Thor (band)

Last updated
Thor
Thor-L1000310.jpg
From left to right: John Liebel (guitar), Jon Mikl Thor (vocals), and Ted Andre Jedlicki (bass).
Background information
Origin Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Genres Heavy metal
Years active1976–1986, 1997–present
Labels Cleopatra Records, [1] Deadline Music
Associated actsCentaur, Mikl Body Rock, Thor and The Imps, Frank Soda and The Imps, Tritonz, Thor & the Ass Boys
Website Thorcentral.com
Members Jon Mikl Thor
John Leibel, Ted Jedlicki, Will Maravelas, Richard Fabio, Kevin Stuart Swain, Frank Soda, Frank Meyer, Bruce Duff, Joseph Turner
Past membersSteve Price, Frank Boehm, John Tonin, Mike Favata,
Pantera (Rusty Hamilton)
Keith Zazzi
Ani Kyd

Thor (stylized as THOR) is a heavy metal band from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Vancouver City in British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver is a coastal seaport city in western Canada, located in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia. As the most populous city in the province, the 2016 census recorded 631,486 people in the city, up from 603,502 in 2011. The Greater Vancouver area had a population of 2,463,431 in 2016, making it the third-largest metropolitan area in Canada. Vancouver has the highest population density in Canada, with over 5,400 people per square kilometre, which makes it the fifth-most densely populated city with over 250,000 residents in North America, behind New York City, Guadalajara, San Francisco, and Mexico City according to the 2011 census. Vancouver is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in Canada according to that census; 52% of its residents have a first language other than English. 48.9% have neither English nor French as their first language. Approximately 30% of the city's inhabitants are of Chinese heritage.

British Columbia Province of Canada

British Columbia is the westernmost province of Canada, located between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains. With an estimated population of 5.071 million as of 2019, it is Canada's third-most populous province.

Contents

Biography

Thor performing at the 2018 South Park festival in Tampere, Finland. Thor - South Park Festival 2018 - 24.jpg
Thor performing at the 2018 South Park festival in Tampere, Finland.

Thor started out as a concept band in 1973. They used the names "Thor", "Centaur" and "Mikl Body Rock". These entities were the brainchild of Jon Mikl Thor, a vocalist, musician and body building champion who won titles such as Mr. USA and Mr. World Canada. [2] He decided to combine muscle with music. In every show Jon Mikl Thor would appear as "Thor The Rock Warrior". Mikl Body Rock aka "Thor" toured throughout North America seeking fame and to garnish enough attention to secure a record deal. The press dubbed them "Kings of Muscle Rock" or "Warriors of Gladiator Rock".

Jon Mikl Thor Canadian singer

Jon Mikl Thor, better known as Thor, is a bodybuilding champion, actor, songwriter, screenwriter, historian, vocalist and musician.

Mr. World Canada is a Canadian male beauty pageant that runs in parallel with the Miss World Canada pageant, the two sending their winners to compete in the Mister World and Miss World pageants respectively. Darren Storsley, the organizer of the Miss B.C. World pageant, was named Mr. World Canada in 2007. Ron Wear of Edmonton, Alberta won the competition in 2010. Wear went on to compete in Mister World 2010, but he did not win. Wear attested to his Mr. World Canada duties preventing him from pursuing an acting career to the extent that he would have liked. In 2012, Frankie Cena of Burnaby, British Columbia won the Mr. World Canada competition. Cena was an undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia at the time, and went on to use his title to model, act, and represent Canada to other nations. At Mister World 2012, Cena ranked first at the talent show, second in the multimedia competition, and tenth overall. While Mr. World Canada, Cena sang at the Warmth of Light Musical Banquet hosted by Miss World Canada contestant Selina Yue.

