An Interview with Heri Joensen & Amon Djurhuus of TYR

[Resident metalhead Andrew Epstein once again reports from the field. – AC]

When folk-metal exploded into heavy music culture at the start of the 2000’s, the Faeroese band Týr found themselves wrapped up in this classification. The problem is that it’s technically correct. Folk music from Faeroes is completely vocal, so Týr’s original concept was to combine these songs with classic metal music. With this in mind the band created five albums of lush, progressive hard rock and metal, harmonized in multiple languages.

While this approach won them many passionate fans, for their 2009 release “By The Light of The Northern Star”, the band tightened their style. Songs become shorter and more concise, and English was used far more frequently. While the ethic and mythological influences remained, their songs now had far more in common with traditional heavy metal than ever before.

This change has been commercially beneficial for the band. Týr recently signed to Metal Blade records for the release of their latest album “Valkyrja”, which has already become the biggest release of their career. As they began a long North American tour with Children of Bodom, I had a chance to chat with frontman Heri Joensen and drummer Amon Djurhuus who speak candidly about the roots and development of the band, including the change from their early “obscure” sound.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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