Our Albums

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Guano Loco Insanitizer

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Show @ THE LOFT Jan. 12 + GUANO LOCO recap!

Hidy, folks. Ken here.

We have a new show date to announce: January 12 at The Loft. The event is called Renegade Wednesday, and people of all ages are invited. We had a great time at The Loft the last show we played there, so show up and help us make it a repeat success.

The Loft:
414 E MI Ave
Lansing, MI



is the title of our first album. We're making slow but steady progress on the new one, which has me thinking back on how it all started.

You can listen to the album using the players below and read on while the songs play.

"China Glass"



"Crooked House"

"Gulf Breeze"

"Supernova Red Hot Halen"

"The Hydration Cure"

"Wild Desert Bikers"

In a month, it will have been three years since Mike, Ray, and I came up with the jams that would become the first Tyrannovox songs. Mike brought in a lick originally written by his uncle, our esteemed photographer David Loomis. That lick germinated into "Crooked House." Ray came up with a powerhouse riff that became the main part in "Wild Desert Bikers." I had the chords for the clean bits in "Clockwise." We never knew how all this stuff would eventually turn out as songs. We just tried to arrange it in a way that made sense.

We sure as hell weren't thinking in terms of verses, pre-choruses, and choruses when we did that. It fell to Adam to eventually figure out where the words went. A lot of the songs already had names, which he worked seamlessly into the lyrics. Some of those names were taken from a long list of fantasy band/album/song names that I kept folded up in my back pocket. "Crooked House" and "Wild Desert Bikers" both come from that list.

There's some great stuff on the way for the next album. One track, "Squidbillies," is built on a powerhouse bass riff that Garry wrote, plus some wicked pull-off licks by Mike. Another tune, "Strange Shuffle," is one reason why we've coined the term "Raymond" as an adjective. The best way to describe "Strange Shuffle" is that it's very Raymond. And then there's "K.A.I.O.F.," based on a riff I wrote that intentionally stacks minor and major sevenths on top of each other. I know it sounds complicated, but you don't need a degree in music to feel the weirdness.

But enough spoilers. Until the new album comes out, the only way to hear the new stuff is to come out and see us. Remember: we play at The Loft on Jan. 12!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Show this Saturday!

Ken here.

We have added a show to our schedule: this Saturday evening at Family Connection. Details are a little fuzzy right now, but it is located on S Waverly Rd near the southwest corner of S Waverly Rd and W Jolly Rd.

More details as soon as we have them.


We will be playing at 9:00 PM. Don't be late!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

We're back!

Ken here.

Like Jesus, Spock, and Superman, it seems you can't kill us for long.

On January 14th, round three of the Band of Bandz tournament is on once more. We will be there and we hope you'll be there, too.

We can't explain why we've had this reversal of fortune, except that the universe is a strange place to be.

Stay tuned for location, times, and other developments.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Washed out.

Tyrannovox @ Uli's Haus of Rock
That's me defying gravity in my Van Halen high tops.
That's David Loomis on the opposite side of the camera.

Ken here.

Well, that certainly happened a little sooner than any of us expected. We knew we had the chops to go far in the Band of Bandz contest, but as fate would have it, chops weren't enough.

Congratulations to Shell Shock Brigade for their victory this evening. Congratulations also to Blackened Earth for their righteous cover of "Heaven and Hell" by Black Sabbath. Most of all, thanks to everyone who came out to root for us.

We're continuing work on our next CD, and we have some possible live recordings in the works. As always, keep it here for the details. Even with the contest behind us, there's much to look forward to.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Uli's this Sunday, 11/21/2010!

Tyrannovox @ Uli's (July 2009).
Memory logged and filed by David Loomis.

Ken here, with the details of our next gig in the Q106 Band of Bandz competition.

  • 11/21/2010, this Sunday
  • The show starts at 9:00. I'm not sure when we go on, but we're guessing 10:00.
  • Uli's Haus of Rock can be found at:
4519 S MLK Jr Blvd
Lansing, MI, 48910
(517) 882-5900

Uli's is just south of Cavanaugh Road and north of Jolly Road on the east side of the street. It's pretty easy to find. Stumble in and rock out.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Band of Bandz," plus more gear secrets!

