Interview with Herr Morbid (Forgotten Tomb)

Republished from the webzine i worked for at that time. October 11th, 2015

Forgotten Tomb was born in 1999 in Italy as a Herr Morbid one-man project after the disbanding of his previous black metal band Sacrater. All releases by Forgotten Tomb were recorded only by Herr Morbid up until the album Love’s Burial Ground.

Hello Herr Morbid and first of all thank you for doing this ! Tell us more about the new album, fresh released “Hurt yourself and the ones you love” ?
It’s extremely heavy and dark, genre-ridden, it doesn’t really sound like any other band around these days. Of course we kept the main aspects of our sound intact, especially when it comes to Black Metal, Dark-wave and Doom influences, but we increased the heaviness of the riffs and the grooves, and you can spot some influences from early ‘90s Metal like Buzzoven or Fudge Tunnel or Alice In Chains and such. It’s all part of my background so you can hear it from time to time. This said, if one followed our evolution over the years will definitely love the record, since it’s one of our heavier ones, it’s extremely grim and negative, with very violent and controversial lyrical concepts.

Forgotten Tomb was born as one-man project, after the disbanding of your previous black metal band Sacrater. All releases by Forgotten Tomb were recorded only by you until the album “Love’s burial ground” and at the moment you have some new members and you are not alone anymore. Is it better to work alone or accompanied?
Besides changing our guitar-player in 2011, I think we have one of the longest running line-ups in Black Metal and I hope it will always be like that. I always use to say we’re more a gang than a band, so this probably also helps keeping each other together and fighting difficulties and disappointments, which are inevitable over such a long-lasting career. FT was never supposed to be a one-man band in the first place, I just couldn’t find the right people to play with in my area at that time, so I decided to save some time by playing everything by myself on earlier releases, most notably the demo and “Songs To Leave” (on “Springtime Depression” I had a session-drummer). I actually started playing live with a temporary line-up in 2002. When all the right people finally came together in 2003 the popularity of the band was already blossoming so we immediately started playing live and rehearsing as a band. I still write 90% of the material for the band so the direction we took on the various albums was mostly my idea. Of course the other guys contributed to some stuff and in general we share opinions about the music, etc.

When I first listen the album I’ve noticed a change, was there a particular motive to ”deviate” from your earlier sound, or is it just pure evolution?
We like to progress with each album, even if we always kept some of our peculiar qualities over the years. I think it’s important for a band like us, who’s always been a bit ahead of the game, to constantly offer something that sounds fresh and even a little shocking to the purists, it has always been like that. Some eerie-sounding Black Metal, some heavy Doom/Sludge elements and some classic Rock and Punk influences are more or less always prominent in our sound, though in this new album you can hear even some early-‘90s alternative/crossover or grunge-tinged Metal, such as Helmet or Life Of Agony, even some Alice In Chains maybe, or Pitch Shifter and Fudge Tunnel. I don’t see drastic changes from our previous album, this one is simply better, like it should be with every new album. Of course there are some different flavours here and there, but everything is filtered through our usual dark vibe. it’s not that we changed THAT much over the course of our career. Look at some other bands who did our same amount of albums and you’ll see what I mean. We always like to offer something slightly different, fresh and interesting for ourselves and for our audience.

What inspires you when you write your lyrics?
In regards to this new album, but also some of the previous ones, the exploration of death in its various facets for sure is a constant in our lyrics. The attack to society and its morals/values is another theme I cherish, as well as the glorification of some negative aspects of human behaviours. In an older song we did on “Under Saturn Retrograde” there was a line saying “Harm yourself and your loved ones tonight” and I wanted to expand that concept, so I slightly altered that sentence for the new title and worked on it. It’s basically a very nihilistic title and it expresses my contempt for society as a whole, it’s an invite to destroy all moral values and join the dark side of life. Basically the lyrics on the album fully explore the topics of soul-corruption, urban violence, homicide and perversion hidden within all human beings, often written from a personal point of view. My life, the urban/industrial environment and the corrupted society where I live are other important sources of inspiration for both my music and lyrics.

This autumn you will come in Romania for some gigs. On 24th October you will play in Cluj and on 25th October you will play in Bucharest. Tell me a bit about this European tour? How come that you join Nocturnal Depression?
This year we played several scattered shows already in Mexico, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, Italy, UK, Ukraine, but the upcoming tour will see us visit eastern-Europe plus some other territories for a total of 18 shows or so. We didn’t play in Romania for several years (I think the first and last time was in 2009) so it’s going to be cool. I hope our fans out there will fill up the venues. For this tour we decided to get Nocturnal Depression as a support-band/special-guest ‘cause we know each other since a long time, we share a similar audience and we work good together as a package. Also, there’s a friendship between bands which is quite important when you share 20 days on the road together. I think the audience will love to see the 2 bands together.

Forgotten Tomb is a mixture of doom and black metal (which can also be called „dark metal”) Do you have any personal favourite bands in this specific style?
To be honest I mostly listen to other stuff these days. In my teenage years though I used to like a lot Dolorian and Bethlehem, which could be seen as “Dark Metal” somehow, though it’s a term which is often misused and it’s difficult to point out bands that sound exactly like that. They’re usually more on the Black Metal side or on the Doom Metal side.

What are the plans for the future regarding Forgotten Tomb?
Touring as much as possible, possibly having a second-leg of the tour exploring other territories in 2016 plus some summer festivals. Also, we’ll complete songwriting for the next album and hopefully record it over 2016.

Ok, thank you for your time! Was a pleasure to talk to you. In the end do you have something to say to your Romanian fans?
We hope to see you all guys out there in Cluj Napoca and Bucharest, it’s been a long time and we definitely look forward to meet you all there. Cheers!

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