A Forest of Stars – Interview First of all: Thank you very much for offering me this interview. You are the first band I am able to interview, so I hope I don’t mess up *laughs* If you find any mistakes, please keep them as pets and feed them regularly *g*
The Gentleman: Not a problem at all, we’re quite new to all of this as well! Curse: I hope they're not vegetarians.
Your new album Opportunistic Thieves Of Spring was released on the 20th of May 2011 over here in Germany and I already had the chance to listen to it and write a review about it. What I wondered was: Why did it take a whole year after the release in America to release it in Germany?
The Gentleman: Well, it was released in your splendid country, but only via a small distro. Our previous record company was based in Canada, and did an enthusiastically fantastic job, but in the end they were quite small, with a limited budget. Prophecy, who we are now signed to, are able to give us a much bigger boost, and therefore re-release the album(s) to a much larger audience. It’s as prosaic as that.
For all our readers who don’t know you yet please offer some pieces of information about your band: Since when are you A Forest of Stars? How did it begin? How did you all find your way to Black Metal?
The Gentleman: The idea was originally thought up by myself and Curse, a long time ago. We left it on the shelf for about ten years, while other things happened, and then we met Katheryne and Kettleburner, who were also like-minded and the rest is what you see now. Or something. As for getting into black metal, I haven’t a clue, really. I just started listening to it in the early nineties (I’m an old soul), along with everyone else; it was just something I found musically very appealing and I naturally gravitated towards it. So perhaps I was following an anti-trend trend? I’m confusing myself now.
Being seven members, was there ever any quarrel about the selection of songs for the album or about the sound of each?
The Gentleman: At first there were four of us, on the second album five, and only now are we seven, so at the moment it has been relatively smooth sailing. The new album may well be different, but we’ll wait and see. We really don’t tend to argue at all (in fact I cannot recall a single time we have), we’re all old enough to know better and have been rather good friends for an extensive amount of time. There are far more productive things to channel that energy into than fighting with your friends! Curse: This being said, maybe it's time we started knocking each other about a bit. Could get quite an interesting brawl going with 7 sets of fists.
If you had the choice which singer or band would you pick to be on stage with performing songs together?
The Gentleman: I don’t think I’d want to name one, as the very idea of spoiling one of my hero’s live outings with me pissing all over their vastly superior talent is something I wouldn’t dare to contemplate. And I’m sure the audience would feel the same! Curse: I agree. I wouldn't want to sully such an experience!
Is there already new material you are working on? Are you planning the next album?
The Gentleman: Yes and yes. Now we have finished our live duties for the moment, we can settle down into properly writing the album, something we are all rather excited about. We’ve already had a few songs written for a while, so we just need to finish the rest off, and get all the ideas we have together. We’re aiming to be recording in the autumn (the time of year seems suitably conducive, and has become sort of a tradition for us).
Is there a chance that you will be performing in Germany in the near future?
The Gentleman: We played there recently, actually. Just one date, and we promised quite a number of people who couldn’t make it we’d be back to do more, so I guess we must stick to our word! There will most likely be nothing this year now, as we’re concentrating on the new album. Next year, though, we plan to do a lot more performances.
What does Black Metal mean to you?
The Gentleman: Genuine atmosphere and boundless creativity. Obviously, a lot of people would disagree with that, but there you go. Okay, add the freedom of individual interpretation and expression. Or suppression thereof? Curse: No straight answer to this. How about a blank canvas as far as creativity is concerned, no restrictions apart from no restrictions!
It would be really nice if you could talk a bit about your private lives. What music do you listen to in private? What kind of music inspires you most?
The Gentleman: As a rule, we do not talk about our private lives, as they do not have a bearing on our music; quite the opposite, really. However I will do my best to circumvent that. A short list of what I’m listening to at the moment, (which will make me look very un- rock and roll): Radiohead, Sleeping Peonies, Jon Anderson, Dead Can Dance, Peter Gabriel, The Pierces, The Hollies, Blut Aus Nord, Alcest and Mike Oldfield. To reiterate a boring cliché: good music inspires the most, the genre is irrelevant. There are many bands I cannot stand that have released one-off amazing songs, and I learnt long ago never to discard an artist because of that. People tend to call them “guilty pleasures”, but really, I see no reason to have any guilt over liking something as trivial as a good song! Curse: All good music is inspiring. I am currently listening to the new Primordial and Virus albums. Also, having a return trip to Solstice.
Where do you like to stay abroad?
The Gentleman: Anywhere is fine by me, what did you have in mind? Curse: Preferably off of the floor!
What are your hobbies?
The Gentleman: Ludo, long walks on the beach, long walks in the rain. My biggest flaw is that I’m too perfect; but I’m always loyal to the company I work for. I’m looking for a lady with a good sense of humour, non smoker (opium smoking I don’t mind, though). Not too ugly though, I have standards. Facing new challenges; meeting new people, sharing memories with someone special, going the cinema, reading, collecting stamps, more long walks somewhere or other (I need the exercise), eating food, defecating, staving off bankruptcy. Have I won yet? Curse: Beer and tabs.
What are your plans for the future?
The Gentleman: Well, I’m off to do the pub quiz this evening, does that count? Curse: I am currently in a death-trance with a bad back. I will be eating Tramadol and watching repeats of Top of the Pops from the 1970s. Can't focus on much else.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. You now have the opportunity to write down whatever you want
The Gentleman: Oh god, don’t give us that kind of power; too much responsibility. Can I literally write anything? Asjutyfbujs nkiuyt liu b. Would you print that? That’s really cool! I could really mess with people’s minds. let alone my own. Curse: I've just had to sit through Cliff Richard singing 'Devil Woman'. I hope he has a spectacular fall from grace.
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