!!!THRASH METAL FROM POLAND!!!
We had a conversation with Jakub (Bass) & Wojciech (Guitars). Enjoy!
Welcome to the FILTHY DOGS OF METAL Webzine.
Tell us a few things about FORTHIAN (Members, Starting Year etc).
Jakub: Forthian started in 2011 in Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski, Poland. The founding members were current lead guitarist – Wojciech Pietraszewski and me - Jakub Filipkowski, bassist. We met in high school. During this time, we played a few gigs and recorded several unofficial demo tapes before our paths parted because members scattered to different cities. We still kept in regular contact with Wojciech, as we ended up in cities not very far from each other – Opole and Wrocław. During one of the meetings over a glass of whiskey, the idea to record old songs came up. We started recording homemade demo, but in the meantime, it grew in us and we decided to get a new lineup together and approach it the right way. We broadened Forthian with new members: Marcin Czołnowski – drummer, Michał Klempka - guitarist and Maksymilian Wesołowski – vocalist. In this form, Forthian plays ever since today.
Wojciech: In the early days when I just wanted to play in a metal band, I met Jakub - he was a vocalist. After several rehearsals, he switched to bass because it was so damn hard to find any bassist playing music we had been listening to at that time. I mean classic death and thrash, not to mention good old heavy metal. Lots of people in our area were into -core’ish genres. Due to such circumstances accompanied by our passion for metal music Forthian started to exist.
You have recently released your album ''Gates of the Universe''. What is the feedback from your audience as well as from the press?
Jakub: We received a couple of invitations for interviews and there are reviews in progress. We also received some positive comments from people on concerts and from our few yet committed fans.
Wojciech: So far so good. The audience seems happy at the gigs and we have been receiving some nice feedback online. I’m often positively surprised when people try to compare our sound to a recognized band’s sound. They might mention names I’d never figure out which is really interesting.
Label or DIY and why?
Jakub: DIY. We wanted to stay independent and have full control of our music. Secondly, this is our debut album and most of us didn’t have any music career before, so we decided that it would be difficult to look for the interest from labels. It wasn’t easy, we made a lot of mistakes during the process, and it took an unnecessarily long time, but we have learned a lot.
Is there any funny or weird story from the recordings or from your live shows that you would like to share with us?
Jakub: It wasn’t that funny when we found out, maybe it is not funny at all, but I think it is worth mentioning. We almost lost all of our recorded material due to the flood in the studio. Finally, our producer managed to recover the files, but there was a time when we all thought the tracks were all gone.
Wojciech: When we were finishing the mixing process. it took me two Uber rides to get to the studio. If you ask why, it’s because on our way the driver had passed a car on a bridge and the police forced him to stop the car. Seconds later he was in handcuffs in the police car. I asked the officer what I was supposed to do and he told me to wait a few minutes. And so I did, but after a quarter or so I realized the driver may end up being arrested, as I heard he hadn’t had a valid passport. I decided to go out looking for another ride. After some waiting my new driver appears. Guess what, it was the same guy again.
Do you prefer Vinyl, Tape, CD or Digital Format and why is that?
Jakub: So far, "Gates of the Universe" has been released only in digital form. However, there are also plans for a CD release. We’re aware that physical media are losing popularity and that music listening has almost fully shifted to streaming platforms. Nevertheless, many people express interest in a physical CD at concerts, and besides, it seems to us that we should not always follow the paths set by trends and economic aspects.
Wojciech: I prefer digital format most of the time because of its convenience. However, there is something about physical releases that makes them special, like big detailed covers and unique sound for vinyls or the booklet with lyrics and band pictures for CDs.
Your music style is Thrash Metal. Which are your main influences (Favourite Artists / Bands etc.)
Jakub: We have quite a diverse musical background. E.g., our drummer - Marcin, played in death and black metal bands and Maks sang hard rock. We allow ourselves to use many genres, but we try to fit stylistically within classic thrash and heavy metal. In our songs, you can certainly hear mainly Metallica, Megadeth, and Judas Priest. Looking for inspiration we reach for the classics - Black Sabbath, Slayer, Anthrax, Death, but also for bands perhaps a little less popular - Artillery, Vector, Savatage, or Candlemass. In general, we do not look for direct references, and we do not try to imitate any band or strongly refer to past eras.
