Týr hail from the ancient Faroe Islands, which are steeped in Viking mythology and history – The kind of stuff that makes up the lyrical basis for Týr‘s music. With the release of the band’s seventh studio album, Valkyrja just around the corner, Nico has a chat with Týr bassist Gunnar Thomsen.
Nico: Valkyrja is Týr‘s seventh studio album. How will it differ from previous releases?
Gunnar: It’s not that different from the others. Just much better, and more up beat tempo and dedicated to women.
Nico: The concept of Valkyrja is loosely based around an unnamed warrior attempting to impress a Valkyrie so he gain entry to either Folkvang (Freya‘s hall) or Valhalla (Odin‘s hall). What inspired you to write the story around this?
Gunnar: Usually whatever is on Heri‘s mind at the time, so in this case, life and women. He has had this concept for sometime now.
Nico: Obviously the Valkyries will be playing a role in the story concept that will be running through Valkyrja, will any other figures from Norse mythology be making an appearance in the lyrics/story line?
Gunnar: Heri always likes to put the Norse mythology into the lyrics, so there is other figures to in the story line. He also likes to use mythology with current themes today, as in the case of the previous album, The Lay of Thrym. This time it is about woman.
Nico: Aside from the aforementioned story concept, are there any other lyrical themes that will be appearing throughout the new album?
Gunnar: No themes as such but every song on the album has its own tale to present.
Nico: You collaborated with Leaves’ Eyes vocalist Liv Kristine on the track The Lay Of Our Love. How did this collaboration come about and do you feel it will open up Týr‘s music to fans of Leaves’ Eyes who may have not listened to Týr yet?
Gunnar: Heri suggested the idea to present her on one of the songs, course she has a wonderful voice and originally we intended to have more guest appearance on the album, but we decided that one was enough. Of course we hope to get more listeners, for Týr, but this is not why we asked Liv Kristine. Mainly just admiration for music.
Nico: Describe the new album in five words or less.
Gunnar: Fucking awesome!
Nico: Kári left Týr before the recording process for Valkyrja began. How has this affected Týr‘s overall sound and the sound of the new album?
Gunnar: Of course this affected the drum sound a lot but it also created a new and interesting atmosphere in the music. We will always miss Kári, and best wishes for his health.
Nico: Speaking of the recording process for Valkyrja, you enlisted George Kollias as drummer for the recording process. What was it like to work with one of metal’s most accomplished drummers?
Gunnar: He was absolutely astonishing to work with and he has a exceptional ear for music, and a lot of great ideas for how to put it together. He has a great personality.
Nico: Týr are set to return to the UK in October as support to Finntroll. Will this run of UK dates be in support of the new album or will you be returning to the UK later to support the new album?
Gunnar: This will be to support the new album but we hope to get more tours in England and plans are already being discussed for 2014.
Nico: While we’re on the topic of touring, following Týr‘s sold-out headline show in York last year at the Jorvik Viking Festival, are looking forward to playing the UK again?
Gunnar: YES! We are always looking forward to play in UK. We don’t do it as often as we would like and we love you Brits.
Nico: If could you meet any figure from the Viking Age, who would it be and why?
Gunnar: Of course Týr, the god of war. “Who else”?
Nico: If you were trapped on an island and could only listen to only one album until you were rescued, which one would it be and why?
Gunnar: Peace of Mind by Iron Maiden. And why? its the best album in this world.
Nico: Do you have anything you’d like to say to our readers?
Gunnar: Looking forward to see you all on the UK dates. We are looking forward to present the new album. Thank you for your support. we hail you Brits. Hail to the hammer!