The Tyrants formed after a chance meeting by Michael J and Abbe Kanter in a Hollywood improv class. They cut their teeth in local dives like Madame Wong’s, Club 88, and Al’s Bar with brash songs like “3 People Nude Below the Waist” and “In the Shadow of Hitler.”

In 1986 “Too Tuff To Cry,” a Hi-NRG dance track for tiny JDC Records blew up into a club smash from East L.A. to Mexico City. Riding this wave, TIT released a steady stream of 12-inch records on various independent dance labels.

But they kept their punky edge playing discos one night and rock clubs the next, and started to get national pop and urban radio airplay with tracks like “Big Pink House” and “Boy.”

Their new body of work morphed into something they dubbed Punk Cabaret. “After shows, fans were asking where they could buy the new stuff,” says AbbeAbbe, the female Tyrant. “So it seemed natural to start our own label.”

The first Emotional Coathanger Records release was “Meet The Tyrants In Therapy” (2000), where they blended samples with rock, dance, punk, and blues into songs about civil rights, suicide, lesbianism, pedophilia, and cake.

After taking a musical hiatus to create and produce a 26-episode TV series, TIT came roaring back in 2009 with “High Class Trash,” an ambitious 21-cut CD influenced by every kind of music they enjoyed growing up.

It’s The Tyrants’ “Sgt. Pepper,” mixing influences like The Kinks, Flying Lizards, Dolly Parton, ABBA, house music, Leonard Cohen, Patti Smith, Giorgio Moroder, the Rolling Stones, Beethoven and klezmer on a single CD.

With the rise of social media, dance music fans around the world discovered the Tyrants’ disco catalogue, and in 2012 they resurrected “Perfect Love,” a song written in the late 80s but never released that became popular in Mexico and Europe.

TIT returned to their rock roots in 2015 and began shaping the 14 cut opus that became “Spoken Weird.” Released in the summer of 2019, “It’s a jukebox musical on psychedelics,” says Tyrant Michael, “It’s Pink bringing the pizza and Sonny Bono bringing ‘shrooms to Brad Paisley’s house.”

And the Tyrants’ live show more than lives up to their adventurous records. A kaleidoscope of rock, romance, dance, country, politics, New Wave, and a decadent dash of Cabaret, TIT delivers a performance so mind-bending you’ll forget how to get home, even if you’re sitting in your own living room.

But what else would you expect from a couple who call themselves the Tyrants in Therapy?