Sunday, June 30, 2013


Here i just got reply interview from Don taken almost more one week since i sent these questions but no worries about that because i know he need take a time to answered and i am very glad to find it now....that’s good answered from him.

Tzun tzu is a four piece Death Metal band from South Australia with oriental influences lyrically, stylistically and incorporates guitar/synth technology to perform ancient sounding passages intertwined with the modern sounding music. After conquering inner demons, a new breath has been taken to honour a once  great warrior. Scripted during times past, englightened by previous errors and failed warfare. A subconscious Death Metal meditation. With formation and preparation in 2003, a culmination of dissatisfaction disinterest and parting ways with a previous clan, the path was clear...

The Artisans of war :
Don Taylor – Lead Guitar, Vocals, Composition
Nick Seja – Lead Guitar, 2nd Vocals
Adam Ritchie – Bass Guitar
Alan Catman – Drums

To date TzunTzu has performed alongside bands such as: Defiled [jpn],
Dismember [swe], Grave [swe], Krisiun [bra], Denial Of God [den], Carcass [uk], Behemoth [pol], Impiety [sg], Dawn Of Azazel [nz], Ulcerate [nz,], Portal [au], Mounrful Congregation [au] amongst several others.

Releases to date include: Without Zen demo/ep 2005/2008, Kunoichi MCD 2008, Split 7" w/- Ignivomous 2008, Split CD w/- Altars 2009, and the debut self-titled album Tzun Tzu in 2012.

Well, let’s read my interview with Don Taylor (guitarist ) of Tzun tzu...

John Yoedi : Hi mate…Thanks first of all for agreeing to this interview. And I hope you are well there. Kieran James (Perth-Australia) and I share for this blog. Anyway, How are things going at the moment for Tzun Tzu ?

We are going well thanks, working on new material, rehearsing when we can and doing the odd show here and there when possible to do so.

JY : Well firstly….How long have you guys been together as a band, And how did you end up starting the band ?

I started working on the music for the band in 2003 after I took a rest from doing full time music for a few months and left my previous band "Oni" which was in a similar oriental themed style.

JY : Where did the band name came from and does it have any particular meaning to you ? Who came up with the name TZUN TZU ? How does it fit with the sound of the music ?

Tzun Tzu is taken from the various spelling of Sun Tzu - the author of the ancient war field manual/philosophical text "The Art Of War" I chose the name as it suited the style i wanted to write in, and the spelling i chose as i was sure it would not be used by others (Sun Tzu has been used by various other styled bands since this formation - no "death metal" bands though as yet)
War and Philosophy tend to suit this style of music well, and i think it is a non "Specific" name so can be used accross a broad range of oriental/eastern topics.

JY : Your released first full length album ‘TZUN TZU ‘ in 2012 was an
impressive release for a band so early in their recording career. What was the recording of the album like? How long did it take, where was it done, was it an easy or a difficult process?

The tracking of the album was done over a lengthy period of time, for various reasons including self funding financial constraints. The Drums were recorded in a studio called "The Fish Shop" the engineer recorded the guitars, vocals and bass in his home studio "Slaughter House" we practiced alot so it was a relatively easy process, and we are not rich so work quickly and make effective use of our time.

JY : Are you satisfied with the result ? And how has it been received by fans / media so far ?

I am very satisfied with the results - i think that we all are. Most of the fans/peers and media feed-back has been positive, alot of people i respect have contacted after hearing it with praise so this has been pleasing.

JY : The album ‘TZUN TZU’ released by Dissident Records, as I read before you already signed with them for released Two Ep ‘Without Zen’ (2006) and ‘Kunoichi’ (2008). How are you into the contract your signed ? And what kind of label would you consider signing with ?

I have known Craig/Dissident for many many years, we have kind of co-released these releases between us, i owed him an album from my former band Oni so there was no question which label would release this album. He is a top bloke and great friend. There is no contract so to speak.
We would consider signing with any reputable lable with a decent roster of bands that can push our releases into markets that we are relevant in, especially if they will do physical copies in both CD and Vinyl formats. I am not a fan of MP3 or digital only releases.