In 1976, Jon Mikl met guitarist Frank Soda while touring Canada. Frank Soda joined "Thor" who also became known as "Thor and The Imps". The band toured constantly in the Eastern USA and Canada region building a large following. The first album was recorded in Toronto, Ontario, Canada under the name Thor and was called Muscle Rock. Released by the independent label God Of Thunder Records, the record became a success, and gained the attention of various managers and producers who wanted to sign the act. Jon Mikl Thor was offered a large deal to star in a production at the Aladdin Resort & Casino in Las Vegas called 'Red Hot and Blue'. Frank Soda wanted to keep touring with the band, so Frank Soda and The Imps were formed. Jon Mikl Thor went on to star in Las Vegas and was discovered by Merv Griffin, who had Thor perform live on the Merv Griffin Show from Caesars Palace on national television. Thor's performance was a hit, and offers came in from various major labels. Thor decided to sign with RCA Records in late 1976.

Las Vegas Largest city in Nevada

Las Vegas, officially the City of Las Vegas and often known simply as Vegas, is the 28th-most populated city in the United States, the most populated city in the state of Nevada, and the county seat of Clark County. The city anchors the Las Vegas Valley metropolitan area and is the largest city within the greater Mojave Desert. Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city, known primarily for its gambling, shopping, fine dining, entertainment, and nightlife. The Las Vegas Valley as a whole serves as the leading financial, commercial, and cultural center for Nevada.

Merv Griffin 20h-century American singer and television game show producer

Mervyn Edward Griffin Jr. was an American television host and media mogul. He began his career as a radio and big band singer who went on to appear in film and on Broadway. From 1965 to 1986, Griffin hosted his own talk show, The Merv Griffin Show. He also created the internationally popular game shows Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune through his television production companies, Merv Griffin Enterprises and Merv Griffin Entertainment.

RCA Records is an American record label owned by Sony Music, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America. It is one of Sony Music's four flagship labels, alongside RCA's former long-time rival Columbia Records, Arista Records, and Epic Records. The label has released multiple genres of music, including pop, classical, rock, hip hop, afrobeat, electronic, R&B, blues, jazz, and country. Its name is derived from the initials of its defunct parent company, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA). It was fully acquired by Bertelsmann in 1986, making it a part of Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG); however, RCA Records became a part of Sony BMG Music Entertainment, a merger between BMG and Sony Music, in 2004, and was acquired by the latter in 2008, after the dissolution of Sony BMG and the restructuring of Sony Music. It is the second-oldest record label in American history, after sister label Columbia Records.

This new incarnation of Thor was formed in 1977 by Jon Mikl Thor and released their debut album Keep the Dogs Away . [2] After much touring, Jon Mikl Thor resided in New York City. He formed a new band with backing members Rusty Hamilton aka Queen Pantera, Mike Favata, Jimmy Ambrose, James Whang and Keith Zazzi in 1983 and released the Unchained EP. [2] The record, which was on Mongel Horde Records in the USA got picked up for distribution in England through Albion Records. The band travelled to London, England to perform at the Marquee Club. They were sensations overnite and signed with Motörhead's manager Douglas Smith. In 1984, the band decided to live in the UK. Most of the time was spent at studios in London, writing and recording new material. The songs "Let the Blood Run Red" and "Thunder on the Tundra" became instant chart toppers with "Thunder on the Tundra" reaching number one on the British rock chart.

<i>Keep the Dogs Away</i> 1977 studio album by Thor

Keep the Dogs Away is the first studio album by the heavy metal band Thor, released in 1977. The album went gold shortly after it was released, selling 50,000 copies in Canada.

Marquee Club Former music club in London, England

The Marquee Club was a music venue first located at 165 Oxford Street in London, when it opened in 1958 with a range of jazz and skiffle acts. Its most famous period was from 1964 to 1988 at 90 Wardour Street in Soho, and it finally closed when at 105 Charing Cross Road in 1996, though the name has been revived unsuccessfully three times in the 21st century. It was always a small and relatively cheap club, located in the heart of the music industry in London's West End, and used to launch the careers of generations of rock acts.

