Archive for Heri Joensen

Tyr unveil video for The Lay Of Our Love featuring Liv Kristine of Leaves’ Eyes

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 30th January 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Faroese Jarls of Viking metal Týr have unveiled the video for The Lay Of Our Love, which features Liv Kristine of Leaves’ Eyes. The song is taken from Týr’s latest musical edda Valkyrja, which was released via Metal Blade Records and is the band’s follow-up to their 2011 release The Lay Of Thrym. The clip was produced by Stanimir Lukic, directed by Ivan Colic, and can be seen below.

Tyr online:

http://tyr.fo
http://facebook.com/tyrband

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Interview with Týr

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , , on 23rd October 2013 by vmteam

Perhaps one of the greatest folkish/Nordic/younameit line-ups aside from the European spectacle of Heidenfest graced The Garage this past Saturday evening: behemoths Finntroll were joined by Metal Blade’s Týr, who are touring their latest album, and were supported by Iceland’s Skálmöld for an evening of sweltering debauchery and a raucous good time.

A long time fan of Týr himself, Jon caught up with Týr before the gig as the crowds started to swell up Holloway Road.

Absent for most of Týr’s interview was lyrical mastermind and mythology nerd Heri Joensen, who popped in his head for a few questions before ducking out, but Jon sat down with bassist (and comedian) Gunnar Thomsen, lead guitarist Terji Skibenaes, and new recruit drummer Amon Djurhuus.

Jon: Ok, introductory question: tell us something interesting about yourself!

Gunnar: I’m a plumber?

Jon: Everyone knows you’re a plumber!

Gunnar: And a diver!

Terji: Only perverted things come into my mind… I hate driving cars!

Amon: I can actually play the harmonica! 

Jon: Is the harmonica going to be on any Týr records then?

Amon: No way! Never ever! 

Jon: Gunnar, I saw you wearing a Trollfest t-shirt the other day; they’ve covered Toxic by Britney Spears. Aside from the new covers of Iron Maiden and Pantera on Valkyrja, out of any genre, what would you cover?

Gunnar: I would probably cover a Deep Purple song – I would never go so low as to do Britney Spears!

Terji: Pop song? I thought about it the other day! Chicago, It’s Hard to Say I’m Sorry – it will just be me in a one man show.

Jon: You went for a quite a power metal vibe in Valkyrja; Liv Kristine, singer from Leaves’ Eyes, joined you in ballad Lay of Our Love – have you thought about collaborating with any other musicians?

Terji: No, I don’t think we’re going to do that. 

Jon: I know you don’t align yourself with the folk metal scene, but a lot of bands use unconventional instruments- maybe not harmonicas, but accordions, violins…

Gunnar: Yeah, that’s never gonna happen – an orchestra, maybe… that could be something!

Terji: No violins though… 

Jon: I know Valkyrja has just been released, but have you started doing work on the new album?

Terji: Only demos so far.

Gunnar: They sound amazing, absolutely brilliant! 

Jon: Do you have a concept that it might focus on?

Terji: No, we don’t know yet…

Gunnar: We’ll do a cover track by The Bee Gees maybe… we’ll put a nail in our balls and- (quiet, high-pitched wails) 

Jon: That could be your stage performance next tour… Now – you cover modern issues; for example, your anti-racism song Shadow of the Swastika. Do you think any cultural values from Norse mythology are still relevant today?

Gunnar: That’s what Heri does with lyrics – he takes old situations and compares them to new situations because they’re quite similar. So it kinda draws a line between the two.

Jon: Do you like singing about modern issues or would you prefer to stick to singing only about mythology?

Gunnar: If it was up to me, we’d sing songs about cars and planes!

Terji: Sex, drugs and rock and roll! 

Jon: I think Shadow of the Swastika was a good response to the criticism you faced from people under the misconception you were a right-wing band.

Gunnar: Yeah, that whole thing came totally behind our backs. 

Jon: So from the new album, what’s your personal favourite – you know my favourite is Lady of the Slain, which I believe you wrote, Terji!

Terji: Yes I did! Mine is Another Fallen Brother.

