Interview – Heri Joensen of Týr in the Faroe Islands – Part II

Here’s the second and last part of the interview with Týr in their homeland where you’ll find the answer to what interests you the most: when will they finish the new album ?!

The Faroe Isles, yesterday

I feel you have a special place in the folk metal genre. Somehow you are more genuinely into it than some bands in “Viking metal” but on the other hand I think you have a kind of step back from the whole genre. So what’s your opinion about folk metal, has it changed over time?

I don’t know… There’s some very good bands and some awful ones. You just get disappointed sometimes because they’re just recycled other bands. Then again you’ve got the other bands who do the original stuff, the real folk music which is what I like. It would be stupid to say “I think this and that about folk metal”. There are so many bands and they are so different…

But maybe it’s not only about the bands but also the people who like it, the feeling from it. Is it a different atmosphere when you play with folk metal bands than when you play with non-pagan bands?

Yes. When it’s on a folk/pagan tour, the most people who come over are really interested in this culture and you see the same people on every tour. You get the feeling it is a real lifestyle for them. They try to learn some Scandinavian languages and study the history of culture. It’s cultivated people before liking the music. I get the feeling sometimes that they were interested in the culture and then they found the music, like a part of the culture. So it’s not really a trend for them or just liking folk metal bands. We see a lot of those when we are on folk/pagan tours and not with bands like Sirenia.

And so now you are recording the new album in your home studio. I guess it might be cheaper on the long term?

It might be yes, but we didn’t really consider cheaper, what was more important was more relaxing. But it would be cheaper, yes. Unfortunately, it’s going to take a lot more time because there’s no real pressure. But the last five times we did it in studio, the pressure just got higher and higher and I thought “If we do this again, I’m gonna have a heart attack before I’m fifty”. We decided, or I decided, to make it much more relaxing next time.

The technical circumstances to immediately make the recording are the exact same ones I used in studio: I use my laptop, few devices and we can record in a professional quality. With the strict advice of Jacob Hansen of course, the studio who makes our recording. So when we’re done here (guitars, bass, vocals), we’ll go to Jacob Hansen studio and we’ll record the drums there and make the album.

Did you just decided to take your time to make this album or were there delays because of external problems?

Yes, there were delays but already when we made the last albums I decided we would have to have a much more relaxing process. We wanted to make the album within 2 or 3 years as usual but then there were tours, festivals, other things… And for a work like this, you need a continuous peace. We tried two or three times to clear the schedule and cancel everything, they kept planning tours. And it’s difficult to turn down tours when you haven’t been on tour for a few months and well, we needed the money. Finally, we have nothing on the calendar until June or July next year. So now we have plenty of time. We will finish the album this year definitely.

And I guess it is also more convenient to have your home studio. Like, Gunnar can come and work there…

Yes, we all have our studio there. I have one, Gunnar has one and we work whenever we like. It’s very relaxing to work together. It’s easier, it’s more creative when there’s more people working, I think. So work definitely goes faster…compared to when I was sitting alone…[laughs]

So now you are more advanced about how the album is going to sound?

Yeah, I think we are. I mean, we have more overview about it now and the last few times it’s been like: “We make the songs! How do we arrange the drums? I don’t know, just make the drums as long as we have the studio! How’s about this complex part? Oh! Texts!” [laughs] Two hours of sleep for a month! And “Oh, almost done! How does it sound? Oh, we could have this better, we could have done that better…”. Now we have a bit more relaxing approach, you can lean back and see how the whole project goes. So yes, we have a much better control of it now and we’re going to see if that helps.

At the moment I thought of taking a picture of the band working on the new album, they were on a break. So I ask them to pretend being working. And they’re freaking good at it. A shame my camera was too slow to catch the best moments.

Maybe you’ve already cleared the general lyrics theme or a musical direction?

Yes, few years ago, maybe 4 years ago, we decided of that. We had a meeting and we talked about different concepts and we picked one up.

Are you thinking of opening your studios to other bands, maybe the local ones?

No, not yet. They could technically use it anytime but as long as we’re here I think we’ll just use it for ourselves. If we had our own proper studios, yes, we might grant other bands use it. But at the moment I would rather spend all my spare time for our own music.

By the way, what’s your favourite album of the year so far? Wintersun?

I have to say yes but I don’t listen to much music, I really don’t. I got the Wintersun album of course but…yes. I think you’ve answered my question. [laughs]

Yes, I was so sure it was going to be Wintersun so maybe there’s something else out of it?

I can’t remember one of the new albums this year that I’ve heard.

Maybe the year before…?

I’m completely immersed in my underworld…[laughs] I’m horrible at keeping up with new music.

Maybe the new Metallica?

I’ve only heard two or three songs, I liked them. But I prefer Wintersun.

The last question was an idea of James’. Sorry mate, I did my best.

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