Profile: Callum John Cant of Tyrannus

Tyrannus

What do you get when you mix Absu and Mortuary Drape with crusty speed metal? Survey says: Scotland based Tyrannus. The band has a self titled EP and recently released three track It Taketh demo to their name thus far and comparing the two is like hearing a band trying to claw their way to idea fruition and hearing these ideas come roaring to life. Their demo may not be fully fleshed out as far as band members are concerned however, these three tracks are buzzsaws to the ears full of whipping black and death metal with a psychedelic lean and extremely high on octane. We wanted to know more so we posed our set of Profile questions to vocalist and guitarist Callum John Cant to get the scoop. Read on to see how it went down and be sure to show them some support via the links contained within.

Tyrannus - It Taketh

How did you first get into playing music, and have you achieved the level of success that you hoped for?

I started playing bass with my friends in high school when I was 15 years old. I had attempted guitar before then but had no confidence, so when my friends needed a bass player and I found it really easy to play, I was hooked on playing in a band from there. I later took guitar more seriously, but it wasn’t until much later in life I was ready to play guitar in a band.

I’ve definitely not achieved everything I have set out to do yet, probably because it hasn’t been until Tyrannus that I’ve had the drive to do more than just play in a band. With Tyrannus, I’m inspired to put in the hard work and I believe we will do much more than I can imagine right now.

What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, and praised? (If you don’t have a story, please tell us any funny/embarrassing story.)

In a previous band, we were involved with someone who offered us a slot on a US tour but we each had to pay £1,000. Two of us did, myself and another member didn’t but had intentions to do so once things were finalised and confirmed. We later played a big show and had a pretty big interview after with a website where we talked about this US tour. This tour didn’t end up going ahead due to the band falling apart soon after. Lesson learned – Get everything in writing and don’t talk about anything until it’s already happening.

What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?

I’m really happy with the excitement which is being felt throughout the UK metal scene right now. I remember, before the pandemic, there was a lot of apathy within the Scottish scene which had lost a lot of its allure from ten years ago. I remember not caring much about playing or attending gigs and a lot of other people felt the same way. Now, that apathy is long gone and everyone is wanting to play and see shows because we know how empty the alternative feels thanks to the pandemic.

However, I feel this excitement is causing a lot of people, from fans to promoters and bands, to overlook and ignore the weird and sketchy behaviour we’ve seen recently from certain individuals and bands simply because they don’t want to lose what they have invested in themselves into those bands.

It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music?

Tyrannus is an antifascist band. We have no tolerance for prejudices of any kind and feel the bands out there trying to cater to two sides of a political spectrum are fuelling a problem for the sake of their credibility and merch sales. To put it simply, it’s gross and negligent. Antifascist concepts are woven into our lyrics and imagery, sometimes blatantly like a song from our first EP, “Bad Spirit,” and more creatively like “The Flood” from our latest demo. For our first album, which we are currently about to record, we will be combining antifascism with Lovecraftian horror themes and concepts to make our own unique brand of antifascist black death metal.

What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?

I was a pretty typical millennial child in the UK and I was first exposed to metal through games like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Not long after, a family member noticed my interest and bought me an MP3 player for Xmas one year and loaded it up with songs from bands like Slipknot, Linkin Park and Guns N’ Roses. Combine this with a regular purchase of Kerrang! magazine, and I was growing further and further into a love of metal. My parents were supportive of this, their only concern was making sure I wasn’t getting into any ideas which were dangerous to myself. I remember my mum not being too impressed with Ozzy Osbourne’s language in a feature interview in one issue.

What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?

Start covering RABM artists more. There is so much talent which is of a high quality and is a fantastic alternative to the cryptofascist mainstream black metal scene. I would recommend Tumultuous Ruin, Etxegiña and Feminazgûl as starting points. Also, stop catering to right wing idiots and conspiracy nuts. I love Megadeth but I really don’t need to know Dave Mustaine’s opinion on the word, “tyranny.”

What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.

I wouldn’t call any of the ideas going into Tyrannus as grand. We want to make great music which we enjoy personally and are proud of. We want to make friends, play shows and have a good time. And if in some very small way we can say we contributed to the death of capitalism, that would be great too.

When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)

Recently, I’ve been reminding myself of my love for Carcass on the run up to the release of Torn Arteries. As far as I’m concerned, they have never made a bad album and I don’t care what anyone says. Swansong is just as relevant to them as any of their other albums. Beyond that, I have been enjoying a healthy mix of Sefa, While She Sleeps and Arch Enemy when I’ve been at the gym.

What is the 12-month outlook for you or your band? Any specific events on the horizon that the masses should be aware of?

Our main focus for the next year is getting our debut album recorded and released and then hopefully into the ears of as many people as possible. We’ve recently recruited two other members to fill out the band, Fraser Gordon on guitar and Alistair Harley on bass. We have also begun booking gigs! Our first will be on November 20th with our friends in Live Burial, Devastator and Night Fighter in Glasgow! We have also just confirmed our first show for 2022 as well, and will be looking to book more over the next year, hopefully throughout the UK and possibly beyond.

Summarize your band in exactly one word. (Disclosure: If you include additional words, we will select our favorite for the final publication.)

Antifascist.

Many thanks to Callum John Cant and Tyrannus for their time!


It Taketh is available now on the band’s Bandcamp page and in cassette format on Born Too Late Tapes. For more information on Tyrannus, visit their Facebook page.

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