RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW DANISH ARTIST THE FOREVER NOW
Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
I was 4 when I saw a choir and wanted to join. I was too young at the time, so I started piano lessons instead. I think just enjoying making music, learning about it, and listening to it. It seems kind of obvious, but I think if you have any other motivations you’re going to find yourself getting disappointed. With each release you always hope it will reach a bit farther and find a few more people than the last one, but ultimately I think you have to do it for yourself.
Introduce us you and your musical history?
The Forever Now started out as a duo in Toronto, Canada with my high school friend Lauren Austin. Back then we were known as Winchester, which came from the street we lived on while in university in Cabbagetown. When I moved back to Copenhagen, Denmark, it felt like the right time to make it a solo project and collaborate with other artists, such as Trine Lyngvig who’s on our new single “Lover’s City”. I’m still close with Lauren though and I’m sure we’ll collaborate on another single.
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
Memes these days are 70% ads and 30% propaganda… okay I just made that up but I feel like there’s a nugget of truth in there. No, no conspiracy theories. I do think there’s a lot going on in the world that we should be critical of, but I think that critique should be done with a rigorous amount of research. Some of my favourite books right now are The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff, The Road to Unfreedom by Timothy Snyder, and This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein.
Did you buy anything you don’t need in the pandemic?
Audio plugins! There was this moment where I thought I would have tons of time to write music and all these music software companies put their plugins on sale. I think I should be more critical with what plugins I buy, as all too often they are fun to use for a bit and they I release that they don’t actually fit in to my workflow.
What useless party trick do you have?
I can say the alphabet backwards really fast. Like really. Really. Fast. No one asked me to do it for years, then one day I was giving a presentation in front of a few hundred people and they suddenly asked me to try it—lucky I still had it!
Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about?
Where to begin. I’ve got two black belts and briefly fenced. I was learning bagpipes and the fiddle at some point. I’ve competed in everything from trampoline to snowboarder cross, and have lived in 7 different countries.
If you had to describe your band/music to an alien how would you describe it?
I guess that depends. Do they have music in their culture? Can they hear? Do we live in a dark forest and they are enemies who have discovered us? Jokes aside, we make atmospheric and cinematic indie rock music with influences ranging from singer-songwriter and electronic music to score and modern classical that sounds like you woke up in a movie and you desperately need to run to the train station to catch your ex-lover before they leave the city for good.
What makes you stand out as a band/artist?
The sound of The Forever Now has evolved a lot with each new release. With the project, I’m really not afraid of exploring new territory in each song. I think it can get quite stale sometimes, both listening to the same type of music all the time and writing it. I don’t think anyone really listens to only one style anyhow, so this way it’s possible to bring in all kinds of references and try to create something a bit fresh.
I hear you have a new music, what can you tell us about it?
The song is about saying farewell to someone and knowing that neither of you want to say goodbye, but life is taking you in different places and you can’t stop it. It started out inspired by a specific experience, but I think it ended up being about the feeling of not wanting to disappear from a lot of people’s lives. I lived in Rome, Berlin, Vienna, Rotterdam, Toronto, New York, Sweden, and now Copenhagen, so I moved around a lot. That created a lot of experiences and connections that I wouldn’t want to trade for anything, but it also meant saying goodbye a lot and not knowing when I would see some people again, if ever.
What was the recording process like?
Difficult! In truth the main parts came together very quickly. I think that often happens when you’re feeling something in the moment. You think like “oh, I need an arpeggiator doing triplets on this organ to make it feel like a train that’s moving along” or “the piano should be really sparse so it sounds kind of lonely”. But once the original demo was up, it was a big fight. I put down the demo in February of 2019 in one day and didn’t touch it again until December. I spent 3 years adding and removing parts, re-arranging it, recording and re-recording the vocals, and searching for the right featured vocalist before I finally felt like it was finished. I’m really glad I was able to get Trine Lyngvig so sing the duet with me because her vocals are just perfect for the song and it wouldn’t have been the same without her. In the end there’s something like 40 vocals stacked together by the final climax. I gave my mixing engineer, Peter Katis, 9 pages of mixing notes including diagrams and I think he truly thought I had lost my mind. But in the end, he did a great job and I’m really happy with the result. If I rushed it I think it would have been missing something.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single?
Probably working with the harmonies and an outside collaborator. That’s something new for the project. Our last single Reciprocals was a duet but the vocals really mirrored each other, on this one we tried to create more variety and emotion by arranging the harmony in different ways throughout the song.
Would you change anything now its finished?
I don’t think so, as with most singles, I put so much time into them that once they’re done I’m more than ready to move on, so now I’m mostly looking forward to what’s next.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
Writing some more songs! “Lover’s City” is some new sonic territory for The Forever Now, so I’d like to explore that a little more and maybe one day return to the more synth-pop roots of the project.