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Dark Forest - Tales from the forest (Dave Parks) - Online Nov. 2006


Hi Dave, Alex from "The Metal Observer" here, how are things in the DARK FOREST camp?

Hi Alex, things are good over here; the first snow of the year has fallen this morning.

 

DARK FOREST has just released the first full-length CD with “Aurora Borealis”. Tell us all about how it came to be to kick things off.

“Aurora Borealis” was self-recorded this past summer and released in September 2006. It is the first full-length release and includes two songs from “Demo 2005”, those being “Under The Northern Fullmoon” and “Eternal Forest”. Just after the release of “Demo 2005”, I had already started new material which I planned for this release and worked on new material throughout the end of 2005 and into 2006. The composing of “Aurora Borealis” was completed in March 2006 and released 5-6 months later.

 

Where would you see the biggest differences between the demo and the album?

By far the biggest difference is in the recording quality. As I self-record all of my material, I have complete control of these aspects. There were better tones used all around; from the guitar tone, to new drum samples, different keyboards, to different microphones, everything was much clearer.

As far as the music goes, I feel that there is much more dynamics in the new songs and the songs have matured in the writing process.

 

In the studio you are a one-man project, but you also have a live line-up. Have you ever thought of also bringing some of the other guys into the studio?

At this point, I don’t plan on bringing anyone else into the recordings of DARK FOREST, with the possible exceptions of additional choirs and session drumming in the future. These are only ideas, however.

 

Have you ever run into passages, where you wanted to go further, but did not, because you reached your personal limits?

There are always personal limits in creativity and I have run into situations where I would like to expand but could not for various reasons. This is common in music and once one can go around these obstacles, these limits become smaller.

 

I hear influences from MOONSORROW, some FALKENBACH in your music, where would you see your main musical influences?

This is very true; MOONSORROW and FALKENBACH are very important music to me all together. My influence lies in the music of Scandinavia, Metal and not. Recently, I have been listening to much more Scandinavian Folk music, without the Metal elements.

 

Something also worth mentioning is the artwork, which has been done by Kris Verwimp, which information did he get from you to create his masterpiece and why did you choose him in first place?

Kris has done a very good job on the visual presentation of “Aurora Borealis”. For the most part, Kris paints from music… and I had left him to do such. We spoke about general framework ideas for the cover, but the rest was his creativity from the music of DARK FOREST. I chose Kris with very little hunting for other artists because his art has been favourites of mine for quite some time. I will be going back to him for future releases.

 

Do you think that giving someone a package like this might make them actually rather buy the CD than simply download it?

I do believe that reading inside of what an artist has to say does encourage support, yes.

 

Lyrically you seem to deal with the Nordic myths, could you elaborate a little more about the lyrics on the album?

The lyrics are tied with stories of the north, yes. Further, the discussion in DARK FOREST lyrics is of nature tied in with these concepts. Most DARK FOREST lyrics are descriptions and narrations of natural atmospheres. The lyrics connect the simplicity and serenity of nature to the ones up high.

 

Calgary is not exactly the place one would really connect with the Vikings, what inspired you to start up a Viking Metal project?

Heritage.

 

Had you originally wanted to form a full band or was it a conscious decision right from the start to do it all by yourself?

The original thought was for a full band. In this period of time this was not very possible so I went forward myself with the equipment that I had.

 

With the EP and this album, did you create any label interest yet? And what would a label have to be able to offer you for you to consider it for DARK FOREST?

There is no label interest as of yet. I have distribution help but there have been no talks of signing from any labels. I cannot really comment on the specifications that a signing would have to offer… I will see with time.

 

What is your personal favourite and least favourite song of DARK FOREST and why?

This is a difficult question; By far the most personal and meaningful song to me is “Journey To Ever-Eternal Skies”. With the smallest amount of lyrics of any DARK FOREST song, the atmosphere created within this song had exceeded anything I had ever planned.

All songs of DARK FOREST are important to me and I am not sure I can pick a least favourite song.

 

What are your goals for DARK FOREST and how have they changed since you started the band?

The original goal of DARK FOREST was to create atmospheric epic Metal with influence from heathenism. The goal has remained the same but the magnitude of this is always the future goal.

 

Calgary has some really good bands, which seem to have some issues, though, to get the whole promotional side going. How do you see the local scene and which bands would you see as the ones to most watch out for?

Calgary does have very good bands and you are correct about the promotion. Here in Calgary and surrounding area, there is an abundance of Death Metal and Thrash Metal. While I do not listen to Death or Thrash Metal, I do enjoy getting out and watching these live. You are able to go to see local bands almost every weekend if you would like. The way I see, the local scene is growing and becoming more active, as more bands arise. We are starting to see a wider assortment of Metal in our area, as well. As for a few I would like to mention; NEBUCADNEZZER, the band of my live drummer. OPERATION WINTER MIST, Metal dealing with Canadians in war. VERBAL DECEPTION, Pirate Metal. NORRATH, newer epic Metal in Calgary…amongst others.

 

What do you do when you are not making music? Last time I checked bills didn't get paid by enthusiasm and creativity, they still want money…

I am a student now, so this takes time I had before. In the free time that I have, I focus into DARK FOREST to create future material, as well as promote current material. Other than this, I spend time with my girlfriend, drink beer, record other bands and do various small jobs.

 

If your music was an emotion, which one would it be?

Serenity.

 

How do you define success? Only in terms of sales or is there a different definition of success for you as a band?

Since the first person bought “Demo 2005”, I have considered DARK FOREST successful.

Anything beyond this is bonus.

 

If you could not compose and/or play music, what would you do?

Work.

 

What do you love to hate in today's music industry?

The dollar.

 

Do you think that there still is a real underground, as there had been many years back?

Not on the same scale years back, no.

There is still one, though.

 

What made you start to play music and form a band in first place?

I began music at the age of 10, this was on the guitar. It was only within the past few years that I had taught myself keyboards. I have always self-recorded everything I have done, as far as I can remember. DARK FOREST was created from recordings of the style I had been playing a lot of at that point in time. These recordings were pursued and expanded into songs, which led to a release.

 

Which album in musical history would you wish was yours and why?

This is very difficult. I suppose that this question indirectly asks for my favourite album.

In this case, I must choose either WINDIR – “Arntor” or SUMMONING – “Oath Bound”.

These are both very important albums to me; I would solely want them to be mine to know that I had composed them.

 

How important do you think is the internet nowadays to promote an up and coming band?

The internet is a very useful tool for promoting your music. DARK FOREST has benefited greatly from the use of the internet for announcements, information and communication.

The internet can broadcast information to a wider audience faster than ever before, very useful.

 

If time travel was possible, which historical period would you like to visit and why? What would you miss the most from our time?

The Viking Age, of course.

I’d imagine that I would miss electricity most.

 

What would you do, if you were sitting at the bar, Lemmy came in, sat down next to you and ordered a big glass of milk?

Tell him that I saw him on the 30th anniversary tour. He would then exchange the milk for beer and we would jam.

 

Just as a side note - what do you think of "The Metal Observer"?

Great source of Metal you have here, Alex.

 

My traditional last question is: What is your favourite question about DARK FOREST that you have never been asked, but would finally want to answer?

Ich weiß nicht!

Discography:

2005: Demo 2005 (Demo)
2006: Aurora Borealis (CD, Self-Production)

Alexander Melzer



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