Awakening The Dead!

The Swedish metal scene is hot and TYRANEX are one of the exponents, that caught our eye and ears immediately. Recently, they showed up in Holland at Mario’s Metal Meeting in Tilburg and with their album “Extermination Has Begun” from 2011, our heart began to beat faster. All the more reason to do some investigation about this Swedish thrash metal threesome from Stockholm. We got in touch with the blonde and wild front lady of the band, Linnea Landstedt. She doesn’t only spit out the lyrics, but she also plays some mean guitar in TYRANEX, a band that she founded back in 2005. By then she was the guitar player of the band, which was still fronted by Paloma Estrada. Now she’s the leading lady of TYRANEX, a band that needs some special attention in our opinion. Check out what Linnea has to say, but watch out: Extermination begins here, the evil lady has arrived and will answer our questions....

When did you form TYRANEX and why?
Linnea: “TYRANEX was formed in 2005. I had just met the first singer of the band, Paloma, at a bar where Swedish heavy metal band RAM played. I was in another band at that time, but I became bored of it when I realized that they didn't wanted to dig into the same style as I wanted. I was looking for another band, because I wanted to play real metal that I liked. Paloma wanted the same and wasn't in a band at that time. We became friends immediately and first time she was at my place we wrote the first song for TYRANEX. The first year was great, but the truth is that the relationship between us didn't last longer. And that's sad, because I liked the idea of two girls running this band. So when she left, I was forced to sing (I didn't want that in the beginning!) and by that time our heavy metal songs turned more and more into thrash. I was very much into thrash metal at that time and discovered more bands in that genre. That’s probably why our music was so influenced by that.”

Unfortunately, people come and go and also TYRANEX has had their share of ex-band members. What can you tell us about that? Please give us a brief overview of what happened with the TYRANEX line-up throughout the years....
Linnea: “Yes, it's hard to find people with the same goals. If you're a serious band and aiming high, it's hard to find the right musicians that want to sacrifice their time to the band. I wasn't that surprised, when Paloma left. She had been a bit different those last weeks and I could see it coming. I think, she felt a bit threatened by me of the leader position, I didn't intend anything, but somehow the guys listened to my ideas instead of hers and that's what I believe brought her down. She was angry at me and I was really sad, because just a few weeks earlier and in the beginning of the band we were really good friends. And since she was a bit older than me and had a few bands before TYRANEX, I looked up to her and thought she knew a lot more than me. We lost two drummers. One is still a friend of mine, Ki, but it didn’t work out playing with him. Or he couldn't play with us. Our music killed his thumbs... Martin, who played guitar with us for some years, left the band for his own band. We actually played with them one year ago in Stockholm and Martin came up on stage and played “As The Cross Crumbles” with TYRANEX. That was fun, but unfortunately the audience was divided. Our crowd wasn't into melodic death metal, so they had to bring their own supporters, who probably weren’t that amazed by old school thrash! A combination with two bands, that probably won’t happen again.”

Can you introduce the current band members to us and which instruments they play, etc.?
Linnea: “We have Johannes Lindström on drums. He lives in a city outside of Stockholm, called Västerås, which is bad, because we don't get to see him that often as we want to. He's a very good and competent drummer and knows how to play fast and steady. Furthermore, we have Stefan Thylander on bass. Except for me, he's the oldest member in the band. He's been in the band since 2006 and has turned out to be one of my closest friends. My name is Linnea and I am a guitarist that also sings. First against my will, but now I wouldn't let anyone nearby my microphone.”

Who can we see as the biggest influence(s) for the sound of TYRANEX and maybe you can tell us a bit more about the influences of each (current) band member individually here as well?
Linnea: “Well, the biggest influence is of course IRON MAIDEN. In thrash metal, it's mostly the three leading German bands in that genre. When I started to listen to MEGADETH, they were a big influence back then. SENTINAL BEAST was in the beginning a point to aim for, but overall it always has been about heavy metal. We just speed it up and twist it more raw. What influences are on Stefan and Johannes, I leave for them to tell, but I can tell IRON MAIDEN and JUDAS PRIEST is a close to the hearts of all of us.”

