- I would like to thank you very much Grabowski for agreeing to do this interview and I really hope that this interview will be a good introduction to Korean metal heads. Please introduce yourself and say hello to Korean metal fans.
No, thank YOU. This is Patrik one of the guitarists from The Forsaken saying HELL-OOO to all of the Korean headbangers!!!
- THE FORSAKEN is still unknown in Korea. Therefore those readers who know nothing of THE FORSAKEN, please give us a brief history of the band and introduce us the rest of the members. (job, age etc.)
Alright... The Forsaken was formed in the autumn of -97. Back then the bandmembers were: Nicke, drums, Stefan, guitar, Patrik, guitar and Roine, bass. And as you can see we didn't have any vocalist. About half a year later we recorded our first demo, "Patterns of delusive design" with a session vocalist. The bandname at that time was Septic Breed. The music back then had the same ingredients, brytality mixed with melody but not as fast and less technikal. Still, it was a good demo witch got us a nice response. After the demo we had a dead period that lasted a month or two but after that we started working on the songs you'll find on "Manifest of hate". In the autumn of -99 we entered the abyss B studio to record our second demo, "Reaper -99". By then we had joined forces with our current vocalist Anders. A bit earlier Roine had left the band due to his studying and he was replaced by Michael. "Reaper -99" got an amazing response and gave us 6-7 record-deal offers. We finally decided to sign to Century Media.
As for the band : I am 21 years of age and I have a really shitty job building brake systems for trucks at fucking minimum wage... I've been playing guitar for almost five years. Nicke is... hmm... 24 years I think... I can't remember. Works with electronic lock systems. Before Septic Breed/The Forsaken he used to do the drums in a punk/grind, Napalm Death-ish band called A.I.S. Stefan turns 27 the day I write this (congratulations!) and works at a wearhouse. Before this band he just sat at home playing Satriani, AC/DC and Annihilator songs. Anders, I think, is 25... (I guess I deserve a beating for not even knowing my bandmates age...) is a teacher, somthing about computers. Anders has probably been growling his whole life but started doing it in a band sometime in the mid 90:s. He's also doing vocals in Ominous. Michael, who is definetly 23 (or 24) works odd jobs now and then I think... before The Forsaken he did the bass in Embraced. He is also in Evergrey.
- Are you totally satisfied with the end result of your album and how has the response been so far?
Well... I guess you are never 100% satisfied, in the end you always sort of discover things that you would have prefered to have done diffrently but overall we are quite satisfied with both the sound and our individual performances. The response has been really good. We've gotten great reviews in most zines and great feedback overall.
- You signed with Century Media which has good distribution and promotion. How did it come about and how have they supported you so far?
As I said, we got six or seven diffrent offers. We quickly narrowed it down to two offers that were really interesting. We chose Century Media because they seemed like the most professional label. We had frequent contact with them and everything seemed really good. We've gotten great promotion and they got us on a great tour so we're quite satisfied.
- THE FORSAKEN's music is apparently different from any other Swedish death metal acts which are known as the Goteborg sound. I'd like to know what you think of the Goteborg sound.
I don't know. I've grown a bit tired of melodic deathmetal. It was more interesting a few years ago. Maybe there have just been too many bands that sound alike.
- Although I know "technical" doesn't mean "progressive" at all, sometimes it's quite confusing for me to distinguish Progressive death metal from Technical death metal. What's your opinion on that and would you consider THE FORSAKEN as a progressive death metal band?
We've never seen ourselves as a technical nor progressive band. We sure as hell weren't technical in the beginning, but as you improve as a musician it's natural wanting to push yourself to the limit. If we are technical I'd say we are technical in the style of Death and Morbid Angel and not like Meshuggah and Theory in Practice. The music is easy to listen to but perhaps difficult to play... I don't know.
- It's hard to say that THE FORSAKEN is a "melodic" death metal band because its music is so brutal and aggressive that it overpowers the melodic aspects of your music. It's a very unusual sound that seems like a mix of brutality from U.S death metal and melody from Swedish death metal. Which element is more important to the band : aggressiveness or melody?
Thank you!!! It's quite irritating when people call us a melodic death band... As you said the brutality overpowers the melodic aspects of our music. When I hear the words "melodic deathmetal" I think of In Flames and Dark Tranquillity, and I don't think we sound anything like either of them... I'd say that both aggression and melody are key elements in the music. A lot of the time the difficult part of making a song is finding the right balance between the two. If I had to choose... I'd rather go with melody since I think just raw aggression gets really boring if it's without a sense of cathyness, something that can help you tell the diffrent songs appart.
- Some people complain about heavy metal bands using lots of keyboards and even female vocalists in their music. In your opinion, what should characterize heavy metal?
