Troyen – Interview –
Hello ! For those who weren’t familiar with Troyen , What was the band about ? And when ?
The band originally came together in late 1980 and we were called NWOBHM although we always had a more blues/hard rock edge to us rather than out and out metal. The band gigged relentlessly for 18-20 months including a support tour of Europe with Nightwing in early summer 1982. Financial difficulties and the lack of a good record deal meant we split up in late 1982.
How long has the band been together ?
As mentioned we were originally together from late 1980 to late 1982. We reformed in summer of 2014 with 3 original members and have been gigging and recording ever since.
Is there a particular story behind the band name ?
The name comes from the opera Les Troyens by Berlioz, not because we liked or listened to opera but because it was spotted flipping through some old albums either at someones house or in a second hand record store .
Since your band is underground in the initial meaning of the word, an introduction to you music would be necessary.
Our music comes from many influences from the 1970’s including Free, Led Zeppelin, UFO, Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath, Budgie and more. With the new songs we write today, other influences including Metallica, Opeth, Black Crowes and many others are included.
Almost 36 Years since the band started , you guys have only One demo and album , which is few production , can you explain to us why ?
Yes as originally we were only together for 2 years (1980-82) during which we recorded 2 versions of the original demo (a long story!) which was produced and engineered by a young Gil Norton and 3 further tracks on a rough demo when Neat records had shown some interest in us. The original demo tapes sold out runs of 500 (a cassette with 4 songs on) and we still get sent selfies of people with their original copies from all over the world (USA, Peru, Venezuela included!). When we reformed in summer of 2014, we went in to the studio to record 2 new songs, re-record 2 old songs from the rough demo for Neat records (the master tapes had been lost) and remastered one of the original 4 song demo tapes and released this as the Finish What You Started CD in Feb. 2015. We have just finished recording 5 tracks for an EP (called Storm Child) which will be released on CD in a couple of weeks time.
The band originated from, U.K . Were there cool metal bands in your area back then ? Maybe there was something like a scene with bands worth to listen ?
Yes, we were seen as part of the NWOBHM although more of the second wave of which Diamond Head were the best known. We played several gigs on multi band bills with a few of the names including Girlschool, Nightwing and others. Saxon, Def Leppard and Iron Maiden were more of the first wave.
Your last album ” Finish What You Started ” Was released In 2015. How did it happen and are you happy with the release ?
As mentioned above we kicked off our reformation with 2 new tracks, 2 re recorded old tracks and a remastering of the original demo as people out there via Facebook were clamoring for copies (of the demo) on CD. We have sold out of 2 pressings and still have a few copies of the third pressing left I think. We were very happy with the 2 new songs and the re recorded songs. We completely rearranged Syrian Lady and added to it and that has been very well received. The master tapes for the demo were not in the best shape but we did the best sonic job possible with them .
Comparing the current metal scene to the 80’s, do you regret anything ? Maybe paper fanzines keep a place in your heart ? Maybe you loved to pile tapes over tapes, until it reached the roof ? Don’t you feel sometimes, the underground communication was more efficient in the 80’s / 90’s, even though there were fewer And harder possibilities to communicate ?
The thing we miss most about the early 80’s metal scene was the number of gigs available. We regularly played 3 nights a week without travelling the length of the country and this quickly gets a new band and material in shape. I personally miss vinyl (I was an avid collector). The advantages today are instant communication and the establishment of a scene again with old and new fans via social media and the internet. It also helps bands raise a profile. What has been lost is far fewer live music venues and being able to establish yourself by a live reputation which we did back in the day .
How important are lyrics for the band ? Who writes them ? What kinds of themes inspire you guys to write about ?
We have 3 main writers in the band but we credit all songs to the writer/Troyen as everyone contributes to improving and arranging ideas. The lyrics come from many different inspirations, including political / protest (Don’t Send Me To War), a childs birth (Storm Child), personal conflict (Backlash) and momentous initial experiences in life (First Blood).
What’s the most memorable show you guys have played and where are you scheduled to hit the stage in the near future ?
We originally reformed when we were asked to play the Brofest 2015 festival in Newcastleand after one warm up gig we were amazed at how well we played and were received by the audience, most of the first 3 rows who were singing along with songs we hadn’t played for 33 years ! We also played a great gig at the Dutch Heavy Metal Maniacs festival in Amsterdamlast September and reviews stated we were by far the bast band on the day we played.We have a run of 10-12 gigs scheduled to support the Storm Child CD release, starting at the end of this month (July) and included the British Steel festival in Franceand other festivals in this country. We are hoping to play some major festivals in both the UK and Europe in 2018 too.
How do you think your music will progress in the future ?
We keep writing and rehearsing new songs, we have 2 brand new tracks that will be played live this summer / autumn and we hope to bring 5 or 6 more up to speed before the new year. We are never short of ideas and have more trouble filtering out what doesn’t or wont work than finding things that do !
What are the next steps for your band ?
To constantly improve our live set and enjoy the festivals and multi band bills and perhaps sometime next year to have sufficient new material to release another CD.
Thanks for your time answering my questions. I wish you the best of luck ! Please close the interview in any way you like.
On behalf of the band, I (Nick Mannion) would like to thank you for showing the interest in us and hopefully anyone who reads this can find us via the Facebook link and find out anything else about the band they so desire ! Keep up the good work !!
Interviewer : Speedskullcrusher