Brian Langley (ex-Infernäl Mäjesty) of Tyrants Blood
Interview by Luxi Lahtinen
Times change, and the present times are full of strange surprises indeed. Mentioning the Canadian thrash legends Infernäl Mäjesty, probably not many of us expected this to happen in the first place, but Brian Langley, who replaced longtime Infernäl Mäjesty vocalist Chris Bailey in 2005, is out of Infernäl Mäjesty. He joined a Vancouver-based black thrash/death metal band on very short notice as their new vocalist, being without a band no longer than a day after leaving the Infernäl camp.
Brian spoke in more detail to Metal-Rules.com about this transition from one of the most legendary Canadian thrash bands Infernäl Mäjesty to Tyrants Blood; this relatively new vicious force in the vast Canadian underground scene, which has undoubtedly started to gain momentum in their career. So, read and learn more about Tyrants Blood!
Good day Brian… How are you doing today? Feel ready to reveal some things about the world of metal for the readers of Metal-Rules.com?
Not too bad, I’ll see what I can do.
LEAVING INFERNÄL MÄJESTY
First off, you jumped from Infernäl Mäjesty to Tyrants Blood basically because things weren´t happening in the band, and one plan after another plan, seemed to fall down with them. Can you actual reveal a bit more, what was happening inside the Infernäl Mäjesty camp that eventually led you to make this obviously tough decision to leave the band because Infernäl Mäjesty are, however, still considered as some sort of Canadian thrash metal legends?
It was a tough decision to make because I had put everything I had into that band for 3 years. I stuck around because I wanted to help take the band back to where I think it had the potential to be. At the end of the day I think the easy way to put this into perspective is everybody had their own ideas of what steps the band should be taking to get it where we wanted it to be, and we just couldn’t seem to get everybody on the same program. If everybody isn’t fully committed to the same plan you won’t get anything accomplished. The history of the band proves this point.
As far as I can understand, you are still friends with both Kris DeBoer (I.M. drummer) and Steve Terror (I.M. guitarist), talking to them every once in a while. In the other words, it´s you and Kenny who don´t come along too well with each other, and having still some unsolved issues between two of you. Does that correct?
No, that is not the case at all. I don’t have any problems with Kenny. I talk with Kris often and run into Steve, Ken and Eric at local shows. There are no hard feelings with any of the members. If anything I think it’s fair to say that we are all disappointed with the way things turned out.
Still continuing talking about your ex-band a bit further, can you tell us if Infernäl Mäjesty are still going to release their SYSTEMATICAL EXTERMINATION album that was supposed to come out a couple of years ago already? It’s even been rumoured that they may re-record the whole thing all over again, and even replace your vocal parts with their new, as yet unrevealed singer’s vocals. It goes without saying that you wouldn’t feel too happy about that because you also put so much effort into that album…
THE DEMON GOD was a demo of half of the S.E. album. We finished writing the album in 2005, did the demo in 2006 with the plan that the sales of the demo and other merchandise would help fund the recording of the S.E. album. THE DEMON GOD E.P. copies are sitting in a box collecting dust. I don’t know why they aren’t trying to sell them. No recording for the actual S.E. album has taken place.
SYSTEMATICAL POSTPONING OF NEXT I.M. ALBUM
SYSTEMATICAL EXTERMINATION was supposed to get released on Greek Black Lotus Records for the European markets, and on the Canadian label Galy Records for the North American markets. Could you kill all rumors relating to that album, why it wasn’t released at that time when it was actually expected to get released originally, in 2006 or something?
I.M.’s contract with Galy ran out in 2004 I believe, and they had some sort of dispute so I.M. didn’t re-sign with them. Black Lotus Records strung the band along for almost 2 years promising to send money to help record the album. That never happened and then the label went bankrupt in 2006. I.M. is currently not signed nor do they wish to be on a label as I understand it. It was a very frustrating period.
You also happen to know the name of Infernäl Mäjesty´s new vocalist, don´t you? It´s still a bit of a secret, so you cannot mention his name in public yet either – or can you?
They don’t have a replacement singer. Greg Cavanagh of Cradle to Grave was going to do it (He sang for the band at live shows for about a year before I joined), but that didn’t work out.
BRIAN´S NEW HOME: TYRANTS BLOOD
Let´s talk about your new home, which is Tyrants Blood, shall we? You were without a band for just one day before you joined the ranks of Tyrants Blood. That seemed to happen quite fast – I mean, jumping off from Infernäl Mäjesty to the vocalist´s position in Tyrants Blood. Undoubtedly you were happy to make this transition after all as things were so badly stuck with your ex-band on every possible level?
