Hello Greg May, how are you doing?

Hello Heiko. I’m loving life right now. Hey I’m 60yrs old and living in a time with a world wide pandemic . But with the return of the New TYRANT album Hereafter and subsequent Official Hereafter video. Life is very good.

Greg May, somewhere in the 80’S

Please tell us something about your hometown/city?

I live in Southern California. In a small San Gabriel Valley city Glendora. It’s very beautiful. We are surrounded by Foothills which are smaller mountains.  It’s pretty affluent. Average home price is about $650.000.00 USD. But there are homes that sit up in the Foothills that are millions of USD. Public speaker Tony Robbins grew up here and lives here. Also Michael Anthony lived here for a long time. And yes I’ve met him and I’ve been to his house. But when he left Van Halen he moved to New Port Beach where Coby Bryant lived. I feel blessed to live here. I bought my home in 2002 and the house is now worth hundreds of thousands more now….

In 2016 I posted on Bonavox, that you where working on a new demo?
What happened between 2016 and 2019 with Tyrant?

2016 seems like yesterday. But yea when the original TYRANT was asked to headline Keep it true festival in Germany. It was mind blowing. When we got to the arena we were besieged by fans wanting autographs. Interviews. And they not only couldn’t wait for us all original members to perform for them. But some said you guys should do another album. It put the thought in our heads . We started playing festivals every year after that and heard the same things. Rocky Rockwell and I started writing new material and we would get together with our drummer Ronnie Wallace who joined us in 2010.  We started recording the songs that are featured on the album. Of course it was always the three of us. But we were able to burn disks when we were done.  I would take one and leave it at my Mother’s house so when Glen came to visit he would have new TYRANT music to listen to and write lyrics to. But we kept doing festivals all along. I got called in late 2017 about headlining Frost and Fire fest in Ventura California at a big old theatre. I’d been there and saw UFO with all original members. I even met Michael  Schenker that night too. So I told the band. We’ve got 10 new songs written and we’ve got them tight. And they are really heavy and it’s time for a change. We need to come out in California with an all new set. We’d been playing the same Metal Blade set since 2009. Glen better be ready he’s had a long time now. He should be ready by then. Well Rocky and I talked to him and he said the music is killer but he just didn’t have time to do it. And he wouldn’t be able to do the show. He had to work the night of the gig. Was working nights. Well I waited long enough. I had a good FB friend who used to be in some good bands. It was time to send him a disk of the 10 songs and see what happened.

Greg May and Robert Lowe…

Since 2017 Robert Lowe is the new vocalist of Tyrant. He is known from being a member of; Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus. Please tell us the story..?

So it’s 2017 a couple of months before the Frost and Fire gig in October and I sent our 10 song demo to Robert Lowe. I’d been FB friends with him. He told me a cool story about one of his band members ( Solitude Atuernus ) walked in to rehearsal  with our first album Legions of the Dead. The liked the album cover of 4 leathered out dudes standing in a graveyard. So they listened to the album and really dug the heaviness.  And I told Robert that I’d been a big fan of Solitude Aturnus  and his era in Candlemass. And that I’d like to send him 10 new TYRANT songs and see what he thought. When I’d heard he lived in Arizona and was from Texas. That was cool too. So he gave me his address. Sent him the disk and a couple of days later he wrote me and said. He’d be all over that music. BAM. So I told him about the gig. And that I’d fly him out and let’s do it. We had a jam at a studio before we drove out to Ventura up the coast. About 2 hours. I introduced him to Rocky and Ronnie as our new singer. Neither of which knew about his previous bands Candlemass or Solitide Aeturnus. But when we started jamming Robert would start to open up and his voice just came out. They both looked at me and gave me  a nod of approval. We went on to play that show. We came on late like midnight. And it was so cool to play all new material. Robert didn’t really have song titles down or anything but there weren’t any wrong vocals either. It was just all new. It was a real ballsy move. Our fans were yelling for the old set. Warriors of Metal. But we forged ahead with our new material which made it to the new album Hereafter 🤘🏻

Greg May and Bill Metoyer in the Studio…

Long time friend of the band; Mister Bill Metoyer (Gordon Shumway) is doing the production of the new album? Please tell us about the new album and the wrting process, time in the studio?