The first introduction with TYRANEX are some demos, respectively released in 2006, 2007, 2008 and your 4-track demo “The Evil Has Arrived” (awesome title, by the way!!!) from 2009. What can you tell us about these demos, and especially the one from 2009?
Linnea: “The 2006 demo is the first one we made just some months after the band was formed. It’s the only demo with Paloma on vocals and I would say it's more heavy metal than we sound like now. Paloma has a deep clean voice. The 2007 demo is nothing to talk about. It was never released and was not recorded professionally. We just did a rehearsal recording.
The 2008 demo "Blade Of The Sacrificer" was recorded in a studio. We released it professionally printed of 252 copies. It's my personal favorite of the demos, that we made. I sing a bit different on that one. It has taken some time to develop the vocals. I started to record vocals on “Distracted” and I tried to sound more raw, because I believed the song required it and when it was done I continued with next song and sang more clean as I used to do in rehearsal. Tobbe Sidegård, who was technician for us questioned why I didn't sound the same. I never thought about it before that and I tried to sing the same way in the next two songs. Maybe if we had recorded another song before distracting, the vocals had sounded a lot different on the demo.
In 2009, we released "The Evil Has Arrived" demo. With a new drummer and a second guitarist, Martin, who also plays second guitar on our debut album. We tried to record it ourselves by using more professional equipment for the drums and vocals. We actually recorded seven songs during the drum session, but only four of them were released on the demo. The other songs were old ones, that we had put out on demos before. This demo was also released with a printed cover and label, like “Blade Of The Sacrificer”.”

You signed a record deal with Inferno Records from France in 2010. How did you get in touch with them?
Linnea: “It was our former drummer, Tuukka Franck, who came in contact with himInferno records at the first time. Tuukka has his own label and he was in contact with many other labels and distributors. Later when he left the band, I contacted Fab at Inferno Records and wanted to thank him for some CDs he had send us. Suddenly, we're discussing a record deal. I'm very pleased we released our debut album at Inferno Records.”

Your full-length debut album “Extermination Has Begun” was released in May 2011. What’s the response been like so far and what does this album mean to you?
Linnea: “We've had great responses, very good reviews in magazines, websites and fanzines. Releasing the album took us to more gigs outside Sweden and we also got to play at some of the biggest festivals, like Jalometalli in Finland and Metal Assault in Germany. I love the album. First of all we record an album for ourselves, then you can let people decide whether they like it or not. We didn't have a producer (except for me) to tell us what to do with our songs in the studio. Everything is completely TYRANEX.“

Did you also get any negative remarks and how do you deal with it? Do you try to learn from it (if you agree with the reviewer…) or do you rather want to forget about it as quickly as possible?
Linnea: "Actually, I haven't read anything bad in reviews so far. The only thing I can recall is when one writer said, that it's a good record but personally he did not like the way I was singing. Well, there's nothing I can do about that. I don't expect everyone to like us. People have too many opinions about stuff they shouldn't care about. It has happened a few times, that guys come up to me after we play and they have opinions about my band. I've put several years into this project and I know exactly what I want to do with it and I think it's stupid when a stranger tells me what to do. Advice is not the same thing. Of course I listen to critics, but if it's stupid and if I don't agree, I don't do anything about it.”

Who writes the lyrics for TYRANEX and what are they about?
Linnea: “I do. On the debut album, Martin was very involved in the writing process and he has done some lyrics and riffs also. “As The Cross Crumbles” is written by Martin and Stefan completely. My lyrics are often about horror themes. I've taken inspiration from books and movies, that I've seen. They are mostly written from an evil perspective and history with not so well-going ends. Very original!”

