Musicscan: For those unfamiliar with Byzantine can you tell us who the members of
the band are and how you got together.
OJ: Vocals, rhythm guitar, Cid: Bass, Tony: Lead, rhythm guitar, Wolfe: Drums,
We got together around 3 years ago. We were all in local bands and they all
fell apart at the same time. We gigged around for a while and then Chris
Adler from Lamb of God heard our music and asked us to play some shows with
After that, they got Prosthetic to take a listen and they liked us so they
Musicscan: What, where and when was your first show?
Our first show as a full band was October 6th, 2002. We played a local venue
and it was great the crowd was huge since they knew us for a while. We
gigged around a while with a drum machine before Wolfe joined the band. But
time doesnt really count!
Musicscan: What happened since then, how did you develop as a band?
Byzantine: We have just played a shitload of live shows,
just trying to get better and bigger. We have also being doing alot of press
our album. Just trying to get the name "Byzantine" known world wide.
Musicscan: Reading reviews for prostethic releases i sometimes find this term
prosthetic band"? Do you feel like
being such type of a band? Or can you imagine what people mean?
I understand that sometimes people think that Prosthetic is just a Metal
Core label but that is not true. With bands like All That Remains, Wolf, and
Byzantine the label has expanded it's sound to include old school heavy
think Prosthetic is the perfect small label. Great bands and great people
running the label.
Musicscan: What is Byzantine all about in general. What can the listeners expact
you, What makes Byzantine stand out?
We are just 4 rednecks from West
Virginia trying to leave a good body of work with our music. We have alot of
school heavy metal influences (Forbidden, Exhorder, At The Gates) and we
have alot of newer influences (Opeth, Meshuggah, Fear Factory). You can
a really good album full of HEAVY METAL!!!
Musicscan: Where do you see yourself in the grand sheme of heavy music?
Byzantine: I think we have
a long way to go. I believe that we have a really good start and if we don't
lose sight of what we are trying to achieve, we can have much success. But
it is a very hard and uphill battle to have a career in music, we are just
the beginning stages of that.
Musicscan: Many of todays heavy bands seem to miss originality and passion. Your
has lots of both. Is it just a question of the
Byzantine: It is a question of being very fucking lucky! (Laughs)
Musicscan: What do you miss within todays heavy music?
Byzantine: I miss the solos, but they are
coming back. I love what heavy metal is doing today. If we take out the rap
metal shit, it would be perfect!
Musicscan: What is the driving force making you create such wide-styled metal
Byzantine: The drive to succeed. Noone ever expected us to get signed to a
label. Noone ever expected us to play all over the US. Noone ever expected
have our album come out in Europe. We are setting new standards for
everyday. We need to succeed so we don't think we wasted our time. It is
important for West Virginians to make something out of nothing.
Musicscan: I like to think that you need open minded listeners, because you play a
belanced mixture of different styles
with a very modern and a smaller progressive touch sometimes. Did you
problems finding your crowd in the beginning?
Byzantine: We still have problems finding
our crowd. We throw in a touch of everything so alot of people get turned
off by it. Some people dont like us becuase we are not fast enough, or heavy
enough. But we write music for ourselves and having 4 guys in this band who
listen to everything from Slayer to Bjork to Lynard Skynard, you have to end
with a variety in your music. If you don't, than you did not express
Musicscan: You are playing a style that if very difficult to please technical. How
the sound of Byzantine develop since you started
Byzantine: We started with a more straightforward sound. The songs always had a
little melody but not alot of off time stuff. After Wolfe joined the band,
started experimenting with time signatures. Now we try to emulate our
We have some off time Meshuggah stuff, we have some prog stuff like King
Crimson, and we have some fast stuff like Megadeth. Who knows what our
album will sound like! (Laughs)
Musicscan: Do you have something like an overall vision in mind concerning bands
sounding? What are you heading for? Tell me something
about your ideals, please.
Byzantine: We just try to make everyone in the band happy.
We are very anal about our playing and our music. So if we are happy, than
most other people will like it as well. The only vision we have is to not
Musicscan: What have been your expactations for "the fundamental component" when
entered the studio? Did everything went out the way
you expacted it? What are your feelings about the record?
Byzantine: We were scared to
death! We recorded it locally on a small budget. We didnt have any big named
producer or engineer. It was all home grown. So we were scared. Once we
started getting into the heart of the recording we started thinking that we
really good album on our hands. I loved how it turned out. I wish we would
have had more time. It really set us on the path to making a good second
Musicscan: What was your main focus creating this new record onto? To create a
balanced whole with a permanent flow? That what i personally
like so much about the record...
Byzantine: Our main focus was to make sure the record
has solid songs from the first song to the last song. We tried really hard
have no filler on this album. After we had all the songs recorded, we
realized that the album had alot of diversity, and we liked that! We are
pleased that the metal fans are seeing our vision.
Musicscan: The songs are one the one hand very diverse but at the same time also
focused/ in one line. Do you feel it same way?
Byzantine: The diversity and the focus
was our goal from the beginning. We are always going to make sure that our
music is diverse and not just fast or heavy.
Musicscan: Byzantine's sound is really powerfull and highly metallic, but also
melodic. Was your intention to create that
particular sound or did it just happen?
Byzantine: Very intentional. The next album
will have more diversity in it. You wait and see!
Musicscan: Is there someone that writes most of the music and comes up with the
framework of a song, or do you just all jam around?
Byzantine: Most of our songs on the
first album was written by one person and then took to practice and the rest
of the band learned it. I wrote about 5 of the songs, Tony wrote 3, Wolfe
wrote 1 and we all jammed and wrote the last one. We demo them on a 4-track
then take it to practice. The next album we are writing more in rehearsal.
Musicscan: If you would summarise the message and atmosphere Byzentine's music in
sentence. What would it be?
Byzantine: It is like a Warthog chasing a butterfly. The
ugliness following the melody.
Musicscan: Your biggest wish to happen for Byzantine's future?
Byzantine: That we could quit our
day jobs and just play music!