Ken here.

First off, a bit of news about what we're up to currently. Q106 is hosting a tournament for Lansing area bands, called the "Band of Bandz Competition." There are 70+ bands involved. Each band will play one show per week with two other bands, and the best band will advance to the next week. We have already played and won our first show in the contest.

Shows will be on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at Uli's Haus of Rock, Oade's Hidden Camel, and Level II. We'll be playing one show per week for as long as we're in the game, and we'll try to let you know the specific day and location each week.

Last week, we played at Oade's and melted enough faces to win the night. We should find out where and when we're playing this week soon. Stay tuned.


And now, part 2 of Tyrannovox Gear Secrets! (Part 1 can be accessed here.)


Mike is currently using a Randall Kirk Hammett stack, which uses Randall's tube module technology. It's huge and loud. He still uses the GNX3000 in front of it to get his sounds, so he runs the Randall clean. For practice and smaller shows, he uses the Fender amp, which is mostly reliable despite a strange intermittent buzz that afflicts it from time to time.

I've switched to a Crate GTD120 combo. It's much louder and clearer than the Rogue, and, for a time, I was using the Marshall Guv'nor pedal in front of it. I would plug in clean, get my saturation from the pedal, and use the amp's onboard reverb and delay effects for ambience. I loathed the amp's onboard modulation effects and kept them down to zero.

The amp was unfortunately modified in a car accident. The modulation knob snapped off, freezing it in an unfavorable position--i.e. anything other than zero. There is an input in the back of the Crate which allows the signal to bypass the preamp controls and run straight into the power amp, which is how I use it now. The Guv'nor only includes dry distortion, so I'm back to the GNX3.


After selling off my Kramer, I moved onto a Agile AL-2000, which is a Les Paul-style guitar that I equipped with a Seymour Duncan Custom-Custom pickup, and a Schecter C-1+, which I kept stock. I quickly discovered that the Agile is a little too heavy for me--almost 12 pounds of solid mahogany. When my Rogue amplifier fried a fuse, I bartered away the Agile for the Crate amp.

I eventually got another guitar, a Douglas WRL 590. It's a set-neck Strat with a Floyd Rose system that I partially blocked so that it won't float or raise, but will still dive. I also put in a Seymour Duncan JB humbucker. It's my go-to guitar for Satriani-style screams and other such nonsense.

Mike has used a variety of guitars--Ray's Ibanez, my Schecter, and an Ibanez RG--but he has finally settled on a Gibson Les Paul. A real Gibson Les Paul, as he never gets tired of telling people. It's a terrific slab of mahogany that he's used at every practice and show since he got it.


Last year, we recorded and compiled our first disc of songs, which we call Guano Loco. Those sessions occurred before Mike and I got our most recent guitars, and I believe the majority of the tracks were recorded by DI'ing our pedal boards to the computer. You can check out the tracks in the left sidebar on this page.

For a record that was made in a basement, Guano Loco has good production standards, thanks in no small part to Adam's skills behind the console. My one regret is that Mike and I recorded the way we did. There is a quality to the sound of real, moving air and natural acoustics that makes guitars sound infinitely better, and that's what we're missing on Guano Loco.

To compound the trouble, I had a crisis of faith with the sound that I was getting from my custom settings on the GNX3. On Guano Loco, I defaulted to one of the stock presets that I didn't use before and haven't used since. That buzzing mess of thin, mushy distortion in the right channel is me. I'm not sure why I chose it, because it bears little resemblance to the more Van Halen-esque distortion that I like.


Guano Loco wasn't just a way of preserving our songs. It was a way of learning to record, and of figuring out what to do and what not to do.

Our current batch of recordings is coming along. As good as the last one sounded, this one sounds even better. The guitar sound is particularly improved. Real microphones! Real moving air! Real everything!


