Brian Langley is a man of many different musical pursuits. He's most well known as the fire-breathing singer of Vancouver extreme speed metal band Tyrants Blood. However, in addition to TB Brian also plays guitar in Blood of the Martyr and Cradle to Grave and toured with Scythia as a second guitarist for a brief period in 2012. If all of that wasn't enough, he also has sung with the legendary underground band Infernal Majesty! Brian is a fixture of Vancouver's underground metal scene and he graciously agreed to take the time to speak with me regarding all of his musical projects and what's next for them.
Hi Brian, thanks for taking the time to talk to me! You have a lot of different projects going on right now (Cradle to Grave, Blood of the Martyr, Tyrants Blood). How do you find the time to take part in all of these different bands? Brian: Hi Curt, not a problem. Finding the time can be a juggling act at times. It's all about keeping on top of things and being organized. Scheduling is really important, otherwise I'd lose my mind I'm sure. My typical week is I'll work my day job Monday-Saturday, 7am-5pm and have my band practice at 8pm 3-4 times a week. It's not for everybody, but I enjoy it.
To my understanding, all of the above bands will be having new releases out within the next year. Can you give a bit of an update on when each will be released? Brian:Into the Kingdom of Graves is the next Tyrants Blood album. It's mixed and mastered and we'll probably get it pressed in the next few weeks and do a proper CD release in August is my guess. The first run is going to be independently released by the band and then we're going to shop around to see who's interested in picking it up and go from there. Cradle To Grave's EP Dust is all ready to go but the label (Year of the Sun) wants to hold off releasing it till mid-July to coincide with a big announcement they have coming. Blood of The Martyr is still working on and recording demos at this point in time - the plan is to record a proper album in the Fall then hit the road in the Spring with either a solid band line up or a few touring musicians.
Check out the song "Revelations in Damnation"
Why has the new Tyrants Blood album taken so long to release? Also, do you know which label will be releasing it yet? Brian: We don't know which label is going to release the new album yet. There are a few labels interested so we'll see how that goes. The delays were very frustrating. We didn't intend for the album to take 3 years to record, it just kinda happened that way. The first guy that tracked the drums was supposed to do the rest of the album, but then another band came along with a deadline from their label so we got bumped and then the guy disappeared for 6-8 months. When he resurfaced, he was recording another band and we were told he'd get to us after the current band he was recording. Needless to say we got tired of waiting and had to look elsewhere. The album changed hands a few more times between producers, life events came up, etc. Next thing you know it's been 3 years. I'm happy to say it's finished, just needs to be pressed. By far the hardest album we've collectively ever worked on.
How did Blood of the Martyr come to be? Was the band already planned prior to Morgan's departure from Scythia or was it as a result of her leaving them? Are you planning on doing vocals on future tracks or are you happy just being the vocalist for Tyrants Blood? Brian: Morgan asked me to go on the last couple of BC/Alberta tours to fill in on 2nd guitar for Scythia so I got to see the band interact on a personal and professional level in various situations. It was very clear that she wasn't going to be a part of the band for much longer. The calling for oboe in metal is very small so finding another band was going to be quite difficult. Instead we opted for a fresh, brand new start combining our resources. We've both been playing in bands long enough to know what works and what doesn't - we're hoping to take full advantage of that.
At gigs you always come across as very friendly when you're off-stage. However, once you're on stage with Tyrants Blood it's like you become a totally different person. How do you manage to *switch* into this persona when you perform? Brian: The music is very violent. As soon as the intro hits, it just takes me to a very dark place. I snap out of it as soon as I walk off stage though. I've never actually given it much thought. You're right though, my demeanour does change when the lights go down and the fog starts rolling out.
Do you have any touring plans for the rest of the year with Tyrants Blood or is Tyrants going to stick with local shows for now? What about Cradle to Grave and Blood of the Martyr? Brian: We've got Armstrong Metal Fest in July and then we're planing to have our CD release show for September or October. That will be followed by another tour in Europe in November. We are still hopeful to work out some details for a return trip back to Brazil in Spring 2014. Cradle to Grave is looking at some options for a Canada/U.S. West Coast tour and possibly a few dates in Montreal, Quebec, and New York in early 2014. Blood of the Martyr has it's sights on a few select B.C./Alberta shows next year and then Europe for the Summer 2014.
Do you think you'll be able to turn your music into a full-time career at some point or are you content with a 9-5 and then playing gigs when you can? Brian: I don't expect that to happen. When we go on the road and come close to breaking even, that is a very successful tour for us. My job allows me the free time to pursue my musical aspirations. I couldn't ask for a better setup.
What's happening with Infernal Majesty? Are they planning on doing any future releases? Are you still in the band or are you no longer a member? Brian: A whole lot of nothing is happening with Infernal Majesty, I'm sorry to report. With the much talked about Systematical Extermination album, we had the whole album written and ready to go back in 2006. It sounded killer, it would have been amazing. The record company as it was explained to me, kept promising to send the band money to record the album. We were strung along with empty promises for about a year and a half to help raise funds for the album. We released the Demon God EP but by then the album had sat for so long that the other guys were bored with the songs and started re-writing them.
I left the band out of frustration with the lack of progress in 2008 and joined Tyrants Blood. 2 years later I got a call that Infernal was offered a gig. So we played it, then a few more shows came up since then and I've sung for those. It's kind of strange, I'm not sure if I'm in the band or not and I'm not sure where the rest of those guys stand on it. For a while it has seemed like I'm on call if something comes up and if I have the time. So to sum it up as best I can on the new Infernal Majesty album: It was written and ready in 2006. Too much time passed and those guys started messing with the arrangements and writing different songs, so there's no telling when or if a new album will see the light of day. Am I in the band or not? I don't know.
Can you give any recommendations of lesser known B.C.-based bands that you'd like to plug? Brian: I'll plug my brothers in Entropia. A good solid thrash group. Dead Asylum is another good group. Sinned and The Golers to name a few. There's a lot of good bands here.
Any final words you would like to say? Brian: Thanks to all the folks that keep coming out to support live music. Without you, there is no show or scene. Cheers \m/