Six Dumb Questions & Track Premiere: Bible Black Tyrant

bible black tyrant

On Feb. 16, Bible Black Tyrant will release their debut album, Regret Beyond Death, via Argonauta Records, Cheddar Brothers Records and Anima Recordings. The seven-song/43-minute onslaught of sludge extremity is the latest in a line of studio projects conceived and directed by multi-instrumentalist Aaron D.C. Edge, whose pedigree includes the 2013 outing from Lumbar that found him working with Mike Scheidt of YOB and Tad Doyle of Tad and Brothers of the Sonic Cloth — the latter of which also once counted Edge as a member — along with groups like Iamthethorn, Himsa, Dakessian, Hauler, Grievous, Roareth (whose album came out through this site’s one-time in-house label), and countless others. Dude has a long history of hopping from one project to the next.

Indeed, even as he discusses the origins of Bible Black Tyrant here, Edge notes that his next outfit, Ramprasad, is already in motion. That band will reportedly include Bible Black Tyrant collaborator David S. Fylstra, who performs guitar and contributes scathing vocals to go with Edge‘s own throughout Regret Beyond Death, while Tyler Smith roundsbible-black-tyrant-regret-beyond-death out the trio on drums. A process of home/self-recording — plus drum sounds captured by Andy Patterson — has resulted in massive tumults of undulating sludge; riffs like those of “New Verse Inferno” or the lurching “The Standard” constructed for largesse and atmospheric impact alike, while the title-track’s blistering noise and the alternately frenetic and crushing finale “A Terror to the Adversary” make their statement in ambience and abrasion.

Noise, noise, noise. Pummel, pummel, pummel. There’s no denying the vicious nature of the offering itself — Regret Beyond Death is brutal in style and theme and not intended to be otherwise — but as Edge notes in the interview below it was originally executed as a potential sequel to Lumbar‘s 2013 outing, The First and Last Days of Unwelcome (review here), one can hear in cuts like “The Irony” some similar flourish of melody peaking through in the guitar, through even that seems to have been twisted in service to the skin-peeling assault of the finished product of Bible Black Tyrant‘s debut.

Debut and maybe swansong? I ask Edge directly in the discussion that follows whether Bible Black Tyrant is a one-and-done showcase or a continuing band, and you’ll find his answer amid the back and forth about how the group came together, how the album was recorded, his day-to-day health status after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2013, and more. In addition to the chat, I’m thrilled to be able to host the premiere of “New Verse Inferno,” which you’ll find on the YouTube player about two lines down. Yup, it’s right there. Go ahead and dig in.

Please enjoy the song and the following Six Dumb Questions:

Bible Black Tyrant, “New Verse Inferno” track premiere

Six Dumb Questions with Bible Black Tyrant

Tell me how Bible Black Tyrant came together. How were David and Tyler brought on board and how did the project begin to take shape?

Well, honestly, at first I wasn’t sure how transparent to be on this recording. I don’t wanna be known as “that guy who only makes studio records, without playing any live shows”… but, since my MS diagnosis (as you well know from being part of my story since it all began back in 2013 with Lumbar), playing live with musicians was not possible. But, and I’ll get to that later in this interview, there has been quite a bit of progress in my dealings with multiple sclerosis.

[Bible Black Tyrant and Lumbar were] made the same way, but this time ‘round, I had the incredible drumming of Tyler (not my own recycled kit) and the multi-talented David onboard. Andy Patterson sent me Tyler’s drum stems and I’d bring those awesome files into a new GarageBand session in my home studio. There were no riffs yet, no songs written at all. I immediately rearranged his drum tracks into new parts, without knowing any riffs, without any plans, other than a general idea of verses, choruses and bridges, but just his percussion, mind you. It’s a totally backwards way to create songs.

Musicians reading this: imagine if one of your favorite drummers gave you full songs of completely prerecorded drums for a full record and you had to cut/paste, add missing pieces of a puzzle as you went along. Bit by bit. It takes a long, long fucking time. And you have to be incredibly patient. But, back in 2015 (when this was started), I had lots of time. I was unable to play guitar for longer than about five minutes. My MS-related hand pain still ruled my life.

Each riff was written on the spot, in the order of how the drumming came together. Obviously, some parts were then repeated again later as the track took shape, for verse/chorus vibes. There were no preconceived riffs. It’s tricky, it’s spontaneous, scary and it’s also very exciting. Not once, on the entire record, did I go back and change a part after laying it down… it is what it is, and forever shall be.

Also, it should be noted that there are no mics used in this recording process (here or on the Lumbar record). No speaker cabs. I play a guitar directly into a Verellen “Skyhammer” tube preamp, and from that directly into my iMac/GarageBand. The pre-amp has 3 12AX7 tubes that give all the tone. And, somehow, the feedback sounds real. It blows my mind. 