It's pretty difficult to say... it's not like there is a clear line between what's heavy metal and what's not. Whenever I hear the word "Heavymetal" I think of "Number of the beast" and the special feeling I get from that album. I don't mind female vocals and keyboards, it's just natural that music progresses, after all, if music never progressed there wouldn't be any heavy metal at all right? As long as the foundation stays the same I think you can add just about anything, bagpipes, harmonica or whatever. On the other hand, no new band can ever be better then the good old stuff...
- What was it like working with Tommy Tagtgren in Abyss studio?
He is quite a relaxed guy. He's got enormous talent for sound and production and is easy to work with. He's not the kind of producer that just decides everything by himself. He works with the band trying to get a sound that both are satisfied with and that's really important. I've heard some real horror stories about idiot producers bossing bands around and interfering with the music...
- Why did you change the name from Septic Breed?
We never were quite comfortable with that name. We went through hell trying to come up with a good name and that was simply the best we could think of. As we were about to record "Reaper -99" we thought it was time to change it. The name "The Forsaken" comes from an old song from the first demo called "Greed of the forsaken".
- Do you have any other project band?
No, not really. We simply don't have time for any projects at the moment.
- Who is the main composer and what inspired him to write?
The composers of the band are me and Stefan. Michael will probably write some stuff for the new album. I can't say for sure what inspires Stefan, but now that I think about it, I'd say there is a big Megadeth a'la "Rust in peace" in many of his riffs so I guess it's mostly old thrash that gets his creative juices flowing. As for me it's a matter of getting in the right mood. Sometimes listening to music, maybe watching a good movie or just being bored out of my skull is enough to give me an idea of a riff or a song structure.
- Your lyrics seem to mainly deal with malfunctional manipulation of human beings especially in religion or hatred for Christianity. Is it related to your personal philosophy?
The lyrics don't really focus hatred towards christianity nor religion in general. They deal with the diffrent tools of manipulating (DNA-manipulation, religion, propaganda). At least that's how I see it. The lyrics are more critical towards society in general but are written with lots of metaphores and symbolics. They deal with what's to come, the annihilation of earth by mankinds greed and stupidity. I guess you'd have to ask Nicke for a more in-depth analysis...
- What kind of music do you usually listen to? Do you like any contemporary extreme metal bands from your country or from around the world?
It varies from week to week... recently I've had a Europe-period listening a lot to the old albums like their debut and "Wings of tomorrow". The all time old favourites are Metallica. That's the band that introduced me to the wonderful world of metal.
- What do you think of extreme metal such as black, death and gothic metal being popular?
I don't think extreme music ever will be as popular as Spice girls or anything but still it's growing bigger then before. I don't really know if it is a good or bad thing. Obviously it's a good thing for us as a band since more people will buy our records and see our shows. On the other hand it's very sad indeed if the major music companys should custom-make deathmetal bands out of good looking 18-year olds and have famous songwriters make an album for them. Let's hope it never comes to that.
- Nowadays, Sweden seems to be very strong in underground metal scene. But I don't know much about your whole music scene including not only underground but also main stream. Is metal music popular in your country? What do you think of the current general music scene and underground music scene in Sweden?
I don't think metal is more popular in sweden than any other place in the world. It's just that here in Sweden most people that listen to the music also play in a band. But still the metal scene is growing bigger. I mean, the Haunted won a swedish grammy award for best hard rock band and that just proves that there is a bigger intrest in extreme music than before.
As for the underground scene... I dont know. There is absolutley no underground scene in the town were I, Nicke and Stefan live. We are virtually the only metal band in town. There used to be more small gigs at small places a few years ago but that seems to have disappeared.
- Where is THE FORSAKEN headed to musically and lyrically?
Musically, faster, more intense yet perhaps a bit more variation on the next one. Time will tell... as for the lyrical part... I don't know. I don't think Nicke has changed his personal views so the lyrics will deal with the same topics as before.
- What are your future plans such as touring, new recording etc?
We will play at a few smaller feativals in Sweden plus one in Germany. The next album will be recorded in Abyss B, again by Tommy sometime in november. Untill then we'll have our hands full with writing new material.
- This is a very personal question. What underground clubs do you recommend in Sweden?
Hmmm... I don't know... we don't have a lot of underground clubs... espessially not in my town since the metal scene always have been virtually non-existant here... I suppose you'd have to go to the larger cities like Stockholm or Goteborg.
- Do you have any final comments?
Thanx a bundle for the good interview. I hope people in Korea open their ears to The Forsaken.
Visit our website at: http://members.fortunecity.com/theforsaken2/
It should (hopefully) be up and runing by the time you read this.