JY : TZUN TZU named taken from Chinese language…In your promo albums and for full length album, You have written some title of song with Chinese language such as : Hajimari No Seika, Onikudaki, Owari No Seika, Shoukai, Kunoichi and etc…But when I tried to read, the lyrics still used English no Chinese. Would you like to explain about this ? Who’s usually writing the lyrics and compose the music ?

From the album the song Shi is in Japanese, Yusuke from Defiled helped me to translate these lyrics as i dont speak Japanese and translators online are weak at the best of times, i will possibly get some lyrics translated by friends in Japan again in the future - but also will be visiting other oriental/eastern subjects besides China and Japan in the future, english is my native language so it is easier.

JY : What lyrical themes does the band have an interest in and how significant are they to the band overall ?

Mostly if not exclusively eastern/oriental subjects be it twisting philosophy, warfare, states of mind or odd deities. It is significant to the theme i think, Politics, Satan, Gore etc doesnt really suit, we have some dark themes but not blatant psuedo evil/shock for the sake of it.

JY : There was a five years gap between the release of ‘Kunoichi’ and ‘Tzun Tzu’. What did you do during this time ? How come it has taken so long ?

After the Kunoichi release we changed drummer and did the split CD with Altars - our track 'Ko'Muso' was the debut of drummer Selen Gol we also worked on the songs for the album, played a few shows etc. The album was delayed a bit waiting for various things, was a slow steady process, which was finished in August 2011, and took some time after that to actually be released. There are always delays involved with a release and they are usually outside of our control.

JY : Let's talk a bit about your song writing process. How does a song usually develop - do you first start with a lyric, melody, chord progression, or something else? Do you begin writing a song in your head before you pick up an instrument ?

I start with the riff/structure and then send basic guitar/clicks track idea's to the other guys to learn, then we take this and we work on it in the rehearsal room. Structures will change and riffs may modify slightly over the course of time, then when satisfied with the tracks I write lyrics and i used to sing them all, now the vocals are shared between myself and the other guitarist Nick.

JY : I'm interested in your musical roots - which musicians and songwriters
have been the greatest influence ? What are your favourite albums ? Are you into any other genres of music besides Metal ?

For me growing up my favourite band was Slayer, Reign in Blood and South Of Heaven are very influential to me - both picking up the guitar and my gateway to heavier music. In my teenage years bands like Morbid Angel, Deicide, Incantation, Immolation, Bolt Thrower, Dismember, Carcass etc - the early 90's bands were all favourites.
Later 90's bands like Nile, Hate Eternal, Angel Corpse etc have probably influenced my production values etc, but i still go back and play albums like Blessed Are The Sick, Realm Of Chaos, Human, Onwards To Golgotha etc regularly and get inspired by them as much now as i did when starting to play guitar 20 or so years ago.
Yes i do appreciate alot of different styles of music, i often think about doing some kind of acoustic music - but all i know is power chords and heavy de-tuned distortion.

JY : It’s no secret that the members in the band have broad taste in music. Just to see where you’re coming from, I was wondering if you could list a few albums, metal or not, that have made a leghthy impression on you as a person ?

To name but a few: Reign in Blood/South Of Heaven, Altars Of Madness/Blessed Are The Sick/Covenant, Deicide/Legion, Human, Harmony Corruption, Realm of Chaos/War Master, Dawn Of Possession/Here In After, Onwards To Golgotha/Mortal Throne Of Nazarene, Necroticism Descanting The Insalubrious, Like an Ever Flowing Stream, Martire, Seepia, The Scream That Tore The Sky, Embrace Rapture in Disgust, AeOnD, and stacks more...!

JY : The drumming is also insanely fast but I just wondering for your first full
length album’TZUN TZU’. Who was the drummer for this album….does he Alan Cadman, Selen Gol or Adrian Bickle ? Or Selen Gol and Adrian Bickle only as a guest musician for this album.

Selen is the drummer on both the Ko'Muso split CD with Altars and the 'Tzun Tzu' album, Alan is the new drummer - his first release is "The Decay of Golden Gods" ep which is nearly completed and subsequent releases. Our good friend Adrian provided some drums/percussion on the Kunoichi EP only - and one live show when we were transitioning between members.

