The Face




Let the blood run red, let them all be dead, all those who oppose, the Metal Avenger.

"That's about some people who made me angry. I felt like smashing them." Speaker and lyricist is Thor, singer with the band named after him. It's a heavy band. Thor, the man, has a physique that melts wimps at 50 paces. His stage stunts include blowing up hot water bottles until they explode, bending steel with his teeth and occasionally lifting members of the audience with a harness attached to his neck.

Before becoming Thor he was Jon Mikl, a weedy 11-year-old from Vancouver who played Beatles songs with his nephews. Failing to make the school sports team was a crushing blow so his brother lured him into weight training. "I just wanted to be noticed." And he was. By 13 the muscles were erupting, by 14 he was entering physique contests and by 15 he was winning them.

Meanwhile the Fab Four were getting into flower power. "it got cool to be healthy, to be a hippie! People called me 'meathead' and 'big lunk'." In vengeance the Rock Warrior concept was evolved. Thor cast himself as a superhero fronting a super heavy (naturally) band, fuelling the fantasy by performing stunts and winning the Mr. Canada contest.

Years of touring in the USA and Canada followed until Thor relocated to New York around 1980. "I have fantasies when I go on the subway about someone attacking me with an axe. One guy did. I pummelled him into the ground." While most heavy rock is oafish and dull, the comic book grossness of Thor can be a wicked brand of fun. Even if their music is only just beginning to match the visual spectacle.

Last year's "Unchained" LP was low-budget and, would you believe, thin sounding. The above quoted new single, "Let The Blood Run Red" is solid and ... muscular. As well as lyrically bloodthirsty. It's not encouraging violence, it's encouraging aggressiveness. To be a success you must have that. It's the American Way." Thor grins. Biceps bulge.



mick sinclair

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