Motörhead English rock band

Motörhead were an English rock band formed in June 1975 by bassist, singer, and songwriter Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister, who was the sole constant member, guitarist Larry Wallis and drummer Lucas Fox. The band are often considered a precursor to the new wave of British heavy metal, which re-energised heavy metal in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Though several guitarists and drummers have played in Motörhead, most of their best-selling albums and singles feature the work of Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor on drums and "Fast" Eddie Clarke on guitars.

The success of the singles soon led to 1985's album Only the Strong . [2] Thor's stage performances involved antics such as Jon Mikl Thor breathing into hot water bottles until they burst, [2] breaking bricks over his chest and head and bending steel bars and microphone stands. [3] In 1986, Thor released Recruits – Wild in the Streets on GWR Records. The band would break up in 1987 and Jon Mikl entered the world of acting, starring in such movies as Recruits (1986, as Thunderhead), Zombie Nightmare (1987, as Tony Washington), and Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare (1987, as John Triton). [3]

<i>Only the Strong</i> (Thor album) 1985 studio album by Thor

Only the Strong is the fifth album by Canadian/American heavy metal band Thor. The singles "Let the Blood Run Red", "Knock 'Em Down", and "Thunder on the Tundra" strengthened the album's performance, as it eventually reached platinum status in Canada and the United Kingdom.

<i>Recruits – Wild in the Streets</i> 1986 studio album by Thor

Recruits is the third album by Canadian heavy metal band Thor. It is also the soundtrack for the 1986 film Recruits.

GWR Records record label

GWR Records were an independent record label active in the UK from 1986 through to 1991.

Little is known of the band's doings from 1987 to 1997.

Ten years later in 1997, the band released the compilation album Ride of the Chariots (An-Thor-Logy). Following this release the band returned with new material and in 1998 they released Thunderstruck (Tales from the Equinox), [2] and have since released five additional albums. [4]

From 2000-2011, Thor continued to record, release albums and tour, building a larger following and connecting with a new generation. Albums released have been Dogz II (2000), Triumphant (2002), Beastwomen from the Centre of the Earth (2003), Are U Ready (2004), Thor Against the World (2005), Devastation of Musculation (2006), Into the Noise (2007), Steam Clock (2008) Sign of the V (2009), The Guardian (2010) and Soundtrack from the movie THOR - The Rock Opera (2011). Thor wrote the music for and were starring in the movie Thor - The Rock Opera. In 2009 Thor performed at the Sweden Rock Festival, Sauna Open Air Metal Festival in Tampere, Finland and the Muskelrock Festival (named after Thor and The Imps first EP Muscle Rock) in Alvesta, Sweden.

On April 30, 2011, Thor headlined the Shock Stock Festival in London, Ontario, Canada. The band consisted of original guitar player Frank Soda as well as new additions Joel "Savage" Watts on drums and Sean "Killer" Kilby on bass. Then Thor embarked on a tour of Scandinavia from May 31 to June 7 playing at DOM (The Dome) in Helsinki, Finland on June 1, performing their live rock opera and showcasing film Thor - The Rock Opera; then revisiting the Muskelrock Festival in Alvesta, Sweden from June 2 to June 4.

In January, 2012, a special edition vinyl album called Thor's Teeth was released through the Baltimore-based label A389 Recordings. It was later launched digitally through Chicago based Smog Veil Records in April 2012. Thor signed a multi album deal with Rock Saviour/Pegasus Records in Germany and Frank Soda returned to the studio with Thor to write songs and lay down vocal tracks for albums Thor – Thunderstryke (2012) and Thor – Thunderstryke II (2013). On July 20, 2012 Thor headlined the Armstrong MetalFest at Hassen Arena.

In 2014, Thor re-released their 1985 album as Only the Strong Deluxe Edition distributed by Deadline Records.

The new documentary film, I Am Thor , directed by Ryan Wise and produced by Ryan Wise and Al Higbee had a world premiere in 2015 and featurered Thor. In 2015, the movie I Am Thor toured film festivals throughout the world winning audience and critical acclaim. The movie got picked up for distribution in the USA through Dark Sky Films / MPI Media Group. The film won Best Documentary at the Fantasia International Film Festival 2015 in Montreal. Thor led by Jon Mikl Thor embarked on a sold out major city tour throughout the USA in November, 2015 screening the movie I Am Thor followed by a live Thor concert. In March 2016, Jon Mikl Thor took Thor on a North American tour presenting both the screening of the film and a live concert.

On May 13, 2016, the official reissue of Thor's 1977 Keep the Dogs Away album was released on Deadline Records. 'Thor a Rock Odyssey', a live three part rock concert spectacular, will be presented on stage at the Highline Ballroom in New York City on May 14 in celebration of the 1977 Keep the Dogs Away album and to launch the release.

On August 4, 2017, the full-length album Beyond the Pain Barrier was released. The album was co-written by Jon Mikl, John Leibel and Ted Jedlicki. [5] Prior to the album's release the single and video for The Calling was released. Also in 2017, drummer Tom Croxton was added to the lineup. Croxton is a veteran of the music scene, notably for his long tenure in shock rock legends, Impaler. In September 2019, Matt Hamilton, a member of Croxton's other band, Hex Vortices, joined to help solidify the space left by McNallie's departure earlier this year. [6]

Line-up

Discography

Albums

EPs

Related Research Articles

Bon Jovi Rock band from the United States

Bon Jovi is an American rock band formed in 1983 in Sayreville, New Jersey. It consists of singer Jon Bon Jovi, keyboardist David Bryan, drummer Tico Torres, guitarist Phil X, and bassist Hugh McDonald. Previous bassist Alec John Such was dismissed in 1994, and longtime guitarist and co-songwriter Richie Sambora left in 2013.

<i>Streets: A Rock Opera</i> 1991 studio album by Savatage

Streets: A Rock Opera is the sixth studio album by the American heavy metal band Savatage and is a rock opera dealing with the rise and fall of the fictional musician DT Jesus. It was originally released in October 1991 on Atlantic Records. The album took almost a year to record, with pre-production beginning in October 1990. It was also Jon Oliva's last album as lead vocalist until 1995's Dead Winter Dead and 1997's The Wake of Magellan, where he shared lead vocal duties with Zak Stevens. He resumed lead vocal duties exclusively on 2001's Poets and Madmen.

Savatage American heavy metal band

Savatage is an American heavy metal band founded by brothers Jon and Criss Oliva in 1979 at Astro Skate in Tarpon Springs, Florida. The band was first called Avatar, but, shortly before the release of their debut album Sirens (1983), they changed their name to Savatage as Avatar was already taken by another band.

Virgin Steele American band

Virgin Steele is an American heavy metal band from New York City, originally formed in 1981.

Skindred Welsh rock band

Skindred is a Welsh heavy metal band formed in Newport, Wales, in 1998. Their musical style mixes heavy metal, alternative rock, and ragga. The band also integrate elements of punk rock, hardcore punk, dancehall, jungle, ska, hip hop, drum and bass, dubstep, and various other influences into their music. They are well known for their energetic and involving live performances, and have won several awards including "Best Live Band" at the 2011 UK Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards and the "Devotion Award" at the 2011 Kerrang! Awards.

Raven (British band) English heavy metal band

Raven are an English heavy metal band, formed in 1974 by the Gallagher brothers, bassist and vocalist John and guitarist Mark. They have released thirteen studio albums to date, and had a hit with the single "On and On". Their music is often referred to as "athletic rock", and in addition to their association with the early 1980s new wave of British heavy metal scene, the band are considered to be an influence on the development of the thrash metal genre, with a number of bands such as Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax, Testament, Exodus, Overkill, Kreator, Sodom, Onslaught, Death Angel, Flotsam and Jetsam, Coroner, Annihilator and Razor having been influenced or inspired by Raven. Raven are also notable for headlining Metallica's first-ever national tour in 1983.

