Therion was founded in 1987 by Christofer Johnsson, their debut album Of Darkness was released in 1991, this was a huge success in the underground Metal scene, between 1991 and 1996 Therion released groundbreaking records.
In 1996 Therion released Theli And changed their sound to a opera, progressive and orchestral sound. The Devil self-titled debut album was released on a worldwide scale through Candlelight Records and EMI. Therion released three official music videos from that album, 'Universe', 'Extinction Level Event' and 'Alternative Dimensions' and fans loved there work.
Therion have recently released their new album Belevoed Antichrist, a three hour CD that they have taken in a musical direction and fans love the CD. The current line up of Therion is Christofer Johnsson, Thomas Vikström, Lori Lewis, Sami Karppinen, Nalle Påhlsson, Christian Vidal. Therion also Collaborated with Linnea Vikstrom and Chiara Malvestiti on the new album and the album is fantastic.
Twinmusix got to speak to Christofer Johnsson about their upcoming tour and more.
TM- Thank you for this interview today, we are really excited to talk to you! How are you?
CJ- I am very good, I have been trying to get the van to Australia for 20 years, the band has been around for 31 years. We got the first offer about 20 years ago and the financial offer wasn't enough because there were about 10 people in the band back. We are touring China right before we come to Australia and we said to the Chinese, hey instead of booking our ticket back to Europe could you book us a ticket back from Australia and they said yes and we save half the trip so we finally get to go to Australia
TM- yeah we are really excited when we saw the email come through we were like oh yay they are coming
CJ- you know what, when I was 5 years old I had seen something on TV about kangaroos and Koalas and all the creepy animals and was really thrilled about Australia. I lied to my neighbours and said "oh I'm going to move to Australia" so everyone on my street was like to my parents, oh I heard you are going to move to Australia why didn't you tell us so I've always had a thing for Australians.
I have been to over 60 countries and this time I get a day off, but I normally only see hotels, concert halls and airports you see nothing of a country you just pass by so it's going to be really cool that we actually get to see something.
TM - That's awesome man! You should definitely visit a zoo while you are out here and pat a kangaroo and koala, its definitely a great experience.
TM - what can fans expect from your set list?
CJ- We are really thinking about what sets we are going to do because it is the first time that we have been to Australia. We really need to do the best set, in Europe we sometimes tour between the albums, it is like OK what have you played before and what we haven't played in ages. In Australia it's the opposite problem, it is like what do people want to hear. We did got a lot of remarks on our last tour saying hey this was your best setlist ever, so we thought lets base Australian tour of that setlist.
TM - Your latest album is 3 hours long, what inspired you to write this masterpiece?
CJ- The thing for Therion is to do a whole Opera, always operatic and do something with a story. It is a big misunderstanding from many people because they refer to it as an album not a musical. like you correctly say, I generally make the example with Jesus Christ Superstar no one would call Jesus Christ Superstar and album you can buy an album but it's meant to be seen on stage.
For financial reasons we had to release it by album first, but the theatrical performance will be done if we are lucky by the end of the year. No one really knows how you should perceive this soundtrack because the music is composed to what is actually happening on stage.
"Jewels From A Far" is something I would not normally write, when you see it on stage and the song goes with it makes perfect sense. I'm very excited to see people's reactions to it on stage, I guess most people won't see it on stage first hand but if they buy a DVDs of it or watch it on YouTube they really we'll see what were trying to say it will be ridiculous.
TM - You wrote 4 hours worth of songs for your new album but only release three hours, how did you pick your songs for your new album?
CJ- We would have to write music specifically for each scene so we would have a schedule and say act 2 scene 3 and there would be an actor description and what characters were meant to be in it so you would have to write music for the singer's and music for what was going to happen on that stage so it was a very different approach. Normally you just write a bunch of songs and pick the best ones. For this we had the opposite, we had something that needed to be filled when we completed everything we release f*** this is 4 hours who's going to watch a for our performance nobody. I had to cut a couple of scenes to get it down so I released 3 and a half or 4 hrs people are going to get unconscious watching this, I remove some of the scenes and I was like ok three hours this is the director's cut.
When we stage this we are going to cut even more scenes out because this is something your mum is going to be able to go out and see this is going to be a very expensive production. We don't just need the metalheads, we need the mums and dads as well as the musical crowd to be interested. We want to appeal to people who would go out and see at Phantom of the Opera. We need a production that's not commercial but accessible for people who normally wouldn't listen to metal. Our generations is getting more and more used to this type of music, so someone can listen to Metallica on the radio can listen to this. Fans of opera vocals can go and see this. The musicals also need to be very direct because our fans will probably listen to the CD 10 times before they go and see this theatrical stage performance.
If your mum goes there she is not going to listen to it before she goes to the show, so the music needs to be direct, it's going to be a very hard task to work out, it's going to either work that way or it won't work at all.
Normally as a rail established metal office with a very generous metal company i can do whatever the hell i like. Record sales go up or down a little bit , i normally do whatever i want, except with this one it has to work all there will be nothing because in the musical scene i am no body and they have no clue who i am so there is pressure on me to make this work.
TM - You worked so many different artists on this album, how do you think you'll make that work on a stage production?
CJ- It was a complete nightmare recording it and will be a complete nightmare staging it that is really the only thing i can say about it.
At least i was smart enough to use singers for multiple rolls, sometimes in theater if you have a type of voice that is doing a small role in the third act and another roll that has the same type of voice in the first act sometimes instead of having two different things you can have one singer doing both so i saved a lot doing it very structured that way.
TM - Anything else you want to announce to your fans?
CJ- See you around in Australia finally after 20 years and we are really excited to come!.
TM- thanks you for having this interview with us, it was a pleasure to talk to you.
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