“A Little Less Ignorance, A Little More Feels” An Interview With Fórn
Fórn is, in my humble opinion, one of the best doom metal bands around. They have colossal riffs, destructive vocals and work with some of the coolest labels in the genre. They are a band who breathes new life into a genre that so many of us thought was played out. I had a chance to sit down with their guitarist Joey Gonzalez at Roadburn about what it was like to finally be in Europe after years of playing music, the future of the band and much more.
How the hell are you?
I’m very well. Like I was just saying I feel a lot healthier too. Even when I was sick I was definitely having a good time and now that I feel like a person it’s even better. This whole thing has been surreal. I’ve been playing music for 15 years and I’ve seen my fair share of everything in the United States and played countless shows and nothing could have prepared me for how nice and wonderful and accommodating people are here. Everyone we talked to said that was how it was going to be though and that we would hate touring the States after Europe. I’m somewhat homesick but I’m enjoying myself and not taking anything for granted.
So do you think you got on this bill because you’re the band who put that guy to sleep?
(Laughter) And then they couldn’t get Sleep so they got us! It seemed like a long shot when we were asking. We were going to do Europe regardless when we originally booked this with Lycus. Our agent Daniel from Killtown threw our name into the ring to Walter and we didn’t have any expectations but it stuck. We are honored and privileged. Even though it already happened it felt like it didn’t happen.
It’s a really good transitioning step because we just put out two records we put out close to each other and did a lot of touring. Anyone who knows our band knows we have distance problems because we are spread all across the country but regardless it feels like non stop work. We are halfway through recording our full length and it feels like the next step will be even better.
What kind of trajectory do you think you’re on?
I can’t say something like that. I’ve been playing music for 15 years and every time I think something cool will happen the opposite happens. I can’t say what will happen in the future, but I can predict a lot more riffs and a lot more feels in the riffs. A little less ignorance, a little more feels.
Why do you think Forn was the band that took off right away?
I don’t know. If you had asked me from the beginning I would have thought it was like every other band I was in, music got written that I thought was really good but no one pays attention. I’m not saying my bands deserve to be big… but it was frustrating. This was the first band I started off with where I was pretty much strangers with. Chris and I met on the premise of playing music together. My friend Danny who I’ve been playing music with for a long time introduced us. He had known that I was starting to start a doom metal band, because I was trying to start it with him. I wanted to do it with him but he was caught up in a few bands and he was kind enough to introduce me to Chris Pinto when I first moved to Boston since he was also trying to start something. First and foremost I’ m a drummer so when the band started that’s what I did. I had been pigeonholed as a drummer despite playing music for so long and didn’t want to play drums. Luckily that form of the band didn’t work so we started from ground zero. Brandon came in on drums but he too also wanted to play guitar. Honestly, other than my brother who I’ve played with literally my entire life I’ve never connected so much musically with someone before. So from the beginning I didn’t know anyone but our first demo was well received and by the time we got to that point Vendetta picked us up and then Gilead did too. Both labels were labels that I’ve followed since I was a teenager and I never thought either of them would ever be interested with me.
Is the fact that you’re both drummers part of your connection with Brandon?
Yes and it drives our drummer crazy. I’ve been playing drums for 15 years, Brandon is older so he’s probably been doing it longer and Christian our drummer has been doing it for a similar amount of time. Everyone drums differently and if you’re playing guitar and have a drum line in mind it creates a lot of interesting dialog. On top of that – the first bands Brandon and I clicked on – as soon as we stopped talking about metal we realized we had been listening to the same stuff like Deftones and Tool and Failure. Melodically and harmonically speaking we have similar destinations when we are writing music even if our writing process is different. The process helps us help each other with finishing material and it’s very complimentary. It’s sort of the magic in the band. There isn’t one person who writes the music, that gets a little boring to me, not to knock bands that do that. This is the most interesting way though, it feels like a competition because we try to one up each other. Every time I think I write the best riff I’ve ever written he writes one that’s a tiny bit better and it’s like “Okay I need to get back in there!”
To head towards the end – what do you love so much about music?
I don’t know! It’s been ingrained in me since before I could comprehend what music was. My mom ran away from home when she was young and got into DIY punk so it’s in my DNA. She was drawn into and I’ve been exposed to all sorts of music and all walks of life. I had no desire to play until I was 11 or 12 and I started with bass and I was terrible. Then I started to play drums and that clicked so I jammed with my brother. Playing music for me was like sports for other kids. I had marching band too which is like competitive music so I had all of that stuff ingrained in me and I’ve lived for no other reason than to be able to create and to love what I create.
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