Following the increasing popularity of extreme metal in Taiwan with bands like ChthoniC and Anthelion gaining much popularity, comes surge of young black metal bands like Bloody Tyrant. This year sees the band releasing their debut full length album, 2 years after their formation. We talk to the band to learn more about them.
The original member was Me(Ian), Willy and Kevin(ex-member) and formed in 2009. In the beginning, we don’t have guitarist, it is really difficult to continue for a band in this situation, we even think about to split up at the same time. Fortunately, Chi-An join us as a guitarist and we can finally continue this band. We don’t have shows when we formed, we start up touring after our first album was recorded, and this album was release in 2011. After that we start our first tour in Taiwan and the first gig abroad.
The band will be releasing the debut full length album this year. Would it be possible to tell us and our readers a little about the upcoming album?
The concept of the album, “Dawn of Doomsday” is about people’s desire of freedom under autocracy. No matter it’s eastern or western history, they all have the tyrants or tyrannical government in the past. There were also this kind of history in our country, Taiwan, and it just few decades ago from now. One of my family member was once in jail because of fighting for democracy, freedom and against government, so I want to tell people about this story and the feeling from my family member’s mind by this album. I don’t expect that people will recognize or having criticism after reading the lyrics, I just want to write down my perception and tell everybody that our freedom and democracy was built by the body of our ancestor. That all what I talking about.
The band also recently played in Korea in July. What was the experience like?
When we release our first album and touring in Taiwan, there is a death metal band, “SEED” from Korea have a gig with us in Taipei. After they go back to Korea, the held a show and invited us. It made us very surprise that it just the 7th show when Bloody Tyrant formed, it was really lucky that we can go abroad for gig in such a short time. It was great to be in Korea, there is many audience there and they were enthusiastic, the sales number of CDs also better than Taiwan. Our new friend that we met there also really kind that the took us for looking around in Korea. It is worth mentioning that Korean love alcohol, we stay in korea for five days and you can say that these five days we swimming in alcohol. We just drink to midnight at the first day in Korea and we waked up at 11:00 a.m. for sound check with hangover in second day.
Metal bands in Korea are really great, and many old bands have existed for decades. The age of some Korean metal artist could almost be my dad. By comparing with them, we just like little child. We have so many things to learn from them.
The band is also one of the many upcoming bands in Taiwan playing black metal. What was the reason behind deciding to form a band playing black metal?
Many people think that it suppose to antichrist or worship Satan to be BLACK, but I don’t think so. Basically, as a Taiwanese, we don’t have any religion background, we don’t have history of Christian persecution and Christian is not even a main religion in Taiwan, so it must be really weird that we consider it as our concept, it also seemed that we pretend we are western, isn’t that weird? The black metal waves in 90s was not only express their self-identity of their culture, but also a outcome against autocracy, and respect of their own history and culture. So we want to get into the point as this perception. Except our passion of black metal music, it is the main reason we play black metal.
Looking at the video of “The Black River”, it seems that the band’s lyrical themes revolve around death. Would it be possible to elaborate and explain the reason and the themes behind the music of Bloody Tyrant more?
We make our music video with live performance video, so many people have question that “Isn’t Bloody Tyrant a black metal band? How could they wrote down this death metal things?”. Actually, we wrote this song because there is a terrible homicide near our school when we were high school students, and it happening at the famous river in our hometown, NANTOU, and this river just called “Black River”. We thought that it must be cool if we wrote this event into lyrics, so when we made this album we just wrote it in! You guys can consider it as a funny song, don’t be too serious when reading lyrics.
The Taiwanese metal scene has established itself as a rising force with bands like ChthoniC gaining international reputation. Does the band see itself establishing a more international fan base in the near future?
Heavy metal and Rock are originally western things, so the degree of the importance of people is really low in Asia, most of Taiwanese don’t even know what is heavy metal music, so it is absolutely important to become a international band. Bloody Tyrant is very lucky that our 7th gig was in Korea, it is the first step to be international. Now we also find label, reviewer, and magazine interview very hard and hope we can get more chance to go abroad for gigs for getting famous. Now our goal is to take our place in Asian metal scene, and we hope to develop this career in western country when the time is ripe. I think it also the goals of all Asian metal band.
As a musician, would it be possible to tell us about your personal influences and background in music?
We were just high school student when we start to deal with these band things, but we don’t actually like metal, we just cover some pop music, but somehow we start listen to metal till now. Except black metal, some original heavy metal and thrash metal are what we usually listen to, I think these things should be the basics of all metal music, many branch genre was develop from these, so we love it for granted. We also cover some of these musics when we rehearsal.
Except metal music, we also practice some blues, actually these old things bring us lots of fun when we are playing, it include profound contend and skills, maybe Bloody Tyrant will become Bluesy Tyrant when we 60 years old.
With the upcoming album release of the band, what are the near future plans of the band?
The second album is processing now, this album will be a little different from the first one, we will add a little eastern traditional instrument. The whole concept is about a lake called ”Sun Moon Lake” in our hometown. Sun Moon Lake has plentiful history and culture, it also a must-go tourist site. We are a band faraway from cities, so I want to express our passion and identity of native soil. We predict that this album will release next year.
We have come to the last question of the interview, the last words are yours!
Bloody Tyrant are arranging the tour in Japan after the releasing of next album. We hope there will be chances to have gigs in Singapore. Singapore is quite a attractive country for us, though it is a small country, but there is many great metal band there. We must have some beer with metalhead in Singapore together if possible!!!