JY : What gears do you use to record and do you use the same amp/guitars, drums and etc for live /shows ?

We use the same equipment live as we do in the studio, we may swap
components like the power amplifier for ease of carrying - but as we have synth guitars also running - for switching purposes we use all rack equipment. My Current rack includes the following:

Guitar Amplifier:
Digitech GSP 1101 pre-amp
Rocktron Velocity 300 power amp

Roland Gi-20
Roland XV-2020

Alesis 8 channel rack line-mixer
FMAC Liquid Track rack media player
Phonic Power conditioner

Blakhart - custom 6 string wood finish guitar with Floyd Rose, EMG H4z, Roland Gk Kit midi pick up.
Epiphone IX Goth V with Floyd Rose, EMG H4z, Roland Gk Kit midi pick up
Marshall 1960a
Nick uses similar set-up:

Guitar Amplifier:
Fractal AxeFX Ultra - guitar preamp
Rocktron Velocity 300 - power amp

Roland GR20
Ibanez Xiphos 6 string with graphtech midi loaded floyd rose system

Randal 4 x 12

Guitar Amplifier:
Fractal AxeFX II pre-amp
Matrix amplification
Ibanez 5 string

Mapex 5 piece kit
Axis longboard kick pedals
Alesis DM5 trigger module.
This is what we use to record, Rehearse and play live, various components get swapped out from time to time, but as a whole - that is the core of our equipment.

JY : Just as a side question, What do you think about Busuk Webzine ( ? In Busuk Webzine, we are trying to use two language : English and Indonesian Language and also trying to update news.

Seems to be a good blog - and very supportive of underground bands - good to see, and thanks for the support ;) (Ed : You’re welcome mate)

JY : It sounds so easy when we listening to the album, but I know it takes a lot of practicing to hold this level. How often do you practice ?

As a whole band generall once per week, maybe twice a week if there is a recording coming up, we all do various amounts of personal practice to keep our skills up and we all have more than one musical project on the go at any one time.

JY : I bet you guys have project band…is it right ? How you could be share time playing for two band ?

Don: Martire, Slaughter Thou, Oni, Tzun Tzu (active/rip)
Nick: Juggermath, Dephiler, Tzun Tzu
Adam: MurderGrin, DEADPool, Martire, and many others
Alan: Altars, Sarsekim, Tzun Tzu

JY : When you look back over the career of TZUN TZU to date what have been some of the highpoints and low points ? And what hopes or expectations do you have for the years to come ?

Highlights - Releasing debut album, and every release actually getting released, supporting some of our favourite bands from around the world (Carcass, Dismember, Grave x 2, Behemoth, Defiled, Krisiun, Dawn Of Azazel, Ulcerate etc)
Low points - delays, down-time, changing members etc.

JY : Let’s talking about How the metal scene is in Australia ? Are you involved with a scene in your local area ? And are there any lesser known Adelaide bands that you would recommend ?

It is a great scene, we dont play often and are not familiar with every band that exists but the bands that are decent makes it quite healthy, StarGazer, Altars, Juggermath, Lampades, San La Muerte, Nocturnal, In The Burial, Seminal Embalment, Art In Exile, Oath of Damnation, Bukkake - and loads more.

JY : Would you like to us a bit about your lives away from TZUN TZU ? Such as work and etc.

Don: Data entry processor
Nick: Music shop
Adam: Music Teacher
Alan: Youth Worker/Counsellor

JY : What are your own plans with TZUN TZU at the moment ? Like shows, writing new song or etc ?

We are nearly completed a new ep "The Decay of Golden Gods" which should be released before the end of the year, we are also writing the second album - appx half is completed. We are also trying to find a label for a split 7" that we have in mind with a band from USA. We have no shows booked at the moment but there will be one or two before the end of the year, and possibly a show or two interstate.

JY : Well many thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. Good luck with your band ‘TZUN TZU’. Do you have last thoughts or message for all death freaks here ?

Thanks for the interview good Sir - very much appreciated. Good luck with your future endeavours.
For more Tzun Tzu infor/merch etc follow these links:

(Interviewed by John Yoedi, June 12, 2013)

No comments:

Post a Comment