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Interviews Labyrinth

Interview with Rob Tyrant

Interview conducted by Bruce Dragonchaser

Date online: July 6, 2007

A band that seriously need no introduction, Italian dragonslayers Labyrinth practically invented the style of music derived from there home land, and whilst releasing such monumental milestones of greatness as "Sons of Thunder" and "Return to Heaven Denied", Labyrinth should be considered amongst the greatest living performers of the style, along with bands like Helloween and Stratovarius, whose supreme influence in this genre was paramount. As an ardent fan of their music - and probably one of the only ones left - Bruce Turnbull caught up with renowned vocalist Rob Tyrant for a good old chin wag about their streamline return to greatness, "6 Days to Nowhere".

1) Welcome to the Metal Crypt Rob, it's a pleasure to have you. First of all, how does it feel to be the most influential band in the Italian metal scene?

It means a lot to us but I can say that it's also a big responsibility. We have many good young musicians here in Italy and we hope they have the chance they deserve to prove themselves; even if times today are really hard in music business.

2) Who were your influences starting out?

Everyone in the band has his preferences. I grew up with hard rock from the seventies; Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Rainbow, Whitesnake, the first period of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and my favourite band of all time of course, Queensryche. I also love Soul music Jazz and Opera, so there was a lot of stuff in there for me to draw influence from.

3) Why do you think every Italian power metal band try to imitate your sound?

I don't know. Maybe because with "Return to Heaven Denied" we did a power metal not so rough and easy even if I still think is not a pure power metal album. "Night of dreams", "Falling Rain", "State of grace", "Heaven Denied" are not power metal songs. There is quite diverse section of music there. So maybe it's because of that album, or maybe not. Still, it's a compliment.

4) For your new album "6 Days To Nowhere", you have returned home and signed with Italian label Scarlet. Do you think this was a good decision?

Scarlet is a very good label. I mean, Scarlet is Italian, so we can communicate easily, and also, they have a nice rooster made of important bands!

5) Your new album has received a lot of flack from the press for slowing things down. We did you decide to do this?

We didn't decide anything. We play and write our music without any bias or "plan". We are not able to copy our music CD by CD as too many bands do, so the only thing really matters is the response of our fans. In December we will be once again in Japan for a that's pretty exciting. They love us over there; the new album has done real well.

6) I think the new album has a mature, sophisticated sound. Do you feel you have grown as a band since "No Limits"?

We hope so! "No limits" was released 11 years ago and of course many things are changed. First off, what has changed is our way to see and face the music, our life experience with all we have around us. That is what the inspiration for the new songs was.

7) Something most fans will no doubt be dying to be answered: Will there be another "Return to Heaven Denied"?

Why? Ha ha! Another "Return" for nostalgic people? We are in 2007 and "that" album was great in 1998! We did it almost ten years ago so if they want it they can continue to listen to it! I can't really blame them; I do the same with Queensryche listening to "Rage for Order" or with Metallica with "Master of Puppets" I don't want to compare Labyrinth to those bands, they are GODS... but for me they still are the greatest bands on earth, even if the last works are not my cup of tea!

8) Rob Tyrant, the name and the person, is that of a living legend. You have been asked to appear on practically every album Italian power metallers make. How did you find that gentle, yet powerful sound?

Roberto Tiranti! Eh? I used to cooperate with other bands and I like to help young bands out when they are making records. As far as my voice goes, I just open my mouth and sing, really! It's not a joke. Of course I studied how to preserve my chords but I can say that my singing is 30% technique 70% instinct with all the good and the bad aspects.

9) Your old guitarist Olaf Thorsen has certainly been making waves since leaving Labyrinth. What do you think about Vision Divine?

Great band with a great Singer, but I cannot see a big gap in terms of sales and popularity between them and us, and as I told you before in December we will play for the second time in Japan. I'm not sure if they have.

10) Finally, what do you think Labyrinth will be remembered for?

Hey Man, bad question! Seems like an epitaph ha ha! It's a joke of course...I think, or better to say I hope people will remember us as a honest band out of the same old market rules. We are working hard for that with the joy to express ourselves at the top! Thanks for the interview!

It might not be "Return to Heaven Denied Part II", but "6 Days to Nowhere" is an amazing release, with just about every style of metal etched onto its grooves like staples of musical history. Fans of melodic, symphonic, catchy prog-power metal are missing out on a treat - so grab a copy from Scarlet Records and fill up that gap on your shelves.

Other information about Labyrinth on this site
Review: Labyrinth
Review: Return To Heaven Denied
Review: Sons of Thunder
Review: 6 Days To Nowhere
Review: Return to Heaven Denied Pt. II - "A Midnight Autumn’s Dream"
Review: Architecture of a God
Review: Welcome to the Absurd Circus
Review: Welcome to the Absurd Circus

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