Q&A: Rob Zwink of Great Tyrant music service

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Rob Zwink is decent with a guitar and superb with computers. In September, he combined his love for music and programming through Great Tyrant. The free online music service allows bands to upload material and create download codes that can be attached to anything from posters to beer mugs. Zwink shared more about giving back to local bands.

When I was in high school, I played in a band. That culminated in a battle of the bands at the Newport. I think people familiar with it kind of make fun of that, but it was fun for me. I play guitar and have since I was, like, 14 years old.

The band s that inspired me to play would be some hair metal. I'd have to give it to Megadeth or Slayer. I was big into the heavy metal. Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water" was the first song I played, then I went straight into "Master of Puppets."

I started doing websites in the late '90s. I moved here in '96 from Marion and got a job at Winbook repairing laptop computers. I skipped college to work at Lucent. I worked for Micro Electronics, the company that owns Micro Center, so I did microcenter.com and all the in-store kiosks.

Something people might not know about me is that I did walk-in tech support at Micro Center. You meet all kinds of people in tech support. I think half of them don't really have computer problems - they just have problems and want to talk about them.

The best advice I've ever received is to not spend as much time talking about things as actually doing them. Make realistic lists and check them off.

Great Tyrant is kind of a way for me to do the computer stuff and still enjoy the people who can do the music stuff.

Local bands are the people who could use it the most. During a three-month tour, Two Cow Garage ran out of CDs during certain shows, so they would sell the posters that they had with the code on the back. They actually got Two Cow beer glasses that they put the code on.

Three things I can't live without are my gal Kelly, some way of listening to music and vacation.

One goal of mine is to have an original Bob Ross in my bathroom.

Know someone doing cool things around Columbus? E-mail John Ross at jross@columbusalive.com.

Name: Rob Zwink

Age: 33

Day job: Computer programmer

Neighborhood: Grandview

Hometown: Marion

Web: greattyrant.com

Last Words

Last thing you bought: A turkey-roaster for Thanksgiving

Last great meal you ate: My Thanksgiving dinner

Last book you read: "Bluebeard" by Kurt Vonnegut

Last movie you watched: "The Man from Earth"

Last place you traveled: St. Croix and the U.S. Virgin Islands