author EW date 13/06/09

The stock in Týr has risen dramatically in recent years, with their unusual combination of Faroese folk tunes combined with metal and a touch of prog finding a place in the hearts of many fans, including myself. With the release of probably their best album thus far in "By the Light of the Northern Star" I decided it was time to question mainman Heri Joensen on the journey so far and to see what’s coming up in the near future for the band. As he pleads at the end, please make sure to buy the new album, you’ll love it!

RF.net: Hello! How’s life in the Týr camp following the release of album no.5, "By the Light of the Northern Star"?
Týr: Heri Joensen: Good. We feel a lot of positive feedback for the album.

RF.net: What have very early reactions from the press and fans been like in reception to the new album?
HJ: Very good. We have gotten some of the best reviews that we have ever seen.

RF.net: It is coming out little more than a year after "Land", not very long by today's standards. What was the reason for this quick turnaround, especially as you had been touring in-between too?
HJ: We were not satisfied with the reactions we got for "Land" so we decided to move fast and put out another album that could do for us what we felt we need to grow as a band and further our career.

RF.net: Now I've read in other recent interviews conducted by the band that you were disappointed with the public feedback to last year's "Land", which surprises me because it was my all-round favourite album up til that point, containing some brilliant songs like "Sinklars Vísa", "Gátu Ríma" and "Fípan Fagra". Did this feedback match what you now think of the album yourself or was the negative reaction a surprise to you?
HJ: I am myself quite content with the album, although I see why people find it very little accessible. I think that the title track is one of our very best songs.

RF.net: Related to this, what balance is there in the song composition between doing what you want and enjoy as opposed to perhaps what the fans expect of you, as I sense this feedback plays a crucial role? As such, how is a typical Týr song pieced together?
HJ: There are some things to take into consideration when writing a Týr song, and most of it is based on observations from our live performance. Live is when you really see what works and what doesn’t. Simplicity is the key word.

RF.net: Like you mentioned elsewhere your description of the new album matches mine after the listens I have had: faster, heavier, catchier and more to the point, and it certainly makes for a largely enjoyable listen. Do you see this as the future direction for Týr to employ or will we see a return to some of the slower more carefully constructed songs on album no.6?
HJ: First let’s see how this album does, and we’ll take it from there.

RF.net: Having finally seen the band in London recently after missing you on three separate occasions in the past I was amazed at how brilliant the band were, with the choral vocals especially working better than I ever expected. Do you place greater emphasis on getting this live show so enjoyable or do the records take precedence at the end of the day for Týr?
HJ: I am (almost) always very careful when writing music that it is possible to perform live. That means that the vocals and choirs are doable and that there are only two guitar tracks etc. I suppose the extreme opposite is Blind Guardian, where they would need 5 singers and 7 guitarists to represent the album properly. Much as I love Blind Guardian I would not do it like that. We use the instrumentation available in this band and nothing more.

RF.net: What are the future touring plans for Týr following that recently completed tour with Alestorm? I don't see the band down for any festivals this summer...
HJ: We have a few festivals this summer. After that it’s just more touring.

RF.net: It is a little known fact (!) of your originality from the Faroe Islands. What is it about these isles that provide so much inspiration for the rich tales sung in Týr's songs or do other factors come into play too?
HJ: Musical traditions are abundant here. One does also have the circumstances to submerge oneself into musical studies and research, in peace and quiet. That plus the fact that we are very proud of our musical heritage and our place in Scandinavian culture.

RF.net: Has being based in such a small outpost of Europe turned out to be a benefit or hindrance to the band's development do you feel? Do you actually get the opportunity to play many gigs at home these days?
HJ: We don’t play many gigs in the Faeroes, although we do play at big festival here this summer. ‘Við Múrin’ on the 18th of July. Coming from the Faeroes has been a great strength for us. It is very good for marketing that we come from an exotic place. The only downside I can think of is that it is very expensive to go on tour.

RF.net: Well, thanks for your time in answering us a quick interview and best of luck in the near future - any parting words?
HJ: Please buy our album, and remember that religion is bullshit!

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