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FOREFATHER (WULFSTAN)

HI! HOW ARE YOU? WHERE ARE YOU? Hi. Wulfstan here. I’m fine thanks, a few minor frustrations aside. I’m currently relaxing at home listening to Mercyful Fate here in Surrey, England. YOU LEFT YOUR OWN LABEL ANGELISC ENTERPRISES FOR THE RELEASE OF YOUR NEW ALBUM. WHAT WERE THE REASONS BEHIND IT? WILL YOU CONTINUE WITH YOUR LABEL WORK, MAYBE SIGNING OTHER BANDS? The reason for signing with Karmageddon Media was to get Forefather better promotion and distribution. We were limited on our own label. Angelisc is being closed down but we are starting a new label soon. It doesn’t have a name yet but we’ve already agreed to release the debut CD of a Dutch band called Thronar. Other acts will hopefully follow. You can check out Thronar at www.thronar.com. AND DID YOU FEEL MORE PRESSURE WHEN RECORDING “OURS IS THE KINGDOM” BECAUSE OF THE NEW LABEL OR DID YOU ENJOY HIGHER PRODUCTIONS VALUES THAN EVER BEFORE? I don’t think we felt much pressure honestly. We knew the music was really strong so it was just a case of making sure the sound was as good as possible. Actually a lot of the album had already been recorded before we signed the Karmageddon deal I think. There were a few small improvements in the production from the last album „Engla Tocyme“. We didn’t receive an extra recording budget from Karmageddon. HOW DID YOU GET IN CONTACT WITH KARMAGEDDON? I think it was Guido who e-mailed us first about getting hold of the first 3 Forefather albums then after a while we heard from him again and it eventually led to him offering us the deal. So it was them who got in contact with us really, not the other way round. THE ARTWORK OF YOUR NEW RELEASE IS VERY STRONG, I ESPECIALLY LIKE THE BOOKLET. WHO DID THE FOTOS AND THE DESIGN AND WHO DEVELOPED THE CONCEPT BEHIND IT? All the art and design was handled by Chrille Andersson and CA Interactive who also did the first 3 Forefather albums. I think „Ours is the Kingdom“ is the best job he’s done so far though. The concept of the design was dictated by the title of the album which is about religion dying and us reclaiming our kingdom from it. Some of the pictures in the booklet are also meant to be linked with the songs they’re next to as well. So the concepts were created by us and he tried to come up with art that suited them. HOW IMPORTANT IS THE COMBINATION/ UNITY OF MUSIC, ARTWORK AND LYRICAL CONCEPT FOR A BAND LIKE FOREFATHER? It’s important that the artwork should represent the lyrics well. We like everything to fit together. I also like our lyrics to mean something. Some bands have very mystical and metaphorical lyrics and it’s hard to have a clue what they’re talking about. The same can be said about some album covers. COULD ONE STATE THAT MUSIC IS THE MAIN DRIVING SOURCE OF YOUR LIFE? I don’t know. We certainly get a lot of pleasure from music though, and it has had a big impact on our life. If I hadn’t have persuaded my mother to rent out a copy of Iron Maiden’s „Powerslave“ from the local library when I was a child things could’ve been very different. It’s fair to say that music is very important to us. AND COULD YOU EXPLAIN THE MEANING OF THE ALBUM TITLE? AGAINST WHOM DO YOU WANT TO DEFEND “YOUR” KINGDOM? Like I said earlier the song is specifically about reclaiming our land from organised religion. It’s an alteration to „thine is the kingdom“ from the Lord’s Prayer. On a wider level we want to defend our kingdom from anyone who would seek to alter it in a way that we would dislike. The truth is though that our kingdom has been being altered for centuries and centuries already. It seems that the pace is really picking up now though in this globalist age. THE OPENER DID SURPRISE ME WITH ITS SHEER BRUTALITY, HAVE YOU BECOME MORE EXTREME AND VARIED ON PURPOSE OR WAS IT A LOGICAL DEVELOPMENT CONSIDERING YOUR RISING SONGWRITING SKILLS? We purposely picked up the speed for „Ours is the Kingdom“ because we felt that „Engla Tocyme“ was a bit slow. The other target was to have shorter song lengths on average. The extra variation probably came from the greater number of tracks. Each song has quite a distinct identity. This is more akin to „The Fighting Man“. For our next album we want to keep the extra speed and aggression and also add a darker tone to the music overall. HOW DO YOU DEVELOP YOUR LYRICS? DO YOU HAVE A LARGE COLLECTION OF ANCIENT WRITINGS? We find writing the lyrics tougher than writing the music usually. We have a modest collection of books