Jon Mikl Thor
Jon Mikl Thor

The Return of a Legend:
Interview with Jon Mikl Thor

Interview by P.J. Griffin

For fans all over the world, the name Jon Mikl Thor is an iconic one. A native of Canada, Thor has made a name for himself as a bodybuilder, an actor in such films as Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare and Zombie Nightmare, and of course, a legendary musician.

In 2015, a documentary titled I Am Thor was released to critical acclaim. It chronicles Thor's background as well as his journey toward his comeback proving him to be a man like no other. It's a personal and human account of a fantastic story. Now, the man himself has ventured onto the Return of the Thunderhawk World Tour 2016. There is plenty more story to be told about Thor and once again cameras were rolling to capture many of the shows as Thor promoted both his acclaimed documentary as well as his latest album Metal Avenger. We were lucky enough to have the man himself take time out of his increasingly busy schedule to speak with us here at HMS.

HMS: Thor, first and foremost, thank you so much for giving Horror Metal Sounds the opportunity to speak with you. We know you have a lot going on right now.

THOR: Thank you for your kind introduction and this opportunity to speak with you and the readers of Horror Metal Sounds.

HMS: You've done so much in the world of entertainment, crossing many barriers and worlds. Your documentary I Am Thor covers these areas and dives into your unique and fascinating story. The film was very well received and critically praised as well as award-winning. How did this film come about?

THOR: In 1999 I was on my comeback tour and performed a concert in Seattle. In the audience were two young film makers Ryan Wise and Al Higbee. They were very impressed by the show and crowd response. They approached me about making a documentary.

HMS: I Am Thor has been lauded by longtime fans, new fans and documentary viewers alike. People have really responded to your film and story. This enthusiasm certainly extends to how fans see not only your work but you as a person. What do you think draws people so strongly to the film as well as you and your experiences in general?

THOR: Everyone in life goes through different experiences. You may have a goal to succeed but there are barriers, obstacles, forces or walls that try and prevent you from where you want to go. I say that you must knock down those walls and move forward. Believe in yourself and achieve what you set out to do. Laugh back at the laughers and kick back at the kickers! This movie is a real life example of that mind set and people relate to it. It's a real life Rocky movie.

HMS: You're quite well known for being generous and open to your fans. Is this something you've always made a point of doing or does it just come naturally?

THOR: I feel that I am a very generous person and yes I am grateful to the fans for believing in me. It is my nature to be respectful.

HMS: So, let's focus on your album Metal Avenger for a moment. The response has been wonderful with some even calling it your best studio recording to date. Please tell us about the motivation behind the album.

THOR: I have a very good relationship with my label Cleopatra Records. Due to the success of the re-releases of some of my past albums, Brian Perera, the president of the label felt it was time to record a new album. I wanted to put together a concept album. We hired seasoned producers Bruce Duff and Frank Meyer to produce the album and started recording in LA in the fall of 2014.

HMS: Metal Avenger features some fantastic guest stars such as Henry Rollins and Fast Eddie Clarke. How did their involvement come about?

THOR: These guys were amazing. Brian Perera brought Fast Eddie Clarke into the team. Brian had worked with Motorhead and Hawkwind and has amazing connections all over the world. I knew Ed from back in the eighties when I resided in England. Thor and Motorhead had the same manger. Henry Rollins has been a great friend for years. Producer Bruce Duff approached him about the project.

HMS: Let's go into the big event at hand. I'm referring to the Return of the Thunderhawk Tour, which brings this all together. Will you tell us a bit about the tour itself?

THOR: The tour was incredible. I went all over North America and Europe to promote the movie "I am Thor" and the album "Metal Avenger". The electricity between the fans and Thor was astounding both on and off the stage. The various cinematographers I hired along the way captured these unique and special moments.

HMS: Was it always known that this new tour would eventually be filmed or was that something that just came up organically?

