TYTAN - The resurrected NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) band is the first confirmed act for the 15th-anniversary edition of the Keep It True festival in Lauda-Königshofen, Germany. TYTAN was a band formed at the height of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal in the fall of 1981 by the former ANGEL WITCH rhythm section: bassist KEVIN RIDDLES and drummer Dave Dufort (ex-E.F. BAND, Mike Oldfield, etc), they were shortly joined by Scottish vocalist Norman "Kal" Swan (later: Lion, Badmoon Rising), and guitarists Stuart Adams and Steve Gibbs. Signed to Kamaflage Records, a subsidiary of DJM, the band recorded their one and only album at Ramport Studios in Battersea with Will Reid-Dick. Former Judas Priest and Lionheart drummer Les Binks joined the band just in time for the recording in place of Dave Dufort. Guitarist Adams left and the band eventually hooked up with ex-LIAR, WILD HORSES and LIONHEART guitarist Steve Mann (later: MSG, Sweet).
Blimey, it's like a neverending stream of English musicians. It's far from over though as Binks were gone shortly thereafter, replaced by ex-AIIZ and Tora Tora drummer Simon Wright (later: AC/DC, Dio, Rhino Buckett, UFO, Ripper Owens). The band originally split up in 1983 and Metal Masters released the shelved TYTAN tapes as the "Rough Justice" LP in 1985. Phew, that's enough of history, it's now 2011 and TYTAN's lineup for the 'Keep It True' performance will consist of the following musicians: Norman "Kal" Swan (BAD MOON RISING, LION) - vocals, Kevin "Skidz" Riddles (ANGEL WITCH, LION, SAMSON) - Bass, Steve Mann (MSG) - Guitar, Steve Gibbs - Guitar and Simon Wright (AC/DC, DIO, RHINO BUCKET) - Drums. Here to
let us know: what's it like to get the Tytan gang back together again after all these
years?, band leader and bassist, KEVIN "Skidz" RIDDLES:
"I have to say that the thought of getting Tytan back together had never occurred to me as I knew Simon Wright was a very busy boy, and living in the USA. It was the idea of Oliver Weinsteiner, who organises the "Keep it True" festival in Germany who first asked me the question back in October and, after some detective work tracking down the guys, i discovered they were all really keen to celebrate the band and it's legacy. As for the line up, I'm not a fan of those types of reunions that have only part of the original band involved. Always seems a little desperate to me and, with very few exceptions, smack of a money making exercise. So the plan from the outset was : Original members who played on the album and/or live or nothing. Fortunately, when I finally tracked every one down, the agreement and enthusiasm was immediate and total ! ."
"we will be writing some new material as all of us still play and get a fantasic amount of pleasure doing gigs and we want to add a couple of those new songs on the DVD."...
Urban: Have you been working on any new material or is this a one-off gig? You mentioned the possibility of a brand new live CD/DVD? (where can interested parties get in touch?)
"We had a fantastic time doing both the album and loads of live dates, both headlining and supporting Tygers of Pan Tang that, had things gone just a little differently, I think we would have had more success than we did. The idea for a new release came from the fact that 'Keep It True Festival' record all of the bands at the show and the possibility was there to provide our fans with something we could'nt do in the 80's. A chance to see a full - on live Tytan show albeit with a little less hair and rather more bulk than before will, we hope appeal to many people! We will be writing some new material as all of us still play and get a fantasic amount of pleasure doing gigs and we want to add a couple of those new songs on the DVD. We do want to have a dialogue with any companies who may be interested in helping us out with the release so yes please send me an email and we'll talk !!. As for any funny stories well, those will have to wait for the sleeve notes on the new album !! "
Urban: How come the band originally split up in 1983? (surely it's not all Simon Wright's fault) and where did you "find" Norman "Kal" Swan, one of the most underrated U.K. vocalists!!!
..."The cause of the original split up was definately NOT due to Simon getting the AC/DC job. That was an opportunity that any of us would have jumped at, in fact he would have been daft not to have taken it.! The main reason was that our original record company, Kamoflage , went out of business before the release of the album, which put every thing on hold for six months or so during which Kal was whisked away to America by Bill Graham management to join a band there. It became British Lion, Which I had the honour of being a part of for a while too. Tytan, unfortunately withered on the vine after that, new projects came up etc, etc."
"I was very lucky finding Kal Swan as he was hiding himself away in Tamworth in The Midlands in UK, he auditioned for Paul Samson in 81, who did'nt pick up on him!!. I got in touch with Paul, asking if he'd seen any singers and got Kal's number, The rest as they say is history. He tells the story that my call came just in time as the band he was in at the time was called "Brewster" and had just joined forces with another local band called "Hammer" and the new band was going to be called " Hamster"!! He knew he had to move on ! Kal has one of the finest rock voices I've ever heard and has only got better with age. Listen to his band "Bad moon Rising" from the late 90's . Wow !".
"it seemed to me, that our elders and betters were so scared of women and their abilities that the only way to control them was to try and make them second class citizens."...
Urban: What's your opinion about the lyrics for "Blind Men And Fools" (sort of cold war and nuclear days theme) and "Women On The Frontline" nowadays? The latter had a guest vocal appearance by Jody Turner of Rock Goddess.
"Blind men and fools" was my "Dylanesque" attempt at a political statement decrying the idiocy of our "Leaders" making detailed plans for war whilst ignoring any rational plan for the peace. Women on the Frontline was a song about the pressure society puts women under, expecting them to conform to a stereotype that only men believed in. At the time, it seemed to me, that our elders and betters were so scared of women and their abilities that the only way to control them was to try and make them second class citizens. Jody was and still is a friend and she sang on the song as she liked what we were saying."
"As for Kev Heybourne and Angelwitch, I never had a problem with the way Kev does things. It was and still is, his band. He had most of the material written before I joined and though I was happy to help with arrangements and odd bitz here and there, he was the frontman of the band. In fact I met up with and had a jam with Kev just before xmas. Had a blast tho I'd forgotten how freakin fast some of that material was!!!! Man my fingers hurt for days after!! Hope this gives you enough to be getting on with, Urban , and thanx for your interest. If you do come across anyone or company that may be able to help with the CD/DVD please give them my email. Ta for now Kev.
It’s been a nice chat, and anyone interested in the possibility of releasing the TYTAN CD/DVD, simply contact me at the address below (replace "at" with your standard @) and I'll give you Riddles' email.
Urban "Wally" Wallstrom, EMAIL: urban "at" rockunited.com