Debut album of Indiana based Metallers THRONE OF IRON! Tucker Thomasson (ex-Thorr-Axe) was inspired to form THRONE OF IRON as a solo project, the night after the death of the legendary composer, guitarist, singer, Godfather of Epic Metal, Mark Shelton. I believe that if enough to guess what this debut album is about… Yes, you are right, Classic Metal to the bone. Let’s know more about it with founding member Tucker Thomasson.
Hello Tucker, THRONE OF IRON was born as a solo project by Tucker Thomasson after the death of the legendary Mark Shelton. How was it?
I was helping (now guitarist) Corwin move and I got more than a little bit drunk. Inspiration struck, and I went home, sat down at my desk, and the three songs for the 2018 Demo just kind of poured out of me. I had the intruments for those three songs recorded in just a few hours, and I did the vocals while hung over the next morning. My cat Klaus was next to me the whole time, and barely stirred from his spot, so i felt like what I was doing was right.
Although you have released a cover of Manilla Road’s classic tune Crystal Logic, Throne of Iron is not a cover band, isn’t it?
We’re not a cover band, no. We just like to release occasional covers to pay tribute to classic bands we care about and love and who’ve influenced us.
What have music lost with Mark Shelton’s farewell?
The metal world lost someone with the craziest work ethic possible. Mark grinded away with Manilla Road in relative obscurity for decades. He and the band dealt with a huge degree of isolation in the United States, being from Kansas. They made outsider art, making a really interesting style of heavy metal that may not have been in fashion when they did it, but they continued on regardless.
Good analysis. You are not a solo project anymore, there are four guys in the band, how did you recruit the mates?
Jacob, my drummer, was also the drummer in my previous band, Thorr-Axe. We’ve been playing music together for eight years now and it honeslty feels weird to not play with him. Corwin and I have known each other for about a decade, but it wasn’t until the demo happened that we were both ont he same page enough musically for us to want to do anything together. He always says that we’re in the band we should have been in when we were 15. Evan had been in a band with Corwin prior, and is a fellow roleplaying game enthusiast, so he was an easy choice to bring on board.
Last year you released several singles, but when did you start composing your debut album?
We started writing the album almost immediately after the demo was released and the response to it became clear. About a week after the demo came out, I brought my laptop over to Corwin’s apartment and we wrote three more songs for the record, „Fourth Battle Of The Ash Plains“, „Dark Shrine Of Rituals“, and „Past The Doors Of Death“, that very day. He and I tend to write very quickly in this band, which while normal for me, is completely new to him.
Tucker, you are on vocal and guitar duties, your vocals sound really cool and with personality, an extra point for the band, you consider yourself first a singer or a guitarist?
I’m definitely a guitar player first. I will be the first to admit my shortcomings as a singer, having done screaming vocals almost exclusively for the last ten years, but I will also say that the way I sing in Throne Of Iron is largely intentional and serving to create a sound and mood that I’m hearing in my head. The whole of this band is trying to create an atmosphere.
Well, I only can say your singing fits perfectly with the band’s style. Your debut album Adventure One is heavy metal all the way, but I would say more in the under sonic sphere than other thing?
We intentionally strove for an almost amateurish early 80s basement metal feeling for the record, because those are the sounds near and dear to us as a group. While we did record using modern technology (computers and the like), we treated much of the recording process as if we were tracking to tape, which admittedly took a lot of self-discipline.
The cover artwork has all the taste of the 80s and the epic metal
We had a very clear vision in mind for the album cover, and David Paul Seymour absolutely captured want we wanted flawlessly. We wanted something that had both a heavy metal feeling, but also captured the wonder of first edition Dungeons And Dragons manual illustrations. He comes from a similar place with a lot of his artwork, so he was an easy choice to recruit for this.
What are the lyrics about?
The lyrics for this band are fantasy, within the ideas laid down by the early Dungeons And Dragons manuals that so captured my imagination as a child when I was also getting into heavy metal. Throne Of Iron is absolutely the result of a cross polination of those things happening to me at once, just many years after it had happened. Most of the songs are original stories, while others are based off of specific dungeon/adventure modules from the early days.
Any favorite song in the album?
It’s incredibly hard for me to pick one, I will say that „Fourth Battle of the Ash Plains“ is probably the most fun for me to play live. There’s a lot of movement in it, it’s fast, it has a big chorus. To me, it best summarizes what this band does.
Apart of Manilla Road, what other bands have influenced your sound?
I would say that Manilla Road is mostly an influence on this band in terms of the vocals. My biggest influences as a songwriter, guitarist, and someone who just loves guitar riffs would probably be Accept, Anvil, W.A.S.P., and Ronnie James Dio era Black Sabbath.
Would you create another band to contribute to the memory of any of them?
Honestly, I don’t think so. If I did they would be outright cover bands. While Mark’s passing was absolutely a catalyst for me doing this band, I will say that I don’t view Throne Of Iron as solely paying tribute to Manilla Road, but to heavy metal as a whole, in the way that I and my bandmates perceive and understand it.
You are confirmed to play on the Up The Hammers Festival’20 alongside great bands in what we consider one of the most epic festivals worldwide, not bad for a band that is debuting this year…
Absolutely! We’re thrilled that we were given the opportunity to prove our steel at one of the mightiest festivals in the world. And we also get to travel to Greece for it, which is such a fascinating country with a great deal of historical and cultural significance to the world.
Epic travel all the way! What would you rescue from the 80s?
Wood paneling in every house. I grew up with it and I’m still mad at my mom for painting over all of it. It looks nice, is easy to put up, and just reminds me of a simpler time.
Haha, a cool answer. What are your plans for the future?
After Up The Hammers, we plan to hit the United States hard with at least one tour. There are also talks of an EP or split or two this year as well, since we write and record almost constantly.
Thank you very much for your attention, if you wish to add something…
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram! Check out our „Roll For Metal“ series on Bandcamp, where we write and record songs based off of dice rolls! Thank you for reading!