Gunnar: It’s difficult to say, Valkyrja is my favourite- maybe because I wrote that! No, it’s difficult to say. I like the whole album.

Terji: Mare of My Night!

Gunnar: Mare of My Night is my favourite, yeah! 

Jon: That was so embarrassing to listen to… just listening to the lyrics…

Terji: Did you blush?

Jon: I did! Listening to it on my own I thought ‘you can’t say that, Heri!

Gunnar: Good! I think that’s where we should go! Getting brutally honest!

Amon: I think Mare of My Night is my favourite, too. I love playing it live- it’s a pretty cool live song. 

Jon: (Mathias from Finntroll is lounging on the sofa in the background behind Terji) What’s your favourite song, Mathias

Mathias: What favourite? No, I do know the songs! I listen to it every day! Uh, probably Mare of My Night, too.

Jon: Are there any songs you recorded but couldn’t use for Valkyrja?

Gunnar: This was what we had. We never actually record more songs than needed.

Jon: So Amon, have you ever been on tour before?

Amon: Yep, I’ve been on tour with Týr two times before – this is my third – and with Heljareyga (Heri Joensen’s side-project) also. It’s going good.

Gunnar: We bully him a bit – we’ve tried to break him in (whip crack sound)

Terji: Gunnar thinks we bully him, but we actually bully Gunnar!

Gunnar: I’m used to it!

Jon: I know a lot of fans were upset Kári (Streymoy, previous drummer) left, but the fans that have met you have said you’re cool, Amon – you’ve got our support! Can you teach us to say something in Faroese?

Terji: Spina. Spin-hora. Sperm whore. 

Jon: Would that help me to pick up a guy at a bar?

Gunnar: That would probably work on me!

Jon: Wow – next question! I’ve been listening to you since I was fifteen – so five years now. And I have to Admit that when I first started listening to you, I hated you!

Terji: Usually people do!

Jon: And now I run the UK fanpage on Facebook- funny how things change. When did you first realise you were getting noticed? I know Valkyrja is having great success in the charts and with critics alike.

Terji: Probably since after By the Light of the Northern Star was released. 

Jon: I know a lot of places in South America are crazy about anything Nordic-themed, do you find you have a good reception there as well?

Terji: Yeah, a lot! (Gunnar says ‘No’) Gunnar’s never on Facebook; he doesn’t know!

(Heri Joensen wanders over from the corner) 

Jon: Do you want to tell us about any lyrics you’re working on?

Heri: Uh, well Terji and I have talked about some stuff, and that’s all that’s happened so far. I don’t think we should mention it yet…

Terji: No, not yet.

Heri: Turn the microphone off!

Terji: Our manager will kill us…

Gunnar: No, it’s about big elephants in Africa, and the situation with the pelican that flies off and mates with the flamingos. It’s very disturbing.

Jon: I think you’re going to have to write that now! (Heri tries to run away; Jon pull him back) Stay here – there’s another one! I know a lot of my friends are starting to form bands and write lyrics about their English heritage. Do you encourage that, and how can people who are interested in that best go about interacting with, or writing about, something personal to them

Heri: I think that in the Faroes at least we have a very direct connection with our heritage, so when I started to write lyrics I didn’t have to dig very deep to find anything, and there was no artificial angle to it. I can imagine if you grew up in England that

Jon: It would be more about learning what you know from history lessons

Heri: Yeah exactly. You have to be into that sort of thing to know anything about it, but still I would encourage anyone to do it. I like it when music sounds like where it comes from and also has mythological subjects related to a band’s heritage, if you’re into that kind of thing. So when everything isn’t so internationalised.

Jon: I must say though I love the new African animal direction you’re taking, and Terji was also telling me about wanting to cover musical theatre…

Heri: I’m now officially out of the band!

Amon: Elephants in Chicago!

Terji: That’s the new album title!

Jon: Recently, fanclubs have grown amazingly for Týr. After your gig in York, I started the UK fanpage from a computer in my hostel. Now I’ve seen the Italian fanclub, the Polish fanclub, and of course the US fanclub getting lots of likes on their pages… What can fans do to help you guys?

