Back in the day I remember reviewing a couple of THE FORSAKEN’s albums. Then all went quiet until now 9 years later when a new album emerges. I had to find out more so an interview was set up. Anders Ekdahl ©2012
I remember you guys from when you came up the first time around with bands like Soilwork, Darkane, The Defaced and some other bands from the Helsingborg region. What happened to you guys? Why didn’t you make it big too?
-Hard to say, I guess we didn´t have an appealing sound to the wider mass of people. We could always point at a specific reason, but in the end I believe it goes down to being at the right place at the right time! Even though we have fans around Scandinavia we never had a break in the region. We have been doing much better in central Europe and US. We have been quiet a long time though, with no new material to present and the world continue to spin despite our casual drive with The Forsaken, and people have short memories. In many respects it will be a restart for us, and previous good markets might change with the weaker ones – or we’ll do well overall. Time will have its say.
I can’t say that I have too many albums by bands from Landskrona in my collection. What kind of a metal town is Landskrona?
-This is definitely not a metal town. Landskrona sits with coverbands, reggae and prog. Back in the days there were a few such as Hysteriah with Klas from Darkane, Warmonger and Mangler where the later two remained unsigned and all perished in the dust. Warmonger definitely was ahead of their time, and did two real killer demos in the late 80’s, beginning of the 90’s. Historically Landskrona has been leaning more at punk with more or less known bands such as D.T.A.L, Bristols DC and Shitbreed. Things seem to change though, with new younger potentials popping up in the rehearsal rooms. Only at the place we rehearse there are three or four bands rehearsing with heavier tones in mind, as well as you see some hairy youngsters around in the area from time to time, which is a positive development from the last ten to fifteen years of nothingness with regards to metal.
You are now on your fourth album. How much of a progress have you made in the 9 years since you last one?
-It is a cliché to say, but our last effort is definitely our best album to date. Simply put a straight forward punch in the face death metal album. I believe we have matured much as musicians both with our instruments, and in the way we think when we weld the material together. I still like our three first albums, but this album have a coherency and a much more focused approach which I do not think is present in the same way on our previous releases. When we started the process with “Beyond Redemption” we already had an idea of how the album should sound and the writing process itself was very different compared to how we used to work. For the first three albums we were all living in the south-west of Sweden and the tunes were crafted and arranged in the rehearsal room, and the first time we really heard how the songs sounded was when we recorded the albums. Now we are scattered around southern Sweden with less possibilities to rehearse and have been forced to write and record pre-productions, sending files back and forth which gave us a better view on how the songs evolved simply by listening to actual recordings. I also believe the fact that we recorded the whole album ourselves gave us much more time to work on the songs in the studio compared to having booked time breathing down your neck.
I tried looking for you previous albums but it is not that easy to find them. How irritating is it that the stuff you’ve released in the past isn’t easily available?
-Well, it would of course have been killer to have the old albums available on the market. The performance of “Beyond Redemption” and how things will work out next will kind of be what dictates if there will be a re-release of these albums. The only annoying thing is of course that the new fans of The Forsaken cannot get their hands on an actual copy. The albums are available from digital distribution though, such as iTunes Store.
What have you been up to in the years that have passed?
-After the touring ended for “Traces Of The Past” we were kind of drained with three albums in three years. At the same time the sales of the last album wasn´t as expected from the label and there was no one pushing us for the next release. Few years later we also parted ways with the label. At this time all of us had our focus elsewhere with studies, families and work. The Forsaken was never dead though, we simply didn´t put any efforts in finalizing songs for a full album and trying to pursue the options to get a new partner in crime for a new release.
When you are stuck with a record deal that you don’t want how hard is it to get out of it? What does the label want from you?
-We never have had any experience in a conflict with a label. When we parted ways with Century Media there was never a grudge from neither side of the table. But I guess as in any business deal it depends on how the contract has been set up and what conditions it involves, or what kind of goodwill the label has to release a band from its obligations. There are always exceptions, but I believe most bands entering a bad contract have themselves to blame. To make sure the contract you are about to sign is healthy to you as a musician or a group is your own responsibility in the end. Many times young bands are so eager to get their music out to the market they forget about this which may come back and bite you in the ass.
How do you keep the band going when you have to wait out something that you don’t have too much control over?
-I assume it would be de-motivating. As with any scenarios in life, where things are beyond your control, frustration becomes a big thing. For The Forsaken this has never been a factor though as we have been lucky enough to never enter such a state.
How did you end up on Massacre? How much more aware are you of what kind of deal you enter into this time?
-We recorded a four track demo and started to shop around for a new partner in 2011. Massacre was the one with the best offering. We are very well aware of what kind of contract we signed, and it was the best possible deal we believed we could get at this time. This is a license deal and within certain boundaries we are free to do what we want with our music.
How would you say that this new album fits into the discography of The Forsaken?
-It fit very well to the discography in a way where you can hear that it is a natural step forward. The fans will recognize it as a The Forsaken album and the focus I mentioned earlier really means we narrowed the path towards the death metal part of our sound. The arrangements are much tighter and we have been experimenting more with tempos making this a much more dynamic, yet more brutal album. I do not believe we will disappoint anyone that had the horns up for our previous releases.
What kind of future do you envision for The Forsaken?
-There are many offers for tours and shows dropping in right now, but nothing besides Extremefest in Germany has been fully confirmed yet. Besides doing shows to promote Beyond Redemption we will shoot one or two videos for the album. After this we will see, but it will definitely not be another nine years until you see another sign of us.