THOR – Muscle Rock
Thor started out as a concept band in 1973. They were first called “Centaur” and then “Mikl Body Rock”. These entities were the brainchild of Jon Mikl, a vocalist, musician and body building champion who won titles such as Mr. USA and Mr. Canada. He decided to combine Muscle with Music. Mikl Body Rock toured throughout North America seeking fame and to garnish enough attention to secure a record deal. The press dubbed them “Kings of Muscle Rock” or ” Warriors of Gladiator Rock”. In 1976 Jon Mikl met guitarist Frank Soda while touring Canada. They formed the first incarnation of Thor called “Thor and The Imps”. The band toured constantly in the Eastern USA and Canada region building a large following. The first album was recorded in Toronto, Canada under the name Thor and The Imps and was called “Muscle Rock”. Released by the independent label, God Of Thunder Records, the record became an immediate success. The buzz created, grabbed the attention of various managers and producers who wanted to sign the act. Jon Mikl Thor was offered a large deal to star in a production at the Aladdin in Las Vegas called Red Hot and Blue. Frank Soda wanted to keep touring with the band. Frank Soda and The Imps were formed. Jon Mikl Thor went on to star in Las Vegas and was discovered by Merv Griffin. Merv had Thor perform live on the Merv Griffin show from Caesars Palace on national television. Thor’s performance was a hit. The offers poured in from various major labels. Thor decided to sign with RCA records in late 1976.
This new incarnation of Thor was formed in 1977 by Jon Mikl Thor and released their debut album Keep the Dogs Away. After much touring, Jon Mikl Thor resided in New York City. He formed a new band with Rusty Hamilton aka Queen Pantera, Mike Favata, Steve Price and Keith Zazzi in 1983 and released the Unchained EP. The record, which was on Mongel Horde Records in the USA got picked up for distribution in England through Albion Records. The band travelled to London, England to perform at the Marquee. They were sensations overnite and signed with Motorhead’s manager Douglas Smith. In 1984, the band decided to live in the UK. Most of the time was spent at Studios in London, writing and recording new material. The songs “Let The Blood Run Red” and “Thunder On The Tundra” became instant chart toppers with Thunder On The Tundra reaching number one on the British rock chart. the success of the singles soon led to 1985’s Only the Strong. Thor’s stage performances involved antics such as Jon Mikl breathing into hot water bottles until they burst, breaking bricks over his chest and head and bending steel bars and microphone stands. In 1986, Thor released “Recruits- Wild In The Streets” on GWR Records. The band would break up in 1987 and Jon Mikl entered the world of acting, starring in such movies as Recruits, Zombie Nightmare,Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare.
Ten years later the band released the compilation album Ride of the Chariots (An-Thor-Logy) Following this release the band returned with new material and in 1998 they released Thunderstruck (Tales from the Equinox) and have since released five additional albums.
From 2000-2011,Thor continued to record, release albums and tour, building a larger following and connecting with a new generation. Albums released have been Dogz II (2000), Triumphant (2002), Beastwomen From The Centre Of The Earth (2003), Are U Ready (2004), Thor Against The World (2005), Devastation Of Musculation (2006) Into The Noise (2007), Steam Clock (2008) Sign Of The V (2009), The Guardian (2010) and the new release Soundtrack (2011).
Thor wrote the music for and are starring in the new movie “Thor-The Rock Opera”. In 2009 Thor performed at the Sweden Rock Festival, Sauna Open Air Festival in Finland and the Muskelrock Festival (named after Thor and The Imps first album “Muscle Rock”) in Alvesta, Sweden. In 2011 Thor will headline the Shock Stock Festival in London, Ontario, April 30. The band consisting of original guitar player Frank Soda as well as new additions Joel “Savage” Watts on drums and Sean “Killer” Kilby on bass will head over to Scandinavia where they will headline at DOM(The Dome) in Helsinki, Finland June 1 before returning to the Muskelrock Festival June 2–4. In January, 2012 a special edition vinyl album called “Thor’s Teeth” was released through the Baltimore based label A389 Recordings. It was later launched digitally through Chicago based Smog Veil Records April, 2012. THOR recently signed a multi album deal with Rock Saviour/Pegasus Records in Germany. A new album is in the works to be released in 2012. Frank Soda returned to the studio with Thor to write songs and lay down vocal tracks. Ray Roper of Stonebolt has produced the album. On July 20, 2012 Thor will headline the Armstrong MetalFest at Hassen Arena.
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