During the Cernunnos Pagan
Fest, I’ve had the pleasure to talk with the Taiwanese band Bloody Tyrant!
Despite the poor conditions of the interview, it’s been very interesting and
I’m sure you’ll learn some things below!
Radio Metal Sound: First of all, I've read
in an interview that back in the days, you used to play "true Black
Metal" whereas now it's still Black Metal but it's merged with more atmospheric
landscapes, with traditional sounds, so I'd like to know how have you taken
this turn as a band
Bloody Tyrant: One day I thought that I
wanted to add something special, something native to our Black Metal. When I
started learning music, I learnt traditional Chinese music as Taiwanese music
has a lot of influences from Chinese music, so I added an instrument called
pipa into our album. And as we're music nerds who play instruments and computer
instrument every day, we added more and more instruments and our last album
came like this
Radio Metal Sound: It brings up an
interesting point: you've talked about Taiwanese music so I feel like this
specificity you have is that this atmospheric sound is both your identity as a
band and your cultural identity so it brings another questions: is a part of
your music related to politics?
Bloody Tyrant: Taiwan is in a special
situation. If you take your iPhone and type Taiwan, the flag is not the flag we
raise, the emoji is the flag of the republic of China. All the Taiwanese bands
try to express this concept of Taiwanese independence.
In our first album you can find our political intentions, especially in our lyrics - which were written in mandarin, but I think that someone translated them in English, you can find them on the internet. We put a lot of political messages in our lyrics. As we've said, the Taiwanese political situation is very complicated. The relationship with China is tensed because of historical and political problems. China always wanted to claim Taiwan as a part of their land but that's curious for us as we have our own government, our own land, our own army, our own people, our own election system, everything... So why would we be a part of them? During this European tour, we'll try to express the right message to the people, no matter where they come from and we're trying to tell them that we are a part of China: we are from Taiwan, as an independent country.
An interesting thing about our passports is that it's not "Taiwan", it's "Republic of China" and it's a fault because the previous army of China lost a war and retreated to Taiwan and the first thing the Republic of China does to Taiwan is shooting people. Many Taiwanese try to correct this, to say "we're not the republic of China, we're Taiwan". During the war, there were the Republic of China and eople Republic of China (PRC) but even though the Republic of China lost, they still claim they're the real China while PRC claim they are the real China. So, who's the real China?
But back in the 1950's, our President decided to pull us out of the United Nations (UN). He did that because the PRC also wanted to get into the UN and our former president said "If you're in, then I'm out" so the PRC is the real republic of China for the society now.
As we are Taiwanese, we have our own culture, our own language - although our language originates from China - so we should be an independent country. And during WWII, Japan invaded Taiwan but when Japan lost and retreated, Taiwan had 50 days without government, during that time, Taiwan became independent but before Taiwan became independent, the KMT (Kuomintang, Chinese nationalist party) party came and massacred everyone. They ran martial laws for forty years and during forty years the culture has vanished, Taiwanese’s great people are killed... Actually, it influences the Metal scene in Taiwan and every subculture is impacted with this.
RMS: It also means that part
of the rebellious spirit you're making in Black Metal is due to this
BT: Yes, exactly!
RMS: Now that the political
aspect is done, I'd like to dwell into the lyrical composition of your music. I
don't know if it's an accurate analysis but you've written a lot about
mythology, but I felt like your last album shrank this aspect in favour of an
historical point of view and the question of values. Is it true?
BT: You know, Taiwan has a
really close relationship to Japan.
RMS: To dwell on the notion of
mythology, I'd like to know how did you receive the European mythology back in
the days and how do you try to include your own mythology in your music
BT: Basically, for our
upcoming album, we collected a lot of mythology in Taiwan (from our
indigenous...) and then we compose. As you are a European, you may listen to
this mythology when you're a child, it may be a bedtime story but in Taiwan
there's no such thing. There's a Taiwanese mythology but much people don't know
this because the KMT destroyed the indigenous culture. It should be every
Taiwanese child's bedtime story, just like you! We hope we can tell more
Taiwanese that we actually have our own mythology from our ancestors. We have
our own mythology which is not what the KMT says.
RMS: My last question is to
know what do you plan for the future of Bloody Tyrant? You've talked about
another album, is there something more?
BT: Yeah! We're not pursuing
something, we're just doing what we love. A lot of Taiwanese Metal bands sort
of died and we think it's because they had a desire to get somewhere. However,
in Taiwan the Metal scene is horrible, less than 20 Metal bands, so in concerts
you have like 20 people and that's why the passion was put out of some bands.
We think we can keep on going because we don't have an aim, we do this because
we love the music, we're not trying to get somewhere, we just do what we
RMS: If the Taiwanese Metal
scene is small, aren't you some kind of exception as you're doing a European
BT: No, we're not!
RMS: So how do you explain
this popularity of the Metal scene outside Taiwan?
BT: It's the first time for
us here so we didn't know what to expect. We had two headline shows during this
European tour and because we're relatively unknown in Europe we thought it'd be
bad but it wasn't, it's way beyond our expectations! It's hard for us to answer
Thanks a lot to Bloody
Tyrant and I wish them a lot of courage to broadcast their message,
especially because Black Metal is quite deaf to this kind of politics!
A propos de Baptiste
Être ou ne pas être trve ? Baptiste vous en parlera, des jours et des jours. Jusqu'à ce que vous en mourriez d'ennui. C'est une mort lente... Lente et douloureuse... Mais c'est ce qu'aime Baptiste ! L'effet est fortement réduit face à une population de blackeux.