. What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through? Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

We wrote our newest album The Lowest Level during much of the down time we had from 2020-2021. A lot of the material comes from pent up frustration of not being able to go out and perform and having to sit at home. For the first time, we actually self-produced the record and recorded it in my house. Andrew and I spent at least a month just tinkering with microphones, mic placement, different tunings, etc. with the drums and guitar. We actually built a vocal isolation booth in a closet in our rehearsal space. Chuck and Sal recorded their parts at their houses and sent them to us to edit and deliver to the mixing and mastering engineer.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

For Andrew and me, we grew up listening to our parent’s rock CD’s and distinctly remember falling in love with KISS’ Psycho Circus album and it pretty much took off from there. We also used to religiously watch the Kissology Box Set and when we saw them on stage, we knew instantly that is what we wanted to do.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Each band member will say something different, but for Andrew and me it was Kiss that set us on the rock and roll path.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

From a producer/engineer standpoint, we would really like to work with Mark Lewis, as he has produced and engineered some modern metal classics. We are planning on working with some fellow musicians on the next release. People who have an innately good ear for music and might hear things in the songs that we don’t.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

While we all share different interests, we all have a common affinity for video games. Chuck and Sal are serious gamers with completely modded out PC’s and everything. Whenever we have down time in between rehearsal, video / photo shoots, we tend to play UFC and just pummel each other. Always a good time!

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

We always describe ourselves as Rock and Roll / Heavy Metal as we don’t really exist in either genre fully but pull from both worlds quite often. Plus when we mention Rock and Roll to most people, they don’t call us ‘Screamo’ like they would if we mentioned heavy metal explicitly. Our sound is definitely inspired by the older stuff like Megadeth, Metallica, Black Sabbath etc. but we try to put some of our own additional influences into it as well. We all like different types of music outside of metal. One comparison that has always made me cringe personally, is King Diamond. I can’t stand King Diamond.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Me – Band Chef; Andrew and Sal – Party People; Chuck – Guitar Wizard

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

I don’t think any of us really get starstruck, as we all realize they are just people at their core. No different than anyone else. However, it is always super cool meeting legendary musicians like Brian Tatler or Glen Benton, or even meeting some of our peers that make music we enjoy.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Best part of being a musician is easily the catharsis that comes with a live performance. We all live for the raw energy a good show brings. If for whatever reason I couldn’t be a musician, I would probably be a mortician. The clients never complain!

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

We always appreciate interviewers who ask us random questions that feel more personable, and we get to express ourselves more, like one time we ended an interview and the interviewer said, “Okay… One last question… Does pineapple belong on the pizza or not??” And obviously it doesn’t! No one question annoys us, however we have answered the ‘How did you get into music?’ question too many times to count.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

I think for us, that would probably be not self-producing our music sooner. It really allowed us to take control of the recordings and the songs themselves. It afforded us more time to really dive deep into the songwriting and write and rewrite certain sections of the songs until they were the best possible version. Not to mention, it alleviated all of the added pressure of the time/money that would have come with going to someone else’s studio.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Boston’s Debut LP. They recorded that in the basement of their apartment building back in the 70’s with homemade studio equipment and it is the second highest grossing debut album of all time. Goes to show that it’s not the expensive gear, or the great producer, or this that and the other thing, but rather just really, really good songs. Not to mention, every song on that record is just phenomenally written and performed.

TYRANT LINKS:

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Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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