As a beginning, could you tell us a bit about the history of TÝR?
We started in
"Erik The Red" has been recorded and produced in
The recordings went absolutely beyond all our expectations. We recorded and mixed the whole thing in 18 days. When we were done we had one hour to spare. Looking back and comparing with our other visits to studios we were very well prepared and worked very efficiently, mostly thanks to Jacob Hansen. He is very professional and efficient and a very nice guy to top it all.
Are there any recording studios at all on the
Yes, there are several, and some of them have very high standards. There are unfortunately none that specialize in Metal of any kind.
It seems to me as if you used more traditional Faeringar songs on "Erik The Red" compared to "How Far To Asgaard?". Is that a coincidence?
No. To our surprise and relief "Ormurin Langi" was very well received by people who do not understand a word of Faeroese. It went to show that the language is no barrier in music, so we threw in a few more Faeroese traditionals.
When you transfer a traditional Folk song into a Metal song, how do you approach the original? Are there certain concessions you make or are you careful to keep the original spirit?
The melody is holy, both tone and rhythm, and everything else is adapted. Some times the traditional melodies are not so apparent, maybe the bass or one of the guitars play an old melody and the rest is arranged to that. You can't say that we are entirely true to the original spirit. I we were we'd be bards or minstrels. No, we are a Metal band and Metal is what we play.
With "The Wild Rover" you also use an Irish Folk song, how come that you chose this one?
The basic idea to play it was Pól Arni's, the first singer. He used to sing it spontaneously at some concerts in the Faeroes and it was very popular. So we made an arrangement of it to this album.
After your first album "How Far To Asgaard" you changed the singer. What happened to Pól Arni Holm?
We all lived in
If you had one sentence to convince somebody of TÝR and to buy "Erik The Red", what would you say?
I'd say, "This is Viking Folk Doom Progressive Power Ethnic Epic Black Gothic Metal from the end of the world like you never heard it before." That has to appeal to somebody's curiosity.
You are signed to Tútl Records, what kind of label are they?
Tutl is a non-profit label, run by the legendary Dane, Kristian Blak, who put the freedom of the musician above all else. They started as a jazz label in the seventies and have developed over time to an all round label.
What are your influences and inspirations both musically as lyrically?
The first Metal band I listened to was MÖTLEY CRÜE. They introduced me to Rock music. Through my teens I was very much into the British Rock and Metal scene. IRON MAIDEN, BLACK SABBATH, DEEP PURPLE, DIO (I know he's American), PINK FLOYD and URIAH HEEP. The second band to really mean anything to me was DREAM THEATER. When I was introduced to their albums "Awake" and "Images And Words" the walls of my musical universe collapsed and I thought, "There are no limits". Lately I've discovered bands such as American SAVATAGE, German BLIND GUARDIAN, Norwegian LUMSK and Finnish MOONSORROW. Quite beside all that stand Faeroese and Scandinavian folk music. As the above-mentioned bands may inspire our sound our tonality and feel comes from local folk music. Lyrically I draw on local ancient legend, but make no mistake, I still write about very contemporary matters.
Your music sounds very heartfelt and passionate, not contrived in any way. How does a TÝR song take shape?
I find a melody, add bass line, find out what feel and expression I want from the song and work towards that with guitars and rhythm, repeating themes and variations, think about what message I want in the lyrics and write them accordingly. We arrange and produce everything together.
On your homepage you offer three video clips, one of which has been shot on a Viking festival in
We have exploited our opportunities to the fullest extent. When we were in
Which goals do you have for TÝR as a band?
First I want me and my bandmates to make a living of this band, that is, not have to do anything else to make ends meet. It takes a lot of the energy out of the band to constantly have to worry about how to pay next month's bills. Then I would like to have the circumstances to keep developing our musical and song writing skills, and then I want to circumtour the globe. When I'm old I want to be able to look back upon my life with pride.
What is TÝR for you? Just a band to play music or is it more?
