1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
We had a couple of line up changes during 2012 which slowed the band down and forced us to set back our plans for recording. Over the course of the last year it’s been a case of getting back on track, rehearsing with the new line up until we were ready again to go into the studio. At the moment we’re preparing for upcoming gigs and are constantly writing new material.
I think the production is far better than our previous releases, which we were never completely happy with. This album is far closer to how we think the music should sound, it’s quite earthy and organic sounding but also very clear and clean. The music itself has a slight brooding feel to it, at times slightly heavier than usual and also more reflective than other releases but there are still quite a few upbeat, joyous moments as well.
2.How would you describe the musical sound of the new album and also how does it differ from your past recordings?
The Awakening is about the nature of reality and consciousness. Similarly to Dawn of Infinity, there are a number of songs on the album which share a common theme or lyrical connection. For example, Rise Like Lions deals with the Orwellian police state, Turning of the Tide is about the control of nature through things like geo-engineering, GMOs and mind control technology and The Awakening itself talks about humanity breaking free from all of this. There’s also songs dealing with themes like life after death and clairvoyance and also some like The Last Season and Sons of England which are to do with people returning to their roots.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the new release explores?
It’s just the style of music that I’ve always loved and which I listen to the most. It’s never a conscious effort to write a song that specifically sounds like traditional metal, it’s just automatic really, that’s the style of music I write. I would also say though that there are definitely other elements in our music which aren’t just straight forward classic metal. We’re fans of other genres from power to thrash and from folk to classical and I think you can hear this at times. We’re not fans of many modern forms of metal though, it’s just not our thing.
4.The music is in the classic metal direction, what was it that motivates you to play this musical style and also what are your opinions on the more modern forms of metal?
Well I have to say that I came up with the name years ago and now I often think “you could have done better than that!” But the original idea was to do with the folkloric/medieval themes that we often delved into. In fact, those original kind of themes are something that we’re starting to get back into again.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Dark Forest'?
Some of the highlights for us have been headlining Stronghold of Metal festival in Portugal, playing Hammer of Doom and Metal Assault festivals in Germany and also touring Ireland but in terms of best shows for our delivery, the Defender release show in Wolverhampton is hard to beat. We always put the same amount of passion and energy into our performances and when you see us you can tell how much sincerity and emotion we have for our music but also when the crowd really gets behind you, singing along and headbanging, the energy all around can be just amazing.
6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Our album release gig will be in our home town of Dudley on 22nd Feb and shortly after that we’re playing Brofest in Newcastle on 1st March. We’re also hoping to organise a small tour to support the album this year and hopefully we may be able to include some dates outside the UK.
7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
It’s always been very positive since the early days really. Even before we released our debut album we never heard much negativity and as the years go by, the support seems to get stronger and stronger. It’s a great thing to know that so many different people from around the world enjoy the music that you make.
8.On a worldwide level, how has the feedback been to your music by fans of metal?
Well actually, we already have a lot of new material already written for the next album! I can say that, at the moment, we seem to be heading ‘back to the woods’ in terms of that old folkloric/medieval feel which we used to have. At the same time though the music is still definitely progressing in terms of musicianship and songwriting sophistication. Partly due to our new line up, we have so much more musical dexterity and potential than in the past.
9.What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
These days it’s not really other bands or even genres which influence the music, although I do think having a wider musical taste in general helps, it’s more to do with finding influence in atmospheres, moods or feelings. If I have an idea for the theme of a song, then I’ll try and write a melody which, to me, captures the mood or message that I’m trying to put across. In a way you should try and be your own influence.I’ve recently been enjoying The White Goddess by Atlantean Kodex and also getting back into the early works of Elvenking.
10.What are some bands or musical genres that have influenced your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I love to spend time amongst nature, especially in the woods (preferably drinking ale around a fire). I’m very much interested in folklore, history, the paranormal, conspiracy theories/facts and then also ale, pubs and brewing!
11.Outside of music what are some of your interests?
Cheers for reading! Drink Bathams and listen to the Fozz!
12.Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
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