Tyrant celebrate 35th year anniversary

Photo 1983: L to R - Neil 'Steel' Wilson, Grant Wallace, Robert Zarins, Andy Zarins, Jurgen Ortmann.

Tyrant celebrate 35th year anniversary

Reaching 35 years as a band is a major achievement and getting there without any real mainstream success is also even more impressive. Australian heavy metal rockers Tyrant are celebrating their 35 years of existence this month. Congratulations Tyrant!

The following message was posted in part on Tyrant‘s Facebook page earlier today:

Photo 1983: L to R – Neil ‘Steel’ Wilson, Grant Wallace, Robert Zarins, Andy Zarins, Jurgen Ortmann.


Hard to believe it all started in Hobart, Tasmania but old school heavy metal act TYRANT – celebrates 35 years from being formed back in March 1983!

TYRANT has the distinction of being Tasmania’s – first genuine original heavy metal band and over the decades, numerous bands have followed flying the flag for metal music!

The band formed by brothers Andy and Robert Zarins, along with neighbour Neil ‘Steel’ Wilson – were childhood friends who shared a passion for ass kicking, hard rock and heavy metal bands like The Sweet, Slade, Rainbow, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Bad Company, Aerosmith, UFO, Scorpions, Buffalo among many others!

A second guitarist, Grant Wallace (whom Wilson had met in Sydney) joined the trio and the search for a bass player began! Additions proved troublesome, to say the least and after many horrible hopefuls who simply couldn’t play, a young punk rocker named, Dale Walton (RIP) was recruited and finally TYRANT had a line up and were now a band!

TYRANT quickly set about choosing ‘cover’ songs – the boys were all big fans of Australia’s big 3 hard rock acts – AC/DC, Rose Tattoo and The Angels as well as the British onslaught of up and coming acts who were part of the NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) genre gathering acceptance around the world.

TYRANT covered a plethora of acts including: Aerosmith, UFO, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, Judas Priest, Saxon, MSG as well as unknown acts like Fist and The Rods!

With the line up now settled with the inclusion of bass player, Jurgen Ortmann – the bands’ first recording of ‘original’ material surfaced 12 months after forming, with the release of a 4 track cassette dubbed, “Never Too Loud” – named after a song they’d penned, influenced by Rose Tattoo‘s tour poster from 1981!

Along with Never Too Loud, the cassette contained 3 other tunes – War Of The Roses, Thunder & Steel and Lamb To The Slaughter. The 4 track E.P. went to # 1 on Hobart’s metal charts via airplay on radio station, 7THE-FM and the band played shows constantly in Hobart, Launceston, Devonport and Burnie – building up a sizable following throughout Tasmania.

With the success of the ‘Never Too Loud‘ E.P. and the video for their song, ‘Thunder & Steel’ – the band re-located to Sydney in early 1985 and quickly established a following in the coat hanger city, eventually head-lining the ‘Metal Crusade‘ in April 1985 at the in-famous, Selina’s – alongside Bengal Tigers, Shy Thunder, Statez and Vice in front of 1800 head bangers!

Over the years TYRANT has played many of Sydney’s name venues including, The Manzil Room, Seven Hills Hotel, The Royal Hotel, St. James Tavern, The Chevron among others and shared the same stage supporting many acts including – Boss, Rose Tattoo, Pete Wells Band, The Radiators, Bengal Tigers, Escape, Lightning Rock, Assassin, The Shifters, Fuzzy Zellas, Hammerhead, Taberah and Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens to name a few!

Despite ‘rave’ reviews and a healthy fan base the band couldn’t secure a record deal and disbanded in late 1987! The band reformed with four of the original members and released two albums before, like the early days, went through a succession of bass players and line up changes, including members of Wilson‘s current band, Roadkill – along with numerous gifted musicians, who’ve been part of the bands’ legacy with singer Neil Wilson and guitarist Andy Zarins – being the only original members in the band today!

TYRANT has over their career, released the following products – Never Too Loud, Freaks Of Nature, Thunder Down Under, Live Bootleg, Save The Devil, Save The Devil (Special Edition), Never Too Loud (Anniversary Edition) and the bands’ latest CD, “Thunder & Steel“!

The current line up: Neil ‘Steel’ Wilson, Andy Zarins, Adrian ‘Shred’ Scott (guitars), Justin Everett (bass guitar) and guest drummer, Brett Trafford – played a show in October 2017, at the MUDU (Metal Untied Down Under) Hobart concert.

TYRANT‘s future plans are to play shows in Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart – in late 2018 to promote the bands’ latest release, “Thunder & Steel” CD.

Watch the video that started it all:

TYRANT (Australia) – Thunder & Steel (1984)

Vintage archive video of veteran Tasmanian metal act, TYRANT performing their song, ‘Thunder & Steel’ (from the bands debut, “Never Too Loud” E P) at the ‘Re…