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Ty Tammeus from Artizan - Interview April 2011

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    Posted: 25 Apr 2011 at 1:49am

Artizan drummer Ty TammeusFormed in 2008, the Floridan melodic power metal band Artizan released an eponymous EP in 2009 which received a lot of positive reviews, and their debut album Curse of the Artizan, which has already received a lot of praise from reviewers, will be released on April 29th through Pure Steel Records. In the following interview, drummer and founding member, Ty Tammeus, talks about the new album and gives us some insights into the band's writing process, influences on Artizan, and describes Artizan's brand of melodic metal.


First of all, congratulations on your forthcoming album Curse of the Artizan, which has received a lot of very good reviews so far - which it deserves, I think, because it is a great album. The reviewers obviously like Curse of the Artizan.

Yes, the early reviews for Curse of the Artizan have been very positive. I am glad that you like it. Thank you.

 

How do you feel about the album now that the recording and mixing are complete, and the album is about to be released?

We believe we captured all of the elements that we were striving for with this album. The song writing, recording and final production all worked out tremendously. I wanted to have a powerful metal album with very catchy, melodic choruses. Very strong, clear vocals are a priority in our music. Our singer, Tom Braden, did a great job recording all of the vocals. He has such great tone, clarity and power. We also put a lot of attention to song dynamics. I believe every song on this album has its own unique journey to be experienced... especially the title track 'Curse of the Artizan.' I really love how that song came out. But, everyone has their own favorite, of course.

 

What can we expect from Curse of the Artizan?

You can expect to feel the majestic qualities of this album. There is a lot emotion and passion put into this, and we hope that gets translated back to the listener. And, I must add, that our producer, Jim Morris, did a fabulous job taking our music to another level. We love working with Jim.

 

Cover art depicting The Artizan and one of his monstrous creationsCan you tell us about the lyrical content of the songs on the album?

I write lyrics inspired by personal experiences combined with fantasy aspects. That really is what a lot of heavy metal is about. It is a great escape for people; not dissimilar than watching a movie. We want to provide an emotional experience. I believe a lot of people will relate to the concepts on this album. As far as the cover art, I wanted to have a classic, painted look. I always liked those old Molly Hatchet covers that Frank Frazetta did. I chose fantasy artist, Marc Sasso, to create the cover art for this album. The first time I saw Marc's work was on the Dio album 'Killing the Dragon.' Then, I saw his work for the Dio album 'Master of the Moon', and on some Halford material. I really liked his style. I approached Marc early in 2010. He said he really liked the music and would be interested in working with me. We had already created the song 'Curse of the Artizan', and I knew this song needed to be the title track. I really liked the concept of the Artizan character, which is essentially about a man who went through some very difficult times as a child. He was ostracized by other kids, had a hard time growing up, and basically ended up keeping to himself. As he matured, he discovered he was born with a special "gift." He is a talented artist who creates magnificent sculptures from granite. He is also a fine painter. So, he is essentially a skilled laborer or artist, which is where the name Artizan came from. But, his talents come with a curse, if you will. He is compelled to create monstrous creatures that break free from the stone and wreak havoc on those that ridiculed and bullied him earlier in his life. The energy you see glowing from his body Is the power, or magic exploding from him as he works. His paintings contain scenes of tragedies that will happen to his enemies, as well. Another song describes someone who has all of the riches imaginable, they've travelled everywhere, seen everything, own everything you can imagine. But, they would trade it all to fly. There is a track about how we all have great dreams, and even though we age, they never really go away; they are still there, you just have to rekindle that magic. Another song is about the whole game of life, and how each of us has our own game within the immense game of the world. The song 'Rise' is essentially about just getting back up and fighting, no matter what the enemy is or how strong that enemy might be; overcoming fear. 'The Man in Black' is simply about anger and pent up rage that really needs to be released. I don't believe it is healthy to hold all of that negative energy in. It is actually quite therapeutical to let that anger out. The Man in Black is a symbol for the process of going down deep and releasing the anger and hate, so you can move on, and refocus.


The album will be released on Pure Steel Records. What's it like to be on such a respected label?

Yes, the album will be released on April 29th through Pure Steel Records. I am excited to see what kind of results we get with this label. They really like our music, and are very motivated to make it all work. I believe Pure Steel will be one of the most highly regarded independent labels in a few years. They have made some great business decisions, in my opinion.