Towards the end of 2007 I could feel that my time in Infernäl Mäjesty had run its course. I was tired of spinning my wheels and going nowhere. In 2006 I think, Marco came out to a Mecha Messiah show and we discussed the possibility of me singing for Tyrants Blood. This was before the band had Andrew Russell on vocals. With Mecha Messiah and Infernäl Mäjesty we both didn’t think I’d have time to do it. So at the end of 2007, it just seemed to work out that I was leaving Infernäl Mäjesty, and Tyrants Blood had parted with Andrew in December 2007. So I called up Marco and talked with him about what was happening in the I.M. camp and T.B. camp. The next week I went to a rehearsal and landed the spot.
Tyrants Blood have cited bands like Sadus, Morbid Angel, Possessed, Destruction and some other bands as some of their main influences – basically some classic 80s acts that had ´that´ in their sound. Even if you still quite a rookie (nothing bad about that, man – it´s just your age!) compared to guitarist Marco Banco (ex-Blasphemy, ex-Witches Hammer, etc.) in Tyrants Blood – and were just a little kid when bands like Sadus, Possessed, Destruction, etc. put their debut albums out for years ago already, you still consider yourself as a big fan of ´80s thrash metal sound, correct?
I’ve been playing in bands since I was 15. I’ve been in the game for a while. I started playing guitar when I was 7 too! Some of those 80s thrash bands I’m still discovering, I think that’s what makes Tyrants Blood so unique. Every song has elements of thrash, death and black metal. I think we really walk that fine line, you can’t just classify us as one genre. We are trying to forge our own identity.
You already told me that things are really happening in Tyrants Blood right now. You just had this show at the Cobalt in Vancouver on November 7th with Dismember and Augury. How did that show go for Tyrants Blood? Were you received well among the audience?
We debuted most of the new songs that will be on our new album and were received very well. Really good crowd.
As Marco has also a history in the legendary Canadian grave desecrators Blasphemy, how often people at your shows ask (or scream to be more precise, he!) you to play some Blasphemy songs live too?
That’s never happened and I seriously doubt it will. People know what to expect at a Tyrants Blood show. Our songs are strong enough to stand on their own.
How familiar are you with Blasphemy’s stuff anyway? Both FALLEN ANGEL OF DOOM and GODS OF WAR seem to be such classic Canadian metal albums that are still loved and adored by many metalheads all around the world – and I can actually clearly see why. Can any other albums contain more brutality and wickedness than those two particular albums do? I think hardly…
I’m no authority on their material. I know a little. I’ve got the FALLEN ANGEL OF DOOM album. I’m not familiar with the GODS OF WAR album though.
Are there some other shows scheduled for you already, or do you try to concentrate on Tyrants Blood’s 2nd album that you may possibly record by the end of the year?
We don’t have anything booked right now. We are just going to concentrate on tightening up the songs and start recording in the next 3 months.
J-F DAGENAIS AT THE PRODUCER´S HELM FOR NEXT TYRANTS BLOOD ALBUM?
You told me that you’ll be using J-F Dagenais´ (from Kataklysm) studio to record your debut album there. So I guess you eventually saw his studio as the most ideal place for the recording of your follow-up album, plus him being such an experienced guy in a studio environment, it was actually quite easy for you guys to end up using him to produce the forthcoming album of Tyrants Blood?
I’ve been talking with J-F, He’d like to do it and we’d love to have him do it. It’s just a matter of the scheduling working out. I suggested to the guys that we go with J-F because he did a great job on Infernäl Mäjesty’s DEMON GOD E.P.; the latest Kataklysm album sounds great and the work he did on Malevolent Creation’s WILL TO KILL album was amazing.
Tyrants Blood released a new, 5-track E.P. titled PROPHECY through Irish Invictus Productions. You still weren´t in the band at that time when the other guys recorded the E.P. Now when you have obviously been spinning through the E.P. several times, I guess you feel very comfortable with the stuff that is presented on this E.P.? Pure, thrashing old-school madness is what you like to sing and do in general…
I liked the PROPHECY E.P. better than the Tyrants Blood self-titled debut album. You can really hear the band progression. The songs are more intense. Matt Blood’s drumming is out of control on the PROPHECY E.P. as well. I liked Andrew Russell’s vocal performance on the E.P. a lot better too.
How easy, or difficult – was it for you to adjust your voice to Tyrants Blood stuff anyway? I mean, Infernäl Mäjesty’s stuff is quite different from Tyrants Blood…
It was a pretty smooth transition actually. I didn’t change too much of what I was doing in I.M.
If we talk about Tyrants Blood new material, what could you say are the biggest differences between your new songs and the songs on the PROPHECY E.P. – excluding your vocals, of course?
The songs are just stronger songs, I think. The band has progressed a lot. The guitars are playing some really crazy riffs. Matt’s drumming is even crazier. We hope to capture all of it on the next album. Even better production.
I take it overall the chemistry and motivation to work for Tyrants Blood, is much more goal-orientated and warmer than it was inside Infernäl Mäjesty within the past 5-6 months or so? Is that so?