Terji: I think talk to the local promoters… When they see more people asking for us, then it will most likely happen

Gunnar: And spread the word!

Terji: And hello to Týr Fans in the UK! Thank you for everything!

Gunnar: Rock on!

Amon: Thanks – come to our show!

Týr online:

http://www.tyr.fo
http://facebook.com/tyrband

 

Finntroll w/Support @ The Garage, London

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , on 21st October 2013 by vmteam

Týr, Skálmöld and Finntroll
The Garage, London
6th October 2013

I first started listening to Finntroll when I was 15. My mum took me to a Heidenfest show for my 16th birthday, and I guess you can say that was my slow descent into the underworld of folk metal.

The line-up tonight is one I’ve been excited about for a long time, and one that personally I think fits very nicely together: Skálmöld from Iceland with their melodic, relentless chug you can bounce around to singing in ancient Icelandic poetic metre; Týr showcasing their new venture Valkyrja, an album-worth of fast, genre defying metal; and the legendary Finntroll, revered in folk metal circles from Mexico to Australia. Their new album Blodsvept was released in March this year, and it follows on from the dark-carnival Danny Elfman-cum-black metal Nifelvind. Blodsvept is no less eclectic: surprise kazoos and banjos mix in with brutal guitars and lead troll Vreth’s rich vocals. Always ready for a party when these guys are involved, I prepared myself for mayhem.

From seeing them again on this tour, Skálmöld, who open for us, receives a warm welcome from the audience. Despite only having 30 minutes, the band makes a distinct and explosive impression. Featuring mostly songs from their new album Börn Loka (Children of Loki), Skálmöld  open with the grinding and dark Fenrisúlfur, before keyboard anthem Gleipnir thunders out to a rapturous reception. The much more synthetically folky song, Kvaðning, and the only song from 2011 debut album “Baldur”, ends their stay on stage- and the crowd are left gasping and chanting for more. [4/5]

“Are you ready for Týr?” Skálmöld lead singer Björgvin screams. ‘Ready’ is a brilliant understatement; Týr is arguably my favourite band of the evening, and since seeing them in York, I’ve waited for them to tour again anxiously. The lights dim after a few moments, and their set begins slowly, the red haze overhead throbbing until the clash of the mighty crowd-pleaser Hold the Heathen Hammer High leads to the band striding on stage. The setlist has changed very little over the tour; however, Heathen Hammer and scream-along Valkyrja single Blood of Heroes have remained constant, one after the other whipping up the crowd. I may have nudged lead singer Heri Joensen into performing my favourite track off the new album live, and being the gentleman he is, he doesn’t disappoint- and even manages to make Lady of the Slain better than it is on the album, galloping along with neck-breaking speed, and providing my favourite track that evening- even with the prog-metal magic of Sinklars Vísa. An acquired taste for some, Týr have been consistently good every time I’ve seen them, and with this performance at The Garage they cement themselves as a must-see. [5/5]

After a half-hour wait at the bar, pressed arse-to-chest with strangers like sardines in a net, I break free and run to the front as the Blodsvept starts, the crowd surging forward as the all-too familiar forms of Finntroll– steampunk-clad and pointy-eared- take the stage and bear down over us in glee. After a punchy start, dressed to impress and lapping up the energy, they begin Nifelvind opener Solsagan, evil to the core. The combination of songs from all of Finntroll’s manifestations smash the misconception that Finntroll is just a ‘fun’ gimmick band. They switch alternatively between crunching black metal dug up from the darkest depths of the earth and jumpy dance favourites like En Mäktig Här, famous for steel-pan snyths, and the jig-inducing Under Bergets Rot. Finntroll leave no room to catch a break, and a few songs in the room is stifling, with smiles plastered on drenched faces. Catching sight of flashes of bare chest, Vreth refers to those in the middle fondly as ‘those naked guys’, before calling for an even bigger moshpit. At their last UK gig, Finntroll made sure some oldies were on the list- and they seemed surprised at how much their back catalogue was appreciated. Knowing that we like them, Svartberg makes a comeback with much arm waving and swaying, and Jaktens Tid itself with its added joking is forever a firm favourite, starting snakes of conga lines around the venue.