Dysrhythmia (band) American band

Dysrhythmia is an American instrumental progressive metal band formed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1998. The band's music combines avant-garde elements of progressive rock and jazz with heavy metal. They are currently located in Brooklyn, New York.

<i>Zombie Nightmare</i> 1986 film

Zombie Nightmare is a 1986 Canadian zombie film produced and directed by Jack Bravman. It stars Adam West, Tia Carrere and Jon Mikl Thor, and it was filmed in the suburbs of Montreal, Canada.

Jon Oliva's Pain is the latest project of Savatage co-founder Jon Oliva.

Action (Sweet song) song by Sweet

"Action" is a self-written and produced 1975 song by the glam rock band Sweet. The song went through several iterations; a 7" single version was recorded at Ian Gillan's Kingsway Studios in London and slightly different versions appear on the albums Strung Up and Give Us a Wink.

<i>Rock n Roll Nightmare</i> 1987 film by John Fasano

Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare direct-to-video horror film directed by John Fasano, and stars heavy metal musician Jon Mikl Thor, Jillian Peri and Teresa Simpson.

Warriors (band) former Yugoslav/Canadian heavy metal band

Warriors were a former Yugoslav/Canadian heavy metal band. The band was formed in 1982 under the name Ratnici, changing the name to Warriors in 1983. In 1984, the band moved to Canada, disbanding in 1986.

<i>Unchained</i> (EP) 1983 EP by Thor

Unchained is an EP by Canadian heavy metal band Thor. The album's title is taken from the Italian-French epic fantasy feature film Hercules Unchained (1959). Tracks "Rock the City" and "When Gods Collide" were later re-recorded for the album Only the Strong (1985).

<i>Devastation of Musculation</i> 2006 studio album by Thor

Devastation of Musculation is an album by Canadian heavy metal band Thor. It was released in 2006 on Smog Veil Records, and features a new guitarist, Mike Kischnick, who also co-wrote and co-produced the record with singer Jon Mikl Thor.

Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal American musician

Ronald Jay Blumenthal, better known by his stage name Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, is an American guitarist, songwriter, recording artist and producer. He adopted his nickname from the bacterial infection of the same name, which he learned about while helping his wife study for her veterinary exams. The name went from being just the name of an album, to the name of a record label, to a band name, to eventually his name as a solo artist. He was one of two lead guitarists in Guns N' Roses from 2006 until 2014 and performed on their sixth studio album Chinese Democracy. He is currently the lead guitarist and vocalist for the band Asia, having joined in 2019.

Simon Williams is a Welsh comic artist, based in Cardiff who has worked professionally in comics since 2003. Most recently Williams has become well known for his collaborations with David Hasselhoff and Jon Mikl Thor.

<i>I Am Thor</i> 2015 film

I Am Thor is a documentary about the life of bodybuilder and rock musician Jon Mikl Thor of the band THOR. The film was directed by Ryan Wise and produced by Ryan Wise and Alan Higbee and had its world premiere at the 2015 Slamdance Film Festival.

Night Demon (band) Heavy metal band based in California

Night Demon is an American heavy metal band from Ventura, California. The band is among a number of bands participating in the resurgence of traditional, old-school heavy metal in the 2010s. Night Demon has released two studio albums on independent record labels plus a live concert album, and regularly performs at heavy metal festivals worldwide.

References

  1. "Thor | Album Discography". AllMusic .
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Colin Larkin, ed. (2003). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Eighties Music (Third ed.). Virgin Books. p. 462. ISBN   1-85227-969-9.
  3. 1 2 [ dead link ]
  4. "Thor | Biography & History". AllMusic .
  5. "Metal Legend THOR to Release New Album ?Beyond The Pain Barrier? on August 4th'". Cleorecs.com.
  6. "Metal Legend THOR To Release Beyond The Pain Barrier Album In August; BraveWords Premiers "The Calling" Music Video". Bravewords.com.