Friday, November 27, 2020
GIK Acoustics - Europe
GIK Acoustics - Europe
The Moshville Times

Interview: Heri Joensen of Týr in the Faroe Islands – Part I

As the travel season arrived and that the Faroe Islands were on my route map, I thought it would be funny to have a “wee” chat with Týr (a.k.a the most famous Faroese metal band and one of my favourite groups) while I would be there. Being the lovely guys they are, they agreed to spend some time chatting to me. Warning: the first topics might not tickle some people, but these subjects needed to be broached. Enjoy, and there’s more to come in Part II.

Hello, thank you for hosting in your studio.

Thanks for your interview.

You’re welcome. It’s a bit special to interview you there as I’m coming as a tourist; a traveller. You’ve travelled quite a lot too. Did it evolve your relationship to your homeland, by seeing the world?

Yes, probably not by traveling but already when I was a child I lived abroad for many years and in my mid-twenties also. So also touring and seeing the world made me see it differently.

Maybe because of something related to the society, the way of life…?

Yes, maybe when you go into big cities. People in Tórshavn think they live in a big city but they don’t really. I think that if I were not traveling a lot, I might very isolated and think it is very boring there. So I have to travel for months. It’s very very nice to come home afterwards. I wouldn’t mind living somewhere even more isolated than here but if I were not traveling a lot, I would feel really bad.

You’ve stood up for whale hunting and it was sort of added to your worst crimes against humanity among with neo-Nazism. How do you feel about always justifying yourself every time and also about these repeated attacks? When it’s not about Nazism, it’s about whale hunting and then, what’s next?

I find it very silly. It doesn’t really worry me because there’s no substance in their arguments. It’s very easy to refute them. I think that what we did was quite effective last time, we got a lot of positivity from it. It got much attention from the media, much less anything else about the band. So in a way, it’s good for us. And the eco-terrorism, the Antifa’s; they are not a serious threat, refuting their arguments was really not difficult. It’s not something that keeps me awake, not at all.

Maybe it was more complicated when it created boycotts last year in Germany?

Yeah there were 5 shows out of 18 that were cancelled. So yes, of course, missed incomes and shows. Most people were very angry we couldn’t play and started attacking the venues. I understand the point of view of the venues, they cancelled mostly for security reasons. They feared some demonstrations and couldn’t provide security for everybody. So they had to cancel. But that also happens that venues see that there were only two people as demonstration, so they didn’t really need security and next time they’ll know that. They won’t be forced to cancel.

The same happened the first time we were accused of being Nazis and this Antifa organization in Poland threatened venues with a demonstration. By the time they came for us and the venues realized there was no demonstration, they just ignored it. And the same would happen with this anti-whaling organization, then they will find out that demonstrations are nothing, they don’t have to cancel.

Since you were kind of “unpopular” on this tour, did you get interested in other bands who were in the same situation as you?

I’ve been looking into it, yes. Like Metallica’s James Hetfield who likes hunting and the singer of Manowar is a hunter expert by the way. So, it can happen to anybody. And no one’s gonna make a serious attack against a big candy like Metallica. So, I guess that if we get a little bit bigger, it’s not going to be a problem.

Some other people from bands, like Maria from Arkona who had had problems with skin outfits and some boycotts. So, I did look at if anyone else had had serious problem like we had.

I was more thinking of the pagan black metal scene, where it’s quite another dimension. It’s more into Nazism and National Socialism like Nokturnal Mortum who aren’t like this anymore, but who are still very hard to get in concert. And that’s funny because they’re very successful besides this.

I think it was the case with you with your last tour in Germany, you were victim of boycotts but you played the shows, you had quite a big success according to what I’ve understood.

Yes, we hadn’t toured there for quite a long time so this must be the reason why but I know the fact, as I said, that we had this publicity thanks to that. Some people wrote to us that they bought tickets all because of this. So, there are people who are very much anti eco-terrorists and they wanted to support us. So that could be one explanation. I didn’t really feel in the same situation as Nazi bands. I don’t know the band you’ve mentioned and if they refuted being Nazis.

This is a very old band who has 25+ years of activity, so some people like to dig in the past like when they were 18 or in their twenties and now they’re 40 or 50…

They’ve done something stupid when they were young and now people try to make pressure with it…

I think it is especially because they like their country, they have pride in it, there are songs about it. And sometimes people see it as bad or just directly Nazi.

Yes, that’s what we got in Germany and that’s a very weak argument for someone to be Nazi. [laughs] I mean, those are really easy cases: if you got someone with a swastika on the chest or the forehead or doing the Nazi salute, that’s a different case but it doesn’t happen pretty often. [laughs]

Anyways, last time you toured with non-pagan/folk bands like Sirenia and Unleash the Archers. Would you do that again? Was it a good experience?

Yes absolutely, it was one of the best tours I’ve ever been on, personally at least. I had a very good time and I met really nice people on tour. It was not the biggest tour we’ve ever been on but it’s ok. We want to tour at least with 50% of bands outside the folk/pagan scene to get more exposure. So yes, I would do something like that again.

Týr: official | facebook | youtube

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