 

How would you describe your band and the type of music you play?

We are definitely a melodic power metal band, if you have to put us into a genre. We also have some progressive characteristics.

 

One of the things that characterize Artizan, apart from strong songwriting and top notch musicianship, is the catchy vocal melodies in the choruses. How do you come up with these hooklines?

Yes, I really appreciate well written, catchy vocal melodies. What is the point of being a melodic power metal band if you can't write choruses that are memorable? I am not really sure exactly how I come up with these hooks. I approach each song with as much honesty and energy as possible. I believe the best songs are written using personal experiences, inspiration and a bit of fantasy. We are all dreamers, aren't we?

 

Can you describe the Artizan writing process in general?

When it comes to writing the actual music, I usually listen to some basic guitar riffs that Shamus McConney, one of our guitarists, presents. We will then collaborate to help the basic ideas evolve into more organized verses, choruses, bridge sections, etc. Sometimes Shamus has a cool riff to use for a chorus, or I might have lyrics that seem to dictate how the chorus needs to be. It's a collaboration as far as the music is concerned. I really enjoy designing the intros for some reason; that is fun.

 

Artizan vocalist Tom BradenVocalist Tom Braden has been likened to Geoff Tate, Jon Arch, Claudio Sanchez and Geddy Lee, all of whom are known to be very gifted and unique singers. How would you describe Braden's contribution to Artizan?

Tom Braden is essential to our sound. Tom's voice is very unique. I think most people really don't know anyone who he really sounds like, but, for sake of comparison, many people will say Geoff Tate, Jon Arch or even Geddy Lee. I don't think he sounds like Geddy Lee at all. Tom has a much broader tone, and a lot more power. The best characteristic to Tom's sound is his power and clarity. You can really understand what he is singing. I think that is really refreshing. I can hardly understand a lot of the metal singers out there. What is the point of trying to write compelling lyrics if you cannot understand what the singer is saying?

 

When listening to the tracks on Curse of the Artizan, I detect some progressive elements. In some reviews of the album, and the 2009 EP Artizan, progressive metal bands like Fates Warning, Queensrÿche and Savatage are used as points of comparison. How do you feel about that? Do these bands serve as an inspiration to Artizan?

It has been an honor to be mentioned along with Queensrÿche, Fates Warning and Savatage! I would say we are probably as progressive as Queensrÿche was when they first hit the scene. We are not as progressive as Fates Warning, but I can see where a lot of people would find instances of similarities. We don't put a lot of effort into trying to be technical or "progressive." We really just try to make the most powerful, compelling, dynamic and melodic music that we can. If there is a certain part that starts to evolve that is a bit progressive, than that is what comes out. I suppose I am still influenced by the way Scott Rockenfield played on Operation Mindcrime and Empire. That is about as technical as I really like to get.

 

Are there any other drummers that you are especially inspired by?

There are a lot of other drummers who have influenced me including Vinny Appice, Dave Lombardo, Phil Collins and Simon Wright.

 

Are you going on a tour to promote the album?

We do plan to support the new album with as much touring as we can fit in. I cannot reveal the specifics of where we will be and when. But, it will be a busy year for Artizan. I would expect to see us throughout the USA and even Europe.

 

Which formats will the album be available in? Where can it be purchased?

The album will be available on physical CD format at most any internet distribution site including Amazon.com, CDBaby.com, our record label Pure Steel records and on the Artizanmetal.com website. The digital version will be available via iTunes and many other digital outlets. I would encourage fans to visit us on our facebook site at: http://www.facebook.com/artizanmetal. We will have constant updates and music samples there.

 

Once again, congratulations on a great album.

Thank you for supporting Artizan. We are really looking forward to seeing everyone on tour!

Artizan from left to right: Tom Braden (vocals), Shamus McConney (guitars), Ty Tammeus (drums), Jonathan Jennigs Jr. (bass), Steffen Robitzsch (guitars)



Edited by Time Signature - 06 May 2014 at 1:46pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote UMUR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Apr 2011 at 2:08am
Ive added the interview to the interview index: http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=1115. Did you do this interview yourself Kim?

Edited by UMUR - 25 Apr 2011 at 3:07am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Time Signature Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Apr 2011 at 3:03am
Yeah, I did. Really nice chap, too, Ty :-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stooge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Apr 2011 at 8:58am
Great work, Kim. Clap
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