Sunday, August 12, 2018

interview: Artizan

The veteran melodic heavy metal band Artizan (Florida, U.S.) in 2018 has a new album called Demon Rider, their fourth full-length. The new work features a tightly-packed 33 minutes of classic-style hooks and melodies that are instantly successful, and a whole range of headbanging riffs, and songs with the beautiful singing for which Artizan is known. Here is an exchange that took place between this publication and drummer Ty Tammeus.
I have heard your new album Demon Rider a bunch of times now. Very nicely done! Another catchy work, for sure. I’m embarrassed to ask because I feel like I am supposed to know this, but are all the Artizan albums connected by a concept? All the artwork seems linked by a certain dystopian futuristic vibe? What happened to the main character, the young man on the cover of Curse of the Artizan and The Furthest Reaches? Did he die on the previous album?! He’s not on the cover anymore.
We have written one concept album so far The Furthest Reaches. Although all of the albums are not directly related, conceptually, you probably notice a theme in my writing. Since I write all of the lyrics, you will notice I that I write from a generally positive viewpoint, especially when it comes to all of us who are the dreamers. I have a fondness for these people. I think our music best relates to them. And maybe that’s you! I can tell you there is some plans for more concept albums, but I cannot reveal too much now. The Artizan character on the cover of The Furthest Reaches most certainly did not die. You will notice on the lyrics of the last song that he embarks on a journey into space – taken aboard the craft of ‘The Keepers’, who are the aliens that return to Earth after hearing the alarm set off by Mother Earth. His journey may just be beginning. The Artizan character is our mascot, and we will definitely see him again.
Who played on the album and who is in the band in 2018? I think that Jim Morris was the producer on the previous album. I like the sound of Artizan albums; you can hear everything well. Did you work with Jim Morris again? Do you record in Florida and the bands is based in Florida, right? In Jacksonville, home of the Jaguars?!
The band is the same as before except my bassist, Jon, was not able to do the recordings because they were having a baby. Jon has three sons now so his hands were quite full. I had met Joey Vera (Fates Warning) when we toured with them. I sent Joey the demos of the new album and he agreed to do the recordings. So he is a special guest on Demon Rider. I have always considered him one of the greatest bass players. So this is a really special performance for us. It sounds incredible. I have worked with Jim Morris since 1991. We have a long career together. We do record all of the albums with Jim, here in Florida. He has an incredible wealth of experience that he brings to our music, taking our songs to another level with his special touch. Yes, we are home of the Jacksonville Jaguars!
Has Artizan gone over to the dark side of The Force at this point?!!! “Demon Rider” sounds like an evil title and the first two songs have a very sinister imagery. “The Hangman” seems like the brother of the “Demon Rider.” Did the Demon Rider and The Hangman take over the dystopia? It seems like the guitars are emphasizing a bit more bite this time around. Does it seem to you that you have a bit more of a heavier sound or this is all by pure coincidence? Has the tuning of the guitars changed? Are you using different guitars from the past?
The songs “Demon Rider” and “The Hangman” are separate stories. Although they both seem dark, I think with the aggressiveness of the guitars, Demon Rider is a positive good over evil story, whereas The Hangman is about all of the bad things you do to people ultimately catching up with you. We did go into this album with a heavier, more aggressive attitude. This is a little more straight forward but still has slightly progressive elements woven in. I’m not exactly sure of the actual tuning of the guitars, but I do know that we only double tracked guitars this time instead of stacking four tracks like we had always done. It is a heavier final product!
Have you decided to make videos for any songs? My vote for the first video is “Soldiers of Light.” That song is a good illustration of the heavier side of the new album, paired up with the melodies of the chorus, it is a very catchy tune, but really the whole album is very good. Nowadays bands have to be active on media, otherwise people might forget. What is your plan for videos and lyric videos? You probably have plenty of band photos and some live footage that could be used in some way at least for lyric videos. Have you been streaming any songs from the album so far? If so, where?
We have released really cool lyric video for “The Hangman” which people are finding pretty amazing. It showcased the incredible artwork I had made for this song. It was created by the same artist who did the Demon Rider painting, Eliran Kantor. We will also be realizing a very nice lyric video for “Soldiers of Light,” which is personally, my favorite track on the new album. We are streaming the songs from Demon Rider on Spotify and I encourage the fans to search for Artizan there.
To me, the album is the first five songs and 33 minutes. To me, that is a good amount of time for this album. It leaves people wanting more. So, was it the record company’s idea to add extra tracks that are not new songs but alternate and live versions of old songs? Is there pressure to make albums that are 60 minutes long?!
That was exactly my intention: to have the album full of quality material – every song as important as the previous; quality over quantity, with no filler material. So your point to this is exactly what we were striving for. We like to make a limited edition of the album available to our core fans, so I chose this extra content of the live songs and the Harry Conklin bonus track.
For new people that are reading. This band has been around for 10 years now, right? In your own words, after doing this music for that long, and longer, if you count the roads traveled to get to Artizan, what motivates the music of Artizan and what is Artizan all about, musically speaking, the way that you see it? Why do you go through the work involved in making music?
This is a great question. There are many times when I was met with challenges that made me question continuing. I think most passionate, creative people encounter this. Ultimately, if you have a burning desire that motivates you to carry on, it won’t leave you alone, and you find some way to complete your vision. Our music is really about possibilities. If you have a vision; a concise dream, that won’t leave you alone, I believe if you simply do one thing every day, moving you forward to that dream, it is obtainable. We are about the dreamers and what we are capable of. Music touches everyone in some way most every day. I believe that music, but more specifically, creativity, is life. Without creativity a piece if me would simply stop living and thriving. But it is seriously hard work that takes dedication and sacrifices.
Can give some places for people to hear your previous albums? What merchandise do you have at the moment? Can you tell us about the Artizan Armada?
So yeah, definitely put us on your playlist on Spotify and iTunes. Make sure to go to and order the limited edition or standard CD, vinyl and the very limited new T-Shirts. And join the Artizan Armada, an exclusive fan club that gives you access to some free merchandise giveaways and early access to our new albums. We had many Armada members pre-order the new album and the limited edition is almost sold out! Join the Artizan Armada!

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