Today we have not one, but two interview with Odinfist. The first is with Tyler Anderson, Lead Vocals and Guitar and the second with Jessie Valstar, Bass Guitarist. Both with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Tyler: I got into music because my family was really into music. There weren’t any serious musicians in the family, but my dad played a bit of guitar, and there was a big passion for music. My parents recognized this passion in me and bought me my first guitar when I was twelve years old, and I was pretty much sold at that moment. If I hadn’t gotten into music, I would probably have some other creative outlet. I’m an English teacher and an avid reader, so perhaps I’d be an author.
PD: What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Tyler: As mentioned before, I read quite a bit, and a lot of my lyrics are directly influenced by what I read (mostly fantasy). I also try to capture the vibe of those epic fantasy books with the music I write.
PD: How long has your band been around?
Tyler: We’ve been around since 2006 when we were still in high school. So it’s been 17 years! This current line-up has been going for the most part since 2009.
PD: Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Tyler: We are based out of Armstrong, a small city in Western Canada. I think it probably helps make our music unique since we’re somewhat isolated from the bigger scenes in bigger cities. When we first started, no one was really playing traditional metal where we were. The closest band to that sound was 3 Inches of Blood from Vancouver, and they influenced us a lot, especially in the beginning.
PD: How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Tyler: Back in high school, we had a friend of ours (who was also our singer for a very brief time) try to come up with the two most “metal” sounding words he could. He blurted out “Odin” and “fist” and we ran with it.
PD: Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Tyler: We’ve played a lot of great shows, but one that will always stand out in my memory is a show we did at a tattoo shop after hours. We were just playing on the floor of the shop, the crowd was insane and right up in our faces. Kids were flying through the air, moshing, knocking over mic stands, and running into us. Someone was (illegally) selling beer out of a cooler in the corner. It was sweaty, greasy, and insane. A lovely memory.
PD: What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Tyler: I love playing at the Hassen Arena in our hometown during Armstrong Metalfest. We’ve played a lot of incredible sets in front of some awesome crowds, sharing that stage with countless great bands. The festival is always an amazing experience. One day I’d like to venture out and play somewhere (anywhere really) in Europe.
PD: If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Tyler: I’d go back in time to 1991 and play the Monsters of Rock Festival at Donington, replacing Motley Crue on the bill. Just kidding! (kind of…)
PD: What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Tyler: Some practical advice would be to actually practice, don’t just “jam” all the time. I was very guilty of this for a long time. That being said, when inspiration hits you, jam out that idea until it never leaves your mind. Also, take your music and playing seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s got to be fun.
PD: If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Tyler: Pretty much what I said above. Also, I’d push myself a bit more early on to reach for loftier goals. I’d try to convince myself to not fear failure as much.
PD: Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Tyler: I think it has to be “We Are Gods”. That’s the song that people know us for and love to sing along with at every show we play. It was also a really big step up for us as musicians and songwriters at the time.
PD: Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Tyler: Again, “We Are Gods” has to be at the top of the list. We’ve also been requested to play “Soul Surgery” a few times. That one rips live! I really like playing “The Great Thirst”, it’s a bit of a slow burn with an explosive ending that always seems to go over well. We played our new single, “Riffmaster” live for the first time recently and it absolutely slayed. I’m really looking forward to playing more of the new songs live.
PD: What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Tyler: We usually start with a hook or maybe a melody and work it into a viable song structure; mostly written by one person but with a lot of collaboration to get to completion. Even if a person writes most of a song by themselves and brings it to the band, it gets hacked apart and rearranged by the band to get it to the final product. We’re inspired by things we read, watch, listen to, etc. Inspiration can really strike from anywhere. And oh yeah, we think Vikings are pretty cool, obviously.
PD: What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Tyler: I think most of our songs contain a message of doing what it takes to triumph over any adversity that you’re facing in your life. Sometimes the songs are about real-life problems, sometimes they’re about some fantastical battle in a make-believe world, but they mostly all come down to persevering and being victorious, even against the odds.
PD: Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Tyler: Of course, we just try to discuss things like human beings. Sometimes this works well, and sometimes it can get pretty frustrating, but it always works out. We’ve all been friends for quite some time, after all, and are all fairly like-minded when it comes to our music and our goals for our music.
PD: What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Tyler: We just released our new single, “Riffmaster” from our upcoming full-length album Remade in Steel! The album will be released on March 10th, 2023 and we have two more singles from the album coming out between now and then. Our plan is to have as many people as we can check out and enjoy the new album, and then start playing the new material live when we have some more shows lined up.
Thank you for the interview and the opportunity to be featured on your site. We really appreciate it!
Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?
Jessie Valstar: Hard working and consistently diving deeper into the imagination bag. Personally, I try not to force anything unless absolutely necessary. I produce my best art when I’m not trying to be artsy.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
JV: Odinfist is from Armstrong BC, Canada. We formed our band back in high-school and never really stopped. Just four guys who like to create music and perform it live. I started playing the bass because I wanted to be in a band.
PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?
JV: I listen to all sorts of different music, and draw inspiration from most of it. The tricky part is I can never plan the inspiration. It just happens. Sometimes I’ll just be kicking back listening to Hellripper and Boom! Idea for an Odinfist song.
I like to write about Norse mythology, but my favourite thing to write about are characters we (Odinfist) create, such as the Riffmaster and Metalmancer.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
JV: Honestly, just to create music and play it live. Not asking for much in life.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
JV: Killed a wizard on stage once. Had a 2-minute fight in the middle of a song. The best part is I didn’t tell our singer (Tyler Anderson) about it, he just had to find out. I stabbed Drazzilb Tums (the wizard) with a sword. Turns out it’s not so easy to kill a wizard though.
PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?
JV: It’s tough, but not discouraging. I really like the emergence of all these new artists. Gives me a few extra things to listen to each day! As for us? I mean, we work hard and do our best and when people dig our music, we dig that they dig it. You dig?
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
JV: Nothing on the slate for now. But when we do book stuff, I usually take care of it. We have been a band for like 17 years now, and we have made lots of contacts and friends along the way!
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
JV: I understand a lot of people are pissed because they can’t make a living off selling albums. I don’t understand that because I have never experienced making money as an artist. For a band at our level, the fact that someone across the world can stumble across our new release and have instant access to it, to me is totally rad. Streaming pay methods aren’t perfect, but I won’t pretend to understand the nature of their business and what they can or can’t afford to pay artists for their product. I hate to say it, but artists willingly put their music on the platforms, knowing what they are signing up for.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
JV: Freebird. That’s just my instant reaction to that question. Probably because it’s a great song and would be rad to play live.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
JV: I wish shows were earlier. Like, 6pm start time. 10 finish. As a viewer, Get off work, have a shower and a quick bite then hit up the show. This nonsense of having a show starts at 9 or 10 at night and running till 1 or 2 is crazy. Like, I do it. But I don’t have much left at the end of the night.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
JV: Working on the next album of course. I can’t say too much about it. But I can say it may or may not feature a giant turtle/praying mantis thing that may or may not save mankind?
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
Band/Artist location – Armstrong, British Columbia
Facebook – You Tube – Bandcamp – Reverbnation –
Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer –
Check our page for Odinfist