Lest I die an early death from heat exhaustion, I leave before what I’m sure is Trollhammaren evidently shutting the place down. I consider myself now a Finntroll veteran, but this is a gig I will fondly remember as being one of their best. The crowd was ecstatic for all bands, and funnily enough for an easily-annoyed bastard, the pit was a fun, sweaty, elating experience. [4/5]

If you’re looking for a good time when this assortment of mythological creatures and long-departed warriors trample through the UK, you’d better go and see them. And if you’re staunchly ‘too cool’ for dress-ups, heroics or swords and sorcery, you’re missing out on an awesome time.

Jon Geirson

Týr release new single titled Mare Of My Night

Posted in News, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on 13th August 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Valkyrja; the seventh studio album from Faroese Viking metal legends Týr will be released next month (16th September – UK release date). Having already released the album’s opening track, Týr have released their second single from the album; Mare Of My Night. The song is being streamed exclusively via MetalInsider.net. Frontman, guitarist and vocalist, Heri Joesen, had the following to say about Mare Of My Night:

Mare Of My Night was by far the most difficult song on the album to write, music wise. What I usually do is work on a basic idea, a melody with a chord progression. I make variations over the basic idea and then I pick out the best variations for the respective parts of the song, verse, chorus etc. For this one I had more variations than ever before and I made more versions of this song that I’ve ever done before, so it was very difficult to choose. I’m still not sure I made the best possible song, which is not a satisfying feeling at all. But there you have it.

As for the text, once I went to work on it, it was written in a day or two, in the evenings during studio time. I had the title and the story line long in advance. It’s based on the mare from folklore, the human-like creature that lies on top of you, riding you, causing bad dreams. As in nightmare, riding like a mare etc. Our anonymous viking, the protagonist of the story, finds in this song that his earthly woman has gone from being a goddess to being nightmare. It is also the most sexually explicit piece of lyric I have written so far.

Valkyrja is a concept album with a story line based loosely around an anonymous Viking age warrior who leaves his woman and goes off to impress the Valkyrie on the battlefield so that she may bring him to Valhalla, or to Fólkvangr, the home of Freyja—the goddess associated with love, sexuality, beauty, fertility, gold, sorcery, war, and death. One can say the album is also indirectly about women and how they affect men and what men will do to impress and obtain women. Front man and founder Heri Joensen goes on to explain:

The woman that the warrior leaves may represent the earthly women. Freyja, The Lady Of The Slain, may represent the perfection of Women, and the Valkyrie is the link between the two, taking men from earthly to godly women.

Tyr online:

http://www.tyr.fo/
http://www.facebook.com/tyrband

Týr announce title for 7th studio album and launch new single

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 23rd July 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Farosese Viking metal overlords Týr recently announce Valkyrja as the title of their 7th full-length album which will be released via Metal Blade Records in the UK on 16th September. Týr once again collaborated with Jacob Hansen at Hansen Studios in Ribe, Denmark. Along with Hansen, the band recruited acclaimed drummer George Kollias to act as studio drummer and Leaves’ Eyes vocalist Liv Kristine joined vocalist and guitarist Heri Joensen for a vocal duet on The Lay of Our Love.

Blood Of Heroes, the opening track for the album, is currently streaming on the band’s MetalBlade.com landing page at this location, where Valkyrja is also available to be pre-ordered. Limited edition pre-order bundles are available that include Týr rune pendants, t-shirt, vinyl LP, and the CD.

The concept of Valkyrja is a storyline loosely based on an anonymous Viking age warrior who leaves his wife and home to impress a Valkyrie in order to be chosen for either Valhalla or Folkvang – The latter of which is the abode of the goddess Freya, who had the first pick of any slain warriors that the Valkyries brought from the battlefield. Freya is commonly regarded as the goddess of love, beauty, death, war, magic and sex. One can say the album is also indirectly about women and how they affect men and what men will do to impress and obtain women. Front man and founder Heri Joensen goes on to explain

The woman that the warrior leaves may represent the earthly women. Freya, The Lady Of The Slain, may represent the perfection of Women, and the Valkyrie is the link between the two, taking men from earthly to godly women.

