So let's get to know them closer.
Hi guys how are things?
Great! We are quite busy at the moment. We have just released our debut The Echo of Emptiness and we have also just finished recording our second album. Meanwhile we are working on new material for a third release.
Let’s start by doing the introducing. Fördärv debuted last month with their first minialbum and is a new voice in the black metal scene. So how would you introduce Fördärv to the readers?
GAST: The official release date was actually the 6th of December, the same day we hit the studio to record our second album; the end of a cycle, the beginning of a new one. FÖRDÄRV is about the two members´ spirituality mainly; we would like to canalize it through music. To discover new depths in ourselves and find treasures which are concealed in darkness. We have called this project a borderless, spiritual quest, and indeed, we do not want to limit ourselves. We do whatever we feel like as long as it feels right for us. Then of course we would like to leave our mark in the history-book of black metal in someway; contribute to the scene which has given us so much through the years.
EN: Another aspect of FÖRDÄRV is that we desire to remain anonymous in this context. Our respective personal lives, professions and pasts etc. is not something that we wish the potential listeners to be attracted, distracted or averted by. We want our music and words to stand alone on their own merits.
Could you explain to the non-Swedish speaking readers the meaning and the concept behind the name “Fördärv”?
GAST: FÖRDÄRV means “perdition”, “ruin”, “destruction” or something in that direction. To us it represents a total ruined state; all hope is gone, you are finished. And that is where the path to illumination starts: in the total darkness. In alchemic terms it is the state of Nigredo, that is, the first stage on the path to find the Philosopher´s stone. Of course there is a meaning behind our choice to collaborate with a label which not only uses this term as a labelname but also shares these views when it comes to what the music itself should represent.
In my humble opinion your sound is not typical of Swedish black metal, and is deeply rooted in the old Norwegian School but with a personal mood of your own. Do you agree with such a statement?
GAST: It is not the first time we hear this. Soundwise it is more old school Norwegian I suppose, but there are also some melancholic melodies I connect more to the classical Swedish scene.
What is Fördärv’s relation to the Swedish scene? What is your personal opinion about the Swedish scene?
GAST: I myself do not really catch up with new music to be honest. I am more focused on producing my own. But if there is one band to mention I think Watain is quite interesting. Not necessarily musicwise but I find the anti-cosmic philosophy interesting, even though it is obviously quite trendy within the Swedish scene since Dissection. Otherwise, I prefer to listen to the old stuff like Bathory and Dissection.
EN: FÖRDÄRV is like a seed that was buried in the soil in the 90s and in this day and age finally starts to grow. And as with every growing thing, full potential is the goal… Opinions: today I don’t know. There has to be some great bands around but I haven’t heard them. Back in the 90s when I was more submerged in the scene I can’t remember any Swedish BM band, including the ones I was in myself, that came close to the raw grimness of the Norwegian bands (and some eastern European bands). There’s nothing wrong with melodies, FÖRDÄRV has loads of them, but I think that the Swedish scene has always suffered by too much influence from the death metal scene especially the Gothenburg style. There’s not necessarily anything wrong with that but it’s not what I look for in Black metal…
The choice of a rough production in your first minialbum The Echo of Emptiness is a bit daring nowadays but it characterizes your sound; can you explain the reasons for such a choice?
GAST: It might be daring, yes, but again our aim is not to be popular. We do what we feel is right for US. And when it comes to this particular sound and FÖRDÄRV´s spiritual agenda, nothing could be more natural. We do not want to make our music easy or pleasurable for the listener. By creating a lot of noise around the music, the listener has to seek beyond that to find its fruits, in the shape of melodies for instance. FÖRDÄRV´s music is quite melodic behind all the noise, but we hope that the listener has to make an effort in order to find it. The noise and the monotony also open a gate to a spiritual realm in our opinion. While playing, it is not unusual that we enter trance-like states, in which we experience timelessness. We want to evoke spiritual realms/states with our music, but it should also be a quest, both for performer and listener, to experience it.
EN: Two of the things we decided very early on in starting up this band was 1) to go back to the early 90s and from that create something seeped in that tradition but with a twist of our own and 2) to have a “rough”/”raw” sound. I personally consider that this “old-school”-sound creates a more interesting and satisfying atmosphere for the music to grow within and breath in than the sterile and overproduced productions that make the music sound flat and lifeless. I don’t have any idea if it is daring or not since I really don’t have much of a clue about how black metal sound today.
