Voices of Metal: Fang Von Wrathenstein of Lords of the Trident
Known onstage as the barbarian singer of Wisconsin power metal outfit, The Lords of the Trident, and offstage as Ty Christian, he is one of the most recognized figures and voices in the Midwest metal scene. His stunning highs, soaring mids, and fantastic lyrics have helped make the Lords “the most metal band on Earth.” So how did a lowly mortal become an immortal heavy metal warlord?
“I’ve been singing forever. My parents would tell me that they’d bring me home from daycare and I would be singing ‘Day O,’” says Ty, who eventually began taking singing and piano lessons at the age of 10.
His singing lessons primarily focused on classical, opera, musicals, and contemporary songs such as the ‘The Circle of Life’ from ‘The Lion King.’ As he gradually grew more attracted to rock music, he pitched the idea of performing Aerosmith’s ‘I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,’ but Ty recalls with a laugh, ‘She wasn’t so into that.”
By age 13, Ty quit singing lessons. A year later, he joined his first rock band, which played mainly alternative rock. He would continue to build upon his vocal lessons by singing any chance he got. At age 16 he acquired a driving job that had him driving long distances on every shift. As such, he sang along to the radio and his burned mix CDs, which primarily featured grunge and hard rock rather than metal.
“I didn’t actually sing metal until Lords of the Trident. I’ve always really liked the hard end of alternative rock like Soundgarden. You know, something more hard rock, a little progressive,” says Ty. “I always liked the challenge of rock. I’m always looking for something that’s a little out of my range and metal really scratched that itch for me. If you’re into pushing the boundaries of what you can do, metal is the way, or that’s what I think.”
Officially making his debut in the metal scene with longtime friend and guitarist, Asian Metal, Ty formed Lords of the Trident in 2008. Though a little rough, admitted by Ty himself, the band’s 2009 debut album ‘Death or Sandwich’ saw Ty beginning to harness his highs. And though he’s come a long way since then, especially with their latest full length ‘Frostburn,’ Ty is always pushing himself.
“Power metal is the one subgenre that contains the most talented singers. Having a very good or excellent technique is a must in being a power metal singer. It calls for so much in terms of technique and style,” says Ty. “Having a show where I’m stuffed up or sick is my worst nightmare. If I can’t deliver full force it’s going to suck.”
Working on his voice and singing technique for many years now, Ty views himself as a baritone singing as a tenor, which allows for not only the versatility of his voice but to hit those notes unexpected of his natural range. Due to a bit of recklessness, mainly not warming up enough before performances, he admits that he developed a nodule on his vocal chords. Caught early, these ailments can go away on their own, though it requires much less stress on the vocal chords, which meant no singing for the better part of four months for Ty. Fortunately, the nodule went away on its own and his fear of losing his voice or developing throat cancer was alleviated.
Walking away from this episode, Ty accepted that he can’t go out and perform without a warm up, among other incorrect habits involving his voice, and that he should hone his technique. As such, he began taking lessons, which has made him much more mindful of his technique. He’s since returned to the stage as Fang Von Wrathenstein and has even taught a few lessons to his friends. When asked if he’d take up giving lessons as part-time job, he declined.
“Sometimes I feel that I don’t have enough training under my belt to give super accurate lessons,” he says, for he teaches an approach that is based more on experience than technicality. “I mean, yeah, I was classically trained, but I was ten.”
Focusing mainly on his musical projects, Ty is working on the next Lords of the Trident album, but also his side project Raptor Command: a Tribute to Elon Musk. His main project, of course, will always be The Lords of the Trident. The band is working hard on the new album and is planning out their winter campaign after just few shows in the past few months. According to Ty, the band will unveil some of their new songs live, but their Patreon backers will be receiving early demos as a taste to come.
For more information on The Lords of the Trident be sure to check out our feature article and the band’s Facebook page: