Tyve år etter originalslippet, kommer 'Kongsblod' i ny drakt.
Jeg har fulgt Mythra en tid, host, og har i de senere år fått bra kontakt med gjengen. Nå har de til og med etablert seg som et band med ny musikk på agendaen, som ikke er uvanlig blant gamlingene, men ikke alle klarer å leve opp til fortidens spøkelser som Mythra. Jeg fant fram til vokalist Vince via verdensveven, og sydde sammen et bra intervju, hvor vokalisten villig svarer på det jeg ville vite. Nwobhm!!!
Bilde, fotograf: Marta Gabriel
Bandet kom, kort fortalt, ut med nytt album i april, og før det fant en samling av alt det eldre de har gitt ut veien inn i hyllene, og da med fem nye låter - som alle var svært bra.
This time around, it’s a brand new album, not a hybrid. How was it to step into this situation, to create an entire album of new material in 2017?
"It's awesome, something we always wanted to do. The reaction to the new album has been amazing. We are very happy!"
Les min anmeldelse av 'Still Burning' HER.
The new tracks on the prior release was perhaps a tad more similar to the older stuff, these new songs show a band more into creating an updated expression - am I wrong? That you guys want to establish yourselves as a vital band rather than one using the rear-view mirror?
"That's a great question. We set out to stay true to the spirit of our NWOBHM roots with our trademark raw power and energy but, at the same time, create a contemporary sound. Our classic tracks are very important to us but we want to make music in the present too. With Still Burning we achieved everything we set out to accomplish and we are very happy with the album."
The cover is looking good, somewhat in the same style as the collection release. What guidance, if any, did you give the artist? And what do you want to state/say with the title/image? I guess it’s obvious, but…
We went to Italian artist Roberto Toderico once again for the new album artwork because of the fans' reaction to our Warriors Of Time Anthology album cover. When the artwork was unveiled for that album in 2015 the fans totally loved it and we did too! The Mythra phoenix is rising on the new album cover which really sums the band's current position up. Also, I like to think of the human figure (standing with the sword) who unchained us as being Bart Gabriel, Ceo Skol Records and Gabriel Management Eu. He has been awesome for Mythra, we love that guy!"
From being pretty much a band in a coma, perhaps non-existing, for years, towards being a one gig and the collection release and now where Mythra suddenly is a vital band, how does it feel? To see that people wants you back, not just to play Ufo all the time, doing the typical reunion stuff….?
"I like your term vital band as yeah, we don't want to be known simply as a nostalgia act. The Metal Underground has welcomed us back with open arms and it is great to be active again. The reaction to the new album has been overwhelmingly positive from critics around the world. Likewise our live performances have gone down a storm with fans, some of whom travel long distances to see us. We know our past as NWOBHM pioneers is important but we are also living and creating new music in the moment: Metal is in our DNA!"
You were a big part of the Nwobhm scene back in 79-80 plus, do you feel this is the main reason Mythra is present these days, being able to perform and release? Ordo you think you have managed to step up and secure fans who don’t know about the past?
"We were there at the start of the NWOBHM scene in 1979 when we recorded our Death & Destiny EP. It was a massive release for us and spent 12 weeks on the Independent Label Singles Charts in the UK in the first half of 1980, peaking at number 2. Fans in the Metal Underground are very knowledgeable and recognise and acknowledge Mythra's past which is very important. That said, we are attracting younger fans this time around too which is awesome."
Where do the strongest support come from? Which country, part of the world, has embraced Mythra the strongest?
"Across Europe and North America (USA and Canada) are where the majority of our fans are located. That said, we have support in smaller numbers in South American countries too including Brazil and Peru. I also need to give a shout out to the Metalheads in Australia and New Zealand who love our music too."
And I know you have been gigging around lately, any favorite places/concerts?
"The last two years have been incredible for us in terms of live work. There is a network of awesome promoters putting on great Festivals in the Metal Underground and we have played quite a few including: Brofest UK (2015 and 2017), Keep It True (Lauda, Germany), Metalcova (Barcelona, Spain), Up The Hammers (Athens, Greece), Der Detze Rockt (Rengen, Germany), Hrh Nwobhm (Sheffield, UK). Later this year we are playing Heavy Metal Maniacs in Amsterdam, Netherlands before heading over to the USA to play Frost And Fire in California. I must say we would love to play live in Scandinavia too at some point..."
How do you keep yourself updated on the metal scene? Is it all “couldn’t bother what’s happening now” or do you stay in touch with the new bands, perhaps extracting some inspiration?
"I am very interested in what's happening on the Metal scene, particularly the Underground scene. We have seen and played alongside lots of great younger bands, some of whom have become great friends. Bands I particularly like are: Night Demon, Crystal Viper, Savage Master, Tentation, Dexter Ward and Cauchemar. All different but equally great.
Watching younger bands is exciting. We played in Athens, Greece alongside Night Demon recently and it was emotional watching Jarvis (Leatherby) and his band. I have total respect for that guy, he works so hard travelling the globe playing live shows, and also behind the scenes too as a band manager and promoter."
The recording process, was it though? Not just’ cause your old, he-he, but considering it’s a pretty rough to record an entire album. And Bart, he did ok? No feuds I presume? 😊
"Recording the new album in Poland with Bart in the Producer's chair was awesome. It wasn't tough at all. In fact it was really enjoyable. We recorded the 12 tracks in nine days. It obviously helped that we had demo'ed the tracks and sent them across to Bart beforehand. He is very well organised and kept us all focused.
We ensured we were fully prepared for recording, having thoroughly rehearsed the songs before we left the UK. Working in the recording studio wasn't difficult for us as there was a chemistry between the band and Bart. We felt very comfortable and confident in what we were creating together."
What are your fave Nwobhm, from back when and today?
"My favourite NWOBHM albums are the first album by Iron Maiden and also Saxon's 'Wheels Of Steel'. I also love the first Motörhead recording (although it is not regarded as being NWOBHM having been released in 1977). Essentially, Maiden were the first and I think Paul Di'anno has such a great voice back then: unique, raw and also very soulful on the track Strange World which I absolutely love on that first album of theirs."
And in general? What bands do you like to listen to? This is interesting, at least for me 😊
"At the moment I am listening to the new Night Demon album Darkness Remains a lot. Also Queen Of The Witches by Crystal Viper which is a great new release from earlier this year. The new Anathema album The Optimist just hit my doormat at the weekend and I am engrossed in that at the moment. I love that band so much!
Also I have to give a shout out to your fellow countrymen the band Gazpacho as I'm a massive fan of their neo-Prog music. I also listen to Kim Walker-Smith and Jesus Culture a lot. As a Christian I find their music so uplifting. It touches my heart and helped me so much when I was in a really bad place five years ago when my beloved wife was diagnosed with cancer. She is now doing great, thanks be to God."
I so like to hear this, over and over again. Cancer sucks, all the best to your wife!!!
You guys get along? Or has the comeback triggered any divas? 😊
"We get along great for sure as everyone can probably see from the gig and post-gig photographs posted on our FB pages. We are great friends who go back a long way together. It is also awesome having Phil (Davies) in the band on drums. He is an amazing musician and also a great guy. Interestingly, he was born on 22 February 1980 which was the same day the very young Mythra played their first big gig supporting the mighty Saxon in Newcastle UK. Coincidence or fate hahaha."
Fantastic, guess you guys rub it in all the time :).
On a serious note, terror sucks, have you been affected by the episodes in the Uk?
"Definitely. Terror attacks wherever they happen are pure evil. Human life is precious. No one has the right to take others' lives in an attempt to get what they want and further their own ends. I wrote the words to our song Vicious Bastards in the late 1970s in response to terror attacks at that time on the UK mainland. Here we are 40 years later and nothing has changed. Our song Silence In The Sirens on the new album tackles the same issue, as does the song Fundamental Extreme. My latest lyrics just really say that enough is enough...it's time for action to put an end to terrorism once and for all!"
I really appreciate you taking of your time to answer my humble questions, thanks!!! Any final words? Anything I forgot? Someone you want to give some credit?
"It's been a pleasure doing the interview thank you Yngve. I would like to thank you for the awesome support you have given us over the years. It is guys like you who keep us going! I also have to give a shout out to Bart Gabriel once again, and Steffen Boehm at High Roller Records. It was an honour recording our new album for release on his label. He has done great things in making Metal accessible to fans, and keeping music alive on the Underground Metal scene.
All good wishes and thank you again brother!"
Les gjerne intervjuet rundt forrige utgivelse også, om du er interessert, der står det en del mer rundt historikken. Sjekk HER .