THOR: I did not go out with the intention of making a full length feature movie; maybe just a series of shorts that I could show on youtube. But when I saw the footage it blew me away. It was so intense and unlike any other I had ever seen. There was mania, mayhem and Rock n Roll. I was always a big fan of Led Zeppelin's movie the song remains the same. I decided that I would like to make a live movie that would incorporate fantasy and horror as a prelude to the songs performed.

"Believe in your quest. Never give up."

HMS: As someone who has been in the music industry for decades now, you've experienced all different means of getting yourself and work out there to the public. Now, you're utilizing modern techniques such as Kickstarter. Please tell us a little about your decision to use these tools and how they compare to previous avenues you've used in the past.

THOR: This will be the first time I have used crowd funding as opposed to private funding for a film. I have invested my own funds up this point. Now we are ready for post-production. So many fans have said that they would love to be involved with a Thor movie. So I thought this was a way they could participate in the movie process. They could be part of history in the making. One thing that has happened is that because of kickstarter, I have had numerous offers from Corporations that would like to invest the rest of the money and get this project distributed. We will see first what transpires from this campaign.

HMS: You've been on many tours in your life, playing shows all around the world. This is something that most of us can only imagine doing. Is there anything about touring that most people who haven't had such an experience wouldn't think to take into account?

THOR: It's a wonderful experience. I love getting there and meeting the fans; to perform for them and to sing the songs along with them. One thing with touring is that although you try to make it go smooth, but there is always something along the way to deal with and you must be ready.

HMS: Would you say touring has changed a lot from when you first started your career?

THOR: No, not really. These days I don't have to have three tucks carrying Lights, PA, backline and all the props like in the 70's. Now the venues have that included which makes it easier to just fly in and perform. I ship the props via Fedex ahead of my arrival.

HMS: What is the main message you would like to get across to fans about what you've been up to as of late?

THOR: I want to thank the fans and let them know that I have many projects in the works. This is an exciting time for me. I'm making movies, recording and experimenting with many different genres; such as Sports. Check out the Centennial Classic, Jan 1st between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings. It will be my seventh on ice involvement with Major League Hockey logos and apparel design. Also I am working with a band called Thundermaker in Sweden. "Thundermaker is a band from Sweden with a metal sound who are pushing the boundaries and aren't afraid to invite any guest they feel has the same passion for Metal as they do. It will contain appearances from THOR, Kane Roberts (Alice Cooper), Mike Andersson (Fullforce, Cloudscape), Paul Stead (The Darker my Horizon) and Wade Black (Crimson Glory)"

HMS: As many saw in I Am Thor, your journey has been quite unique. You've been through countless peaks and valleys and every time have persevered and stayed afloat, striving to continue. What would you tell people who are setting out to achieve their own dreams and goals in regards to the rocky road they may have before them?

THOR: Believe in your quest. Never give up.

HMS: Thor, once again thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us. We here at HMS have the utmost respect for you and all you've done. We are very excited to continue following whatever you have in store.

THOR: Thank you very much. Continued success for HMS!

P.J. Griffin, HMS

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About the artist(s):

Jon Mikl Thor, better known as simply Thor, is a Canadian bodybuilding champion, actor, songwriter, screenwriter, historian, vocalist and musician. As a bodybuilder, he was the first Canadian to win both the Mr. Canada and Mr. USA titles. During his bodybuilding career, he has achieved over 40 titles around the world. – Wikipedia

Social Media:

Music videos:

Read our review:

Thor: Metal Avenger

About the author:

P.J. Griffin a native of Connecticut, developed a love for film and the horror genre at a young age. Obsessed with the cult/horror section of his local video store, he knew then that it would be a central part of his life. Gore, mayhem, and depravity, from the glow of the TV screen, became like an anxiety pill after a hard days work. He attended the New York Film Academy filmmaking program and became part of his first production company. He currently does freelance script revising for passed associates and is in the process of producing web content for a production company he has co-founded. He is also working on finalizing several projects including a horror/comedy novel.