SUICIDE FOREST is a band that I just recently got to know of. I had to interview them. All quotes come from Suicide Forest mastermind/multi-instrumentalist A. Kruger) Anders Ekdahl ©2018
How important is the band’s name in giving out the right kind of vibe?
-The Aokigahara (Suicide Forest) in Japan can be very dense in areas which provides areas of solitude and introspection. Our music can be dismal and foreboding, and comes from feelings of isolation and despair which come from moments of solitude and introspection.
I wanted to start a band in the 80s but couldn’t find the right people to do so with. What was it that made you want to do the band?
-The live iteration of Suicide Forest came to be after the first demo Emptiness was released and people began to ask if it could be done live. The current live lineup of Suicide Forest has played together in a variety of projects over a number of years so we knew we could work together to recreate the recorded atmosphere and emotion.
With so many genres and sub-genres of metal today what is your definition of the music you play?
-Suicide Forest plays highly atmospheric depressive black metal, with elements of doom, and minimalism.
How do you arrange the tracks? Is there a method to how you arrange the songs on a record?
-Whether a live performance or record, the goal is to create a mood, and build an atmosphere. The track order is part of taking the listener on this journey through the music, and the lyrics.
I am fascinated by how people can still come up with things that hasn’t been done before, chord structures that hasn’t been written, sentences that hasn’t been constructed before. Where do you find your inspiration to create?
-It’s important to draw from more than one source for inspiration. As a composer it is important to be well versed in music from all styles and disciplines. Even if you just want to listen to Rock or Metal, it’s important to be diverse in you consumption of art and your consumption of influential material.
How important is the graphic side of the band? How much thought goes into art work etc.?
-Much like the music, it has elements of minimalism, and discontent. The music often comes before the visual elements and dictates the direction of the graphics and visual representation.
I get the feeling that more and more metalheads too are just downloading single tracks. Is the album as relevant today as it was in the 70s and 80s? Is digital killing the album?
-We don’t have that same feeling that single track downloads are more common. That may be true in other genres, but with Suicide Forest, the tracks work together in a way to create a whole experience, which seems to have lent itself to listeners acquiring whole releases and not one single track. A listener can stream entire releases anywhere they wish to take the music and are not limited to radio waves or physical copies of the music playing in their home. But for those that wish to have the tactile or collector experience, physical music has returned in many special ways like limited release cassettes and vinyl in unique colorways. These special releases go beyond the single track download and provide listeners with another experience.
Are we killing our beloved metal scene by supporting digital downloading or can anything positive come from supporting single tracks and not albums? Will the fan as we know him/her be gone soon?
-Metal of all types has made a resergence. The digital platform has allowed listeners to more easily find music that fits niches that were almost impossible to have even existed in the past, let alone have a fan base. The days of going to a metal show where the band thanks the audience for just keeping metal alive seem to be gone. Digital downloads are part of the future of music and has increased the reach of a band like us. People can stream Suicide Forest releases on the other side of the planet without having to search out a rare album or hope that the local record store can get the album.
Is there a scene to speak of for a band like yours? Where do you fit in?
-In our local scene, there aren’t really any bands making music in the same style as us. Even among the larger scene across the country there aren’t really any bands that do exactly what we do. That being said, we have drawn a lot of influence from bands across the US, and particularly the Pacific Northwest.
What does the future hold?
-Ascension Monuments Media has re-released the first two demos on one limited edition vinyl and will also be releasing our first full length titled “Suicide Forest” in July. A tour on the west coast of the US will accompany the release. More plans for touring and releases are currently being made.