North East heavy metal band Mythra prepare to play Trillians, Newcastle this month so Lee Allcock caught up with frontman Vince High to talk about Metallica, reuniting after 30 years, and their latest album.
Mythra has been cited as an early influence by Lars Ulrich of Metallica. That’s some achievement and it must make you feel proud…
Metallica are one of the biggest bands on the planet so yes, it makes us feel good for sure. Lars wanted to include our song ‘Death and Destiny’ on his 1989 compilation album release ‘NWOBHM Revisited’ but sadly couldn’t get the permissions. That album is a collection of his personal music influences and includes a lot of the bands around at the beginning of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) in 1979.
You’ve played around the world, but how does it feel to be playing a hometown gig?
It’s always very special playing in your own backyard. We’ve been fortunate enough to have played BROFEST UK (held at Northumbria University) twice and the crowds were incredible on both occasions. We were all brought up here and still live in the North East. Newcastle City Hall and The Mayfair was where we got to see so many incredible bands when we were discovering music as kids back in the 1970s so it’s always special to bring our own music home to live audiences.
After splitting, you reunited in 2015 for your first gig in 30 years. What made you want to get back together?
We have Stuart Bartlett, promoter of BROFEST UK, to thank for our reunion in 2015. Stu originally asked us to do his festival in 2014 but it wasn’t possible. When he asked again the following year we made it happen. Despite being inactive for such a long time, there has been a continual interest in our music with several re-issues being made available. The audience at our reunion show attracted people from across Europe, the US and South America which was amazing. Offers of European festival shows came in immediately and we also hooked up with Bart Gabriel (CEO, Skol Records and Gabriel Management EU) who subsequently released our Anthology album and then produced ‘Still Burning’ for High Roller Records. The reaction at our live shows has been incredible and we always make a point of meeting and thanking people after our shows for their amazing support.
What was it like working with Bart on your latest album?
Working with Bart was a great experience. As well as being a label boss and established music producer in his own right, he is a metal fan too which is important to us. He was incredibly detailed and focused in the pre-production stage when we first sent him our demos. Likewise, when we got together with him to record in Poland he weaved his magic in a quiet and unassuming manner and got the best out of us. He is an awesome guy and has been incredible for Mythra. If Bart had been in our corner first time around the story of our band might have been very different as he puts his band’s first and works his socks off for them!
And finally, what do you have planned for 2018?
Our live work continues into next year and we’re also gearing up to record a follow-up album in the autumn. We feel incredibly lucky to be able to do what we love at this stage in our careers and are eternally grateful to everyone who turns up at our shows and buys our music – long may it continue!
Myrtha play Trillians, Newcastle on Sunday 12th November where they’ll support US metal outfit, Night Demon. Tickets, priced at £7.00 in advance, are available from trilliansnewcastle.co.uk.