NWOBHM band Mythra have been cited by Lars Ulrich of Metallica as one of his his early musical influences. The band reunited last year after 30 years and released a compilation album Warriors of Time: The Anthology via Skol Records. Mythra are now signed to High Roller Records and are heading to the studio to record a new album album titled Still Burning.
I spoke to the band about their The Death and Destiny’LP, their deal with High Roller Records and also what to expect from their upcoming album.
Transcending Obscurity (Peter K): Last year you reunited after over 30 years to perform at Brofest #3, how did that happen?
Alex Perry: It was down to Stuart Bartlett (head promoter of Brofest UK) who asked us if we would like to get together to do a one off gig. It seemed like a great idea so we did.
John Roach: We had been asked the year before but unfortunately I couldn’t do it as I’d injured my shoulder
Vince High: We got an incredible reaction from the fans, many of whom had travelled from mainland Europe, the USA and South America. We had a total blast. It was awesome. Stuart and the other bro’s have been great for Mythra we cannot thank them enough for their support.
TO: Skol Records released a compilation album “Warriors of Time: The Anthology” including all from ‘The Death and Destiny’ LP with 5 new tracks. How did the compilation get put together?
Vince: Bart Gabriel (CEO, Skol Records and Gabriel Management) was the driving force…he remastered the entire album and did a superb job. He also commissioned Italian artist Roberto Toderico to create the incredible artwork. We are really looking forward to recording our new studio album with Bart as Producer given the great work he has done with other bands.
Alex: Bart asked if we had any new songs we would like to include on the album as bonus tracks so we wrote 5 new songs which, when we were writing and recording them, felt as fresh and as exciting as it did when we last entered the recording studio over 30 years ago
TO: What are your memories of writing and recording the ‘The Death and Destiny’ LP?
John: The first song I wrote was called Sacrifice, this was followed by Death and Destiny, Killer, Overlord and two other songs Tribute and Whiskey Telephone. Mo and Vince wrote U.F.O. and went on to write all of the other tracks on the album with the exception of WASA which was written by Alex. The original plan with our first session back in December 1979 was to go into the studio to record Killer, Death and Destiny and Whiskey Telephone. The producer didn’t like Whiskey Telephone so asked if we had any other tracks so we quickly bashed out UFO and then Overlord. The twin lead solo in Killer was too short because when Mo and I played it live there was no backing guitar, so we added backing rhythm guitars in the studio – only we didn’t add enough – the expressions on our faces when we came to do the twin lead overdubs was classic. Hahaha. I only played on that first session. Mick Rundle took over from me on lead guitar after I left and he played on the majority of the tracks before eventually being replaced by Alex who wrote and recorded WASA with the band.
Vince: It was exciting writing songs and being in the recording studio as a young band. Mo (Bates) and I wrote the majority of the songs in quite a short space of time and we recorded them over several sessions starting late 1979 and into 1980. For me the words were flowing as I was a keen observer of what was happening around us at that time.
TO: How does the experience of recording an album and playing shows today compare to when you were active in the 80’s?
Alex: Hard to describe…Amazing, Fantastic, unreal and very humbling
John: The recording process is different from the late 70s, there is much more editing (even non destructive editing) available now. This is not necessarily a good thing often the feel of a live event is lost in the sterility of the unlimited overdubbing that can be achieved. Live shows are much more enjoyable these days the equipment is much more reliable and the gigs are much better organized – for the most part.
Vince: Recording and playing live are equally exciting now as they were first time around. You get an amazing buzz from creating music in the studio and, as for playing live, there’s no other feeling to match walking out on stage in front of an audience full of Metalheads and seeing, feeling and hearing their reactions to our songs!
TO: What are your thoughts on the current state of heavy metal with regards to the quality of the bands?
Alex: I personally think that the future of heavy metal is in safe hands, the young bands I have seen and listened too over the past 18 months are fantastic, great songs and great playing.
Vince: There’s some great younger bands out there which is awesome. A couple from the UK that I particularly like are ‘Neverworld’ and also ‘Kaine’. There’s also ‘Terminus’ from Ireland who we played together with recently at KIT. I am sure there are many more too across the globe!!! Metal brothers and sisters, doing their own thing, putting out their own music and being able to play it live too!!
TO: What have you been listening to lately (metal and non-metal)?
Alex: Dexter Ward, Michael Schenker, Hornado, Megahera, Michael Schenker, Night Demon, Joe Bonamassa
John: I’ve been listening to my favourite Porcupine Tree
Vince: ‘Anathema’ are a band I listen to a lot at the moment. Their music has evolved over time. More melodic nowadays but always interesting and I love the emotion they generate through their songwriting. I also still give the first generation metal bands a blast including albums like ‘Deep Purple In Rock’ and Sabbath’s ‘Master Of Reality’: two absolute classics!
TO: Do you have any interests/hobbies outside music?
Alex: Wine and Cooking
John: Gardening, Karate and Mountains, I’m a 2nd Dan in Wado Ryu karate and have climbed loads of the major summits in Europe.
TO: You have recently got signed to High Roller Records. How did the deal with them come about?
Alex: Another part of the 18 month whirlwind we’ve been on. It came about after our successful appearance at Keep it True Festival in Germany in April. Bart Gabriel got us the deal with High Roller, which had already put out the vinyl double album edition of our Warriors Of Time Anthology. HRR is an awesome company, we feel honoured to be involved with them.
TO: What can we expect from your upcoming album?
Alex: Some great songs, some pushing the boundaries of metal, some heads down and take an asprin. All in all I think we’ve got a great album in the making and we’re still writing
John: 35 years of pent up metal gushing from your HiFi.. haha
Vince: We will try to stay true to the spirit of NWOBHM as we did with the new tracks on our Anthology album. It comes naturally to us…Metal is in our DNA hahaha
TO: Earlier this year, you’ll performed at the Keep it True festival. Do you have any other shows planned for the rest of the year?
Vince: We are writing the new album at the moment and will be recording in Poland with Bart Gabriel at the helm in October. After that it’s back to live work and we are playing Metalcova Festival in Barcelona in November. There are other festival shows lined up for 2017 but they are not yet announced so, as they say, please watch this space for further details.
TO: Thanks for answering all the questions. Do you have anything else to add?
Alex: Thank you for taking an interest in Mythra, it means so much to us
John and Vince: Just want to echo Alex…thank you!