Oh yes Bill FN Metoyer. I first met Bill in 1982 late. We were asked to put a song on Metal Massacre vol 3. We decided to do The Battle of Armageddon. Metal blade sent us to Track record recording studios. And the engineer producer was Bill. Very cool dude. But also very professional. Ahead of his time. The only thing that pissed us off was he would want like 10 takes of every perfect song. And if he heard any kind of glitch he would just stop the tape. We named him the Drill Sergeant. But when we listened to the final mix he’d picked all our best performances . And mixed and mastered them. We were always happy with the production quality.  You can tell by the new video to Hereafter that he did a great job once again.

Is there already a cover of the album made/Illustrated? who will be responsible for it?

Here’s the album cover right here. We the band had come up for an idea for something but Shadowkingdom said; ” hey we want to do something really special for the cover”.  They licensed this art work . It might look familiar. Some other big budget metal groups have used him too.

Any concerts in the near future…And what about playing in Europe again?

Yea we had a big headlining slot at New England Stoner and Doom fest. Was basically our album release gig on the East Coast. That has now been postponed to next year. We’d had other offers but because of the pandemic everything is on hold.

What are some of your favorite bands/artists?

Well my favorite music that is in my phone or CDs in my truck. I’m really a huge Black Sabbath fan. I grew up with all the Ozzy material. Sabotage and Masters of Reality being played a lot. And then the Dio era Black Sabbath. Early Scorpions. UFO.  Priest and Maiden. Then I liked Savatage. Venom and MercyfulFate.  Those are my influences.  But I gotta say now. All I can listen to now is our new album Hereafter.  Robs singing and Rocky Rockwell on lead guitar….. It’s incredible.

Greg May and Robert Lowe, Live

Why the band during all these years…released only 3 studio albums?

Well now it’s 4. But yeah we really made those albums when we had something special to say. Of course the two Metal Blade records came from being signed between 83-88. So we were really TYRANT in those years, we played a lot of gigs. But then in 90 grunge came in and shut all the real metal down. But in ’96 two German labels reached out to us. And they wanted a reunion album. Art of Music flew me out and I did some instore appearances and came back . First thing I did was call Bill Metoyer and book studio time for TYRANT. I had a brief case full of cash. King of Kings came out in ’96 and did well in Europe. Where Metal was still popular. But we just wanted to put out quality records with songs that have meaning. Not just do records for the hell of it.

Can you still remember the year 1978…What did you have in mind back then..Starting a metal band…Please tell us about these times..The end of the 70’s and mid 80’s and the metal scene and TYRANT….

Oh 1978. I was 18yrs old. I was a senior in high school. And I had been playing bass guitar and taking lessons for 2 years. But my first love was playing football. 🏈 American hard hitting football. The May family was from Texas after they moved here from Germany. I got sick the summer of my senior year . So I missed practicing with the football team ( the knights) all summer. I had mononucleosis. The kissing disease. Too many girl friends. 😂 I sat home by myself that summer with my bass guitar and I played to all my favorite albums.  When I got well I realized it would be hard to just walk in to the locker room and demand my starting linebacker position back after missing all summer. So I turned in my jersey went home and I called up some musician friends. I had invited a drummer and two guitarist over to jam in my garage. We started talking about playing covers but they had come up with bands like Kiss. Cheap trick and Boston.  I said oh no. We’re gonna play songs from Black Sabbath. Judas Priest. UFO and Scorpions.   I was calling the shots and at that time they named me a TYRANT. It stuck so I called the band TYRANT.  We had fun playing at parties and I was getting better at playing my bass.

Rocky Rockwell, Live

In 1980 you found guitarist Rocky Rockwell. He had back then an official endorsement with Charvel Guitars beside Eddie van Halen?

