Raptor Command: The Heavy Metal Tribute to Elon Musk
As you read this Raptor Command, the world’s only power metal tribute band to Elon Musk, is getting ready to take the world by storm with their debut album. But wait. Who the hell is Raptor Command?
A power metal tribute to Elon Musk and his futurist ideas, Raptor Command was the brainchild of keyboardist and guitarist Max Carlisle, who has brought together a group of talented musicians, including Ty Christian (Lords of the Trident), to make his dreams a reality.
So how did it all begin? How did the vocalist of a power metal band from Madison, Wisconsin and a shredder for hire from Los Angeles come to together for such an ambitious power metal project?
“Way back in the day, probably…it must have been three or four years ago I was on a PR company called Online Metal Promotions. One of the guys that signed up for the service was a guy named Maxwell Carlisle,” says Christian, who was using the promotion service for Lords of the Trident.
Thanks to the popularity of Christian’s high fantasy power metal band and Carlisle’s need for a powerful and talented vocalist for a new heavy metal project, Carlisle got into contact with Christian and asked if him if he’d be interested in singing for his project. About as ambitious as Carlisle, Christian accepted, especially when considering he would be singing beside legendary power metal vocalist Sean Peck (Cage, Death Dealer). Of course, things didn’t go quite as planned.
“Max didn’t tell me what parts I was supposed to sing and what parts Sean was to sing. He just sent me the track, so I’m like ‘well, I guess I’ll just to the whole track and he can slice it up later,’” says Christian. “What I found out was Sean never finished his vocal parts. Apparently he had no time to do it, so I was like ‘oh, I’m glad I did the whole thing.’”
Impressed by Christian’s vocals and their shared love of science fiction and nerd culture, Carlisle stayed in contact with Christian well after the single. In time, they worked together on a few more songs such as a cover of Nitro’s ‘Freight Train.’
“I love Max, but I’ve never wanted to shoot him more than halfway through that fucking song,” Christian jokes about the Nitro cover. “If you really pay close attention to the vocals there’s like 40 fucking tracks on that song.”
Taking days out of his life and probably graying his hair a bit, Christian completed his vocals, all 40 tracks of it, but the track has been yet to be released. After this project Carlisle contacted Ty with a full band project.
“Out of the blue he emails me and says ‘hey Ty, I’m thinking about doing an Elon Musk power metal tribute band do you want to be the singer?’ and I was like ‘Fuck yes I do! After I was like, wait, what?’”
This email spawned what would become known as a Raptor Command, which takes its name from the mythos of Tesla.
With Carlisle in Los Angeles and Christian in Madison, Wisconsin the band worked over the internet passing tracks back and forth. While this may seem like an odd way to operate a band it worked out well enough for the band to release their debut single ‘Elon: Champion for Humanity’ in Fall of 2016.
Figuring it would take some time to get the track known to the metal community the band got a big surprise shortly after the release.
“For one day after it got released I was everywhere on the internet. It was a deluge. I was on like 50 different sites; Forbes…New York Times. They all ran this story of ‘Elon Musk now has a power metal tribute band,” Christian says with a laugh.
Thanks to Carlisle putting together a promotional photo using select photos of each member of the band at the time, Christian’s picture, which was in the character of his Fang von Wrathenstein alter ego from Lords of the Trident, was the one circulated by the media. Christian attributes it to him wearing medieval armor, screaming like a warrior and holding a flaming sword being the most metal photo of them all.
“So basically every single article that got copied over they wrote ‘if you don’t believe the seriousness of this band then take a look at their singer,’” says Christian. “That was a weird day, man.”
Fast forward to mid-march and Christian was just finishing his tour with Lords of the Trident in support of Psychostick and heading out to Los Angeles to finally link up with the whole Raptor Command band. While together the band embarked on a weekend of photo and video shoots.
As of this writing the full album is in the works. Christian says he has done vocals for around four songs thus far and he hopes Raptor Command will release their debut album by the close of 2017. In the meantime fans can look forward to a pair of music videos and some behind the scenes footage on the band’s official Facebook page.
So what about Elon Musk himself? Does the man know about the band formed in his honor? Considering the media blitz and a chance encounter at Space X, the answer is very likely, yes.
While touring the Space X facility an employee recognized Carlisle as the guitarist of Raptor Command and pulled him aside. After a good conversation and stepping off the tour to meet with a higher up employee that reported directly to Elon Musk, Carlisle was promised that Elon Musk would see the video first thing in the monring. So far the band hasn’t received a cease and desist, so they’re confident that Musk was flattered.