It occurred to me recently that a lot of the great rock records are a mystery. The people who made them don't remember how they made them, what gear was used, what order things were done in, and so on. Nobody thought it was important to write this stuff down, and they'd forgotten it all by the time they realized that it was worth caring about.

I'm not comparing us to those guys, but I do think it's good to write these things down while they're still fresh enough to be remembered. One day, we can reminisce about the stuff we used to use, back when we played music.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tyrannovox Gear Secrets, Part 1

Ken here, with the inside scoop on the guitars and gear that Mike and I have used throughout the career of Tyrannovox.

When we first convened in early 2008, Mike and I had pretty similar set-ups: humbucker-equipped guitars, Digitech floor processors (GNX3 for me, GNX3000 for Mike), and solid state combo amplifiers.


My amp at the time was a Rogue RG120R--a hideous little piece of work, but it had two speakers and could struggle its way up to practice volume. Mike's amp was an Ibanez Toneblaster of some sort (the 150R, I think), which obliterated the Rogue in both volume and clarity. He eventually switched to a Fender solid state combo with similar features to the Ibanez.


My guitar back then was a Kramer plywood guitar--a black and orange Focus 111S that I was always tinkering with. It eventually ended up with a single Seymour Duncan Hot Rails pickup running to a single volume knob, which was the combination it had by the time I was in Tyrannovox. It also had very nice locking Schaller tuning heads. I had another Kramer Focus, a black one, that I never really did anything with.

Mike had a worn cherry Gibson SG. Aside from accidentally snapping off the headstock, I don't think he ever made any special modifications to it. He also had a great-sounding yellow Strat that he built as a project guitar, dubbed the "Mike-o-caster." I'm not sure he's ever played outside of the practice room.


To get his sounds, Mike switches between presets on the GNX3000. He uses the "PHISHY" setting for clean tones, the "DOVER" setting for distorted tones, and a weird one--I think it's called "PDLSLIDE"--for the thing in the middle of "China Glass." He has tried playing a few times just using the amp's footswitch, but he always ends up going back to the GNX3000 to keep his tones consistent.

For my part, I don't like to switch between settings, so I set up one sound and leave it alone. I dial in a Van Halen-type sound on the GNX3, usually with a touch of big arena reverb and analog delay. I have the gain up most of the way, and use the volume knob on the guitar to suck out the distortion for clean parts.

I also have a Marshall Guv'nor Plus distortion pedal, which I didn't use with the dreadful Rogue amp. When I got a different amp (more on that next time), I went back to the Guv'nor and made good use of it. It's a great pedal if you're searching for a budget-minded alternative to the classic Marshall sound.

More gear secrets in the next update!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Ken here, with an update to our concert schedule.

This Friday (October 1), we will be appearing at Morelands' Motocross Park in Stanton, MI. You can find their information on the event here. Aside from us, there will be other bands, volleyball, and an RV sewage dump. All right!

We will also be at Mac's Bar in Lansing on Sunday, October 10. It'll be five bucks for us and a couple other bands, so it sounds like a great time to me.

As usual, we'll be foisting CDs upon unsuspecting audience members after each show ($3 per, so bring enough cash!), so look out for that as well. And if you're lucky, we might be playing some new material.

To recap:

Morelands' (10/1/2010)
5235 E Pakes Rd
Stanton, MI 48888
(989) 330-2826

Mac's Bar (10/10/10) <--Aw, gee, wouldja lookit that?
2700 E Michigan Ave
Lansing, MI 48917
(517) 484-6795

Thursday, September 2, 2010

In the studio again.

Tyrannovox -1 @ Oade's (8/13/2010).
Souls stolen by David "Shang Tsung" Loomis.

And by "studio," I mean "Raymond's basement." Ken here.

We apologize that Adam couldn't make it to our Friday the 13th show, but we did our best to deal without him. I think it went relatively well. Hopefully everybody enjoyed themselves.

The latest news: we're recording again! We're working on songs right now. Some of them you may have heard if you've been to our recent shows. Some, we've had for a while and just haven't committed to tape* yet. And some are brand new, unfinished, and never heard before. It's all awesome, and before long, it'll all be in your ears.

(*Tape? Yeah right.)

Our current set of recordings is available on our first disc, titled Guano Loco. You have to come to our shows if you want a copy! Or, you can be a cheapskate and listen to the songs here on the site. Your call.

As far as shows go, there's nothing definite yet, but we're working on a date at Mac's Bar in October. Keep it here for the details on that.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

More Oade's info.

Can you spot what's wrong with this picture?

Ken here, with a few additions/corrections to the previous post.

  • The price will be five dollars at the door. The original figure of six dollars (both in the post and pictured in the flier) is incorrect.
  • Ladies get in free from 9PM to 10:30.
  • The show will probably start at around 10PM.
  • We are probably going on second or third, meaning you can expect us to go on at sometime around 11PM or midnight.
We've got a couple of new tunes ready to go, plus a couple of choice covers, so it should be an awesome night. Bring friends and buy drinks!

Once again, you can find Oade's at:
1210 S Washington Ave
Lansing, MI 48901

Monday, August 2, 2010

Oade's again!

Tyrannovox @ The Loft (7/28/2010). Generously
immortalized in shiny purple lights by David Loomis.

Ken here.

The show at The Loft was pretty thrilling. Kudos to all the friends, family members, and strangers who came out and made it a good time.

For the fans who are dying to know when the next show will be (I'm sure there's at least one), we're planning on another show at Oade's on Friday, August 13. That's right: Friday the 13th. Don't worry--the scariest thing at Oade's will be the Sphincter Beast, glaring down upon us all.

When will we play? I'm not sure. Be there by 10PM, though, or maybe even 9:30! Order plenty of drinks while you're at it. Cover is six bucks. You must be at least 21, unless you're in the band. Which you're not. Band members don't have to read their own website to know what's going on.

In case you forgot, here's where you can find Oade's:
1210 S Washington Ave
Lansing, MI 48901

Monday, July 26, 2010

"What kind of music do you play?"

Tyrannovox @ Crane Farm (7/24/2010). Photo by David Loomis. Undeniable charisma by Raymond Crane.

Hello, there. Ken here.

I don't know about the other guys in the band, but there's one question I get asked a lot: "What kind of music do you play?"*

It's very hard for us to describe our own music. I know it's a stereotype, and you've probably heard it before. Ask a musician what he plays, and he'll go into a long, stammering speech about the 46 different genres he incorporates into his playing. The short explanation is that it's just not something that we've thought about very hard. But it's also something that we shouldn't think about very hard.

Allow me to explain. When Raymond, Mike, and I first convened a long time ago, we didn't know what kind of music we were going to make. We each brought our own skills and tastes with us, and we tried to keep an ear out for what was meshing and what wasn't. Our earliest music was born of that process. We never gave it a name, and we didn't set out to make music that fit within a certain category. We just tried to let it happen.

I think it's for the best that we can't easily describe what we do. If we had set out to make music with a certain genre in mind, then we might have rejected some very good material. Genres separate the stuff that fits in from the stuff that doesn't. For us, whatever fits in is whatever sounds good to us. If we were to decide what our music is (and what it isn't), then we might lose that freedom. We might start accepting and rejecting stuff based on whether or not it "fits in" with the category we're striving for, rather than using our own sense of what's good and what isn't.

For that reason, I just call it "rock." It's broad, but it seems to cover the most common ground. If you want a more elaborate answer, you can listen to our songs on the left side of this page.


Don't forget about our show at The Loft this Wednesday. Check out the details in this post.


*It's right up there with "You're the one in that Tyrannosaurus band, right?"

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

We're not worthy!

Alice Cooper, holding the disembodied head of Mike Loomis. Photo taken by Mike's decapitated body.

Hey, folks. Ken here.

Latest update on the contest to open for Kiss: we are currently in 54th place, just a scant 1,772 votes behind the contest leader. It's in the bag, baby!

