ONLY FATE REMAINS should b e known by more metal fans. Rectify your mistake by reading thyis interview. Anders Ekdahl ©2012
I’m fascinated by how people end up playing the music that they play. What is it with goth metal that made you play it?
-Actually, we never started to play music together with the intention to play gothic metal with OFR. We all come from various backgrounds (rock to black metal), though all metal oriented. When you combine all backgrounds, this is what you get: the OFR sound.
When you come from Holland you have to carry the banner of great metal whether you like it or not. How do you avoid tarnishing the reputation of Dutch metal as great by releasing something that nobody likes? How do you keep it good all the way through?
-We are all perfectionists. With our debut album BREATHE we paid attention to every single detail, carefully layering all different ‘melodic story lines’ in the songs; every note of every instrument. When we weren’t satisfied with what we recorded, we simply recorded it all over again. In some cases we even rewrote parts of songs, to give the song the opportunity to really get its full message across. With our layered music this is a bare necessity. Writing is one thing, recording is another. Getting all those layers in precisely requires an experienced and gifted studio mixer. Jochem Jacobs (TEXTURES) delivered a very good job with mixing BREATHE.
When you chose to play goth metal is there some specific rules you have to play by? Where do you draw inspiration from?
-We don’t care about specific rules – writing and playing music is a creative process without rules, not cold hard calculation. It is the mix of people and styles that form the basis of OFR’s sound, not a genre. We do like to play sophisticated music, but that is easy to listen to at the same time – subtle sophisticated. We try to put something of that in every song, a sort of ‘musical wink’. You will notice them, when you try to play the OFR songs yourself; not that easy as it might sound 😉
The goth part, is that more present in the music or in the lyrics? What is goth really and how does that translate to music?
-I think that both lyrics and music have some ‘Goth’ in them. The lyrics on BREATHE all have a second layer to them and are kind of dark. Together with the often melancholic arrangements of the vocals and chords, this brings out (melancholic) emotions associated with ‘Goth’. Maybe that this gives the music certain ‘goth’-feel. For vocals we do not use the ‘standard’ opera soprano sound you see a lot with ‘Goth’ metal bands, but a rock mezzo-soprano sound instead. Of course we use heavy guitars and synths, but certainly with the synths we try to do something different. No oh-and-ah-choirs and huge bombastic orchestral arrangements. We use electronic elements instead (which might be considered ‘Goth’ as well, depending on who you talk to ;)).
How do you know that you’ve written a song that holds up to scrutiny?
-It is almost impossible to think for your audience. We are very critical about our work. Maybe that is the biggest hurdle for us to take.
I have this idea that the Dutch metal scene is one big united commune. Do you feel like you are part of a scene?
-Yes, we do. Everyone knows everyone: it’s a small world after all. This applies both to the bands and the audience.
When you have an album out does that make life easier for you as band? Do people take you more seriously when you have something to show for?
-In a weird way that is true. It also makes it easier to go across borders. How could they know us abroad otherwise? Now, with BREATHE released we can reach people from Sweden to the United States. Having said that, the environment in which we make music also changed. Instead of people comparing between local bands, they compare OFR with huge bands like Evanescence – a little different! Luckily, the BREATHE reviews show that OFR is more than capable of such comparisons. We are very grateful for receiving such trust in our music.
How hard is it to record an album? Do you struggle with what songs should go where or have you it all made up before you enter a studio?
-Because of the way we write our music and the perfectionists we are, this is a time consuming thing. For BREATHE we pre-recorded every song before we recorded the actual record. That is great for working on the different layers, such as backing vocals, ‘does the song come across’-questions and other tuning of the songs in the flow of the album. As we mentioned earlier, we are our own worst enemies. That makes recording difficult, because we won’t settle for less.
When you make a video with what intentions do you do so? How can a video help you?
-A video literally makes you more ‘visible’ as you can see in our video THE REAL YOU. People can see who you are, what you do. Social media and especially YouTube are great channels for reaching fans and spread OFR’s music. It is awesome to create a ‘visualization’ of a song!
What kind of future would you like to see for Only Fate Remains?
-Spread our music with BREATHE and THE REAL YOU as far and as much as we can – really bring our passion to our fans. Our ultimate goal is to make a living of our music, touring and