ROCKIN’ BEYOND THE NIGHTMARE: An interview with Jon Mikl Thor, the Rock Warrior

Posted on Sep 26, 2013 in 80's Horror, CONTESTS & GIVEAWAYS, Interviews & Guest Posts, Music | 20 comments

THOR

 

The Rock Warrior THOR has always shaken the very halls of Valhalla with inspiring anthemic Metal as powerful as the enchanted warhammer Mjolnir itself!

Bodybuilding champion, heavy metal icon, producer/star of such horror gems including the legendary Rock N’ Roll Nightmare, and explosive performer (blowing up hot water bottles, bending steel, and having cinder blocks broken over his chest are all in a night’s work)… THOR is an immensely powerful figure and it is an honor to have him join us at the Tavern! THOR will be a guest of honor on Friday September 27th at our Cult Film Fest, and on Saturday he will be performing LIVE at 80s in the Park. Tickets are still on sale — this show is not to be missed!!

 

Do you accept the challenge?

 

Greetings Thor! Welcome to the Tavern of Terror. Pull up a stool!

I shall pull up my Throne!

You have a brand new album that you’re about to unleash called Aristocrat of Victory. What can fans look forward to on this new release?

Aristocrat of Victory is being unleashed especially for these performances and for the US tour. It is being released digitally and compliments the “THUNDERSTRYKE” vinyl and CD releases. There are songs on there from THUNDERSTRYKE and also other new unreleased material. We are also happy to announce the re-release of the “AN-THOR-LOGY DVD and INTERCESSOR-ANOTHER ROCK N ROLL NIGHTMARE” DVD. These will be available at the shows. In addition we are promoting the forthcoming “THUNDERSTRYKE 2″ and the new single “Storm Warning” / “Energy King Of Muscle Rock” on Rock Saviour/Iron-Pegasus Records. Is that confusing enough for you?

 

AoV

 

You’ve been prolific since you started doing music again in the late 90s. You have released an album almost yearly! Did your ten-year hiatus fill you with a back catalogue of ideas or are you just steamrolling rock like a juggernaut?

A combination of both. The imagining, concepts and songs build up in the brain and need to be revealed to the world. I do have a back catalogue of songs and ideas. I write music daily. I have quite a few scripts that I have written as well. I am currently working on the completion of a book. I’ve re-invented my character, image and interpretation of THOR The Rock Warrior with each album concept release. Two new documentaries are also planned for 2014.

Your earlier work was in tune with the hair metal of its day. How would you describe your modern albums?

Whether I have big hair, short hair, blue hair or blonde hair, I still would like to think of my songs as melodic Anthem Metal. Power Rock/Metal tunes that everyone can sing along with. I do experiment. “Dogz II” was more of a nu-metal Nine Inch Nails style album, whereas “Triumphant” was back to my roots… over the top Metal Anthems”. “Beastwomen” was a total concept album with the comic book tie in and wild stage show.

The imagery of the lyrics are often mythic, like Dio or Iron Maiden, and it plays well into your Rock Warrior mystique. Were you inspired by other rock bands of the 70s and 80s?

I was inspired by The Doors and The Beatles musically. Also Led Zep and Sabbath. But I loved the visuals of Alice Cooper and Kiss – and showmanship of Elvis. But I was the first to come up with Rock Gladiator stage shows in 1973. No one was doing that then. I felt that if Bowie was the Ziggy Stardust/Rock Alien, I could be the Rock Warrior. I had won the Mr. USA, Mr. Canada, and Mr Universe championships and had competed against Lou Ferrigno and Arnold Schwarzenegger. As well, I had played in numerous bands honing my craft as a performer.

 

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Yes, muscle rock is something you indeed created – combining feats of strength with heavy metal. What kind of feats can an audience expect at one of your shows?

 A THOR show is always entertaining. There are wild masks, antics, helmets, costumes. We go all out to please the crowd. We stress the musical aspect of the show. A mic stand may be wrapped around someone’s neck or a steel bar bent into a horseshoe.

 

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Tell us a little bit about Thor – The Rock Opera, which you will also be promoting at the shows.

It’s a unique film that compliments the THOR tours. John Fasano’s son John Cody directed the picture and John and I produced the movie.

Do you think fans in Sweden and Finland, where you toured with the opera, are more embracing to a rock opera than a North American audience? Did you notice a difference in current heavy metal trends?

The crowds went wild for the Rock Opera in Europe. They love Wagner. We had the movie open up for us on the last European tour. But they also gave a tremendous reception at shows in the US and Canada. I must say that Metal is a way of life in Europe.

It seems that in a lot of places, Nordic Metal and Black Metal have really embraced the theatrics and costumes that pioneers like you originated. What’s your take on that whole scene?

I appreciate all kinds of genres. You can have hybrids like Speed Metal, Viking Metal, Warrior Metal, etc. They are all great. I’m all for supporting the new generation of bands.

You don’t shy away from death metal. You did a duet with Anal Cunt. What was that like?

I would call that song more Speed Metal. Seth was a wild and tremendous performer.

 

 

Yes, that he was. I was lucky enough to see him perform with Anal Cunt drummer Tim Morse, a personal friend. It was my birthday and they dedicated the show to me. I was the best birthday present I’ve ever received! But speaking of performers, in 2004 you were voted by an international panel of journalist as one of the top 100 greatest frontmen of all time. How did that feel?

