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Answering The Call With HERI JOENSEN From TYR

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After having to wait more than two and a half years from the initial tour announcement, Australian audiences finally got to experience the sheer brilliance that is TYR last week when they hit our shores for a run of five shows in five days.

Although unfortunately losing Arkona from the planned line-up due to unforeseen overseas circumstances, TYR pushed forward with their plans, declaring the show must go on!

Fans would already be familiar with the Faroese four piece Viking style metal outfit, but for those who have managed to stay sheltered from their brand of sonic warfare, let me tell you these shows were nothing short of sensational.

Normally HEAVY has to chat with bands before they play their shows in order to help with promotion, but this time we were fortunate enough to have accompanied TYR for most of their run and as such had the chance to speak with them afterward to get a different viewpoint.

We caught up with frontman Heri Joensen on the eve of TYR’s final Adelaide show last night.

“The crowds have been unbelievably good,” he enthused of the tour so far. “It’s been the dream of my life to play here.”

One aspect that stood out to me was seeing the crowds sing along to songs written in different languages. While the songs are sung prominently in English or Faroese, TYR also uses Norwegian, Icelandic and Danish languages in their music.

“It’s very encouraging that people will go to the lengths of learning the lyrics in different languages,” Joensen smiled, “but it also gives me some room to make mistakes (laughs) because if I make a mistake in Faroese nobody notices. I can just mumble my way through a verse I’ve completely forgotten!”

TYR are commonly referred to as a folk metal band, but especially after seeing the band live, I think that description fails to capture the full scope of their musical output.

“I think we have a unique sound of our own,” Joensen agreed. “I don’t think we sound like any other band out there. You can call it folk metal if you like – there’s folk music in there, it’s based on folk music partly – but it’s also based on progressive metal, classic music and ordinary heavy metal, so I don’t know. If people need to put a label on it, Viking Folk Pagan Metal is the usual one, but that doesn’t really tell you what the music sounds like (laughs) so it’s kind of useless. I’ll leave it to the journalists and record label.”

In the full interview, Heri talks more about the tour, his favourite moments, learning some Australian words (for better or for worse), receiving care packages from fans, their next album and more.

Big thanks to Bailey and Overdrive Touring for having HEAVY along for the ride and even bigger thanks to Heri, Gunnar, Tadeusz, Hans and Anton for being such awesome human beings!

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