Congratulations to Mike for his chance run-in with Alice Cooper just a few days ago. Alice rocked Lansing at Common Ground last Friday, and spent the following morning at the golf course where Mike works. Alice chipped a ball out of the rough onto the green, then chopped Mike's head off in celebration.

Hopefully Mike will be okay for the farm show on Saturday the 24th. Check the deets at this post.

We also have another upcoming date at The Loft, where we'll be playing on Wednesday the 28th. Music Manor is sponsoring the evening's entertainment, so it looks like it's going to be a big one. The cover is $7 for ages 18-20 and $5 for ages 21+. Doors open at 8PM.

The Loft is located above the Harem Urban Lounge at:
414 E Michigan Ave
Lansing, MI 48933

Here's the flier for the show:

Monday, July 12, 2010

Help us open for Kiss in Detroit!

Ken here.

Raymond has enrolled us in a contest to open a show in Detroit for the little-known rock band Kiss. We'd love the opportunity to do this, but we need the help of all you folks in Internet Land.

First, visit this link. Click on the yellow button that says DEMAND IT, which is off to the right side of the page. That's it!

The band currently in the lead has only 1,000-some votes, so this should be a simple matter.

Middle-of-July update.

Tyrannovox @ Oade's Hidden Camel (7/9/2010). Once again, photo by David Loomis, who crucially combines taking pictures with posting them on Facebook.

Ken here.

Our show at Oade's on Friday was a smashing success, which--we are thrilled to announce--was captured in a soundboard recording. We hope to make that available soon.

Also, next time you're there, take a look at the ceiling tiles above the stage. You might catch a glimpse of this:

Our gig at the Double Six yielded more mixed results. Other bands welshed out, strings broke, crowds shrank, brake lines leaked, and so on. Nevertheless, the enthusiasts who made it out seemed to have a good time. You win some and you kind-of-win some.

Don't forget: our next show is the farm party on the 24th. Mark your calendars and check the deets in the previous post.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Tyrannovox @ Oade's Hidden Camel (6/11/2010). Photo heartlessly purloined from David Loomis.

Howdy, folks. Ken here.

This is the first post on our new website. We have a presence here and there around the Internet, but this place will hopefully be the one-stop resource for all things Tyrannovox. That's tie-RAN-oh-voks, for all you n00bs out there.

("Terrible, powerful voice." Latin. Look into it.)

We can still be found on Facebook and MySpace, though the MySpace page may be of interest to historians only. MySpace is kind of like the DMV: frustrating, unfriendly, and jammed full of ugly.


Schedule of upcoming shows:

On July 9, we'll be returning to one of our favorite venues, Oade's Hidden Camel. These things are always touch-and-go, but our set time here tends to be around 10pm. Show up early and grab plenty of drinks.

Our set will be part of a birthday celebration for their sound engineer. I'm not sure I remember his name at the moment, but he does a terrific job. Hopefully there's a rowdy turnout in his honor.

For anybody who's never been to Oade's, the address is:
1210 S Washington Ave
Lansing, MI 48901

On July 11, we'll be playing our second show at the Double Six, located in Adam's hometown of Stanton. Stanton is a bit out of the way, but if you're out there, the Double Six is the place to be.

I'm told this is a benefit show of some sort, though I'm not sure what about. Hopefully something cool, like bears. Or chimpanzees. Or bears vs. chimpanzees.

Festivities at the Double Six tend to begin at around 9:30. If the bears and the chimpanzees don't bring in the crowd, surely Adam will.

The Double Six can be found at:
4680 N Sheridan Rd M-66
Stanton, MI 48888

In the evening of July 24, Raymond is putting together a party on his family farm. If you like hay, beer, tractors, barns, and live music, this might just be the best night of your life.

Raymond will be pulling double duty with us and Occasus, one of his several musical projects. Come out and make some noise to keep him going.

This show will be located in the pole barn at:
W State Rd & S DeWitt Rd
Lansing, MI 48906