Hails! I wanted to get this interview set up, as your debut album, ‘The Serpent Creation’, is a must have for any extreme metal collection! Tell us about the eight rituals of devastation!!!
Thank you very much for the comment, nice to hear that our hard work is appreciated. In an initiatory context, ‘The Serpent Creation’ is an opening of the gates to Lilith’s blood-dripping acausal darkness. It marks the beginning of a long journey… We put our hearts and souls into it, like we do with everything that is related to FORGOTTEN HORROR.
From what I understand, Forgotten Horror is a three-piece band, with you being the primary songwriter, is that correct? There is massive amount of sound and excellent musicianship to be heard on this album, how long has the material been in development?
Yes, I make all the music and lyrics. There’s three permanent members in the band, Kassara on the drums, Corpse on the bass and I do the vocals and guitars. Viktor from ENOCHIAN CRESCENT completes the live line-up as our new session live guitarist. The material for the debut album had been in development for quite a long time, the first riffs and ideas are from 2007 when I was still living in Spain. In 2009 we recorded the album and Kassara did an incredible job behind the drums as always, but I think the tempo of some songs was quite fast even for him heheh. I pushed myself to my limits with the vocals and guitars and Corpse gave a really good and a strong sound with the bass guitar. So it should sound quite tight indeed.
I was happy to read the enclosed lyrics, which are very solid and offer a variety of subject matter, from Aztec goddess worship (Destroyer of Time) to Roman history (Hannibal and Dreams of Scipio). Tell us a little about your writing process, do you set out with subject in mind first, or do the songs form themselves and use you as a medium?
It works both ways for me. Sometimes I read something interesting – like in the case of Hannibal and Scipio – and I start building it from there. But usually the ideas are born as a result or in connection with occult workings. The title, or the overall theme of a song usually come very spontaneously. Some ideas and melodies come from dreams, and actually this is something where the whole song writing process will concentrate with the upcoming material.
The production and performance of ‘The Serpent Creation’ is flawless. What was the recording process like for this release?
We recorded the stuff without any hurry, and making it sound the way which would serve the material the best. It’s always about the material, and what supports the atmosphere in the music. With FORGOTTEN HORROR I want to explore and develop the sound, always going further. It’s a kind of a search for our own unique sound, where clear and separate, atmospherical and dark combine with massiveness and brutality.
I understand that Forgotten Horror features members of Deathchain as well as Jess and the Ancient Ones, bands with very distinct and different sounds than Forgotten Horror. Tell us how Forgotten Horror was actually formed and how is material created under one banner as opposed to the others?
FORGOTTEN HORROR was formed in January 2004. Later Kassara joined the band, and after some while I joined DEATHCHAIN. In 2008 Corpse joined FORGOTTEN HORROR as the bass player and the current line-up was ready. In the very beginning of 2010 Corpse and I started JESS AND THE ANCIENT ONES, a more rock oriented band with clean vocals etc. The two of us, Corpse and I, make almost all the material with these bands, except that I write all FORGOTTEN HORROR stuff. I guess we just have so many different ideas coming out that they deserve their own group. It wouldn’t maybe work well if we’d try to melt folk rock parts together with DEATHCHAIN’s Death Metal blasting, heh. For me personally, FORGOTTEN HORROR is a very esoteric and initiatory tool, but the lyrics I write are dealing with occultism in all three bands. It’s like approaching the same thing from different angles, you know?
Your only previous release as Forgotten Horror was a four song demo…how do you feel the band has evolved since that first release in 2007? Are there any plans to re-release the older material, unheard recordings from that time, etc.?
No, at least at the moment I have no plans for the older stuff, I’m just focusing on making new material and on getting it released soon. These two releases have a very different vibe to them. The demo is like an attack to all directions, looking for a path. And with the debut album the direction has been found and it is the first conscious step to that direction, or more like opening the gates which have been locked. With the next album will step deeper inside those gates.
How involved was the band with the album artwork? It appears as though the cover was a different artist from the interior, all done remarkably well. Tell us about the visual aspects of ‘The Serpent Creation’.
I was visiting Ketoladog and the thought came into my mind when we were talking about artwork and band stuff, you know? He painted the front cover and I really like it, as I like most of his other art also. The other artist who did two illustrations for the album is my Spanish friend, a really really talented artist Érika M. Jansen. She’s specialized in Mayan art and culture so she was the perfect choice to portray the Meso-American dark goddess Coatlicue. She did a fantastic Lilith illustration as well, I’m having both of them tattooed in my right forearm by the way. The fact that she hasn’t done any previous work for metal bands really gives a fresh touch, you know? I liked her approach to my ideas so much that we’re now talking about working together in the future as well.
There is a video on YouTube, a brief peek behind-the-scenes at your recording process. I understand there was a technical error that caused the remaining video to disappear, no? Are there plans to shoot more video and release a DVD or at least publish it online?
Funny that you asked, we just recently published the first official FORGOTTEN HORROR music video. Yeah there was this eerie stuff happening, for like three days in a row every freaking electric device I touched went all fucked up. First day my mini laptop just broke without any apparent reason, right after I turned the power on. The hard disk simply broke somehow. The next day two external hard disks broke with one of them having all the FH video footage in it, again without any reason I could figure out. The day after that an almost new 27″ iMac went all fucked up in the same manner, right after I turned the power on, in a completely different location hahah! Luckily that one didn’t break but the motherboard had to be resetted etc. Maybe it was just a one big coincidence… Anyway, I started working on new video stuff immediately and as I mentioned, the nasty music video is now online. Check it out!
Tell us about your live show attack. Your CD release and live debut shared the stage with Finnish legends Sargeist and Valoton. With only the one full length album, are you able to play the majority of you music live? What mood do you try and inflict upon audience members?
Yes we’re definitely able to play a live show, to say the least, and the album release gig went great! As it was our first gig, I had waited a long time for that moment and I wanted to focus on my playing and especially on my vocals… so visually and otherwise I wanted us to start building our own thing from scratch. With each upcoming live show we’ll bring in more elements and atmosphere, the intention is ultimately to create something truly special, something unique. Well the first impact I want our audience to have is that the aggression in the music blows their heads off! If you dive inside that energy, you can perhaps find ways to work with it, to channel it, to use it…
Are there more live shows scheduled? What about new material for release? Often bands record more music than they release when in the studio…
Yeah you guessed right, we did record more songs in the same session but that stuff is probably not going to be used with FORGOTTEN HORROR at all. The next album is already in the making and I’m dying to have new material out! As I said earlier it will be done differently. Everything will be more focused, oriented with the dream plane, nightmares, dark fantasies. Yes there’s new live attacks on the way also, I’m currently starting to book shows for 2012… it’s going to be a very interesting year and I’m extremely motivated to have a lot of stuff going on. The long quiet status of the band is history.
Your last words?
Thanks a lot for this interview. Stay tuned for more FORGOTTEN HORROR news, for we’re just getting started and things are going to get brutal… new nightmarish visions are already manifesting. In Nomine Draconis!