You could be forgiven if you haven’t come across Forever Still. The Danish rockers are one of Nuclear Blast‘s more recent additions. The band has built a fanbase with a strong DIY approach and have toured alongside the likes of Lacuna Coil and Children of Bodom as well as played Europe’s most prominent festivals including Main Stage at Bloodstock which suggests that they aren’t going to be slowing down anytime soon. Vocalist Maja Shining is excited about their newest album, ‘Breathe In Colours’, released on March 29 through Nuclear Blast. “We finished it in the summer so you get a little anxious as musicians – we are so ready to share this. We spent a year making it and we’re beyond excited to get it out and everybody hear what we’ve been doing,” she says.
‘Breathe In Colours’ sounds like a definite progression from their previous ‘Tied Down’, especially vocally, Shining points out. “Speaking vocally, it is definitely developed, and the music has too. For me, vocally I have been affected by playing live. You get such a different energy and much more physicality when you run around on stage and performing songs. The aggressive vocals came from that. I started singing the ‘Tied Down’ songs with a lot more grit and aggressive vocal which I was inspired to do running around and pushing forward. When you play live so much it’s technically quite demanding playing six nights a week, for a couple of months. You can’t push your voice too far; you have to practice technicality and I feel that has improved the vocals as well.”
‘Breathe In Colours’ is a well thought out collection of songs. Each track feels like it’s part of a story. Shining elaborates: “Honestly, I feel like all these songs were picked because we thought they were the best of the best, we’ve definitely written more but I feel like all the songs on this album can stand alone. We didn’t want an album sounding like the same song over and over again or an album with a couple of singles and a lot of fillers. We worked towards making unique tracks that were strong on their own. If people listen to the singles Rew1nd, Breathe In Colours and (to be released) Is It Gone, they are going to hear some of the variety of the album. If they like something a bit more heavy, check out Survive as well.”
Early on, Forever Still poured their own blood, sweat and tears into their musical journey. That DIY spirit caught the eye of Nuclear Blast, which Breathe In Colours will be released through. “The fact we signed with Nuclear Blast was because they were so super supportive of our whole DIY approach to everything. They said ‘we love the music videos, the production and all that stuff. It’s great, just keep doing what you’re doing what you want to do and we’re going to support you’. We didn’t have to go into this little box and make some specific and someone had to tell us ‘that’s not what I want’, ‘that’s not good enough’. Obviously, they had their suggestions about what singles to go with but in the end the creative process is our own and our decisions are our own. Nuclear Blast are a big help to push the band out to more people.”
What is clear listening to the album is the many different elements which can make it tough to nail down to a specific sound. Even from their earlier releases you hear splashes, but it feels like genre mixing is something the band is keen to continue to push the envelope with. “That’s always so hard to put yourself into that little box, like ‘this is who we are’, ‘this is what we sound like’. In short, we are a modern rock band. I hear some people calling it an alternative metal band, a melodic hard rock band, you know, all these things. Honestly, I love all the genres and labels because that’s what I feel like we do, a lot of different things. On this album, we’ve definitely been trying some new things and also been inspired by some post-rock some of those moments but then mixing up with something completely different. We have some very pure electronic moments and very stripped down and even some djent-inspired riffs. I get all the different labels and welcome it.”
The first taste of Breathe In Colours is the track ‘Rew1nd’ which is the album opener and sets the tone for the album. Accompanying the track is a vibrant video clip which has an underlying theme that also runs through the album. “It definitely touches on the overall theme of the album which was inspired by watching videos and looking at the world today and seeing a lot of these horrors happening. The climate is collapsing, the corruption in our government, a lot of favours been preached and people are closing walls around themselves. That’s a lot of the inspiration of the music video. We went to Germany to film it and went to five different locations to do what we wanted to do. People should probably watch the video but there is definitely a positive to all this. It’s not just dark and dreary, there is still some colours inside the world you just have to work a little to find them.”
You really get a sense of that theme lyrically but what makes it powerful is the more personal aspect Shining brings to each of the tracks. “For me, lyrics have always been super personal. That’s definitely a huge part of it. Our song starts with the instrumental pieces, they spark some sort of emotion that will put the origin theme on the table. They are definitely connected to each other, the music and the lyrics; at least to me it makes sense. I hear something and I get a specific emotion from it and that’s the vein I’m going to write in. Lyrics have always been very personal, very emotional for me, it’s how I want to write. It’s been that way since we started. On this album, it has also been inspired by the overall theme we just talked about but still on a more personal level like how you see yourself in a world deteriorating and still trying to find the positives and fight your way through. The whole theme is going to tie into the album artwork and booklet and I’m excited for people to see it. We spent quite some time on the artwork and booklet, I know so many people have gone digital and aren’t ever going to see it but still want to make it a special experience for those who do.”
The album ‘Breathe In Colours’ is out March 29 via multiple platforms, including iTunes.