Back in August I was introduced to Forever Still. They were actually amongst the first bands that I reviewed for musicbank. I was immediately entranced with their sound. Now they have some new material coming out that they are releasing in 3 parts with a physical CD due out in the spring of 2015. I got the opportunity to ask Maja Schønning (their totally bad ass lead singer) some questions that had been rolling around in my head for a while. Check out my questions and her answers below.
MB: The new EP is called Scars. What made you give it that name? Is there a story there?
MS: Scars is part 1 of a concept album in which the overarching plot follows the protagonist struggling through depression, anxiety and worthlessness trying to find one self. You get your wounds when you’ve been ripped apart by society, stigmatized by the people surrounding you and the general feeling of loneliness and not belonging anywhere. But with wounds come healing, and the scars they leave behind come to shape us permanently and make us who we are today. In the very end you will come out stronger than you ever were.
MB: Tell me about one of songs specifically.
MS: I would like to tell you about “Miss Madness” since a few days ago, a fan of ours mentioned that she dislikes how it romanticizes suicide. Suicide is a really dark topic, and there isn’t always a happy ending.. The very reason the character Miss Madness was created, was to be able to project it onto someone else, someone fictional, to make me forget what it was really about. Suicide isn’t romantic, but sometimes you can be in such a bad place that it feels like the only solution, which is what we wanted to illustrate with this song. But we’re all still here today, writing this song, proving that suicide is not the solution. That it does get better.
MB: This set of songs feels so much more personal to me than what I reviewed a few months ago. Did something happen in the band or with one of the band members?
MS: We did change some of our lineup, which has of course brought some new elements to the songs, but the songwriters remain the same. What we did change was the whole vibe of the EP, and the way we went about it. We wanted everything to be completely honest and bold, and being 100% in charge of everything ourselves, we were able to do that. We went all out and decided not to be afraid of being completely vulnerable and push each other and ourselves to the limit.
MB: After listening to all three songs I agree with the comments I’ve read about how raw and emotional these songs are. Is there a complete story here, maybe told in 3 acts?
MS: The songs are all very raw, emotional and somewhat imperfect, because we wanted it to sound like someone falling apart and trying to put the pieces back together. We really wanted the sound to compliment the concept of the album and have everything come together in a bigger picture. The story will be continued on the upcoming EP and the final pieces of the puzzle will be revealed on the full album.
MB: What made you decide to release three digital EP’s then produce a physical CD?
MS: We wanted to be able to make it an ongoing story and divide it into chapters that people can experience as different parts as well as a full story. Also, we thought our fans would appreciate getting new music more frequently instead of BAM, here’s the album, see you in a year or two! We know that a lot of our fans love physical cd’s, so we wanted to give them the chance to add that to their collection in the form of a full album this spring.
MB: What is your favorite Forever Still song?
MS: That’s like choosing between your children, you know I can do that! Honestly, it completely depends on my mood… These days I’m a bigger fan of the title track, Scars. Maybe because I’ve spent the most recent time on lyric videos for the other two songs, I can kinda do without them for a few weeks, haha!
MS: I guess the vibe just fits my mood these days! It’s aggressive yet extremely melodic, almost schizophrenic, and I really enjoy the rapid changes. It was a song I needed to write, and a song a lot of people needed to hear.. The guys and I are extremely pleased with the reception!
MB: What bands would you most like to tour with?
MS: Wow I don’t even know, there are so many good ones to choose from. I would love to tour with a band like Nine Inch Nails they’ve got the most amazing high energy show and their stage production is absolutely amazing. But basically we love to tour as much as possible and with new, cool people every time!
MB: If you could do a duet with any current vocalist, who would you choose?
MS: I’d definitely go for a male vocalist, just because I like the dynamics of mixing male and female vocals. Someone who likes to mix melodic vocals with some really raw emotion.. Maynard from Tool wouldn’t be a bad choice! Pete from Chevelle would make a really cool mix as well.. Or a more recent vocal crush, Jonny from Nothing More, though he could probably reach higher notes than me!
MB: Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
MS: All influences are very subconscious… We listen to a lot of different music, but we write from our own experiences, which is why I believe the music comes out as very honest and personal. I didn’t choose music, music chose me. It was the only thing that made me truly happy to do, and I catch myself singing all the time – on my bike, while grocery shopping, in the middle of the night.. I think it was just supposed to be. And I needed it to heal. Seeing it heal others is an even greater gift.
MB: When you are not touring, what do you like to do for fun?
MS: We honestly don’t have time for anything else but the music. Music is our work and our fun. We spend several hours daily on our social media, and we do absolutely everything ourselves – writing, recording, mixing, videos, design, booking, managing, you name it! So it doesn’t leave us much time to do anything else, but we like it that way.
New to Forever Still? Check out my review of their song The Key