Interview with Michael H. Andersen, Thorium (March 3rd 2008)

Danish death metal veterans Thorium have just released the album ’Feral Creation’ after a long break. The Power of Metal wants to know what’s hot and what’s not in the world of Thorium vocalist Michael H. Andersen. Thomas plays the inquisition symphony for Mr. Andersen.


Lovely to hear a bout of crushing old school death metal like ’Feral Creation’! I take it you’re all pleased with the effort?


Michael: Yeah, we sure are pleased with the album. Currently we are getting feedback from the European press and it seems like “Feral Creation” is a hit! We recently saw the review in Terrorizer where it got 8 out of 10 and in Rock Hard (Germany) it gets 9 out of 10 and SOD magazine from the US  it gets 666 fucking skulls (the maximum points). Generally speaking I am extremely satisfied with the album, both song, production and artwork wise.


Why did it take you so long? ‘Unleashing the Demons’ was released in 2002, then what happened?


Michael: We had played a few summer festivals in 2003 (Party San in Germany and Brutal Assault in the Czech Republic). After that the inspiration sort of got lost. Music wise we were not completely sure where we wanted to go so it took a long time for us to make new songs and in the middle of everything our former label Diehard closed down, which really wasn’t too inspiring either. In the summer of 2005 we recorded a few new songs at the Berno Studio, but after that things really started to slow down. Morten, our former guitar player lost interest in metal and wanted to focus on his job, and our former drummer Jesper’s playing started to get worse and worse because he did not have the time to rehearse anymore due to family involvement. Basically you can say we all grew older. When I started Thorium in 1997 I was 22 years old. Today I’m 32 – and some things do happen during ten years. Having said that the current line-up of Thorium is the strongest and most professional ever.



‘Feral Creation’ was recorded in the Swedish Berno Studio. How come you decided to record the album in Sweden rather than here in Denmark?


Michael: We chose to record with Berno first of all because it is comfortable. Malmö in Sweden is pretty close to Copenhagen. Only around one hour’s drive from our rehearsal room. Secondly, we already know Berno well because we had recorded twice with him with Withering Surface (a promo and an album) and the EP with Thorium. Berno has made some classic metal albums that we like the sound of (in particular The Haunted, Séance and Amon Amarth) and Berno is a good producer and a cool guy. We could have recorded in Denmark, but I think the sound of Tue Madsen and Jacob Hansen for example is too nice for us and Jutland much too far away for us, haha!


How would you describe the creative process in Thorium? Who does what and why?


Michael: It’s pretty basic. Our string-players make some riffs and song structures at home. Send them to the rest of us via the computer. We listen to them and then we meet in the rehearsal room to get it all mixed/rehearsed together, lyrics inclusive. Everybody is very happy about the fact that we do not need to spend 2-3 evenings a week in a rehearsal room anymore. Today we meet when there is a reason for it (new songs or rehearsing for gigs).


Thorium was formed back in 1997. Could you tell us a bit about the origins of the band?


Michael: The inspiration for me to start Thorium was Florida-scene (Deicide, Morbid Angel) meeting the Swedish scene (Entombed, At The Gates). I still think we sound somewhere in between this. Maybe with a bit more UK influences on top of it (Bolt Thrower and Napalm Death). When I put on death metal albums, I always end up with the classics. Autopsy for example never go out of style on my stereo!


Why did you decide for the name Thorium? There aren’t too many bands around with names of chemical elements…


Michael: It sounds cool and metal and it is a one-word easy to say. Thorium it is radioactive metal, atomic number 90. We like the metal scene from 1990 and are quite metal, so why not?


The greatest day in the history in Thorium?


Michael: That’s a hard one. I prefer to see Thorium as “the old Thorium” and “the new Thorium”. With the old Thorium I would say recording “Oceans Of Blasphemy” and playing some cool shows (like Party San in Germany). With the “new Thorium” I think the song writing process for “Feral Creation”, the gig we just played at The Rock plus the response we are currently getting for the new album are the greatest days. But the best is yet to come, I hope…


Will we be seeing Thorium on the road in the wake of the release of ‘Feral Creation’?


Michael: Currently we are looking forward to playing a showcase in Hamburg on April the 10 arranged by our German promotion company Sureshot and the day after we will be playing at Kansas city in Odense with The Burning and Gob Squad (yes, I know… it’s a mixed package). Afterwards we are looking to play some German summer festival and in the autumn time play some more Danish gigs and hopefully go on a 14 day tour across Europe supporting a bigger band.


What are the future plans for Thorium? Another break of four or five years?


Michael: Well, the nearest future plans I just mentioned in our tour plans. Currently we are doing many interviews promoting “Feral Creation”, we just got in our new t-shirts and next up is the “release” of our first video, done for the song “Epidemic Skeleton”. The way I see it, we won’t have a break again, but as I mentioned previously, Thorium is not a band that meet every week, so my guess is we will start writing new songs during the late summer time and release a new album in 2010.


The plane crashes, you’re on a deserted island for god knows how long. Which five CD’s were you lucky enough to have brought with you in your bag?


Michael: Journey – “Best of”, Foreigner – “Best Of”, Def Leppard – “Hysteria”, Europe – “Best Of” and a mixed CD of death metal classics - and I’m not kidding!


Thank you for shedding light on your band for those who are in dark. Any last rants for our readers?


Michael: Thanks for the interview! Visit our website , drop us a line and buy our new album! Go to concerts instead of staying at home wanking behind your computer and buy the albums instead of copying a copy of a copy from your friend or steal the music from the internet!


Thorium - Feral Creation

Album available through Target Distribution.

For more info on bandet - click on the album cover.