based around the early Anglo-Saxon English historical period. Neither of us are great readers but if a book really interests me I can get through it. We find inspiration in historical events such as battles or historical figures such as Hereward the Wake (Rebel of the Marshlands). We are also inspired by poems and myths of the time too and the cultural outlook as well. My interest in the old Anglo-Saxon poems and writings extends to the Old English language itself. I have enjoyed teaching myself it, first to a basic level and now more in depth. YOU ARE OBVIOUSLY CAPABLE OF UNDERSTANDING/ READING/ SPEAKING (?) “OLD ENGLISH” – HOW DID YOU DEVELOP THIS ABILITY? ARE THERE SOME KIND OF “SCHOOLS” FOR IT IN YOUR COUNTRY? I have learned Old English to a good basic level through an excellent book by Stephen Pollington called „First Steps In Old English“. I think there are special courses you can go on to learn it too. I always prefer to teach myself though. Many of the words are easy as they are very similar or the same to modern English. The difficulty comes with the all the extra grammar and inflexions that Old English has compared to modern English. It’s a challenge I enjoy though and I prefer Old English to modern English as it’s a purer, more organic and more interesting form of the English tongue without all the junk words and degenerated grammar we have now. There is an Old English passage in „The Shield-Wall“. I wish I’d written more for the whole album. I’ll definitely do it for the next album. DO YOU TRY TO LIVE YOUR “NORMAL” LIFE IN THE SPIRIT OF PAGANDOM? ARE THERE SPECIAL RITES OR PLACES YOU ATTEND? I just live my life the way I want to live it really and I try to do my bit for the Anglo-Saxon English cause, mainly through my music. I don’t take part in any heathen rituals or anything. I don’t feel a need for that. I just have an interest in Anglo-Saxon heathenism as part of my general interest in Anglo-Saxon history. DO YOU FEEL THAT NOWADAYS SOCIETY HAS BECOME A VERY SUPERFICIAL INSTITUTION WITH THE VERY WRONG VALUES? Yes is the simple answer. Way too much importance is placed on material wealth instead of spiritual wealth. The general public (slaves is probably a more accurate term) are force fed an empty diet of soap operas, celebrity and consumerism to keep them entertained while they spiritually die. It’s no wonder so many people are depressed these days. COULD YOU TELL ME SOMETHING ABOUT THE RERELEASES OF YOUR EARLIER STUFF AND HOW IT IS ENHANCED? Each album has had improvements made to the artwork. That includes replacing black and white parts with colour and just making things look better really. Each album also has bonus tracks. „Deep Into Time“ has two unheard songs from 1998 that we recorded during the „Ours is the Kingdom“ sessions. They are „Fighting The Tide“ and a keyboard track called „A Fool’s Hope“. „The Fighting Man“ and „Engla Tocyme“ both have a demo version of a „Fighting Man“ track and a re-recording of a „Deep Into Time“ track. The re-recordings are „Deep Into Time“ and „Ancient Voice“. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE ACTUAL BRITISH EXTREME METAL SCENE? IS THERE A REAL SCENE ANYHOW? I’m not much concerned about the British extreme Metal scene. I’m sure such a thing exists but we don’t consider ourselves as part of it. We are our own people. We don’t consider ourselves as part of a scene. We just write and record albums and whoever wants to listen to them can. DO YOU HAVE SOME NEWS ABOUT SCEOT AND HIS SYMBEL PROJECT/ BAND? WILL THERE BE A RELEASE SOON? There is a new Symbel album in the works. There’s a chance that it will be released by our forthcoming new label. It’s up to Sceot if he wants us to handle it really. Maybe there will be a new album by the end of ’04. WILL YOU POSSIBLY BE ON TOUR SOON AND HOW DO YOU RECREATE YOUR MUSIC LIVE? DO YOU HAVE SESSION MUSICIANS? HAVE YOUR EVER PLAYED IN CENTRAL EUROPE UNTIL NOW? I’m afraid we won’t be on tour soon because we don’t play live. We’re not into the live scene basically. For us just writing and recording is what we enjoy. We never planned to take Forefather to the stage. A lot of people seem to want to see us live though. We might be talked into it one day. ANY LAST GOOD-SPIRITED WORDS? Thanks for supporting us by putting this interview together. I enjoyed answering it. I hope that the people out there like our new album and we look forward to recording the next one. Hail to you all and long live Metal!

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