Meet The Band is your chance to discover and get to know a new or up-and-coming artist. Tyfon’s Doom is a one-man Finnish band masterminded by Tommi Varsala. After a demo last year, his debut EP Yeth Hound is now available. Varsala introduces us to Tyfon’s Doom.
Give us a brief history of the genesis of Tyfon’s Doom.
As you know, Tyfon’s Doom is a one-man project, so it’s quite difficult to tell even the year of starting this. I’ve been writing songs for about eight years already, but I hadn’t recorded anything until 2013, if I remember correctly. I would say that the year when this project started was 2013, because I’ve already released some songs which were written starting from that year, so if I happen to find some old guitar tab which was made earlier than 2013, I will change the year of the birth of Tyfon’s Doom.
I’ve always wanted to write and record songs, so that’s what I do. Last year I recorded the first release of Tyfon’s Doom, but I didn’t have any plans to release it at all. One night I was just thinking about releasing a demo, so I chose four songs, drew a ridiculously simple album cover and put it to YouTube. That is when this project was born at the latest.
What are the pros and cons of being a one-man project?
A one-man project probably isn’t suitable for everyone, but the reason why I believe it’s the best option for me is that I like to make decisions by myself, which means that the music sounds completely the way I like it. Also, the fact that I don’t need to care about any schedules or try to find time for band rehearsals is an important thing.
But of course, working with a band could be more fun. I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy writing and recording songs alone, but I wouldn’t say that it’s necessarily fun. And if the bandmates are also good composers, the songs could be even better.
Describe the songwriting and recording process of Yeth Hound.
It was simple but quite a long process. The actual recording time wasn’t that long, but all of the songs were made separately, one song for a month or something like that. On “Yeth Hound,” “Still Here” and “Gate to New Reality,” the songwriting and recording process was the same thing and partly on the ending track also, but “Rockers” was already completely ready before recording it.
The writing/recording process usually starts with grabbing a guitar and putting on a simple drum track. Sometimes I just play guitar until I come up with something actually good. And so that I wouldn’t forget it, I often take a short video and check it later if it really is good.
On the Yeth Hound EP the guitars were recorded first over some simple drum track with only snare and bass drum. When the guitars were ready, I completed the drums. Vocals were next and for some reason I saved the recording of the bass for last.
How would you characterize the album’s style/sound?
The album’s style is straight from ’80s metal music, or at least it’s my version of that style. I just listen to that kind of music the most, so it’s obvious that my greatest influences comes from that decade. The sound, on the other hand, is my standing middle finger watching towards the established standards of the sound of metal music nowadays. Of course the sound on my EP isn’t ready yet, I have some work to do improving that, but still it’s better than the basic mainstream sound.
How did you come to sign with Cruz del Sur?
Cruz del Sur is a great label and they still have some trust in bands that nobody has heard before. I recorded an EP and released the digital version in Bandcamp, but I still wanted to have a physical release of Yeth Hound, so I asked a few labels if they would be interested in making it possible. Cruz del Sur was one of those labels and I’m happy for that I had a chance to work with them.
Any plans to put together a band to play live shows?
Some plans here and some there, but nothing actually happens. I’m interested in any possibility of playing live shows, but I’m not sure if I could perform as a vocalist, or if I even want to. If there would be a chance to play live with a band where I’d be just a guitarist, then I would be ready right away.
Who are your musical heroes?
They are mostly metal guitarists since I’m mainly thinking about myself as a guitarist. The one man who has always been my greatest influence and “musical hero” is Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest. Also, I admire Ritchie Blackmore’s playing very much. It would be great to see that guy playing Deep Purple and Rainbow live. Besides Tipton and Blackmore, I can’t leave Phil Lynnot of Thin Lizzy (R.I.P.) unmentioned. What a musician.
What are some of your non-musical interests and hobbies?
I’ve always liked sports very much, especially soccer and boxing, but also many others as long as they’re really sports. Also, I’m currently studying construction engineering, so I guess I can count that as one of my interests. Furthermore, any good TV series and documentaries are always a good way to spend some time.
What’s your all-time favorite album or albums?
It’s absolutely impossible to mention just one album so I’ll give you a few candidates for the best album ever recorded. I happen to have some sort of fixation with concept albums so I usually love those pretty easily. Two examples of those are Queensrÿche’s Operation: Mindcrime and Slough Feg’s Traveller.
Also, Thundersteel by Riot is one hell of an album, but lately I’ve been listening to the debut album of Terminus, The Reaper’s Spiral, so much that I could say that it’s probably one of the best albums ever made.
Anything else you’d like to mention/plug/promote?
Huge thanks to everyone who has bought the EP! Those who haven’t done it yet or haven’t even heard the music, give it a listen and consider supporting the scene!
(interview published July 2016)