Tim Aymar is a US vocalist who is active in music business for more than 40 years. His career includes Chuck Schuldiner’s project Control Denied. Lucas Biela (LB) interviewed him for ISKC Radio Group
1/ LB: Hi Tim, I was aware of Control Denied, but my interest in your career was revived with the power metal project Pharaoh, a band I stumbled upon when browsing through the career of Chris Black (aka Professor Black). Pharaoh’s last album, ‘The Powers That Be’, released this year, landed in my top 10 albums of the year. Could you tell us more about this project?
I met Matt Johnsen, our guitarist back in 1997 when Pharaoh had recently formed. He brought me a song of theirs and an Iron Maiden cover tune (Aces High) that he hired me as a session vocalist to record vocals for. These were for a compilation disk called “Maiden America” which contained tracks from several American metal bands, each doing 1 Maiden cover and 1 original song. Shortly after that came another Iron maiden cover for another compilation. Then, after finishing the Control Denied CD, and while working on Psycho Scream’s full-length debut, Matt came to me once more, hiring me to sing a full-length CD for Pharaoh. This included 2 songs I also wrote the lyrics and vocal arrangements for. The Pharaoh debut CD “After The Fire” was released in 2003, and when I started seeing the reception it was given, I decided to make myself available if they’d want me to become a permanent fixture. Evidently, they are happy with that arrangement; we’ve been together making albums for 18 years on Cruz Del Sur Music, who chose Pharaoh as their first signing.
2/ LB: Aside Pharaoh, a simple look at Metal Archives website informs us that you are involved in many other projects. How do you manage to be everywhere at the same time (I could ask the same to Chris Black) and deliver such quality music? Is it linked to your long experience in music?
It’s because I’m never satisfied with anything that keeps me reaching out and being reached out to. I don’t mean that I’m disappointed in any of the projects I’ve worked with; what i mean is that to me, when an opportunity presents itself to make better music or even just something different from what I normally do, I’m usually open to it. So, I’ve guested and worked with a healthy variety of artists and bands over the years. I’m not happy being not busy, and striving for the next accomplishment. It’s the biggest reason I love being in Pharaoh. We all try to raise the bar on ourselves with each new endeavor.
3/ LB: You are in music business since the late 70’s, and you saw how things evolved in rock and metal since then. Did you have to adapt to changing trends or did you follow only your own vision throughout decades?
I’ve not really been a trend chaser as far as what I do. I may borrow elements from other styles such as traditional metal and progressive rock and metal, power metal, whatever the recipe calls for to make things interesting, but I don’t ever try to make music that doesn’t sound like it came from me. Although I’ve played in cover bands like top 40 rock and metal, that’s different. In that case you do your best to faithfully reproduce the sound of that artist you’re covering. With original music, it flows from the soul. Anything and everything I’ve learned as a musician goes into what I create.
4/ LB: Most metalheads know you from Control Denied, the project of the late Chuck Schuldiner of Death fame. Could you tell us how you came to be the lucky one chosen for this project?
While I was working on Psycho Scream’s recording with Jim Dofka, our line-up fell apart and left the two of us searching for either an established band that needed a sing and guitarist, or for members of established bands looking to fit into our situation. Jim was contacted by Chuck asking to “borrow” me for Control Denied. We talked on the phone about it, he sent me the demo tapes and I visited him and the band for a week in Orlando, Florida to record three songs and see how well I would fit in. As it turned out, we worked very well together and finished those songs in a very short time. Everything fit like a glove, so I was given the job.
5/ LB: Was Control Denied a booster for your further career or were you already a well-established musician in the business?
Well sure it did. Because we were signed to Nuclear Blast, we got the exposure that made the band popular, hence my name became more recognizable. That’s the most you can hope for in this business. I made the right move and it paid off.
6/ LB: You told me about a project called Helios and anticipated release for New Year 2022. Could you tell us more about this project?
Helios was a band called Storm Dragon, who invited me to come watch them open for Metal Church in Pittsburgh a couple years back. That’s how we met. I liked what they were doing and offered to produce the band, although when they mentioned that Jim Dofka had been working with them, I told them to contact me if that happened to change. A few months later they fired their singer, and they asked me about working with them and making a fresh start. So I rewrote all the lyrics and vocal arrangements and even altered a few song arrangements, and what resulted was a whole new beast. It’s part classic hard rock, part traditional metal. So I wound up singing, writing and producing for Helios. Our demos are on YouTube and at our website, Facebook etc., and the full length record is almost finished. I have one song to sing and mix down, and we’ll be ready for launch.
7/ LB: Your voice is very powerful, it gives an epic dimension to the music and warms the atmosphere. Do you train regularly to keep it so strong?
Yes, plus I’ve been singing since I was 5 years old and playing an instrument since I was 8, so music is a bodily function. I’ve been teaching classical voice technique for 32 years, so keeping up with teaching keeps me on top of my game as a singer.
8/ LB: Given how prolific you are, do you have new plans for the future: new projects, new directions?
Of course. I’ve been working a little with a band called Beltfead Weapon, which is very reminiscent of Control Denied, and have other projects I’ve been invited to work on. One will be a complete surprise to everyone when we put it out there; it’s top secret.
9/ LB: Please let us know if you want to add anything else
Anyone interested in singing lessons can contact me on http://lessonface.com/timaymar
I teach beginners through advanced, and I make it affordable. You can learn to sing like a pro for the price of a case of beer or a gram of pot per week. Thanks for the interview!