Thronar going into battle

interview with Otto, October 2005

Please give us a short introduction of yourself?
I am Otto, one of the guitarist/singers and one of the founder members of Thronar. Thronar is my only band and my favourite hobby.

Also introduce the other brave knights of Thronar?
We have Reamon, the one who I started the band with. Reamon is responsible for the other part of the guitars and vocals and plays the guitars in another Dutch band Heidevolk. Then we have Bouke aka “The Buke” on the bass who is in the band for 5 to 6 years already. Synths are done by our female member Nathalia who entered the band just before Bouke. So, these are the members who are in the band for many years already. Our latest addition and drummer Jarno is with us for only a few months. Jarno drums also in the Dutch Heavy Metal band Travelers in Time. Our previous drummer Elwin has left The Netherlands to start a new life and band in Scotland.

Battle Metal? Where came inspiration from? Obvious not only from Manowar...
Our inspiration comes mainly from books but also movies where epic themes of bloodshed, grand heroic battles and mystic quests feed our imagination with visions that we translate in our music. Personally I like the tactic battles put down by writers as George Martin, Terry Goodkind and Robert Jordan. Reamon, who is next to me responsible for most of the lyrics, is studying History and obvious this is a large inspiration for him. Musically, our inspiration comes from bands such as Thyrfing, Bal Sagoth and Manowar.

Do you gather historical information for subjects? Do you read a lot?
As Reamon studies History, he is indeed gathering historical information for our lyrics. As he is at this moment a second year student, the real link with historical events in our lyrics will present itself clearly in our new songs. For myself to speak, I mostly read fantasy books to get inspiration.

What is so fascinating about medieval times? And what is typical for that period?
Our music is mainly based on the times where paganism was still strong. In these times, the existence of various gods and the power of nature were given a high place in the everyday life of the people. These pagan believes made the world in that time a more mystic place and therefore very fascinating. In these times the physical strength, bravery and wisdom of an individual warrior was very important and people and their emotions were more raw and simple. Also the Viking invasions during the medieval times are of course very fascinating because these were very fierce and raw fighters. Finally in the late medieval we have the Black Death which is of course one very grim and gruesome but a fascinating event in our history.

I guess you are very interested in time traveling. To which period would you go and who do you wanna meet? Why?
During the middle ages upcoming Christianity paved the way for exploitation of nature and all kind of inventions that made warfare a more technical competition in stead of the man to man fights. So I would like to travel to the pre and beginning of the Middle Ages were pagan believes were still strong. I do not want to meet special people in particular, just experience the everyday life. Maybe I like to meet Mozart, so I have to set the time on my machine a little bit higher. I like to know if he was such an irritating guy as people say he is. Of course, to hear his music played by his own hands is very special.

What would medieval people say when they come to the 21 century? Could they understand the technology nowadays?
I think those people will be extremely disorientated. In the 21 century, information and innovations are the key words which is of course in sharp contrast with their lives. Might it happen that they enter our age in The Netherlands, they should see that nature is almost completely erased from some parts of the world.

How does your stage act looks like? What will people remember after the show?
At this moment we are busy designing some new battle clothing and flags. Our coming shows will present a band that fits quite well with the music and lyrics. After our show the people will remember 5 blood stained warriors who played the hell out of their instruments. At stage we try to give an energetic show with a little bit of “Manowar” posing.

Not afraid people find it hilarious? Will not take it serious?
We try to be pretty serious on stage but we also know that it is Metal we play so people will see a band that looks serious but has a lot of fun doing their thing. We do not go over the top and do not take ourselves dead serious so I think this fits our music and our persons well. Therefore, I think that people that are interested in epic metal and fantasy will like it and some dead serious extreme metal fans might not like it at all.

What about the idea of using the London Knights as background dancers?
You mean those stiff guards with the weird hats? Should be fun to get them moving a bit. It’s a good idea, though we have to fill them with alcohol in advance before kicking them on stage. (No I meant the male strippers!! Twan) Did you already shared the stage with known bands? Will there be an extended tour after the debut release?
Not so many, a lot of known Dutch bands though. Last time we played with Cruachan and Black Messiah which was a lot of fun. No, there is no extended tour planned yet.

Are there international contacts for touring? What country does attract the most and why?
We have some international contacts but it takes a lot of time to get such a thing from the ground. Our previous drummer, now living in Scotland, promised us a tour with his new band in Great Britain, so we will see. Germany is a country on which we will focus in the near future because we get a lot of attention from that side.

Singing about knights, battle and kings, is that the reason you signed with Seven Kingdoms?
Yeah, it fits quite well. The name is based on the history of Anglo-Saxon England which was in that time known to be divided into seven kingdoms. Seven Kingdoms is run by the brothers Athelstan and Wulfstan from the band Forefather. Forefather makes so-called Anglo-Saxon Metal so the link is obvious.
Seven Kingdoms had a simple solid offer that we liked. Athelstan and Wulfstan do a great job so we are very happy about our choice.

Never thought of releasing it on your own?
No, we wanted some back-up from people with a lot more contacts. Maybe we make a little less money but the distribution is a lot better now.

What are the plans for the future? What are the goals to be reached?
We want to do some more international gigs and just release a new album.

What story will you tell your grandchildren over and over about Thronar?
That Thronar was the biggest band of the world but that our managers stole all our royalties. Seriously, I well tell them how much fun a band is and persuade them to play an instrument themselves.

Any brave statements to make?
No, the braveness of Thronar can not be expressed in words.

Last rites?
Thanks a lot for your interest and the interview. We hope an international Thronar invasion is possible so all our fans have the possibility to join us in our battle.
Interviewer: twansibon
Oct 1, 2005

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