Named after one of the strongest tanks in world history, Type 99 want you to know that they mean serious rock and roll.
Cyrus Shokoohideh was in his first year in the Community and Justice Services program at Mohawk College when he met Derek Solomos, the music student, sitting on a bench outside of the residence building. The then 23 year-old Cyrus was wearing an AC/DC t-shirt, the 19 year-old Derek in a Metallica shirt. After bonding over their shared interest in playing guitar, they started jamming together.
Cyrus has been in the music scene since he was young. "I started when I was 13-14 years old, I started playing Guitar Hero and realized that rock music was my thing. After my parents bought me a guitar I started playing gigs at restaurants, guitar shops, I played some at school- mainly covering songs. I didn't get paid, but I had fun. I like sharing my music with people."
"My beginnings in music go back to what my parents would play in the house as I was growing up," said Derek. "But what really inspired me was School of Rock. That movie made me wanna pick up a guitar."
With Cyrus on vocals and Derek on bass, the band needed a percussionist.
"I met Jordan on Facebook," said Cyrus. "Him and I had our political discussions on there and we just became friends over it. Then I found out he played drums, so we had a drummer- and he's pretty damn good at it."
The 20 year-old Jordan Diaf is at York University for music, and shares the same passion and taste for hard rock as the rest of the band.
"The biggest musical influence for me, has to be Rush, but I have many," said Jordan.
"Musically, I started with singing- I learned it from my mom, but I actually started playing Rock Band and Guitar Hero, and that's what got me into drums."
Derek takes influence from the greats. "My main influences for guitar playing would be Jimmy Paige of Led Zeppelin, Angus Young of AC/DC, Tony Lommi of Black Sabbath, and James Hetfield of Metallica."
Cyrus would describe the band's collective inspirations as very, "70s, 80s hard rock and heavy metal, very Motorhead, AC/DC."
The boys prefer metal and hard rock over the current chart-topping pop singles, and hope to bring more of that style back into the mainstream.
"I feel like the modern rock scene is a little castrated- it needs more balls," said Cyrus. "I want to make balls-to-the-wall, in-your-face kind of music. I want it to shout to people, "This is who we are", which I feel is what mainstream music is lacking right now."
Derek has a vision to work in music as a career. "I hope the band has a future. I wanted to have a career in music since I was 9 years-old, but right now I see us gigging and trying to get some recognition in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area)."
"I hope we keep playing better and better gigs. Right now, we're having a lot of fun playing, and that's my biggest goal- to keep it fun," said Jordan. "I'm not sure about "the big break", personally I'd like to finish my education and then get deeper into music."
Cyrus agrees. "We've been together for about a year, but we've just been kick-starting our journey recently. We don't have anything recorded yet, we're building up our Instagram until we have the time to record. We're focusing on our schooling for now."
Upcoming gig: Saturday, Jan. 26th 2019 @ 8:00pm, at Absinthe Pub and Coffee Shop, 4700 Keele St. North York.