I appreciated it and was honored to receive the award.

During your break from music, you focused more on films. Is there a certain genre you lean towards?

I was involved with all kinds of films. Snowboarding movies like No More Heroes, action adventures like White Lightening, and comedies like Fubar. But Horror/ Action is my favorite.

Are you a fan of the current Marvel Thor and Avengers films?

YES. Man Of Steel was my favorite. I have always been a Superman fan.

One of your movies, Zombie Nightmare, was given the ribbing treatment by spoof masters Mystery Science Theater 3000 and they released it on their box set. What’s your take on the spoofing?

 I had a good time with the levity. They did a great job spoofing the film.

Your movie, Rock N’ Roll Nightmare is considered a cult classic. Did you ever expect it to have such lasting power?

 John Fasano and I just wanted to make a movie that would get distributed. I never knew this film would have such staying power and transcend time. It keeps going on.

Do you think its lasting power has helped introduce you to a new generation of fans?

 Yes. Absolutely.

 

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The soundtrack continues to be one of your most popular albums too, correct?

I feel I wrote and recorded some pretty good tunes. They work with the movie.

It’s a heavy metal musical, and also a campy horror movie. Do you have a favorite horror film or two of your own?

Yes. The original Phantom Of The Opera with Lon Chaney and Frankenstein with Boris Karloff.

What about the music you listen to now? If someone were to pop on Thor’s ipod, what bands would they hear?

 Beethoven, Mozart… Lots of Classics! “The Beatles,” “Doors,” “Zep” and various new bands that come along.

As for your show at 80’s in the Park, is there anything you’d like to say to the audience that awaits you and the band?

I would like to thank you and Richard Hendry for promoting THOR in Florida for these spectacular events. Myself and the band – Steve Price, Mike Favata, Ben Perman, Michael Pilmer – all look forward to meeting everyone and putting on a show of shows! Hear The Thunder! See The Lightning!

Seeing as you are so productive, what else do you have in the works?

Currently working on two documentaries. I Am THOR to be released next year and a Swedish Television Doc “Rock Warrior.”

One last question: what’s the sound moving through the ages? What’s the sound burning on the pages?

ROCK! TALKING ‘BOUT ROCK!!! WE LIVE TO ROCK!!!

 

See THOR live this Saturday, September 28th as part of 80’s in the Park’s lineup.

Visit thorcentral.com for more tour dates, merchandise and general thunder and mayhem!

 

Now is your chance to share in the energy of THOR’s war hammer!

Are you ready to live to rock? Enter our awesome THOR’S NIGHTMARE BOX OF WAR contest!

You can WIN not one, not two, but THREE new DVD’s including:

  • THOR: THE ROCK OPERA
  • INTERCESSOR
  • AN-THOR-LOGY

Plus a bonus, collectible THOR COMIC BOOK and… an official WAR MASK of the mighty THOR!!!

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  1. Like Tavern of Terror on facebook
  2. Like Thor the Legendary Rock Warrior on facebook
  3. Leave a COMMENT BELOW telling us what your favorite THOR song is!

 

One very lucky winner will be chosen at random!

Entries must be in by 10:00pm EST on Thursday, October 3rd, 2013.

 

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20 Comments

  1. I’m So Proud :)

  2. My favorite Thor song is from Rock n Roll Nightmare. It’s “Somewhere when rises the moon”. I just simply love it. Most of the tracks from the album are on my running playlist. I love Thor’s music! :-)

  3. “Mad as Hell” for me. But the whole soundtrack is great!

  4. Love it all, but if I had to pick. Ghost Walker.

  5. Throwing cars at people!

  6. We Live to Rock!

  7. We Accept The Challenge!!!!!!

  8. When gods collide!

  9. How can I pick one song? I have been a fan since the 80’s, and own it all. Only the Strong was a favorite album, as it had such an 80’s metal vibe – but Thor Against the World was fun, with a Kiss feel. I guess if I HAD to pick one that stands out, Thunder on the Tundra is one I always sing in my head.

  10. A toss up between Energy and Lightning Strikes Again. I refuse to choose, but I still want that prize package! LIGHTNING STRIKES….LIGHTNING STRIKES AGAIN!

  11. my favorite THOR song is… Knock ‘em Down

  12. LET THE BLOOD RUN RED!
    No one shall oppose the metal avenger!

  13. Muscle Rock (The Vulcans Arrive) Bonus track from Unchained totally rulz! It’s just constant shedding the whole time. Can’t beat that!

  14. ANGER! is my favorite song by the mighty THOR!!!!

  15. Only the strong is my favourite Thor song

  16. Warriors of the UNIVERSE!!!
    (We live by the sword… Die by the edge of the blaaaaaaaade!!!!!)

  17. Who won?! I need closure!

    • We posted on facebook but forgot to post it here. Sorry. But don’t worry, big Thor stuff in the works!

    • Thanks for being a fan of our site too! WE LIVE TO ROCK!

  18. THE WINNER IS ERIC MARTIN, by random! But don’t worry and stay tuned this is not the last THOR contest. Not by a long shot!

What do you think?