Who provided the artwork for your album?
Linnea: “Sebastian Ramstedt. He has done the artwork for the demos as well; “Blade Of The Sacrificer” and “The Evil Has Arrived”. Joel Sundin made the layout.”

What’s your favorite song on the album and why?
Linnea: “The Curse”, “Tormentor” and “The Weak Strikes Back” are the best ones in my opinion, but also “None So Cruel”. I like the speed and simple choruses, I like the riffs and I'm pleased how they became in the final version. I like the whole record.”

Let’s take a look at your live shows here, if we may. What can people expect, when they come and see a TYRANEX show?
Linnea: “Fury! We live for the music. I love being on stage, it gives a lot of adrenaline. Sometimes, it's bad and if it's too much, I play bad. We play real thrash metal, no modern shit. It should be like a punch in your face. It's an energetic release, also for the audience. However, if you're not fond of old school metal, you probably won’t be there, I guess.”

With which bands did you share the stage already?
Linnea: “Festivals don't count right? Then we've played with really big bands... We did a gig in Stockholm, where PROTECTOR played after us, that was really fun. And in a few weeks time we will be support act for IMPALED NAZARENE. Lately, we've played with really good, not that well known bands ( yet), like SPIDKILZ, EVIL INVADERS, SMOTHERED and AGGRESSION for example. That's what I can remember right now. Then we've played with a bunch of not so awesome bands also.”

Do you use any show elements (pyro, smoke bombs, etc.) during your shows or what?
Linnea:’I wish.. Where are all the promotors with money?”

I guess, that you’ve already experienced some very funny moments, while being on the road in Europe. Maybe you want to share one or two crazy moments with our readers here?
Linnea: “We had quite good moments, but the worst trip was when we flew to Spain. We were playing in Madrid on a Saturday and flew from the airport in Sweden in the early morning. We changed flights in Germany to a Spanish flight company. Very tired of travelling we finally arrived, found the driver and rushed to the place where we were playing. It's always a hurry doing gigs. You have to be really early at the venue and just sit and wait for soundcheck and after that wait for your time on stage. This one was no different. I had never been to Spain before and even though it was mostly dead moments, we did not have the chance to see anything of the city. We were the last band on stage and like always, it was delayed. We started our first song at one o’clock in the morning. The audience was moshing quite insane and one guy even succeeded to break my microphone stand in two pieces! We had to stop in the middle of the song. After the gig we had a quick change of clothes and packed our stuff and rushed back, still sweaty after the gig, to the airport for the earliest flight back. I guess, that that we were extrememly tired. We had been in Spain for only fourteen hours, seen nothing than this room and the street outside. I was gone the whole Sunday. Also, one week later I heard, that the Spanish air company went through concourse and had cancelled all tours!”

What’s the biggest show, that you’ve been playing so far and is there any difference between the audience from Scandinavia, Spain, France, Germany and/or Holland (to name a few countries that you’ve visited recently)?
Linnea: “The biggest stage we played at is at the Jalometalli festival in Finland. It was huge. Stefan didn't even have enough meters of cable, so he could just move on the half stage. It was also our first festival show and we didn't know what to expect, but this big we had never thought about. SODOM were headliners. The Metal Assault festival in Germany was also one of the biggest. Not the size of the stage, but a thousand people in the audience and that's been our record so far. It is quite different. In certain countries, people are more wild than in others. In Scandinavia the audience is more calm and rather stands still than trying to survive the mosh pits like in Spain. But it's always about the places and arrangements. If it's a complete thrash metal night, the audience is usually insane wherever it is.”

Any important shows on the agenda for TYRANEX in the near future?
Linnea: “Yes, like I said before, we have the IMPALED NAZARENE gig in Finland in a few weeks time. Then next year in May, we're already booked for Steelfest Open Air, where SODOM and DESTRUCTION will be headliners.”