It’s a pleasure to work with these guys, We’ve all been playing extreme music for awhile (some longer than others obviously) We’ve found that the songs for the new album have really been writing themselves. We all know what we want to hear and we all know what we have to do. Everyone in this band is so good at what they do that we don’t need to babysit each other. It’s really a nice change. Tyrants Blood works how I’ve always thought a band should operate. We really believe and enjoy what we do. Another great payoff is our fans really enjoy what we do.
How would you describe briefly each of your fellow band members in Tyrants Blood, how are they as persons as you have got to know them quite well since the day you joined this band?
I can sum them all up with one word : Professionals. We all know when we can joke around and have a good time, we also know when it’s time to make the doughnuts. I can’t wait to hit the road with Tyrants Blood. North and South America but especially Europe.
Eh…some rumors tell that you are still drinking chocolate milk and listening to Weird Al Yankovic as he was the one who got you singing in the first place. So, is Weird Al your muse and tutor as far as the origin of your singing is concerned? ;o)
The chocolate milk was a crutch for when I first started singing in this extreme style. My voice is trained for it now so I’m not as dependent on it. Every now and then you’ll catch me with a carton of chocolate milk though. Weird Al was a huge influence on my singing when I was really young. How he sings isn’t relevant to how I sing now. The way I sing for Tyrants Blood is more of an influence from Jeff Walker and the best death metal frontman ever (in my opinion) George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher.
CRUSHING ONWARD INTO OBLIVION
Tyrants Blood yet unnamed debut full-length will be released on Invictus Productions, which is also a home for such bands as Gospel of the Horns, Allfather, Kill, Spearhead and so on. Do you feel it’s a great honor for you to be a part of the Invictus family because they truly have some killer and hot underground death/thrash acts on their roster, Tyrants Blood being one of their latest new discoveries?
For sure. You have a bunch of great bands under the same banner and within time the label will grow. Actually we announced the name of our next full-length at the show the other night. The album title is CRUSHING ONWARD INTO OBLIVION.
Have you had any talks with Invictus Productions thus far which different formats your debut full-length will be released? A limited, hand-numbered vinyl version would be nice to get, with some bonus tracks if possible… ;o)
We haven’t discussed what formats with the label, but we are going to hopefully get some vinyls pressed for it.
What do you overall think of the current state of Canadian metal scene? Do you see it as exciting and interesting like – let´s say, as it used to be some 10 years ago?
I figure that it can only get better. Right now there seems to be a lack of originality. It’s tough for bands to keep recreating music in any genre. Most of the new bands that I hear sound like a hundred other bands that have already done what these new bands are trying to do.
As it´s a known fact already, the Canadian underground metal scene used to absolutely killer when many metal bands were still demoing their songs on tape, and metalheads were trading demo, live and rehearsal tapes with each other during the ´80s heyday of thrash metal. Bands like Armoros, Exciter, Sacrifice, Infernäl Mäjesty, Voivod, Razor, Dissection, Witches Hammer, Oblivion (changed their name to Obliveon due to an American metal act with the same name), Slaughter, DBC, Annihilator, Aggression, Leprocy and just many more, were all paving their way to many young metal musicians on the Canadian soil back in the day – making killer thrash, convincing many record companies and many of them eventually getting signed to them. The spirit of unity was definitely there, but how is it today? Do other upcoming metal bands try still to support each other, trying to spread each other´s names via the Internet, or even by flyers as bands used to do back in those times?
It’s definitely different now. In Vancouver, the real underground metal scene consists of a couple hundred people, and of the couple hundred there are smaller groups within groups. So if a band doesn’t have certain elements, a couple of circles won’t come because it’s not the kind of ´metal´ they are into. The scene was a lot larger back in the day because you had the punk kids and metal kids coming out to the shows cause punk and metal bands would be on the bill together. The scene wasn’t as segregated as it is today.
What about the other band you have, Mecha Messiah? Do you still have time for it, or did Tyrants Blood become your main priority since you joined your forces with them?
I’ve been doing Mecha Messiah since 2000. I love playing guitar too much to hang up that band. The rest of the band really makes it fun too. It doesn’t seem like work at all. I practise 5 days a week. 3 with T.B. and 2 with M.M.
What kind of hopes do you have for 2009 regarding Tyrants Blood? I guess one of those hopes might be to do as much gigs and touring as possible – and playing at some well-selected summer metal festivals across the globe, perhaps?
Release CRUSHING ONWARD INTO OBLIVION by March 2009 and hopefully get on a tour with a well known touring band so people can see what we are all about. Some metal festivals would be killer too!
Ok, I think I pretty much covered everything I wanted to know about you and your new band Tyrants Blood, for now at least. So thank you Brian for your time for making this interview and hopefully it was worth it. If there’s still something you’d like to mention or add to this interview, just go ahead Brian!
If you want to know more about Tyrants Blood or book us in your town, you can contact us at www.myspace.com/tyrantsblood. Cheers…!!!