I finished writing and forging all the tracks years ago. They sat. I wasn’t sure what to do with them. Fast-forward to the summer of 2017: I had been working with David on numerous projects and also loved his solo material. I asked him to sit down with the project (which then had guitar, bass and my vocals completed), and record his own sensible leads, extra soundscape ideas, thicken up parts and do some backup vocals. He really, really made the whole thing quite special. I love Dave like a brother and trust him to help bring almost everything into a new realm of awesome. 

Was there something in particular you knew you wanted to go for sound-wise and something you knew they could bring to that process?

Originally, I just wanted to have another creative project to work on while in my pain and deep depression. I wasn’t sure what would happen with it. I first asked Mike [Scheidt] and Tad [Doyle] to provide vocals and create another Lumbar record, but since it wasn’t my drumming, it became a totally separate beast. Also, it should go on record that Greg Anderson helped convince me to have it be separate. Greg is always there for a quick back-and-forth texting of ideas. He thought that it was a different entity as well. I trust him, Mike and Tad to be there for me, always. They are my “Wise Men”.

You’ve been involved in so many projects over the years, and so many are one-time-only outings. What have you learned from working with such a wide variety of players? If you found a band that wanted to stick around for multiple releases at this point, would you do it? Is Bible Black Tyrant a one-and-done?

I’ve learned to be humble, or at least I hope. The people that I work with remind me that their collective talents are what make anything that I create/release truly shine. I am honored that these players have dedicated their time, talent and energy to my cause. The heavy rock and metal community really is quite special.

Dave (of The Tyrant) and I have been forging 10 songs for the last year and a half… Because of the proper meds, I’ve been able to actually play guitar live with a drummer. It’s my second chance. Dave is my catalyst for new live offerings. Our band is called Ramprasad, we have an EP coming out very soon, he on drums and myself with guitar and vocal duties. And, we will start playing shows early 2018. This is the first time that I’ve had my pain managed enough to play live since early 2013. I am very enthusiastic and blessed (for lack of a better word) to know David, in so many ways.

It really is amazing to play for a few hours at a time, all the while in pain, but manageable pain. I don’t have the dexterity I used to and my nerve endings can’t tell the difference between strings well anymore. So, I play a lot simpler riffs but Dave truly shines… he’s such a great drummer! I’d say we sound like… fuck, I don’t really know. Haha. Perhaps you can tell me when I send you our record in a few weeks.

What’s the mission of Bible Black Tyrant, as opposed to other projects you’ve done?

Bible Black Tyrant is 100 percent steadfastness to one’s own belief and strength. The lyrics are about surviving toughest of storms, about keeping perspective in the hardest times. And, one doesn’t need to smile for others. What we need is to save that energy for our own perseverance and strength. We shouldn’t waste time on those that keep us from our goals. I should also say that there is a very, very strong underlining opposition to Christianity flowing through the lyrics on this recording, Anton LaVey speaks almost directly through this collection of tracks. Christianity keeps its flock of sheep in chains, and that will never not make me boil inside. Though I call myself a Pantheist, the founding beliefs of The Church of Satan make a lot of sense to me. I had to text Tyler and Dave and make sure they were okay with my lyrics being dark and strong against organized Christianity. They responded quite favorably to my view and stance. We are all holding hands around a burning bible, haha.

It’s been almost five years since you first made your MS diagnosis publicly known. What’s your health status now?

Manageable. I take 17 pills each and every day. That’s annoying and I’m chained to alarms that have me gulping them constantly. BUT, I shouldn’t complain, there are folks with MS that can’t even stand, let alone function, hold a part-time job and play music. Honestly, I consider each day as my last “healthy” one. Every single morning I wake to the assumption that I won’t be able to stand, and though my legs are week, they are still holding me up. Dave and I have discussed that it’s totally possible that I’ll play live in a wheelchair some day… sounds dark, I guess, but I am a realist. If I have to do that, I suppose I will.

Any other plans or closing words you want to mention?

I want to thank you, as always, for being my go-to for heavy music knowledge as well as THE first person to send my new recordings and projects to. Thank you JJ. As far as closing words: Do your best. Forget the rest.

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Bible Black Tyrant preorder at Argonauta Records

Argonauta Records website

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Anima Recordings on Bandcamp

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4 Responses to “Six Dumb Questions & Track Premiere: Bible Black Tyrant”

  1. Aaron D.C Edge says:

    Thanx again JJ!

  2. Aris says:

    This is a massive project, sounds really brutal. Cheers, Aaron: you nailed it again, after a masterpiece that is Lumbar LP…
    Looking forward to buy that monolith!

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