Music Interviews

An Interview w/ Chris Catanzaro of Woe of Tyrants

Posted on Sunday, October 11th, 2009 at 3:48PM by Aaron Kempton
Chris Catanzaro "Woe of Tyrants"
Chris Catanzaro “Woe of Tyrants” (Middle)

First of all, I’d like to thank you for doing this interview. I know you’re currently on tour with God Dethroned and Abigail Williams, but when you’re just Chris Catanzaro, and not a rockstar in a band, what do you like to do in your spare time?

Chris Catanzaro:

I’m always just me, and believe me there are plenty of things that happen on the road (no money, shows with horrible turnouts, etc) when you’re in a metal band that don’t give you any fleeting fantasies that you’re a rockstar.  When I’m home I mainly just hang with my buds, catch up on 24, Rescue Me and Entourage, read..  Typical things really..  Also we don’t really stop writing new music, I spend lots of time playing piano as well.

What made you ultimately decide that you wanted to pursue the life of a rockstar?

Chris Catanzaro:

I really just started a project in high school with some friends and as things progressed I was forced to take it more and more seriously.  I didn’t do this because I expected to become a rock star, and again I am still no where near that stature, I honestly just kept following the most logical paths my life laid in front of me because I felt compelled and driven to do so.

I have heard you do no warm ups vocally. Is that true? I do a little “vokill” action myself, and never am able to pull it off without a series of vocal exercises of my own.

Chris Catanzaro:

Well it’s true that I don’t do any specific vocal warm-ups or exercises..  I’ve never done them before so I figure the old phrase “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” applies here.  I do try and care for my voice post show, no unnecessary yelling or singing, and I also try and get to bed early every night on tour, or at least sleep in late if I get the chance.

What’s the most bizarre thing to happen while you were on stage?

Chris Catanzaro:

Nothing really too crazy has ever happened on stage..  I have passed out before while screaming and almost fallen over, puked on stage, puked just off stage, but that stuff happens enough to not even really consider it bizarre anymore.  We used to have spit fights on stage too, which is always fun and disgusting!  We’ve seen power outages while playing, girls exposing their lady parts, all of those standard things that one can expect with a 200+ show a year schedule.  Strange things are bound to happen!

What’s the hardest thing about being in a band?

Chris Catanzaro:

I hate to say this, but it would probably be the over saturation of the music scene.  There are so many bands out there trying to do this, and now most of them have a decently well known label backing them.   This leads to less money, less kids at shows, etc because there are so many bands coming through each city every day.  So many tours, kids just can’t afford to go to all of them.  We’ve never really had any issues to discuss other than money issues as far as the progression of our band was concerned.

Have you given any thought into changing where the band hails from to Marion, since you now practice there? Or will Chillicothe always be the band’s hometown?

Chris Catanzaro:

Definitely not.  We don’t really claim a specific “hometown” anymore since we have 2 members from Marion, one from Dayton, one from Chillicothe and me from Waverly.  I’ll always say Chillicothe if someone asks for a specific city, since the band was founded in the Waverly/Chillicothe area, but it doesn’t really come up that often.  The southern part of the state will always get the most love from me because it is the area that sparked our career.

Now that you’ve released one album under Metal Blade Records, how much pressure is there in making sure the next album delivers?

Chris Catanzaro:

Tons and tons of pressure.  We have some big touring lined up for the spring, which means we have a very swift deadline to get the new album in their hands.  As you move up the success ladder more and more is expected of you, and if you don’t deliver you get lost in the sea of new bands pretty easily.  Each album has to be a definite and positive advancement as to not get overshadowed by the hype of the next big trend.

You’ve received a lot of comments directed towards your lyrics and the Christian-like influence these lyrics possess. In a world where death metal is usually compromised of hate-filled lyrics, do you feel this negatively reflects on the opinions of others?

Chris Catanzaro:

If it does, it wasn’t ever intended to.  We aren’t a Christian band, as you know.  We do have Christian members, but not everyone so there is no preaching on stage or anything like that.  Our hope is that people feel love in what we sing and how we interact with them at our shows.  I’m not offended by all of the anti-Christian lyrics that are out there, even though the majority of them are written to be hateful and offensive.  Furthermore, I don’t write anti-Atheist lyrics, as they write anti-Christian lyrics.  I don’t really need to. I don’t have to point out the flaws in anyone else’s belief system to plead a case for my own, and I feel that’s why our band hasn’t been labeled as offensive towards non-Christians, and why most of the people that come to see us aren’t even believers.  That’s the way we like it anyways, bridging a gap between two groups that normally aren’t connected.

Is there anything fans can expect to see on the next album that wasn’t on “Kingdom of Might”?

Chris Catanzaro:

We have audio samples of virgin sacrifices being played over open note breakdowns for about 80% of each song on the new record.  Corpse paint at our live performances, and post show cannibalism will be involved as well. Party!  – This album will be a surprise to many people I think, but it is not such a drastic change that it should be labeled as anything other than a progression from Kingdom of Might.  We’re stoked on this new material, and I feel that our excitement will explode onto the record.  And then when you hear the record, that your excitement will then squirt all over it as well creating a petri dish of living excitement for all to enjoy!

As the only remaining original member of the band, are there more obligations as to the involvement on your part?

Chris Catanzaro:

We all have our own roles, I do see this band as my baby since I’ve been in it nonstop for almost 8 years.  The other guys let me handle most stuff, as the control freak I sometimes can be, that is business related.  I appreciate their patience because I can be a little hard to deal with at times.  :)

To end this interview, I must ask you something that has been eating at me for some time. Inside your head… do they still run amok? HAHA!

Chris Catanzaro:

They do, and will until the end of my days good sir!

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