March 5, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 81  

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Glam-metal rockers Thor create thunderous sound

By Megan O’Toole
Gazette Staff

Gazette File Photo
I AM THOR, THE GOD OF THUNDER. HEAR ME ROAR. Thor seduces the ladies through his ability to bend steel and entertain like no other.

Jon Thor of glam-metal rockers Thor took a few minutes away from his rigorous schedule to chat with The Gazette about comic books, bending steel and getting girls.

Your new album, Beastwoman From The Center Of The Earth, is a collaboration with legendary fantasy artist Mike Hoffman. What did he bring to the table, sonically speaking?
Mike Hoffman’s one of those genius, talented individuals, who’s regarded as one of the best fantasy artists in the world. But a lot of people don’t know that he’s also an incredible guitar player and vocalist, so both painting and musically, the guy’s great. He’s very theatrical on stage as well, which complements the show; it’s a very theatrical show.

The album is based on a comic book of the same name. What story does the album tell and why did you choose music to tell it?
It’s a concept album. I was always into conceptual albums, you know, going back to The Who and Tommy and all that sort of stuff. Basically what I’m saying in this album is about the recognition of women and their intellectual spirit and sexual power in all aspects of society. I was always very interested in the legend of the Amazons. The album is a journey to the centre of the Earth where the Beastwomen live, and Thor helps them battle against those who are enslaving them — that’s the concept of the album. It’s an adventure.

You are probably best known for the elements of rock theatre in your live shows. What does this bring to your shows?
When you put your money down to see a show, I want to give as much as I can for the audience. Our show is one of the most unique in the world; there’s no other rock band or artist going on stage doing these kinds of things. You know, blowing up exploding hot water bottles or having bricks smashed on their chest, bending steel — but it all goes with the concept of power. Thor as a band represents power and I want to portray that.

You started out as a bodybuilder back in the ’70s. What inspired you to go that route?
I was body-building as a young teenager because I thought it would attract girls. I thought if I got my body in great shape, I could walk on the beach and girls would come to me like magnets. That’s what it said in the comic books, anyhow; if you build up your muscles, you know, the bullies won’t kick sand in your face.

You won the titles of Mr. Canada and Mr. USA in the past. What were those experiences like?
That was a whole life on its own. I was able to go down to California and train at Gold’s Gym, and train alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and the greats of the time. Competing is a great feeling; it’s much like being a rock personality, because you’re on stage and the people are screaming out front. It’s not like every night, though; you have to train almost a year for one competition, but it’s a great euphoric feeling, especially if you win.

When did you realize that music was what you wanted to do?
I always loved music. When I would go to the gym I would listen to heavy music to psych myself up, so I always thought, why not combine both music and body-building? And so I combined them, and came up with the concept of Thor the god of thunder, because it was thunderous music.

Aside from music, you’ve also dabbled in producing and acting. Any current projects?
Another big love of mine is film and I’ve had some great successes in years past with movies like Zombie Nightmare (Adam West, Tia Carrere) and Rock ’N’ Roll Nightmare. My most recent film is Graveyard, where I worked alongside Joey Keithley, who is a great friend of mine from D.O.A..

Following the current tour, what’s next on the agenda for Thor?
I’ve got so many things going on. I’m supposed to go to California and film the sequel to Rock ’N’ Roll Nightmare, and I’m going to be filming another movie coming up. I’ve got so many projects hitting me at one time. I’m just going to try and do it all, combining recording, filming and touring.

What can Londoners expect from your upcoming show?
When people come out and see the show, I promise them I’m going to go all out to give them the greatest show ever. Also a great Canadian legend, Frank Soda, will be performing, too. He’s done things like explode TV sets off his head... and Mike Hoffman will be there doing some pretty impressive stuff. And of course, watch out for the Beastwoman, she’ll be there as well!

Catch Thor and all their theatrics at Call the Office on Tuesday, Mar. 9.

 

 

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