» Heri Joensen - Týr
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I was quite honoured with the arduous duty of pursuing and engaging in an interview with Heri Joensen, the wild rover vocalist and guitarist of the Viking Metal band Týr. The new conceptual CD Ragnorok is a brilliant blend of beauty and baleful elegance. The music is a heavy sonic ballast, balanced by the raging waters and rolling waves of melody crashing against the longships of serenity, sailing to Asgaard. Hail to the hammer of Thor! I truly envy these brothers and their burning dreams of victory. I revere this young band, and the mettle integrity which they sincerely share until the end, eliminating the lord of lies. Journey with Heri and I on this ride to helter skelter on the wings of time, strength, and justice as we discern the meaning of the one-armed God's will.

MettleAngel: Týr has such an interesting and appealing sound. How would you qualify your music? You quell the classification of Viking Metal with subtle progressive elememts, and your amazing vocal histrionics. It's like listening to Iron Maiden, Unleashed, when I listen to the CD. There are even hints of the lure of Falconer, and of course, Dream Theater.

  • Heri: I would describe it as Metal, and the rest is up to the others. We have always been floating between styles, and have been called an impossible to categorize band. We don't have a problem with that as long as we have our own sound.

MettleAngel: I would contend that you have, indeed, created your own unique sound. Do you find that your music even appeals to fans outside the genre of metal? Classic rockers into the progressive '70s sound of bands like Yes, Rush, Jethro Tull, and early Genesis, can easily become enamoured by your songwriting. Were these type artists perhaps a musical influence?

  • Heri: The bands you mention are not on my list of influences, but when people point it out to me I can clearly see some similarities. Yes, I think we have a wider appeal than your average Metal band; this is probably because of the melodies and the clean vocals.

MettleAngel: That is quite encouraging. Your overall lyrical concepts tend to be spiritual & mythological in nature. Are you or members of the band practicers of Asatru?

  • Heri: There is no Ásatrú community in the Faeroes, but if there was I would probably attend that. We are all heathens at heart, but unable to practice it very much in our daily lives.

MettleAngel: Well, as long as you uphold that truth in your mettle hearts, you are still remaining true to the old Norse Gods, even if you are not able to actively pursue the religion. In your videos you engage in Viking re-enactments. Are you members of this Viking troupe?

  • Heri: The video was shot at a Viking re-enactment festival in Poland. We were playing at the festival, and we had our Icelandic camera man along to shoot some pictures. There are no re-enactment groups in the Faeroes.

MettleAngel: That's such a shame, man! I see you are currently touring with Amon Amarth, which is quite befitting. How are their fans enjoying Týr's take on the Viking motif?

  • Heri: You will have to ask me that after the tour. I have not yet spoken to any Amon Amarth fans, but the general response to this tour on our website has been good.

That's really good to hear. I'm sure fans of Amon Amarth are totally becoming your fans too. I love the way you sing songs in your native tongue. Is this intentional, as some lyrics may be beyond translation?

  • Heri: The English lyrics are not translated as such from Faeroese lyrics, more like being built on the foundation of them, so that's not the problem. We started to sing in English to have an international appeal. I had no idea that so many people wanted to hear Faeroese, rather than English, so we will always have a few Faeroese texts on our albums, but probably never all.

MettleAngel: I feel that it's important to have a balance of both. Most bands sing in English to gain an international fan base. Let's discuss the new CD Ragnarok, which I feel is your most enduring effort yet. This is a concept CD, correct? What motivated you to write a concept album?

  • Heri: I have always been facinated by concept albums. They leave a much bigger impression and they tend, in my world, to be much more enduring than standard albums. I like to think of a standard album as a collection of short stories, whereas a concept album is a novel. Some people thought of Eric The Red as a concept album, don't know why, but the idea was born a long time ago and the subject was also picked out quite a few years ago.

MettleAngel: I can see your point on that. It's been quite a while since the last effort. Thanks to Napalm Records, fans can now hear your Eric The Red release remastered with bonus tracks. This and How Far To Asgaard have been so difficult to obtain up until now. Do you plan to reissue the Asgaard CD, as well with bonus tracks, any time soon?

  • Heri: There have been no talks about that, but who knows what the future might bring. Until then How Far To Asgaard is available at www.tutl.com.

MettleAngel: That is really good to know. I obtained my copy years ago from Sentinelsteel.com. Speaking of bonus tracks, what are the two bonus tracks on the limited edition digipack, and why did you choose these to be the bonus tracks?

  • Heri: We didn't. The tracks were recorded along with the rest and we intended to make one long album. Napalm Records came up with the idea to make a limited edition with bonus tracks, so in fact two tracks have been taken off the standard edition and added to the limited edition.

MettleAngel: That's typical of a record company; although, it does create something special for the collector. This is why Edguy wrote the song - Life And Times Of A Bonus Track. I understand that the CD is soon to be released in the States. Is there any plan to tour the US in the future and perhaps with a band like Amon Amarth or Unleashed?

  • Heri: We would like to tour the US as soon as possible, but it has not been possible to arrange that yet.

MettleAngel: I'm sure the chance to tour the US will present itself sooner than you think. Let me ask you this, given the current line-up that you now have, do you feel this is the perfect assembly of talented musicians making the music which you so deftly create?

  • Heri: This is the best line-up we have had and I don't see any changes coming in the near future. We are all hellbent on making the band our living, and we will.

MettleAngel: That is really good to hear and really encouraging. What is the main message which you want your fans to comprehend from the music of Týr?

  • Heri: One thing that has followed us since the beginning is our style and what to call it. I'd like to stress the point that musical limits exist only in people's minds, and that musically nothing is impossible. Another thing, it is all very well with these Battle Metal bands, but there was more to our ancestors than just violence.

MettleAngel: Now that is well stated, and I totally agree. Our ancestors have made us who we are and what we think, feel, and do today. The world is not a violent place as some have suggested. Personally, I think we are living in the best time ever given the history of our race. Thank you Heri for taking the time to answer these probing questions. It was an honour to share the page with your wisdom.

  • Heri: Thank You!

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