MYTHRA, a big name born in the NWOBHM, are still around and with a great new album under the arm. They are mainly the same band that built their name in the early 80s and we talk to their frontman Vince High to learn they are so excited at present as they used to be when they were giving their first steps 40 years ago.
Hi Vince, for those who love heavy metal is great to see that a mythical band as Mythra are still active and with the power you display in “Still Burning”
Yeah! It’s great to be back playing live gigs and recording/releasing new music \m/
Let’s review your story a little. Mythra was formed in 1976, more than forty years ago. Do you remember the beginnings?
Definitely, we were just kids who wanted to play music and be like our heroes. Played a lot of Black Sabbath, UFO, Thin Lizzy songs when we were starting out. Then progressed and started writing and playing our own music. Great days, great memories
As many bands of the NWOBHM you were not able to release a full-length during the 80s, although you made a name around and we can consider Mythra as one classic band
Our Death & Destiny EP was recorded in 1979 at the time the NWOBHM was emerging. It sold well and stayed in the Indie Charts in the U.K. for 12 weeks. We recorded a full album but the label we were signed to at that time did not put it out. Nothing to do with the band. That full album plus five new bonus tracks was eventually released as our Anthology album ‘Warriors Of Time’ in 2015 by Skol Records. The company’s CEO Bart Gabriel has been awesome for MYTHRA and has also produced our brand new album ‘Still Burning’ for High Roller Records.
What was the best and the worst of those crazy early years? Any funny or especial story to tell?
Haha yeah lots of crazy things. One of the best was when we played the Heavy Metal Barn Dance with Motörhead, Saxon, Girlschool etc in 1980. We were very young and the security guys wouldn’t let us in as they didn’t believe we were a band playing the festival. We knew Saxon from playing previous gigs together and they had to tell security we were MYTHRA hahaha
Saved by Saxon! What can you tell us about your current line-up? I think the band’s core is still intact…
It’s almost the original band really. Four of us were involved back in the day and we have been joined by our drummer Phil Davies who is an awesome musician, a real powerhouse \m/
Mythra has gone through several halts along time, but I guess you never lost contact with the heavy metal thing, right?
We love Metal…it’s in our DNA for sure. I think that will come across when people hear the new album ‘Still Burning’. Metal is a lifelong passion for Mythra \m/
In 2003 arrived “The Darkener”. But it is not until present that you entered the studio for recording an album. How did you decide to resume the tasks and record a new album?
‘The Darkener’ was simply a collection of demos that John and I wrote and recorded in 2002/03. It was never a full band project and wasn’t officially released. I mentioned Bart Gabriel earlier and the coming of the new album is really thanks to him. He put out our Anthology album on his label and then brokered the deal for our new album with High Roller Records after we played at the legendary Keep It True Festival in Germany last year. He is a true Metal fan which is important to us!!!
“Still Burning” is your new album’s title, some kind of statement as “we are still alive and kicking”?
Yes definitely, we feel really honoured that High Roller Records signed us to record the new album as they are an awesome label. They have done so much to keep NWOBHM music like ours alive and accessible to the fans!!! The first verse in Still Burning sums it all up for us…”Flame still burning, fever strong, temperature rising, can’t be wrong, rhythm pounding, defining the song, live the moment, sing along…the flame still burning”
Yeah it sounds as an anthem. In fact “Still Burning” is a fist of an album, you still sound fresh and with amazing power after so many years
Absolutely, We achieved what we set out to do…stay true to our NWOBHM roots but have a contemporary sound and feel!!! We are really very very happy with the album and hope it will lead to future recording adventures as we have a lot of passion and creativity still to unleash hahaha
How long have you been working on the composition? Was it harder than expected to complete a full album?
We completed the whole album, from writing, rehearsals, pre production and through to recording in around 4 months. It wasn’t difficult for us as the whole band are writing and we loved what we were creating musically!
Awesome. When you were writing the songs you were thinking we should sound this way or another or you just let the music flow and there it is!?
We just let the music flow once the basic structures of the songs were sorted…just doing what came naturally to us
I appreciate the quality of every track in the album but the variety is also a point. We find a little of rock, heavy, speed metal, the New Wave spirit…
There’s always been variety in our music which is what our fans like…guess it comes from letting the music flow and doing what comes naturally as I said earlier
Vince you still keep your vocal stream all intact it seems, a great work and a mark in your sound
Thank you. I have always done what comes naturally when it comes to singing. I try to stay healthy and look after my voice which helps. I’ve never tried to sound like anyone else. The guys in the band think I have an identifiable, original sound and style which is one part of the overall MYTHRA identity.
Sure it is. Ride the Storm is one of my favorite songs, with it mixing of some 70s tunes and the current metal approach, past and present together?
Great thanks! We love all the songs on the new album and think Ride The Storm will be a favourite with the fans at live gigs for sure. Like a lot of our songs it has the powerful guitar riffs, driving bass and drums, and the uplifting sing along choruses: METAL!!!
Comparing the old songs to the ones in your new album how do you feel?
We love the older songs and the new. ‘Still Burning’ has all the trademarks of our older songs but with a more contemporary feel which we really love. The reaction to the new songs we have played at recent gigs has been amazing. The fans love our new music and that makes us very very happy!
For the younger people maybe the name of Mythra has no meaning, listening to your new album even they could think you are a new band, just formed, which is also good, isn’t it?
That’s awesome for sure if it happens, a real compliment thank you.
But for the veterans it will be a great satisfaction to see that Mythra is still armed and ready and they will be willing to see you playing live. Any tour programmed?
Yes definitely, after the album release we are playing several festivals in Europe including ‘Up The Hammers’ in Athens, Greece and ‘Heavy Metal Maniacs’ in Amsterdam, Netherlands before flying over to the United States of America in October to play ‘Frost & Fire’ Festival in California. Hopefully more dates to be added soon as we love playing live!
Mythra was one of the great bands out from the NWOBHM, do you think we will ever see again something similar to that age in the Metal world?
The NWOBHM was unique for sure, born of a particular place and time! There are younger bands emerging constantly across the globe however which is great for the future of Metal and for the fans. On our travels at gigs we have seen some great younger bands keeping the flame alive. The likes of:Night Demon, Crystal Viper, Savage Master, Terminus, Mean Machine, Neverworld and Toledo Steel are amongst many many more worldwide that are helping keep Metal alive and giving it a great future \m/
How do you see the Metal scene in the UK nowadays?
As with everywhere else there is an underground Metal scene in the UK, and younger bands emerging all the time which is great to see. Dedicated people forming bands, putting on gigs and helping to get the music ‘out there’ to the fans. Long may it continue…
What are your plans for the future?
For MYTHRA we are really looking forward to the release of the new album. The reviews to date have been excellent and reactions to the new songs at gigs has been awesome. We love live work, meeting up with fans at gigs. We love writing and recording too. We want more! Bring it on… \m/
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE FOR THEIR AWESOME SUPPORT!!!