For those who grew up in France listening to hardcore music in the late nineties, the name Forest in Blood should remind you something. Formed in 1998 in Paris, the band has played many shows and festivals, and kept silent for 10 years, and they’re now back with their new album “Pirates”. We met Elie (vocals), Pierre (bass) and Barth (guitar) at Hellfest Open Air 2019.
The band is 20 years old, but it seems there were highs and lows. What is it like to be back after a 10 year break ?
Elie : It’s quite positive to me. It’s like a journey. We had some good winds with us, then the wind stopped blowing and it’s been quite for some time and we’re now back with the storm. We’re proud to be back !
Barth : We’re quite fine with Hervé’s gender change (laugh)
Pierre : I’m on the bass and I used to play in The Arrs. I’m the newest band member. It’s great to be back with such a band like Forest in Blood.
“Pirates” comes after 20 year as a band and it’s like a concept album. Could you tell is more about the theme you chose ?
Barth : I really wanted to make an album that deals with the piracy theme, the need of freedom, the struggle with the rules and the establishment, live the life you want. The guys thought I was crazy, with that Jack Sparrow-thing. It really matches my valours and I wanted to spread this through the design, the lyrics and the music. The guys were OK with this, and Elie wrote a lot of lyrics allegories and meanings between the lines. This is what we all are. After 20 years, it’s what we could imagine when we’ve started the band, without knowing it.
How was the recording exprience with Francis Caste ?
Barth : We thought about this concept in May, and we had to release the album in October. We really had to challenge ourselves, and try to make an album in 2 months. Pierre even asked me to record a guitar solo, maybe 2 … I could barely play a solo, but I did it ! We wrote this album super quickly. Even if we could do it better or have some more ideas about it, this album is straight-to-the-point.
Pierre : The recording experience was quite oldschool. As I know Francis Caste for a long time, it’s been super easy to record this album.
Elie : I know Francis for quite some time, as I already recorded 2 albums with him. It’s the only guy I really get along well in the studio. I did the first Forest in Blood album and the first Apocalypse Now album with. He is a very cool guy and provide a lot of ideas, but it’s up to you to follow his advice.
Is this album a kind of midlife crisis ?
Barth : some of us will be 50 soon, so midlife is way over, haha ! Some of us have kids, but we wanted to celebrate the the 20th anniversary. Even if we were silent for about 10 years, we couldn’t keep things were we left them. We still had some ideas in mind and there were some goals to fulfill. Our wives really expect it’s gonna end soon though, haha !
Can we expect some more tours and shows ?
Elie : Yeah, but we have kids ! We would like to play on some bigger festivals next year and we will have to promote our next album, to be released in January 2020, and spread the piracy all over Europe !
Barth : We focus on the shows we really want to make, as we don’t have as much time as we had a few years ago. However, we really want to play with friends and have a good time.
How different will be your next album ?
Barth : You can’t change a pirate. We want to expand our concept, maybe use a song from “Pirates” as a starting point, as “Black Parrot”. We will write this album all together.
Pierre : We will take our time to write good songs. I think the next album will be maybe less spontaneous, but way deeper.
Hardcore/metal was born in the nineties. How do you feel about its evolution ?
Barth : Before we’ve started the band, the hardcore/metal genre didn’t even exit, or not under this name. Some people used to call this “deathcore” back in the days. We’ve always listened to hardcore, thrash-metal and we’re deeply rooted there, with bands like Madball, Slayer, Testament.
Pierre : We are what we used to listen to back in the 90’s, during our teenage years. These bands had a major influence on us.
Barth : We play a music that sums up these influences.
Elie : We’ve been also influenced by smaller bands, like Kindred. Congress too !
Barth : Lucky are we because we were here from the beginning. There are plenty of bands in this genre now, and they are super talented. We are less talented, but as we are quite old, so it’s OK, haha ! I also really dig the first All Out War and Kickback albums.
Are there any bands you recently dig ?
Elie : Get The Shot !
Barth : I’m more into Black Tongue. The last album is a killer !
Pierre : Get The Shot, like Elie, and Rise Of The Northstar !