TÝR is my way of life. I make the music I love and I have travelled
Your name TÝR is taken from the Nordic war god TÝR. What made you chose this name? Does it also have a deeper meaning for you?
What fascinates me about the Old Norse god Týr is his personal sacrifice for the sake of common good. In the tale of the Chaining of Fenrir the Wolf he sacrificed his right hand so that the wolf may me tied down to the end of the world, a curious task to be undertaken by a God of Warfare, and a very positive message to send to the world. BLACK SABBATH and their album of the same name also led us to this name.
You have toured a lot, also in many different countries, something that many bands from Metal wise better known bands are not doing. How come that you are so active and which countries have you been to so far?
We put a lot of energy into arranging our tours and to visit as many places as possible. We owe the success of this to our manager Sigrid J. Dalsgaard. To this date we have played in
And how could we envision a TÝR live show?
We are told that we have a lot of live energy, more than on our albums. We try to freak out a bit and Gunnar usually behaves like a maniac. I try to keep good contact to the audience and tell the story of the relevant song to them. Some passages are very demanding and we have to concentrate. Maybe these passages are more interesting to listen to than to see us play.
All reviewers of our albums have mentioned the fact that we are from the Faeroes. Some even call it
And the other way around, how do the Faeringars react to you as a Metal band?
Many young people know us here and most people have heard of us, but we are not really that popular. We are more known here for being known abroad.
How do you get Metal CDs on the
There are shops but none that specialize in Metal of any kind. They carry all mainstream music and the most popular Metal bands. If you want something special you'll have to order it.
In your songs you use a lot of traditional Faroe Folk songs and also Nordic myths. Do you feel a connection to your ancestry and history?
My soul is anchored in the history of the Faeroes and
You are the only Metal band from the
All kind of music is made here. We have some very good Folk Jazz bands like ENEKK and YGGDRASIL, some famous contemporary composers like Sunleif Rasmussen, Punk like 200 and MAKREL, Country like REGIN Í LÍĐ, Metal like HATESPEECH and TÝR, Singer/Songwriters like Teitur Lassen and Eivřr Pálsdóttir. You name it we got it.
TÝR have quite close connections to
I have nothing against Danes or
How strong is the national personality of the Faeringars?
It is fairly strong. Even those most opposed to Faeroese independence will tell you that we are not Danes. Ethnically we stand between the Icelanders and the Norwegian. The Icelanders are the people we have most in common with.
How big is the Danish influence on the
We have a lot of Danish National Television and almost all films on National Faeroese TV as well as the cinema have Danish subtitles. Danish language is compulsory at school and everybody understands and speaks Danish. As a natural consequence there are a lot of Danish loan words in the Faeroese language. Most who go abroad to study, including myself, go to
I have heard quite a few stories about the
That was in the early nineties. In '92 - '94 we had a serious economic crisis and more than 10% of the population emigrated. Today we are doing better than ever and there is no shortage of work. I teach guitar five hours a day five days a week. Kári moved back to the Faeroes in December and has not yet established himself as a working citizen. Gunnar still lives in
To end this interview, I have my traditional last question: What is your favourite question about TÝR that you have never been asked yet, but would finally like to answer?
Jeez, I don't know. Your questions are very deep and elaborate. What more is there to say? No wait, I got it. Nobody ever asked me what the musical mission of TÝR is. Our musical mission is to break down the walls that are erected between all the kinds of Metal that have arisen over the years. Power-, Doom-, Black-, Progressive-, Gothic-, Viking-, Folk-, Ethnic- and Epic Metal. Walls and labels do nothing but fill people with prejudice. Away with the walls and label it all Metal.
2000: Týr Demo (Demo, Self-production) 2002: How Far To Asgaard? (CD, Tútl) 2002: Ólavur Riddararós (EP, Tútl) 2003: Eric The Red (CD, Tútl)
2000: Týr Demo (Demo, Self-production)
2002: How Far To Asgaard? (CD, Tútl)
2002: Ólavur Riddararós (EP, Tútl)
2003: Eric The Red (CD, Tútl)
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