Which band would you like to go on tour, if you could pick any band of your choice? Let the sky be the limit!
Linnea: “So many!! I would probably not say no, unless the main act is too different in style from us, so we wouldn't have the same audience. I would be honored to play as support for KREATOR and of course SODOM and DESTRUCTION. Also ENTOMBED could be great or RAM. There are many bands, that I like. I would probably choke of shock, if IRON MAIDEN was a possibility, but it would also have felt hard. It's not easy to support such great bands like IRON MAIDEN.”

What’s the metal scene like in Sweden (Stockholm) at the moment? Are there many clubs, where you can play or what?
Linnea: “Actually, we have some clubs and bars to play at. A lot more than a few years ago.”

Linnea, you are the (only) female member in the band. Do you have to prove yourself twice as much, while being a female musician in a male dominated metal scene, or isn’t that an issue?
Linnea: ‘I thought like that, when I stared out. I haven't felt that way or thought about it since the release of our debut album. We've played at better places with much better bands after the release. As a female musician, I don't think you have to be twice as good. You just need to be really good. That's what the audience expect, if you get to play at a festival where SANCTUARY is headlining. There's a lot of lousy male musicians out there, but they don't get to play the same places as I do, even if they're twice as bad as I am!”

Linnea, do you have any singing lessons and how do you keep your voice in shape?
Linnea: “No, I thought about it two years ago, but haven't done anything about it. I don't have any problems with my voice and as long as I sing regularly, it feels good.”

We are a Dutch on-line ‘zine, focused on the female musicians in the hard rock and heavy metal scene. Do you think that female musicians still need the special attention and recognition?
Linnea: “No. I think they should get the same attention as male musicians. It's no different and we don't do anything to make our music ‘female’. I write music that I like to listen to. It has nothing to do with gender. And I don't focus being female or trying to sound like a male. I am myself. I don't like it, when people say they are impressed, because I'm a girl playing that style or impressed that I actually can play guitar. I can understand they haven't seen that many girls knowing what they're doing on their instruments, because I haven't seen so many either, but I know that I'm not alone. Men don't have special genes to be a good musician. Maybe they just put more effort into it in their younger days, comparing to girls, who rather prioritize other things on gender.”

Can you please tell us what the future plans are for TYRANEX? Are you already writing on a new album? Maybe you can reveal something here?
Linnea: “We are having plans for a next album, but it's still in the writing process. This weekend I wrote the fifth song during a coffee break, which I obviously didn't take. I won't reveal anything at his stage yet, but I can assure it will be in the same spirit as the first album.”

Where can people find you on the internet and buy your merchandise (CD, T-shirts, etc.)?
Linnea: “They buy it from me, if they write to Cd's can be bought at our label Inferno Records on their website. We don't have any left to sell.”

Do you have any hobbies or interests, besides playing in a thrash/heavy metal band?
Linnea: “Not really. At least nothing, that I can put so much time into. TYRANEX is taking almost all my spare time. It's just not playing guitar and writing songs, the email part is taking most of the time and staying in contact with people. But I like to work out sometimes and I try to hang out with friends, when I can.”

Do you have any personal messages for our readers?
Linnea: “We are currently trying to book as many festival shows as we can. If you're interested in watching us at your closest festival, please don't hesitate to send an email to the promotors. And thanks to everyone, who have helped us this far! We couldn't have been here without your support!”

Is there anything you’d like to add to this interview? Maybe there is something we forgot to mention here, that is essential for the story of TYRANEX?
Linnea: ‘With all twenty-nine questions I think you have included the most of it! One thing I could say is, that we have a Facebook page, but since I'm not a fan of it and only check it out once in a while, it's better to write to the email address: Also visit our website at:”

The last words are for Linnea and TYRANEX....
Linnea: “Did you read it all? Hope to see you out there some time. Don't forget that thing about festivals! Over and out and may the sacrificer be with you...!!!”

copyright: METAL MAIDENS
interview by: Rita van Poorten, Metal Maidens 'zine / October 2012.

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