Hey Dario, congratulations on the fantastic debut album. I had the honour to review the album and that was a real pleasure. Can you tell us how Thorium came about?
Hi Henk, thank you so very much. The privilege is all ours! Well, as you know, some of us were involved in Ostrogoth. Summer 2015, I started writing new material for what would become the new Ostrogoth album. Tom (Tee, the other guitar player) joined in and together we started writing all kinds of material, that seemed to be too different for what could be used within Ostrogoth, or so it seemed. Then Stripe, our bass player started adding some music too, and suddenly, we felt in a surreal state-of-mind where one after another song came up. As we were convinced most material wasn’t usable for Ostrogoth, it just felt right to form a new band. So, after searching for a while to find a proper name, we came up with Thorium. We found out there used to be a Danish death/black metal band by that name, but they quit. As a matter of fact, they have restarted again in 2017, so there are two Thoriums active now. But everyone can clearly see the difference between both bands hahahahaha.
Three of you were previously active in Ostrogoth but as you already said there was the feeling that the material that ended up on the album was outside the possibilities of Ostrogoth. What did you mean by that?
Well, as mentioned before, we set ourselves no boundaries in what we wrote. Sure, it was all metal, sure it had that classical approach with twin guitar melodies, catchy vocal lines, powerful riffs but still melodic, but sometimes very different compared to the Ostrogoth material. Sometimes more like speed metal, sometimes a little bay-area influenced, a lot of US metal influences, sometimes German power metal. Faster and heavier that what Ostrogoth stands for. Then we wrote a sixteen minute during song with all kinds of influences, from speedy, thrashy stuff to pure classic metal, with a lot of progressive influences. So basically, the only right decision was to form our own band.
I can imagine that the remaining members of Ostrogoth were not very happy with the start of Thorium since they let you know to continue Ostrogoth without you. How is the relationship now with Ostrogoth?
It’s a shame it had to end this way. We haven’t heard or spoke the other guys since then but let me put it this way. It’s not like they have murdered us or whatever, if you know what I mean. I honestly believe that we should be able to get along as grown-ups for the limited time we have on this planet. It was their decision to part ways and we must respect that, although I have been part of Ostrogoth for over eight years. I am very grateful I was a part of it for that time, and we did some memorable concerts. I’m still proud of the ‘Last Tribe Standing’ album. We wish them all the luck in the future.
Where and when is the album recorded and who have you as a production team?
We recorded guitar and bass at Tom’s studio, summer 2017, while drums and vocals were recorded at Mushroom Studios in Lokeren between December 2017 and March 2018 and recorded and edited by Tom Tee and Pete Mush. The album was mixed and mastered by Simone Mularoni (DGM, Redemption, Rhapsody etc.) at Domination Studios in San Marino.
All nine songs on the album are outright smashes as far as I am concerned. Could you tell us what the songs are about? I am especially curious about 'Ostrogoth' as you will understand. I would also like to know more about the more than epic closing track 'Four By Number, Four By Fate'.
‘Ostrogoth’ is all about the rise and fall of the kingdom of the Ostrogoths. Nothing more, nothing less. I suppose people would expect other things seeing the title, but it just history haha! Basically, the same story with ‘Four by number, Four by Fate’. I came up with the title and Tom immediately started searching for different meanings and themes with the number Four in it, as in riddles, historical and mythical themes.
Meanwhile, the album release concerts are already planned for the beginning of October in both Belgium and the Netherlands. Can we expect more concerts in the coming months?
Absolutely. October fifth marks the release of the album. Celebrating the release, we play the Elpee Liveclub in Deinze, Belgium on October fifth and The Jack Eindhoven on October sixth. Then we hit the road to Hamburg, Germany on October ninth. November sees us playing a lot of concerts in Spain, Germany, The Netherlands again (Nijmegen), Czech Republic and possibly Switzerland. In December we play Pluto Metal Fest in Oosterzele, Belgium. For next year we are already booked for Full Metal Osthessen and will do some shows in the UK as well, besides a lot of other shows that are in the too-early to confirm state.
The album is released on Empire records. Has a deal been closed for multiple albums?
Exactly. I have worked with Empire on the last Ostrogoth record and was very pleased by the way the label works. True metal lovers who the put the best of themselves into the product. So, you can expect some beautiful vinyl colors as well as a great-crafted CD version. We are all vinyl lovers, so we are thrilled to see our album put out on vinyl as well. The deal is for this album only, but if both parties are happy with the results, there is certainly a possibility that for a new album we will work together again.
Since all five members have already gained the necessary experience, can you now say that you have arrived with Thorium at what you as a musician ultimately want to achieve?
That’s a good question Henk. At a certain point, maybe yes. We are very happy with the result for this album, and we put a lot of blood, sweat and tears in it so to speak. On the other hand, there’s always room for improvement. There’s always the road ahead leading us towards new territories and unknown places, so we keep on setting us no limits or boundaries to reach them. But we are really happy for the moment with our achievements, as a band and as separate song- and lyric writers.
I know the album has yet to be released but are there any ideas for a second album since singer David was only involved later in the process of this debut?
Hahahaha, ehhhmmm, to be honest, the entire second album is already written, and parts of the third album (or an EP) as well. As we are in a very creative mood, we keep on writing songs! Obviously, they are still in the demo-mode and need tracking and re-tracking. Furthermore, David has a lot of things going on with Lord Volture as well of course, where he’s responsible for the whole process. But I’m sure he will add some of his influences on the next album.
The album also appears on vinyl, to my great joy. Can we expect something special from the vinyl release?
Sure! First pressing will see three colors coming into the market. Besides black there will be white and a limited run of blue vinyl coming out. Hopefully we can get them to sell so quickly that we can go for a picture disc. That would be pretty cool as well, don’t you think?
I sure do Dario! That was it for my part. Is there anything else that needs to be said to our readers that I have forgotten to ask? Then here is the chance! And again, good luck with the fantastic debut!
First of all, thank you for these interesting questions Henk. We hope to meet as many fans on the road as we can to share whatever they want to share (well onto a certain level of course haha) and talk about what binds us all, namely metal music. Hopefully we get the chance to spread our music as many times as we can. And last but not least for the fans, as David Coverdale always says: be safe, be well and don’t let anyone make you afraid or tell you what to do. Cheers.