Tuesday, 10 February 2015

INTERVIEW: Forever Still

Formed in 2010, Forever Still originate from Denmark and having released their debut EP in 2013, the band are now working on their debut album and a number of EP releases in 2015.

Lead vocalist Maja Højvang Schønning kindly sat down and answered a few Femetalism questions at the beginning of what is going to be a pretty busy year for her and the band.

Can you give us an introduction to Forever Still?

Forever Still is an edgy, melodic hard rock band from Copenhagen, Denmark. We make music from our hearts and try to convey emotion as raw and honest as possible. Mikkel and I (Maja) met at a show back in 2010 and started writing together. We quickly found out that we had great chemistry and everything just came together very naturally from there.

Can you tell us about each member of the band?

Mikkel and I are in charge of the songwriting. He creates the instrumentals and I do the vocal melodies and lyrics, and we work together to make everything come together and be as good as possible. Being a sound engineer means that Mikkel is also able to record and mix everything, so we can be completely in charge of our own sound. I take care of our music videos and artwork and Dennis is booking a lot of our shows. Live Dennis plays guitar, Jens plays drums, Mikkel is on bass and I sing.

What is the meaning behind the name Forever Still?

"Forever Still" refers to the feeling of being stuck in a bad place and not being able to get out. It feels as if everyone else is moving past you in full speed and just living their lives unaffected, while you're being swallowed by the nothingness. It can feel as if it's going to last forever, but you can change things for the better.

Where have you drawn your musical influences from for the band?

We both listen to a lot of different music, so a lot of different bands will have helped build our sound. But every musical influence is very subconscious. Our main inspiration is the things we've been through, the experiences which has helped shape us for better and for worse. Music is an outlet for everything that would otherwise boil up inside.

You recently released an EP called Scars.  This is the first of three EP’s which will make up your new album next year. What made you decide to release your new album in this way?

We saw it as a chance to tell a story in chapters and give our fans a different experience. We wanted them to be able to enjoy new music from us frequently, and being completely independent, we're able to do just that. A lot of bands release a full album, and then you'll have to wait a year or oftentimes more until you get to hear something new from them, and by that time you have usually forgotten all about them.

Can you tell us about each of the EPs and the overall album?

The album is a concept album about a suppressed individual struggling through depression, anxiety, and worthlessness, and in the end possible self discovery. Scars is part 1 and we'll be releasing part 2 next month and the full, physical album/part 3 in the spring. The Scars EP is raw, emotional and somewhat imperfect, because we wanted it to sound like someone falling apart and trying to put the pieces back together. It's going to be the darkest of the EP's, because this is where it all begins.
All the songs are written by Mikkel and myself, and the cover art is made by me in correspondence with Mikkel. We take great pride in doing everything ourselves and going that extra mile to make everything extraordinary for our fans.

We loved your 2013 EP Breaking Free.  How do you feel your music has progressed since that release?

So happy to hear that! We've always been writing from our hearts, but I feel like we've been open to being even more vulnerable on our most recent release. Scars feels a lot more raw and honest, and shows a side that you're often prone to hide.

What motivates you to create your music?

The songwriting is driven by the emotional state we’re in at the time and is a very natural process. It's an outlet for overflowing emotions and past experiences. Making music is how we work through it all and become whole again.

All of your releases to date have been made available as Name Your Price on Bandcamp. Do you feel passionately about making your music more affordable for all?

We believe that music should be available to everyone - both those who are broke, and those who have a little extra to spare in support of the artists they love. All we ask is that if you enjoy our music, share it with as many people as possible. Word of mouth is our strongest force.

What do you enjoy most about playing live?

Playing live I feel like we get to show a different side of our music. Everything is very aggressive and in your face, and with the energy from the audience it all becomes very intense and you get lost in the moment. We spend a lot of time on our live shows to make sure that every show is unique, and I think we enjoy the same aspects of a live show as our audience do. It’s wonderful to listen to the music at home, but being there with people and experiencing it live just brings a lot of new emotions to the table.

Is there anywhere you’d like to perform, that you haven’t yet?

Everywhere! There’s not one place in the world we don’t wanna go. We want to be where our fans want us to be. Since we book most of our own tours, this year we have decided to let our fans help us decide where to go. So we’ve created a form where our fan with a few simple clicks you can throw in a vote for their city, and help us decide where to go. And if you have a few minutes to spare, you can even help us out with what venues you like, what merch you want to see etc., which is extremely helpful and helps us create the best experience for everyone. Go to the form and demand us in your city!

With the album due for release in 2015 as well as the other EP’s, I imagine this year is going to be pretty busy for the band.  What else have you got planned?

Haha yeah, you are absolutely right, but that’s how we like it. We’ve got a new single coming out in a few weeks followed by the second album EP and music video. After the full album is released we’ll be heading out on the road and hopefully get to meet a lot of our lovely fans.

Many thanks to Maja for taking the time to talk to Femetalism!  We are huge fans for the band and are looking forward to hearing the new material as it is released.

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Originally posted by Emma Sheridan on Femetalism.