Forged in Black Interview
Interview with Basist Kieron Rochester and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
We’re a heavy metal band that incorporates a variety of different sub genres. We have tried to blend the speed and energy of thrash, the harmonic melody of NWOBHM, the grandeur of doom and the brutality of groove metal. We believe we’re a sum of our many influences.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
We began in 2009 and primarily played covers with a few originals thrown in for the mix. The originals started to grow and we started to take our own sound a lot more seriously. We decided to enter the Metal to the Masses and Bandquest competitions and were lucky enough to win both in 2012. From this, we played Bloodstock 2012’s New Blood stage and subsequently continued gigging with a host of established artists. In recent years, we have supported acts such as Beholder, Praying Mantis and Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens to name just a few. We are very lucky to be able to say that we will be continuing our support of amazing artists as we will be featured at Hammerfest’s ten year anniversary alongside bands such as Sepultura, Skindred and Hellyeah. In our time together, we have released an album, three EPs and a single. We have recorded with world renowned producers such as Chris Tsanagarides (Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy, Yngwie Malmsteen) and Romesh Dodangoda (Motorhead, Sylosis, Bullet for my Valentine). We are scheduled to record a new album in the spring of 2018 – once again with Romesh. It’s been one hell of a ride so far with the best yet to come.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
Our musical influences cover all ranges of the metal spectrum. Each member of the band has a love of metal’s greatest acts such as Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and Judas Priest but we each enjoy various other sub-genres. Kev and I (Kieron) are into Progressive Metal and love bands like Dream Theater; Stoz and Andy are well into their Neo-classical Metal with acts such as Yngwie Malmsteen and Chris leans towards the brutal Death and Black Metal genres – it’s probably why our music is such a melting pot of different ideas.
In terms of passions away from music, we each draw from other creative areas. Chris has been into art since studying it at college; Stoz enjoys theatre from his acting days; Andy is very creative with digital artwork, Kev has a passion for comics and film whilst I’m really into literature. It’s great to be able to bring these influences into the whole Forged in Black package.
In the short term, we just want as many people to hear our sound and see our live show. We really feel we have something fresh and exciting to show the metal world
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
In the short term, we just want as many people to hear our sound and see our live show. We really feel we have something fresh and exciting to show the metal world and we want to connect with as many metal heads out there. From this we want to play bigger shows and hopefully gain an expansive fan base. Long term we of course want global domination, private jets and our own metal based family sitcom.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
Our songs are always a joint effort. One of us normally starts off with an idea, brings it to the table and then we collaborate until we get the finished product. Our writing sessions together ensure that we combine all our ideas whilst still keeping the song cohesive. Stoz tends to take care of our lyrical content. He likes to create very visual lyrics by weaving together lots of different images based on topics such as: war, death and the afterlife.
PD: What have you been up to most recently?
We released our latest EP, Sinner Sanctorum last month so have been gigging the new songs and having a lot of fun with that. It’s been very well received by critics and fans alike; we’re very pleased with how it turned out. We released a music video for the title track, ‘Sinner Sanctorum’ and also more recently a lyric video for ‘Pay the Price’. Behind the scenes, we are busy at work writing songs for next year’s album.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
We are lucky enough to work with a management company called Imperative PR. Their guidance ensures that we maximise our advertising through social media, magazines and word of mouth. Their support has been invaluable since the release of our latest EP, Sinner Sanctorum.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What’s your outlook on the record industry today?
It’s definitely a polarising issue and our collective views definitely represent that. On the one hand, it’s definitely been a blow to the way in which bands make their money. We’ve personally seen a host of bands have to call it a day as CD sales have fallen, making it hard to cope with the financial strains of keeping a group together. On the other hand, it’s been great for the exposure of bands that otherwise may not have had a chance of getting their music out there. The current state of the record industry has made it difficult for groups to survive but it’s also allowed us to access many more bands. Our mentality is to just keep sticking at it no matter how hard it gets. The music is the most important thing and as long as that’s remembered then things will always be okay.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
That’s a tough one. There’s so many but I think we’d all like to have written Black Sabbath’s eponymous title track on their first album. It’s not every day that you write a track that subsequently galvanises a whole genre of music so I think we definitely would have liked to have been the ones who wrote those three iconic notes in that opening riff.
In venues across the UK, there are bands delivering amazing performances that go unnoticed due to a lack of interest in the underground.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
Sometimes the lack of support for underground music is most definitely a pet peeve of the band. In venues across the UK, there are bands delivering amazing performances that go unnoticed due to a lack of interest in the underground. It’s not the case in every region but there is still an overriding apathy when it comes to local shows. It can cost as little as a few quid to see 4 or 5 bands on a local show but no matter how hard it’s promoted, it is still hard to get people to come down. Apart from that, we are also frustrated by trickle-down economics; the indoctrination of millions by the media, the proliferation of nuclear arms and the subjugation of the working class. You know –small pet peeves.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
Our proudest moment has to be when we won the aforementioned Metal to the Masses competition and went on to play at Bloodstock 2012. The affirmation of the band’s sound from well-respected members of the underground scene was an absolute honour and something we still talk about to this very day. It was a great launch pad for everything we’ve done since.
PD: Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
Perhaps the biggest show we’ve got coming up is our slot at Hammerfest X. Until then, we’re pretty much going to be locked away writing for the next album so this performance will see new songs, a new stage show and a chance to see us rubbing shoulders with some heavy metal heavyweights. Get yourself to a premier metal festival and see a mix of metal’s past, present and future all in one place.
Forged in Black links:
Band location – Southend-On-Sea England
Check out our page for Forged in Black
Find more info about Forged in Black on their Website
Learn more about Forged in Black on their Facebook page
Watch the latest Forged in Black videos on their You Tube channel
Listen to Forged in Black music on their Soundcloud page
Listen to and buy Forged in Black music on Bandcamp
Find info and links for Forged in Black on their Reverbnation page
Follow Forged in Black on their Twitter page
Follow Forged in Black on their Instagram page
Buy Forged in Black music on their Itunes page
Listen to Forged in Black music on their Spotify page