Interview with Finsterforst

01-03-13 – Contributor Sam recently conducted the following interview with Simon, the guitarist and songwriter for the Black Forest Metal band Finsterforst. This up-and-coming band from Germany is clearly hungry for success (and for delicious German pork knuckle!). Finsterforst’s third full-length album, “Rastlos,” was released by Napalm Records on November 23, 2012 (see Metal Exposure’s review here).

Metal Exposure: Hello Finsterforst, thanks for taking the time to do an interview with Metal Exposure! You guys released your third full-length album, “Rastlos,” at the end of last year. It’s received extremely positive reviews from critics (it was definitely one of my personal top three of 2012!). However, I read in Germany’s Legacy Magazine that you had actually composed an entire album before “Rastlos,” but you weren’t satisfied with it and decided to toss it out. Can you tell us a little bit about how that unfinished album differed from “Rastlos,” and what aspects you wanted to change or improve?

Finsterforst: Well, I wouldn’t literally call it an “unfinished album;” those songs were simply “lying” off to the side for too long. Much time passed and I realized that I was not satisfied with this material anymore. Later on, I started creating new tracks, which had much more power and were of better quality than the existing stuff. The deleted songs just didn’t have this “grown-up” feeling you can experience on “Rastlos.” The music was definitely kind of epic, but there was still a certain strength missing within all those arrangements. Let’s say that this “unfinished album” simply was my “training” to be able to compose “Rastlos,” haha!!

ME: Will fans ever have a chance to hear some of the songs you decided not to release, maybe in an altered version?
FF: I can’t say for now if we might use some ideas from those songs for future material, but we won’t present any of those specific songs in any way. I really think that this material will stay completely hidden.

ME: How does the composing process work in the band? Do you all work together on songs, or do certain band members work on certain parts?
FF: I usually compose the whole mess in my home and work on it until all the details of each instrumental part fit together. It would not really work if we would try to compose such music together; David wouldn’t be able to stop laughing, Tobi would get aggressive and beat us up after throwing down his third bottle of beer, and…..well, it would simply end in delirium like it always does when we freaks spend time together, haha! So far, the rest of the band seems to be satisfied with the compositions I deliver. And this, as I said, I usually do at home – in silence and in an endless knuckle-of-pork mood!

ME: You signed with Austrian label Napalm Records last year. How has the record contract changed things for the band personally and professionally?
FF: Napalm has had a great effect on us! They do an amazing job on our promotion and help us get a bigger fan base. In addition, those guys are really nice and wouldn’t try to interfere in our musical work. Things are getting more and more serious – we are going to play at Wacken Open Air this year, for example – and we all feel that this little hobby called “I play in a band and rock the small local countryside youth clubs!” is kind of growing and becoming something more solid. We are more than happy and grateful to have Napalm Records as our supportive label, which will push Finsterforst to more success.

ME: Is Finsterforst a full-time job for the band members, or do you all have jobs outside of the band?
FF: It certainly is not a lucrative full-time job, haha! All of us either have jobs or are students. Still, we can say that the band requires a lot of time, of course; traveling to gigs, rehearsing (from time to time!! Haha!), taking care of the press, drinking, eating T-bone steaks, drinking, composing, and producing the music in studio seriously takes a lot of time. But it is worth it, and it is a great passion of ours.

ME: What does the future hold for Finsterforst – what are your goals for the next few years?
FF: My personal “Finsterforstish” goals for the next years would be to develop our style into something bigger and deeper, to release more albums filled with heavy Black Forest Metal, to play a lot of great gigs in front of awesome people, and to simply have no worries! …Ah yes, and of course to eat a lot of fish with rémoulade!

ME: Anything else you’d like to add?
FF: I hope that we will play in Holland again as soon as possible! I love your country* – great and nice people combined with a decent sense of freakiness, haha! See you soon and take care!

ME: Thanks again for your time! Congratulations on all your success – good luck at Wacken, and I hope to see you in Berlin again very soon!
FF: Thank you very much as well for the wishes and doing this interview with us! Yes, see you soon!

*(Note: The interviewer is actually an American living in Berlin, but she secretly wishes she were Dutch and would definitely go see Finsterforst in the Netherlands!).