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Articles Home » Music Talk » City of Tyrants Interview with Vocalist Charles Horning By Allyson Kingsley, Music Journalist Boston Rock Radio
City of Tyrants Interview with Vocalist Charles Horning By Allyson Kingsley, Music Journalist Boston Rock Radio

City of Tyrants 

Interview with Vocalist Charles Horning

By Allyson Kingsley, Music Journalist

Boston Rock Radio



"In 2018 we wrote and recorded what became Revelations. With the help of co writer Lukas Magyar (Veil Of Maya) we set out to create music that we liked and something that we could all be proud of. Stylistically, the biggest change is the addition of clean vocals contributed by our drummer. Revelations is a concept album telling the story of a god-like figure chosen to fulfill a prophecy. He is faced with several challenges that will eventually break him down causing him to become the evil which he sought to eradicate in the beginning of the story." - City Of Tyrants



BRR: Hi guys. This is Allyson from Boston Rock Radio and I'd like to introduce a band from New Jersey called City of Tyrants. As always I like to start with an introduction of the musicians and the origins of your band.


COT: Hello! My name is Charles Horning Vocalist for the band City Of Tyrants from NJ and I just want to say what an honor it is to do this interview, thank you!

BRR: I got a chance to listen to your new release Revelations and I heard a mix of different influences. Can you expand on your soundscape for the album?

COT: We have such a diverse musical influence as a band so we take inspiration from all genres of music. Our goal "soundscape" was to produce an atmospheric feel without being too dissident and losing energy. The band and I worked really hard to immerse the listeners by creating soundtracks we thought we evoke mental imagery for the listener when complimented with the lyrics like in a good book when an author uses onomatopoeia.


BRR: Revelations is described as a concept album. Everyone that listens to it will, of course, interpret it differently but what are the underlying themes presented in the songs?

COT: Revelations is an album with depth, We wrote the lyrics (with the help from the very talented Lukas Magyar from Veil of Maya) so they can be interpreted many different ways, to be more inclusive so there is something for everyone! The album is something out of a SCI-FI. The story is written mostly in a first person perspective of the main character. Each song is a different chapter in a riveting story of this characters life. If you look up the definitions for the song it'll give you an idea on what the songs "theme" is, we tried to make each title match the lyrical content in the song.


BRR: I took a liking to “Awakening” and “NARAKA.” Can you delve into these two tracks more?

COT: “Awakening” is the song after "Insurrection" where the rebellion lead by the tyrants son took control of the tyrannical empire! In this song the hope for the cities new future quickly begins to crumble as violence and famine flooded the streets; our leader grows darker and begins to walk down the path of his predecessor.

“Naraka” is a realm akin to hell but instead of eternal torment you must atone for sins by experiencing all the hurt you caused upon others before being reborn into a better person, which we felt befitting because our main character is going to leave a sea of bodies in his wake before he dies in the final song and actually goes to Naraka. This song takes place during a full fledged battle between our bloodthirsty dictator and a new regime that has come to power in an attempt to bring down the main character. Our leaders hunger to bring death upon the lands knows no bounds for his paranoia will not let him rest until all are dead.

BRR: What kinds of life experiences inspire you when you write?

COT: I grew up poor in a bad neighborhood and had rough childhood due to living in an abusive environment. I later developed a variety of mental illnesses, I hung out with the wrong crowd, and unfortunately lost a lot of people I was close to, so I try to pull from the darkest times in my life and put it on paper so I don't have to carry all the weight of it with me anymore, I use writing as a coping mechanism and the music really helps me and it's our hope as a band that it helps people who have been through similar experiences.

BRR: Coming from New England, our metal scene is a varied and eclectic mix of genres and generally incorporates the areas of Rhode Island,  Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, and New Hampshire. To go to a concert in any of these states is usually much less than a 2-hour drive which I feel makes us unique, close-knit. What can you tell me about the metal scene in your state/area? And of course, I am going to ask if New Jersey and New York share the same vision for the metal scene.

COT: I'd just like to start by saying I love the NE music scene, Every time I am there for vacation or business I catch a great local show! What makes our music scene unique would be dedication! I have been around a lot of places but in my opinion I haven't seen a scene that goes harder than the PA/NJ/NY circuit. Everyone from musicians to the fans dedicate all their free time and money into this scene from album and show production, merchandise all the way to creating our own labels and signing bands not to mention crushing mosh pits! Everyone is super supportive of each other and we all help each other grow in the community because we want the scene to grow!

BRR: Do you think there is still a difference between east coast metal and that of the west coast?


COT: I've been out to the west coast and caught shows and I live on the east coast and been going to shows for a long time. Obviously there are subtle differences in fashion, popular sub genres, crowd traditions etc., but overall not much different. The community is amazing; you can be out of town and go to a metal show and feel right at home with family!

BRR: Aside from fans showing up at venues, what else would you like to see for the future of heavy metal?


COT: What I would like to see for the future of metal is to become a more socially and musically appreciated genre. I feel like there is a stigma against the genre that steers some people away but there is something for everyone in metal music. If you don't listen to metal please give it a try, you wont regret it!


BRR: We would like to thank you for your time and I hope to see you play around here soon.

COT: Thank you so much! we look forward to playing for all of you!!         - Charles Horning



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City Of Tyrants "Astral Projection" (Official Lyric Video)



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