A Forest Of Stars interview (12/2008)
|With:||Mister Curse, The Gentleman, Mr T.S. Kettleburner|
|Conducted by:||Lucas (e-mail)|
A Forest Of Stars
- Hello, this is Lucas from Metal Storm, thanks for agreeing to do this interview. I only have a couple of questions for you, but I hope you find them interesting. So, first of all, A Forest Of Stars is a relatively new band. Not much is known about you, so can you please give us some sort of introduction?
The Gentleman: We are a collection of vaudeville, classical and burlesque musicians, inspired by the teachings of our ages' greatest writers, composers, artists and mediums. Essentially, we are hoping to appoint a fusion of romanticism, the occult, psychedelia, folk and the improprieties of madness into one unsightly whole, much against the wishes of both Her Majesties' Government and indeed fashionable society at large. I think that just about sums up a) our intentions and b) just how delusional we all are.
Where does the bandname come from?
Kettleburner: The Club's moniker was realised by the Gentleman, who had originally envisioned it for a different purpose. It was assigned before we had produced any work as, for us, it conjured something visually that we had the desire to produce through auditory means.
Gentleman: More specifically (and prosaically), I remember myself and Mister Curse sat in a gin palace, scouring through a bundle of foolscap notes and picking it out from a mass of random writing we’d collected over the years.
- "The Corpse Of Rebirth", your début album, contains an experimental gamut of styles. Your influences must be very diverse. What are your primary influences and are there any members with their own favourite styles or genres?
Curse: Personally I draw influence from a number of styles. I tend to find more in common with any music that I perceive as of a 'dark' nature rather than pigeonholing things too much.
Kettleburner: I think it would be irrelevant to mention any specifics; I shall let you make your own guesses. The important factor here is to know where to draw the line with homage and citation. That said, we had a particularly jovial time with a reworking we did of a Max Bruch composition: the first half of ‘Microcosm’ is based almost entirely from harmonic and melodic ideas he composed.
- When I'm listening to your music I always feel warped back in time. Now, I am no expert on literature or history at all, but the specific era I feel 'warped back in' is the time of Dorian Grey, of the famous book "The Picture Of Dorian Grey" (by Oscar Wilde). Does this make you frown your eyebrows in surprise or do you say "hey, that's what we were aiming for!"?
Curse: Personally, as a so-called poet I have certainly attempted to approach the subject of life leading to decay in the lyrics, so yes, in a way you could liken my thought process to that of Wilde’s Dorian Grey. My writing was not specifically influenced by any particular literature though, just my fever dreams.
Kettleburner: Perhaps we're just a product of the age that we're living in?
Gentleman: In terms of period, you are correct sir, though I am constantly surprised when we aimed for a more futuristic sound, and still our nineteenth century leanings shine through. I suppose it is futile to deny your upbringing and background. A god ignored is a demon born, as they say!
- Who writes the lyrics?
I've put some effort into understanding them and wondered if this were was some concept behind them. I'll be honest here, I didn't quite understand the hidden meaning, if there is one. I thought the third track, "Male", could be about drugs. I got that impression from sentences such as "all stars screaming / ...needle holes in heaven...", "snorted the sun, saved the moon for morning" and especially "down dragon/moon chased". This doesn't seem to be in line with the other lyrics though, which seem to mostly center about abstract themes, the end of the world and esotericism. Can you shed some light on the lyrics for me?
Curse: The lyrics are written by myself. As far as ‘Male’ is concerned, it is about a thoughtless self-obsessed man who has lost compassion and is consumed by strength and chemical anger. The rest of the lyrics are indeed of an esoteric nature. I don’t want to divulge too much about them, suffice to say that they are a juxtaposition of seasons and mentality and the journey from life to death.
Who designed your logo?
Kettleburner: We are lucky enough to have a close affiliation with the Blonde Dwarf printing company (known in more orthodox circles as Grum Media), who have been extremely gracious to offer their services for various visual and webological means.
Gentleman: I would like to add that to say we were pleased with the outcome would be somewhat of a churlish understatement.
The cover art for their debut album "The Corpse Of Rebirth".
- The aura around the band is mysterious and obscure and evokes a lot of questions about the imagery and symbols you use. In your logo, the stars seem to depict certain symbols. I can see the male-sex-symbol on the right, and an upside down female-sex symbol on the left. I can't figure out what the others are, can you tell me what they are what they mean?
Gentleman: In the spirit of keeping that very aura, it would perhaps be unfair to give all our secrets away – it is our desire to encourage people to search out answers for themselves, and hopefully to gain some enjoyment and reward from succeeding. However, it seems you are on the correct path already, and so I invite you to follow it – what I would say about the two that you’ve spotted is that in the occult sense they not only represent Male and Female, but also Hate and Love. As for what the symbols mean, I suppose nothing more (or more accurately less) than the importance of duality. Or, to play the game further and quote the aforementioned Mr Wilde: “All art is meaningless”. Take what you will, make of it what you will and discard what you will; the meagre and ham-fisted occult oddities we sprinkle throughout our work are there to be abused and interpreted toward your own ends!
- Do you have any live shows planned? What can the audience expect? Or are live shows out of the question for you?
Curse: You may well hear from us in the not-too-distant future...
Gentleman: Plans are afoot, but I would rather not say anything until they are set in stone; it would be arrogant and distasteful of us to encourage false hope.
- And the obligatory last question: what are your short and long-term plans with the band?
Curse: Personally, to realize in sound things that would never have seen (or heard) the light (or lack of it) otherwise.
Kettleburner: I feel that statement speaks for us collectively. The Club has a definite idea of what it wants to achieve. The new year of 1889 shall bring to us the opportunity to represent our work through visual means. Our webological portal at www.aforestofstars.co.uk will herald such forthcomings upon their arrival.
||Posted on 15.12.2008 by If you're interested in extreme, often emotional and underground music, check out my reviews. I retired from reviewing, but I really used to be into that stuff.|
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