How would you describe The Echo of Emptiness and your sound?
GAST: The sound of Echo is meant to be borderless. The listener should be able almost to touch the emptiness which we deal with. It is cold, dark with a lot of atmosphere and space.
By what bands is Fördärv most inspired? Am I wrong if I guess that Darkthrone is among your inspiring bands?
GAST: The early old school black metal bands of the late 80s and early 90s are our main inspirations, and Darkthrone is of course one of them, alongside with bands like Bathory, Mayhem, Burzum, Dissection.
EN: I think that the most important point to make here is that while we may have this or that band as inspiration to our music what we strive for is that they are just that; inspiration. We have no interest in copying or recreating rather we strive for reformation. We certainly have great respect for the creators of the genre but we are no slaves to what has gone before us. We have a spiritual quest through words and music where the aim is to create a new path through the forest… What’s also important is that we have other influences than BM as well.
What else does inspire Fördärv?
GAST:It is mainly emotional/spiritual voyages but also philosophy, history, mythologies, art, poetry, classical music.
The lyrics of The Echo of Emptiness revolve around concepts such as emptiness, void, vacuum. What are for you emptiness and the echo of emptiness?
GAST: In one word: peace. But to be more specific I see it as the most natural state. At least for myself; we all have our own paths to walk. In the emptiness there is nothing else than your essence/soul/spirit/daimon, call it what you will. In the total vacuum is where the focus is put on what really matters, that is yourself. The Self which is stripped down naked, and becomes everything and nothing at the same time; a meaning in the meaningless. The Echo of Emptiness then is a glimpse, a sensation, of this most natural state.
It seems to me that nature also plays an important role in the themes you address, but it is about visions of a desolated, cold, “empty” nature. Your lyrics seem to me very inward-looking, so is it wrong to say that the landscapes you speak of are actually inner landscapes and reflect your peculiar mood and reflections?
GAST: That is correct. The lyrics try to describe what cannot be described in words or actions, that is emptiness, silence. So I use a surrealistic, INNER landscape to portray this emotion. And yes, desolated landscapes in nature have been inspiring for such an internal portrayal.
What is the role of philosophy in your music and/or lyrics?
GAST: Philosophy (from all corners of the world) has quite a central role in our lyrics and music. The ideas/visions we present might not be “new” since they are rooted in older traditions mainly, but we aim to put our own perspective on them. I do not want to go in to any details of which philosophies the listener might encounter; that would destroy the magic and the task the listener has in front of him/her.
What is Fördärv doing now?
We have just recorded our second album and are working on material for a third release.
Can you tell us something about the differences and the similarities between your first release and the upcoming one?
GAST: The new album will be more aggressive in its approach, although we keep some of the epic elements which we introduced on Echo. The theme this time revolves around the classic subject of Death. The sound will be somewhat difference this time, but we try of course to keep it noisy like hell!
Will we ever see Fördärv play live? If not so, why?
GAST: In this moment we are not interested in playing live. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, it would be difficult to keep the anonymity which we value. Secondly, we consider what we do timeless, so when we record that is the last time we play the songs (we also try to play as much as possible “live” in the studio. In fact, the main guitar and drums in the songs are all done in just one take on Echo). When we go back to our rehearsal we never play what we have just recorded. We find this very meaningful; a chapter is finished, now we go to the next one. If you write a book, you rewrite parts many times, as we change parts in our songs during our rehearsals. But once the book is published, you don’t rewrite the whole damn thing to PRACTICE, right? So, when you listen to a FÖRDÄRV song you know that that particular recording was the last time we played the song. And for us that is a way to stop time, thus experiencing something timeless.
What would you like to say to the readers to conclude the interview?
Keep your ears and eyes open for we are quite productive! New material will be announced soon. Check out our official blog (www.fordarvsweden.blogspot.se) and our label (www.nigredorecords.com) for news and updates. Thanks for the support and let´s keep the Flame alive!
It was a pleasure to interview you, thank you very much. I hope to hear from you soon.
The pleasure was all ours. Thank you!
Unholy Black Metal introduced to Fördärv and announced the release of their debut minialbum and gave a sampling of it: