It's my pleasure today to chat with my good buddy Jon Mikl Thor, the legendary musician, body builder, and star of the 80s classic, ROCK N' ROLL NIGHTMARE.
Greetings Jon - how're you doing buddy?
I'm doing great. I'm here in Vancouver British Columbia, way up north. Just coming from the gym.
So you're still working out regularly right?
Absolutely - gotta keep the guns in top shape, as well as other parts of the body.
Are you an early morning guy? Do you typically work out in the morning?
Well my schedule's all over the place because I have so many projects going on. I work out at night and get up and work out early in the morning as well.
Do you prefer the gym or do you have a setup at home, too?
I've been doing body building and athletics for so many years I prefer anything and everything. For example this morning I just ran around the park, and I have very unique ways to try and make my workouts interesting, not just metal plates and bar bells. all kinds of stuff - there's all sorts of ways to exercise.
When you're on a set or on tour you naturally don't have access to that stuff so I guess you have to find ways to keep in shape.
That's the one thing about being on the road is that when I do my show that is my workout. I'm bending steel or I'm smashing bricks, or I'm jumping around on stage fighting monsters. It's a great workout.
Definitely. The first time we met when you were on tour here in Nashville... that was the Thor against the World tour, I believe. Then you came back for Devastation of Musculation - you've had a few more albums since then haven't you?
Absolutely. Sign of the V, Live in Detroit and we re-released unchained, Only the Strong... there's been some digital releases like Steamclock and so on. So we just keep pumpin out albums every year. We have the upcoming album the THOR soundtrack, which will accompany the new THOR THE ROCK WARRIOR movie.
Cool. Now is Steve, Steve Price, working on that album with you?
Yeah Steve is involved with that, and also Ken Burke of Burkefield productions here in Vancouver. he's a platinum award winning producer so its great to have him on board.
That first time I saw you in Nashville you had Steve playing and he brings a real sense of old school showmanship to the stage, plus he's a great guitarist.
Absolutely we just did some shows recently we did the Quebec metal fest and also Toronto and headlined in Montreal. I'd say he's one of the greatest guitarists in the world.
So how many songs are going to be on the new soundtrack?
There's gonna be 12 songs on there plus we have an introduction on there called Thundergod which I worked on with a guitarist named Mike Kishnick. We've got some great stuff in there, narration, clips from the movie Thor the Rock Opera. Now, there's various Thor movies coming out right now. I've been doing Thor now for so many years that I claim the title of Thor. I am the real Thor - I have the trademark of Thor the Rock Warrior, the metal avenger and the copyright of Thor the Rock Warrior which was a graphic novel I put out in 1982. Now there's the Marvel movie Thor, but this is Thor the Rock Opera.
Now this doesn't have anything to do with Rock n Roll Nightmare or the Intecessor sequel?
Yes it does. There are elements of Rock n Roll Nightmare in there and Intecessor. I'm producing this movie with john Fasano. Now of course John and I worked on Zombie Nightmare together, rock n Roll Nightmare together and the great thing is his son John Cody Fasano is the director and co-writer of this film.
Now he was in Rock and roll nightmare, right?
No actually that was his brother, Jessie - he wasn't born yet at that time. But we also have Jessie in this movie as well.
Now this movie is very unique. I liken it to 2001 a Space Odyssey. It's got music in it, it's neat in that you see me age as time goes on. You see me play Dan Roebuck is in it, Mark McCaley Leslie Easterbrook - there's parts of my life, never seen before footage, acting parts - and I pay tribute to all the different musicians I've played with over the years going back to some who are not with us any more, like John Chan, sergeant sword, Billy wade . You know over the years great warriors, some of them pass on and they go on to Valhalla. So this movie will keep everybody the great champions of the past remembered.
So if I'm getting this right it's part documentary, part rock opera, part concert?
Yes there's elements of everything and there is a story of the great warrior Thor who comes to Midgard, Earth, and has to battle and carry on the truth and the great fight. there's elements of Norse mythology mixed with reality. Cause I'm saying Thor was a real character, and I actually did the Thor concept traveled the earth as Thor wielding the hammer, so we've got both universes combining to one. So there's acting, there's music, and I think it's one of the most unique concepts. People who have seen advanced screeners of this say it's one of the most unique and amazing pieces of film they've ever seen.
Sounds pretty ambitious, totally different from the previous two Thor movies.
Yeah you've gotta be ambitious these days, you've gotta be unique, No holds barred, no rules out there I think. The entertainment must capture the audience and tell a story your own way.
Especially when you're working outside the Hollywood system. So you're wrapping this up - shooting in, what, Canada and then do some more scenes in Hollywood?
Yeah they were shot in Canada. Also in Florida and a couple of upcoming days of shooting that will take place in California with John Cody Fasano directing.
Then when it's finished what's the plan - you going to show it when you tour?
Yeah we're gonna do a multimedia tour with it. One of the first showings of it will be in London Ontario at the shock stock film-fest. we will be giving a rock concert and they're showing the movie. We find this goes over really well. Then we plan to play some key cities and go over to Sweden where we'll be part of the Thor international film festival and also the muscle rock festival with bands from all over Europe. we'll be headlining the festival along with Girl School, Warrant and Blaze. That'll be really great. Then at the Thor international film festival they're gonna show Zombie Nightmare, Rock n Roll Nightmare and Thor the rock opera will be the feature.
...and you've got the American tour you're doing too, right?
Yes we're going to play select cities and one place we definitely want to get to is Nashville - we feel we have a lot of great bands down there, a lot of great friends. I have fond memories of playing Nashville.
We look forward to seeing you down here again and I know the turnout is always great when you come.
When we come down there we wanna do the full blitz and give the best show we possibly can and show them Thor the Rock Opera.
That would be great. So when do you think you'll have the film wrapped up?
Scheduled release of April 21st, 2011 through DVD, bluray, digital release, select showings in various theaters. The whole purpose is to play live and then show it and of course through amazon and our website at thorcentral.com
Remember these other movies coming out are imitations, not the real thing. We want to make sure to make that clear there's only one true Thor.
Well said. It's something I've devoted my life to - most of my life I've devoted my life to the character. it's part of my real name. I have Norwegian-Austrian heritage. I've been Thor the Rock Warrior for going on over 40 years. I have the right to the throne not Chris Hemsworth
Well alright buddy it was great talking to you and we'll make sure everyone keeps their eyes open for Thor the rock opera.
Alright I really appreciate it.