At times, in a desperate bid to stand out from the wealth of musical talent that’s out there, some feel a need to be extreme or outdo others. Led Zeppelin, pfft, we’ll be Osmium, what’s more impressive then a Zeppelin? Aha, a rocket, Osmium Rocket! Yes! Vocally, the lines become so screamy, you can’t really make out what they’re saying, you might as well just get a Grizzly Bear, make it as mad as hell and record the ensuing carnage with a bit of auto tune because somehow, that vague shift in note will make it all the more palatable. I just did a rant, apologies.
Anyway, when we got a linkie through to a video by Forever Never (One Life), initial reaction was “oh god, release the Bears, here they come.” The Youtube video started, guitars drums, yup, but then the vocals kicked in, and not at all what I expected. A big smile spread across my face, and not only did the track not get skipped, but it went on repeat a few times I can tell you. Now of course, screaming vocals have a place, of course they do, but not every song needs them.
We chat to Renny about that awesome song, “One Life” and more.
We’ve been inundated with the clean vocals / scream growl vocals type bands, but it was refreshing to hear a real singer. Was that something you set out to do from the start, or was it just a natural evolution of your sound?
Firstly, thank you for that! Yes, I’ve always been inspired by big singers from outside of the rock and metal world. Terrence Trent D’arby, Seal and Michael Jackson being some of my personal favourites, so I’ve always wanted that side of my influences to come through, but I actually think it’s taken me this long for it to come through properly. So in answer to the last part, it isn’t what I planned from the beginning BUT my voice and also the sound of the band has evolved to a point where it now makes complete sense in line with one another. ZEN I think it’s called. Haha. When we first came on the scene, perhaps I had more angst within me so the screaming side was more prominent – nowadays it’s all about creating a more positive vibe with our music – there’s plenty of bands serving up the awesome aggression and misery – we are offering something different now.
The video for One Life seems to epitomise the live for the moment message of the song, how much fun was it filming that, and where was it shot?
The video was shot in Tottenham at a friend of a friend’s shared living space, and it was such a fun day overall! We got some friends and fans involved and the aim of the day was just to have a lot of fun. We had some pizza, we had some beer, and we sang the song… lots. Obviously. Good times were had by all we think!
Some great positive feedback on your videos for all to see, how much of a smile does that put on your face when you read good things like that?
It’s always nice seeing positive feedback. Especially when you take into account the journey a song makes from the original idea just jamming on a guitar, through all the various phases and ends up as a finished recording WITH a video on top. It’s a relief when the feedback is quite as positive as it has been, but I think “excitement” is the overriding feeling when you release new material. There have been a lot of smiles in the FN camp, and I hope we have passed a few on to listeners too!
The single was released on the 20th November, can you tell us about how that song came to be written and your feelings just prior to its release?
The song was inspired by the London riots of 2011. Originally the lyrics and the vibe was different. It was more “pointing the finger’, whereas now it is more aimed at giving people encouragement to succeed in life. I hope that the song can inspire some positive emotions and ultimately put some smiles on faces.
It also seems that you’re not adverse to jumping in on other people’s photos 🙂 But it seems you genuinely have a great time with your fans. Do you feel that some bands perhaps miss that connection and maybe take their fans for granted?
haha! Interacting with our fans has always been something that we have enjoyed – and long may it continue! I think some bands perhaps do take it for granted, but that’s why we make such a conscious effort to keep in touch with our FNMATES. We will remember all of our hardcore fans that have supported us from the beginning as we progress. We have fun with each other and we have fun with our fans too. Hopefully we can always keep that relationship strong!
Taking that message of “One Life”, what defining moments have you lived by with that kind of Carpe Diem in mind?
Getting the band back together again! One day it dawned on me that you’ve only got one crack at life, so why live a life without the one thing that makes you happy. I think that goes for anything that you do in life. Don’t forego things that make YOU the happiest you can be. Regardless of what other people might say or think around you.
You’ve mentioned before in an interview that in your home town a number of venues have shut down, just wondered why you think that sort of thing is happening on a national level?
Yes it’s been a shame to see so many places shut in Essex over the years. The Army & Navy in Chelmsford, The Twist in Colchester and now at the end of the year The Square in Harlow is set to go. I think it’s because bands at a lower level don’t get quite as much support from fans as the bigger bands do. You see it all the time where someone won’t travel to Birmingham for travel costs (for example) to see a band at our level, but then a Slipknot or a Bullet for My Valentine play there and then all of a sudden they magic the incredible extra funds involved with an arena gig ticket, and travel, for a WAY less personal and intimate gig experience. People have got to get behind the smaller venues – at the end of the day every band needs them to hone their craft, and without them it makes life very difficult!
Also, you’ve just announced a tour in 2016, will be good to see you in Nottingham! When does the preparation for that start, and how excited are you for that?
We first have to get some rehearsals in the bag for our upcoming recording. We’re doing an EP so we need to get the new songs primed and ready for that initially – we will probably start tour rehearsals in January. Can’t wait to get out to some places which we’ve not seen since 2012 or earlier – and it’ll be especially cool with The Defiled who we have known for a long time!
You were obviously moved by the tragic events in Paris, and the response from people round the world has both been supportive and respectful (such as the awesome England fans at the football game). How important is it do you think that a united response free from knee jerk reactions is?
I made a video about this right after the events, and I don’t think I can really sum it up any better than in that video. We all have to stand together! Check out the video on our Facebook page if it’s of interest!
I was having a brief twitter “conversation” with Torri Higginson (Stargate Atlantis), and there was a chap who seemed to be taking issue with the her approach of being even handed and level headed (and even suggested a vetting process which reminded me of something that the mayor of Roanoke had come out with regarding Japanese internment camps). Two questions with this in mind. Firstly, how hard is it to show restraint on social media with things that you feel strongly about when somebody is being confrontational or extremely persistent? Secondly, as your fan base grows, and I’m sure it will because you’re awesome, does the level of social responsibility become greater for you with your interactions on social media?
There’s a fine line between casting an opinion and being controversial at times. I think as people in bands, you have a lot of people that look up to you. You have every right to deliver your opinion – and people are interested in what you have to say – but there is a responsibility there too. I have typed plenty of things online… taken a deep breath and then swiftly deleted it and rephrased it into something more palatable. Your first knee jerk response to something is seldom the right one to be putting in the public domain. If you take a step back, and reanalyse you’ll probably find a much more level headed response. It’s not about NOT casting your own opinions, but you do just have to be careful about how you say it.
Website – http://forevernever.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/forever_never
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/foreverneverofficial/