In recent weeks, Tyr have been on tour in Europe and the UK. Louder Than War caught their show in Manchester and managed to get some time with vocalist, Heri Joensen, to answer some questions. First, though, a few words about the Manchester gig.
The bands short 45 minute set was excellent. Tyr immediately went for the jugular with a crowd pleasing opener in the form of Hold The Heathen Hammer High.
The majority of the crowd (ranging from teens to Middle Aged men) chanted along with the band. All in all, a triumphant opening. The tracks from new album Valkyrie also went down a storm. The bands ‘good old heavy metal’ influences were prevalent throughout. These classic sounds were excellently meshed with the traditional sounds that Heri mentions in the interview below. The band provided an eclectic, yet acquired sound.
It was evident from the crowd in Manchester that followers of the band are devout and they lapped up every chord and chorus from the band. Hopefully it won’t be too long before the band washes up on our shores again.
Louder Than War: Readers of our site may not be familiar with Tyr. How would you describe yourself to our readers?
Heri Joensen: We’re a Faeroese heavy metal band that draws on folklore and mythology for inspiration. We still have a basic heavy metal line up, vocals, two guitars, bass and drums. One of our trademarks is our use of choirs and clean vocals. No extreme here.
Your latest album, Valkyrja, is a concept album. How did the ideas and concepts come about for the latest album?
I’ve been fascinated with the Valkyries in the mythology as long as I’ve known about it, and throughout my music career I’ve looked for ways to tell myths in a way so that they represent some modern time issues. I’ve also liked women since I was a young teenager, and anyone who has been involved in a romantic relationship knows that there are ups and downs. So this album combines several things that I like and have been fascinated by for most of my life.
There is obviously a massive amount of Norse mythology and lore. How do you decide where to pick your themes from, and do you have any ideas for future projects?
It’s very easy really. I just pick the myth that fits the image direction that we’re aiming for and one that I think will allow for good lyrics. I’ve never really had any problems picking one, and we already picked one for the next album, Terji and I, a few evenings ago.
You have a unique and varied sound as band, but who would you say your main musical influences are?
Scandinavian music tradition is a major influence. As for modern music, it’s bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Helloween, Accept, Metallica, Savatage. Basic good old Heavy Metal!
How did your recent tour in the UK go?
We had a great time there and turnout was fantastic! London was an especially good gig, plus it was fantastic to finally play in Ireland. We hope to be back sometime next year and play even more shows.
All words by By Dom Walsh. You can read more by Dom on Louder Than War here & follow him on Twitter if you’re so minded.