Týr online:

http://www.tyr.fo/
https://www.facebook.com/tyrband

 

Leaves’ Eyes issue recording update; vocal recordings complete

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 18th May 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Norwegian-German symphonic folk metallers Leaves’ Eyes announced recently on their Facebook page that Liv Kristine has finished recording her vocals for the upcoming album, Symphonies of the Night. The full announcement is as follows:

Dear Fans and Friends,

Good news from Mastersound Studio: The vocal recordings for all songs of our up-coming release Symphonies of the Night have just been completed. Moreover, Alex is already busy with the mix of the album.

We have taken a great inspirational step since the production of Meredead, both sound-wise and vocal-wise. It has been such a pleasure evolving in my singing techniques and knowledge and I thank my band members for ‘giving me an inspirational kick’ when I needed to gain momentum behind the microphone. Symphonies of the Night is hauntingly dream-like and heavy to the core!

In related news, Liv Kristine will be featured on the upcoming, currently untitled Tyr album, on the track The Lay of Our Love where she’ll be performing a duet with Tyr frontman Heri Joensen.

Leaves’ Eyes online:

http://www.leaveseyes.com
https://www.facebook.com/leaveseyesofficial/
http://twitter.com/Leaves_Eyes
http://www.youtube.com/user/LeavesEyesOfficial

 

Tyr enlist George Kollias for upcoming album; Liv Kristine announced as guest vocalist

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 16th May 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Hailing from the Faroe Islands, Týr are currently recording their new album with producer Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Aborted, Mercenary) at his studios in Denmark. For drum tracking on this album, Týr have enlisted the services of George Kollias, one of metal’s most accomplished drummers, primarily known for his work in Nile, as well as Nightfall. A video featuring drum tracking highlights, as well as a short message from Kollias, is streaming now on YouTube, which can be viewed here.

George Kollias comments on the experience:

Hey Týr fans, this is George Kollias and I hope you are ALL ready for a crushing new album from Týr!!! I had the pleasure to record the drums on the new album, we had an absolutely great time in the studio and I gotta tell you, the material is super strong and catchy, I’m 100% sure you will all love this new album!! Big thanks to Heri, Terji and Gunnar for the opportunity and to Jacob Hansen for his incredible work with the recordings!

Týr comments: 

It was a pleasure to have George in studio. He’s an amazing drummer and he certainly made an impact on this album. We’re very excited to release this album.

A recent announcement on the Týr Facebook page has confirmed that the band has parted ways with drummer Kári Streymoy. The band commented on the amicable split:

We regret to inform you that Kári Streymoy and the rest of the band have parted ways. Kári suffered a back injury in 2008, and since then he has had some issues with his drumming. That is the main reason that the co-operation has been problematic for some time now, and we finally decided to part ways. We want to thank Kári for his time in the band. It’s been great to have you with us, we wish you the best of luck in the future and we hope you recover fully some day.

This album will be the band’s seventh full length effort. One of the new tracks, The Lay of Our Love, will feature a duet with Týr vocalist Heri Joensen and Liv Kristine from Leaves Eyes. In an update on Leaves Eyes’ official Facebook page, Kristine announced:

Dear Viking-Metal Fans & Friends,
I am very happy to announce that I will be joining Týr for the duet The Lay Of Our Love on their up-coming album (title still to be revealed), which is set to be released this Fall. Heri already joined Leaves’ Eyes at our headliner show in Wacken Open Air 2012. This was an absolute highlight during our live performance, moreover, I really like his voice and I am grateful for the invitation. A superb track, with inspiring melodies and lyrics, proving the authenticity of Týr.
Love,
Liv

More details will be unveiled in the forthcoming months as music and art are completed. The band has been posting images from the studio throughout the recording process, so make sure to follow them on their official Facebook page for candid photos and personal updates from the band.

Týr online:

http://www.tyr.fo/
https://www.facebook.com/tyrband
http://twitter.com/tyrband