Which things do you think a band should sacrifice in order to succeed? Have you ever sacrificed anything in your life for a better future for your band?
Jakub: It seems to me that at a certain stage of a musical career, playing in a band always involves some form of sacrifice. Each member has a job, each one invests money and time in musical development and equipment, which doesn't always pay off. However, I have the impression that we don't see this as a great sacrifice, on the contrary, we are satisfied that despite other commitments we can follow our teenage dreams and simply make music.
Describe your ideal live show as a performance band. Have you already experienced that?
Jakub: I am a man with modest expectations – decent preparations, good monitors, and people who want to listen. Good beer would also be nice.
Wojciech: When we are on the stage, we give our energy to the people. When it gets back to us, then it’s a good show. When it gets back and it’s growing, then it’s perfect.
What attributes do you think that a new Thrash Metal Band should have in order to gain identity and be unique?
Jakub: It sounds like a truism, but I think it's important to remember that, regardless of genre, it's all about making music. There are a lot of bands that put a lot of effort into recreating the sound of the '80s or '90s. On the other hand, some people try to focus only on experiments and develop something truly new. I think, that both can be straight roads toward re-creation instead of creating something distinct
Wojciech: It needs to carry some message. Also, perseverance is required not to give up at some point.
Do you believe that Digital Platforms help the new Thrash Metal Bands? Which, do you think, is the ideal way for a band to promote its work?
Jakub: I have mixed feelings. Of course, with Digital Platforms, it is cheaper to publish and listen to music. In theory, you can easily reach a wide international audience. However, there are less pleasant threads behind this, such as the operation of recommendation algorithms and compensation for musicians. Is a playlist with thousands of likes better than a shelf of arranged CDs? I have serious doubts about it. I just believe the best promotion is good music.
Wojciech: I think these platforms may help, but it really depends. You might be lucky and blow up with just one hit song, or you might release three albums and end up barely being noticed. From my perspective, the ideal way would be to record an album, and then play lots of live shows, preferably including some big festivals.
Tell us a few things about the New Underground Metal Scene in Poland (Bands, Fanzines, Webzines, Metal Clubs etc.)
Jakub: I don't know of any zines still in operation today. However, the scene is doing well, in Wroclaw, the city in which we are currently creating and rehearsing, there are clubs like Alive and Liverpool that regularly provide audiences with concerts by both local and well-recognized bands. We also have several friendly bands, especially Sagittarius, from whom we receive great support.
Do you know anything about the Hellenic Metal Scene?
Jakub: I used to listen to a lot of Rotting Christ, I really appreciate Theogonia. The other bands I like are Septic Flesh and Dead Congregation. As for the newer stuff, I've heard Sacred Outcry – Towers of Gold, pretty good power metal.
The last 3 years, worldwide in the world, we have faced many dark, strange & new situations in our everyday life (covid, lock-down etc.) Did all of this affect you positively or negatively?
Jakub: We were lucky to emerge from this period mostly unscathed. Of course, there were some problems - for a while, at the beginning of the pandemic, we had to stop our rehearsals. Overall, I wouldn't say that we have any drastically negative experiences associated with this period.
What are your future plans?
Jakub: We plan a lot of concerts for the first half of the year to promote “Gates of the Universe”. We also have some new songs, so I hope that in the summer of 2024, we will start working on the new album.
Thank you very much for your time & keep up the good work! The closure is yours.
Jakub: Thank you for the opportunity to talk with you and share my thoughts about music and the industry. To everyone reading – if you’re interested in Forthian’s music, check out “Gates of the Universe” on YouTube:
or Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/16TCTA83ho2bX7SoydbCPt?si=ErTC4UieQUG2m618xajEkQ&nd=1&dlsi=b69053167a9b4e86 and see you on concerts!
Wojciech: That was a pleasure speaking with you. Thrashing never stops!
By Steve the Filthy Dog.