INTERVIEW WITH SIMON SCHILLINGER OF FOLK METAL BAND FINSTERFORST

After giving their new album a full marks rating, Kit Rathenar was as you’d imagine overly excited to grab a few words with FINSTERFORST… here is what was said!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello, Kit here from Destructive Music in the UK. Thank you very much for your time and for granting us this interview!



Hello Kit, you’re very welcome!



– I’ve heard the new album “Rastlos” and reviewed it for Destructive Music, and I was very impressed. Are you satisfied with the album? Is it a progression from your previous work, or do you see it as more of a consolidation?



First of all: thank you very much for your review! We are more than honored to read such praising words. It is an amazing feeling to realize that we obviously can overwhelm certain people with our music. If I may quote you: “…filled with pride, yearning, beauty and sorrow, Rastlos is an anthem for the twilight, music to be played at the funerals of the gods.” Holy crap! That is one hell of an awesome commendation, Kit! Thank you so much for your support – we raise our glasses! Cheers to you! :-)

We put so much effort into the whole production of this album and I couldn’t be more satisfied with the result. “Rastlos” certainly is not a simple consolidation of our previous album “…zum Tode hin”. It clearly shows a big step forward and proves the enormous progression we have experienced within the last couple of years. As I personally said some time ago: With “Rastlos” our musical quality grew up and is 500% above the level of the previous work. Well, needless to say, that the whole style of our music changed quite much from the beginning of our existence until now. Finally, the time has come to reveal this musical genre called Black Forest Metal! ;-)



– Will there be any special or limited edition formats of the new album, such as digipaks or bonus track versions?



Yes, the first printed copies will be released as a fancy digipak. The visual appearance of the whole layout – besides the cover artwork – also will vary then from the one of the following usual jewel case version. Unfortunately we didn’t really have the opportunity to produce and deliver some bonus track this time, but in future we certainly will think about such stuff.



– You’ve changed singers since your previous album “…zum Tode hin”, losing Marco Schomas and replacing him with Olli Berlin. What kind of effect has this had on the band, and how have your fans reacted to the change?



I think there was nothing but positive reactions to this change. Olli had some enormous great effect on Finsterforst. Since he is one hell of a fucked up and awesome mate, he also delivered so much new energy to the band and is responsible for this absolute brilliant performance of the vocals at “Rastlos”. For our future works I know now, what kind of monster we have at the microphone and I can’t wait to compose new material.



– Can you tell us a little about your musical influences? What music did you grow up listening to, and what styles or bands were you inspired by when you were first developing Finsterforst’s sound? Are there any bands you particularly admire or bands you would like the chance to play live with?



When I was two or three years old my father put his stereo headphone on my ears while he was listening to Phil Collins or Chris de Burgh. I believe there is existing some picture where I – little Simon – look pretty amazed, stunned and confused about what sound was coming out of this thing on my head and entering my ears, haha! Long story short, I was spellbound by music from the first second on and terrorized my mother by mouth drumming while I was listening to different interprets day-to-day – Phil Collins, Simon & Garfunkel, Michael Jackson, Herbert Grönemeyer, anything!

Later on, through my whole childhood and youth I went through so many different music genres like Eurodance, Techno/Hardcore/Rave, Hip Hop, Punk and of course Metal.

Already the first works of Finsterforst show, that several pagan metal bands were inspiring me to write some particular kind of metal music. Back then we insisted on an accordion in each and every song we will write and so we found an accordion player, which by the way is a good friend of mine since my birth. The idea was to create folky and boozy music combined with a decent use of black metal. Within short time it was obvious, that the mood of our music got a bit deeper and more serious. I would never hide the fact, that my all time favorite music is something atmospheric as you can experience in bands like Bathory or Moonsorrow. But in general I am influenced by anything that happens around me, not only music.

With which bands I would like to share the stage? Let’s say Deep Purple.



– You currently write all your songs in German, so for the benefit of your English fans, would you explain for us the lyrical concepts and the meanings of the songs on “Rastlos”? What is it that inspires you in writing your songs?



The lyrics are mainly written by our singer Olli and guitar player David. I guess sometimes private experiences and situations lead to creative phases. All the lyrics of “Rastlos” treat the same topic as the album is designed as a concept album. Since the music is very emotional and transmits dynamic and atmospheric ups and downs, the lyrics do so too. The main protagonist of the story lost everything and was forced to leave his homeland. It is not hard to imagine what kind of emotions and feelings you have in such a situation: hate, love, longing for the past, hope for a better future, rage and desire for revenge.



– What was the writing and recording process for the new album like? Do you have any good stories from the studio for us?



Haha, every single day in studio is filled with eternal freakiness! As always we entered the Iguana Studios of Christoph Brandes. During the last years we became good friends and work perfectly together. The regular massive consume of knuckles of pork is very essential for any success in our productions and thanks to many Bud Spencer movies we never fall into some bad-tempered hole during the recording process, haha! Before we entered the studio I composed all the music until most of the details were settled. The lyrics were written by Olli and David after the composing process.



– Are you planning to tour in support of the album, and if so, what dates do you have lined up so far? Can we expect to see Finsterforst in the UK any time soon?



Unfortunately there is not a real tour planned so far. We will celebrate the release of “Rastlos” in our hometown Freiburg at 1st of December and some more upcoming gigs are already confirmed though. But those will take place only in Germany. I really hope we can perform live in the UK as soon as possible and have some kick-ass time with you guys! :-)



– Obviously being a German band you have exposure first and foremost in the German metal scene. What kind of fanbase do you have outside Germany, and would you like to be better known internationally?



Obviously we are quite known internationally and we couldn’t be happier about that. This year for example, we played in Romania and the audience was reacting euphoric like hell! Also in countries like Switzerland, France or Netherlands the people get nuts for us. It is an amazing feeling and we can’t wait to get known better and better around the world.



– You’ve recently signed to Napalm Records – congratulations on that, by the way! What opportunities will this new deal offer Finsterforst, and what plans are you making now for the future?



Thank you very much! :-) We are very happy about this deal with Napalm Records. It delivers us great opportunities to progress and develop within this music scene. Be sure, our future music will never stop to grow and become bigger and deeper! Further on we want to invade as many stages as possible!



– Finally, any other thoughts or info you would like to share with our readers?



Thank you very much for your support! Give “Rastlos” a chance to reach your ears and minds. I hope we will see all of you mates during some of our concerts so we can share an enormous amount of beer together! ;-)





Thanks again for your time and all the best,



You are welcome! Thank you very much for your interest! Hail and cheers to you, Kit!