It was actually 1979.  A singer friend of mine Richard. He lookedLike a Mexican Paul Stanley. On Halloween he would wear the make up and out fit and was a dead ringer. Had heard that I got rid of the two guitarist and was working with another singer Doug who also played guitar. Richard called me and  said he met a guitarist that had a lot of potential. He could play Richie Blackmore and Van Halen style. So I called this guy Rocky Rockwell. Went over to his house and took him to go jam. He was this big dude with a beard. And he played a brown Strat. And he had two Marshall stacks in his bed room.  He was 18 I was 19. And we were just about to form a bond that still going today.

The singer Doug that we had at the time was good friends with Chris Holmes who was best friends with Eddie Van Halen. Doug found out from them that we could go meet Grover Jackson who had Charvel guitars. So we jumped in my van and us three headed out to San Dimas. When we got there Ricky picked up one of the guitars that was plugged in to a Marshall and started shredding.  By the time we left, Rocky had a deal for them to start building a Black Star guitar for him. It was bad ass….

Did you had also in these days contact with bassist Timothy Gaines, who later played with Stryper?

Yea it’s funny you ask about Tim. His Dad was the Pastor at the church my family went to. We grew up in  the same area. Tim and Rocky were in a band together before Rocky and I hooked up. They were called Visions and they played a lot of Led Zeppelin. While Tim was in Stryper he showed up at some of our rehearsals to talk to Rocky.  But the way I got to know Tim was from another band he was in called White Lace. They were like Angel. They wore a lot of make up and wore all white. Tim and I had dated a couple of the same girls. And ended up at the same partys in town.

Then you where ‘found’ by Brian Slagel from Metal Blade one of the leading metal record labels on the planet. With Slayer, Trouble, Metal Church and Celtic Frost in there Catalog. How was it to sign with Metal Blade and playing live with all these bands….?

Oh yes we got discovered. So after I kicked out Doug. I created the metal monster singer Glen my brother. We started working on our 4 piece sound. Dropped the covers. And started writing all new original songs. Moved to a rehearsal studio in San Marino California that basically was a haunted mansion. Got really serious about our look and sound. Do a couple of local shows in Pasadena California at the Ice House and Pookies. We had a great following but the next move was to the Sunset Strip. The big time. Hollywood. I got the guys to pitch in on a advertisement in BAM magazine. We had a headlining show at the Troubadour so that ad went out to about 10 thousand people. We were all Decked Out in black leather. With our logo and a big pentagram. This is 82. And I think we’re the first to throw up the pentagram. But we went on to drop it. Metal blade did book shows in the Southern California area. The bands we did play with were like. Armored saint.  Abattoir. Slayer. Lizzy Borden. Savage Grace. Ruthless. Etc. it was a blast. We lived and played and recorded through metals heyday. It will never be like that again.But our gig was packed with metal heads. By the time we went on it was standing room only. It was really time to kill it for us and we did. After the set, when we were leaving Metal Blade record staff and Brian Slagel came up to us and said we were really killer. And would we like to go into the studio and put a song on Metal Massacre vol 3.  A heavy metal compilation album. Of course we said yes and that’s when we first met Bill Metoyer.  Our track Armageddon got a lot of great reviews and airplay.

Nice Shirts!

Any special story or things that happened in the Tyrant history that comes to mind that you want to share with us?

We were doing another big show with Metallica Slayer. Us and Bitch. So we really wanted to pull off a killer show. We had these flash bombs that where gun powder in coffee cans ignited by electricity. In the bottom of the cans Rocky had these “ Smoke cookies”  they would burn up and it would act like like fog.    So half way threw our set the roadies plug them into the wall. Bang ! 🔥 two eat shattering explosions go off. And people are scared so the jump back causing a tussle in the pit. The smoke cookies catch fire 🔥 and smoke starts billowing out of either side of the stage. We are loving it. It’s looking really cool got the song “ Legions of the Dead”. But by the end of our set smoke alarms were going off in the club. Some security water sprinklers went off. And the staff were running around trying to open doors and windows to air the place out. Girls were crying because there eyes were irritated. Clothes and hair Started to smell. And someone called the fire department and they came fludding into club and shut it down for the night. Slayer and Metallica didn’t get to play and were pissed. But we kicked ass and almost burnt the place down. It was a legendary  TYRANT show after that.

