Seven Thorns is a band from Denmark which started back in 1998, but Return To The Past is just their second album - and one which power metal fans should dig. Time to introduce the band! Time to talk to guitarist Gabriel Tuxen to learn more about Seven Thorns!
For many metal fans you are nobodies, so please tell as a bit about Seven Thorns!
Seven Thorns plays melodic, catchy power metal, inspired by old school bands such as Helloween, Gamma Ray and Stratovarius, and we take pride in being Denmark's only real power metal band. Surely Denmark can present a few decent power metal acts, but we're the only band true to it's original form in terms of style and sound. We're sort of a mixed bunch: one half of the band members are 22 years old, and the half is (at least...haha...) 10-15 years older. However there's a great chemistry in the band and we all seem to have a common vision, musically speaking. – and equally crappy humor...
The album is called Return To The Past, why this title? Where do you return to?
Return To The Past can be understood on two levels. We felt that today's power metal had moved too far away from the original style – either it's progressive like Symphony X, 80's-Manowar-power like Hammerfall or just plain pop music like I feel Avantasia has become lately. We wanted to return to the early days of power metal – to the roots so to speak.
When Lars split from the former members of Seven Thorns, he felt that the band had taken a wrong turn. In other words, Seven Thorns has returned to what was originally intended for the band to be musically. Not only is the band more homogenous now, but this new line-up consists of much better musicians in my opinion.
What inspires you? Musically? Lyrically?
As a songwriter I'm not really inspired by the old school power metal acts. Sure, I can credit Helloween - they're the ones who started it all - but certainly not on a direct level. I'm much more into the second generation of power, if you can call it that. Bands like At Vance, Heavenly and Stratovarius come to mind – mid 90's-early 00's. I'm also very much inspired by classical music. In fact you'll be hearing a lot more classical phrases, melodies and harmonies on the next album when time comes! My favorite artist at the moment is keyboardist Richard Andersson and practically everything he's involved in. That guy can write some killer neo-classical stuff!! :D
I really enjoy progressive metal as well: Dream Theater, Dali's Dilemma and Time Requiem (there's Andersson again). So the next album might feature some progressive elements maybe...? Who knows.
What inspires me lyrically? I'm not the great poet, in fact I pretty much write cliché power metal lyrics that makes you want to clench your fist and raise it towards the sky while screaming a high-pitched note, all while standing on a cliff with the wind blowing in your hair. To me, THAT is what power metal lyrics should inspire. I've never cared much about good or deep lyrics, not that I underestimate it, but in my opinion the music should speak for all of it.
How important was the mastering by Tommy Hansen for you?
Tommy Hansen is the godfather of metal! Well, at least the godfather of recording metal. To me - to the band – it's a quality stamp, so that was very important. At first I thought, 'in the end, how much does mastering really matter?', and let me tell you, it means everything! Tommy Hansen made this album sound as awesome as it does.
As the album was released in November in the USA, you should get some feedback already. Are you satisfied with the response?
Yeah, we've gotten incredibly good feedback from all over Europe and the US. We've had well over 30 reviews and pretty much every single one of them has been very positive, except maybe 2 or 3. So I'd say we're satisfied! ;)
You have 2 guests on the album, Mikkel Henderson and Olaf Lenk. Why these guys?
When we initially started recording the album we didn't have a keyboardist. Lars had recently met Mikkel Henderson and he just happened to be a super keyboard player and was kind enough to help us with the recordings. He did about half of the album until Asger (our permanent keyboardist) joined the band to finish the rest.
Actually I was the one to contact Olaf Lenk at first. Being a huge fan of At Vance I thought it would be cool to have him do a guest solo, and might I say that his performance on Liberty just goes to show how awesome he is!
Nowadays video clips are important again. You have a video for Liberty. Why this track? Will you do another video? Which song will / would you choose?
We chose Liberty probably because it had one of the catchiest choruses on the album and because this track has been highlighted in many reviews. So we just wanted to promote the album in the best possible way.
We haven't decided for any other videos yet. Right now we're focusing on getting ready for the upcoming tour.
You also have some videos were you are playing solos, are you planing more stuff like that? Or make tabs available for your fans?
I did a few 'tutorials' for some solos, and yes, there will be more of this! Probably not with me in them, but a few vids with Christian and Asger doing their thing will be coming up soon.
In March you'll be on a short tour in Europe. What do you expect from this tour? And what can the fans expect?
We have 10 gigs in some of the biggest / best venues in Europe, starting off on March 17th. We’re having a lot of promotion being put out in these days, so the tour will probably / hopefully score us some more attention and a lot of fans. ;-)
As I said before we're rehearsing for the tour right now, so when the time comes, people can expect to see some killer live shredding, finger-pointing and sing-along-inspiring choruses. We can't wait to present the album, that's for sure!
Do you consider capturing some live action for your fans to watch on YouTube or similar platforms? Or a vblog tour diary?
Perhaps... We haven't decided for any of that yet, but yeah, we might do video diary or something similar.
Beside the tour in March, what else is on your schedule for 2011?
Hopefully we'll get to play at some festivals in Europe this summer, but nothing is certain by now, except we'll definitely see you on the road!!!
And remember: Metal Is Your Destiny!
Sounds like Seven Thorns want to take the power metal world by storm, at least if it's up to them. They made the first step with the album, no. 2 is the tour. At the end it's the fans who decide, but the future looks bright for Seven Thorns!