Tyrants Blood is an exciting death/black metal band hailing from Vancouver Canada whose members also happen to possess a fine metal pedigree. Here we get a chance to hear from Marco Banco, the band's guitar player on his thoughts about the band's music, particularly their 2013 "Into the Kingdom of Graves" full length, his own musical history, and of course what is in store for the future. Stay awhile and listen.
Apteronotus: Hello Marco! How are you doing today? For the sake of anyone unfamiliar with the projects you have worked on in the past, how would you describe your musical history?
Marco Banco: Hi, I'm good thanks. The projects I did in the past are; Witches Hammer from 1984 to 1989, Blasphemy from 1989 to 1993, a bunch of local bands between 93 to 98 that I filled in for on studio work, song writing and live shows. Now of course, Tyrants Blood, since August 2005 until now.
Apteronotus: Along the same lines, what has the journey with Tyrants Blood been like so far for you?
By 2006 we had our solid lineup, and put together the songs that are on the first release. After that recording we began writing an E.P , but unfortunately Kevin was not able to keep up with the way the riffs were moving, so we lost him and hired on Matt Blood from Abuse.
Since then we have recorded our 2007 e.p., and 2 more full lengths with pretty much the same lineup, except that our original vocalist, Andrew Russell, moved into the north and was replaced by Infernal majesty vocalist Brian Messiah back in 2008.
Apteronotus: How do you feel about the amount of attention that has been given to your work in Blasphemy?
Personally, I'm proud to have been a part of that time, but also satisfied that its in the past also.
Apteronotus: What is the story behind the very first time you started playing the guitar? What, if anything, made you pick the guitar of all instruments?
I would say it all became an addiction really. No matter how much my parents wanted me to learn Piano and Brass, I always grabbed the bass at school band, until I finally got a guitar and never put the damned thing down since.
Apteronotus: Tyrants Blood has several years of history as a group now, and y’all are experienced musicians at this point. How does that influence your musical process?
Marco Banco: I say it makes thing quite smooth as far as writing goes. At this point, we are able to find what we need fairly easily, and use many different styles and techniques in putting together a song when we want to.
Not to mention, it also makes live performances move along properly, because we know what we need to do without becoming lost on stage or the road.
Apteronotus: How does the songwriting arrangement usually work in Tyrants Blood?
At that point, I'll usually get an idea lyrically, or have them written already. Or what happens a lot of times, is Vinnie will have a story line he'll want myself or Brian to read and conceptualize lyrics for the tune that way.
Apteronotus: A lot of the time on “Into the Kingdom of Graves” the band gives each member a chance to be heard more as an individual: the vocal intro to the album, the bass intro to “Disowned and Defiled,” the instrumental and drumless “Within Outer Scars,” guitar solos, and massive drums fills throughout. How did these kinds of musical interchanges come about on the album?
Marco Banco: Naturally, they fall into place simply because they work for us. A lot of that stuff just goes by because of feel as we're jamming out the song to see how it plays out. Those parts will fall into place like that almost subconsciously many times. We'll often record the song and then shape it from there, so that it fits together properly.
Apteronotus: What kind of gear do you think is best for what you have been playing, is there any other kind of gear/equipment out there you wish you had access to?Marco Banco: I think there are a lot of types of gear now that work well for this style. You really have to look at it all to decide for yourself, because the market for guitars, amps, effects, rack systems is vast.
I used Peavey for years and moved to Mesa Boogie now. But there is still tried and true Marshall, Laney, Roland, Crate, Li
Apteronotus: What is up next for Tyrants Blood? What made the band decide to do the “Coven” compilation?
Tridroid records approached us to to a digital album of our past material from our first 3 releases, we decided to let them run with it. Never had a digital only release before, so that will be interesting to watch and see where that goes. Its compiled as a sort of "best of" album,with about 3 or 4 tracks off each one.
Apteronotus: What are your own personal musical plans for the future, short-term and long-term? Can you ever imagine getting sick of writing, playing, and performing metal?
Apteronotus: What would your ideal tour situation be like in terms of location, travel arrangements, brand of beer in the keg, other bands playing, etc.?
Apteronotus: What specifically do you and the rest of the band do to try to make Tyrants Blood stand out from the countless other bands out there?
We are not trying to be, or wanting to be, or impressed by or influenced or looking up to anybody. We are what we are, heavy, fast and uncompromising as far as bending to any fashion or outside influence. We leave that weak shit for the rest to eat, and we dont give a rats ass what anybody else is ''trying'' to become.
Apteronotus: Are there any particular movies, books, or non-musical types of artwork that have inspired you musically?
Apteronotus: Just for fun, below is an ink-blot similar to those used in Rorschach tests. What do you see in this image?
Apteronotus: What are the downsides of playing in a metal band in your experience as a musician?
In fact you have to find what some find hard as a good time, and what others see as hard as easy to make this type of foray work for you I think. Of course Im speculating a bit on this, because its not an issue for me, but only from a perspective of what I have seen over the years.
Apteronotus: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview! Any final comments or anything you would like to add?