Any dream/or thing that you would like to see happen concerning Tyrant?

Well an answer to a dream would be to do a real world tour for the Hereafter album. With someone like Judas Priest or Iron Maiden. We could hold our own now and it would be an honor to play with bands we loved growing up. 🤘🏻

Do you have a last word or something that’s on your heart you want to share with us?

Yea TYRANT really want to thank all our Tyrantslegions for being so loyal over the last 37 years plus.  That we have been putting out our style of Heavy Metal. I guess we have been telling everyone for a while that the new album was coming. But we made good on our promise. This album coming MAY 15th could be the heaviest album of the year. 2020 🤘🏻💀🇺🇸

Well Rocky and I started writing a few years ago. When we all got together and headlined Keep it True festival in Germany back in 2009. When we got to the show we felt like it was the 80’s all over again. All we heard was it’s so awesome to finally see you play. When are you coming back with a new album? We saw that Tyrantslegions hadn’t forgotten us. So Rocky and I talked about it. And we both had riffs in our heads. It just took a few years to make it happen. We locked our selves in our drummers company warehouse. We would spend a weekend recording one song. Rocky and I took turns bringing songs to the table. Ronnie had a digital recording deck. And you could burn a disk at the end of the session. We would blast these tracks all week and see if we want to make any changes. It was a great to work like that. Kept leaving disks for Glen but he never moved on with it.  So we where invited to headline Frost n Fire festival out here in Ventura California. Open for us our friends from Ruthless. Cage and Night Demon.      What a night! Do we come out and play the same set we’d been playing Since 2009?  Or do we come out with an all new set? We Rocky and I reached out to Glen and he’d been listening to the new material and liked it. But I guess he’d been working nights. For him it was something he couldn’t do. So if you know me. I always have an ace up my sleeve. Robert Lowe and I have been friend for years . I’m a big fan of him. His album Into the Depths of Sorrow by Solitude Aeturnus. Blows my mind. And he told me he was a big fan of our Legions of the Dead album. We both had DOOM in common. I told him I had 10 new TYRANT songs demo-ed up. And would he be interested in hearing it? Was he working on anything. He wasn’t doing anything and gave me his address in Arizona to send it. I sent it and a couple of days later he called me and said damn he’d be all over our material.  So I invited him to have a jam with us at Frost n Fire. He flew out and we jammed. Material was still work in progress. But we all had the balls to just go out there and start the new area. 2017 October. Here we are putting the album out May 2020 a long 2 1/2 years later. And it’s killer! 🤘🏻


Are you guys happy with the final result of the new album?

We couldn’t ask for better products. Shadowkingdom gets a big high five. I just heard the 💿 CD and it sounded even better than the master we sent . It’s production is off the chart. Bill Metoyer did a great job. He upgraded some of his gear while he was doing our album. We love it and are very proud of all dimensions of the record. 🤘🏻💀🤘🏻

The album cover was offered by the label.  “ old age” the Study for the voyage of life. By Thomas Cole. Licensed from the Albany institute of history and art. It was a big budget deal. I guess they didn’t want Candlemass to have cooler album covers than us. 🤘🏻

Well Shadowkingdom released in all musical formats. There’s digital downloads , three different vinyl editions. CDs and Cassettes. Also a Hereafter Tshirt. TYRANT is really happy with the way things have gone from the writing to recording to the final product. It’s all HQ production all the way. Tyrantslegions enjoy the 24 year comeback album. Turn it up! 🤘🏻🔊🙏💀🤘🏻💀💀🤘🏻🎸

Any Thoughts about The Virus that bangs the world on it’s fundaments?

My thoughts on the Covid 19 virus is it’s totally Genocide. Like our president says. It started in China. Some dude eating a bat. I guess China lied about it. And it went out of control and started killing a lot of people. It’s criminal. And it’s something that our president should let go un punished . 🤘🏻

Thanks to: Tyrant, Greg May, Robert Lowe, Ronnie Wallace, Rocky Rockwell, Bill Metoyer, Shadow Kingdom Records and Brent Banks & The Metal Community….