Interview with Fiar, frontman and bass player of the Spanish Dark metal band, Foscor.
Greetings Fiar, how things are going?
Greetings Carla, we are fine thanks… opening a new year while celebrating our 15th anniversary. Not only a special date, but a good moment to remind and keep promising ourselves that this is going to keep as true as the first day. We have released a commemorative T-shirt which has been designed by Maldo Illustration & Branca Studio, and within the next days will be available at the band store. We are rehearsing for a few live dates coming next weeks, and also eager to stream a new music video within the next days. Our latest album still have road to do.
When did Foscor was founded?
We started as a duo Falke and me in 1997/98… working at home different demos and mainly experimenting with sounds. We were playing together in a local band mixing different styles and growing as musicians. As soon as we all suffered the hungry on doing a bit more serious things, we joined forces and started giving shape to what soon would be called Foscor. Of course we were absolutely impacted by the Norwegian Black metal second wave… and I must admit that the wish to express with our own language what we got by listening this music, was the reason for this already 15 years old venture.
2 year ago you have released the 4th album entitled ”Those Horrors Wither”, tell me about it.
14 years of existence when we released it may be time enough to wear down any band, or just time enough to force them to survive under the shadow of his legacy. As our legacy still is intimate referring its impact we still are eager on doing the most ambitious music we could reach. With “Those Horrors Wither” we entered a new age in which we reinvent our music, full of new ideas and renewed energy. This is the album where anyone can recognize what has always been wandering in our heads and hearts, and maybe because of our previous technical and / or emotional limitations, we had not been able to capture until now. The album expands the boundaries of our black metal language, never an orthodox one but personal, into a sound that combines the darkness of black and doom metal, progressive influences and the power of Rock. We are sttill working with density and emotion, but in a different way. Trying to make all the music we like, a good reference to understand ourselves, not our music. So, perhaps the album can be understood from an egoistic point of view. It was done to overcome our own limitations…and then, after, offer it to the audience in order to get a rich tool to work. We use both English and our native language, Catalan for singing, and try to offer a solid piece of art which could be read through its different layers: music, lyrics, artwork… The album was recorded at Nautilus Studios, home of our good friend Iban Puigfel, and mastered at the well known Orgone Studios by Jaime G. Arellano ( Ghost, Cathedral, Paradise Lost, <Code> Hexvessel… ). The cover art was done by another talented artist, Manuel Tinnemans / Comaworx ( Deathspell Omega, Bölzer, The Devil’s Blood ), and the general design by Ideophony ( Ihsahn, Ulver, etc… ). The album is composed by 7 tracks, which includes and features additional transitions among tracks composed and performed for the album by the following guests: Our good friends Obsidian Kingdom featured on ‘L.amor.t’ ending; the mastermind of Arcana and Sophia Peter Bjärgö, also member of Crypt of Kerberos, featured on ‘Those Horrors Wither’ outro; and another good friend, Sathorys Elenorth, mastermind in Der Blaue Reiter or Narsilion, also member of Arcana on stage, featured on bonus track ‘Shysteroos’ outro. I’m really proud of the album… it accomplished and exceeded our expectations by far.
What can you tell me about the other band’s releases?
The first album “Entrance to the Shadows’ Village” was released by a French label back in 2004, after releasing our first demo in 2001. It was a very primitive form of our language, but we got the attention of the international scene due the intensity and emotion it already offered. The first album always got a feedback reading it as a more Pagan album… perhaps the fact of having Norax ( from Pagan Metallers LUX DIVINA ) on vocals, could help to give it this flavor… which for good or not, we lost in the second album “The Smile of the Sad Ones” in 2007. The second album meant a step ahead concerning intensity and atmosphere, due the fact on working on it as a full line up. When the first album was released, Norax left the band and we thought that would be a good moment for establishing Foscor as a Live band, until now. From the second album, the comparisons with Enslaved and Katatonia came. Although expressing our music from Black metal rhythms and language, 90’s the background was there clearly. We managed to participate in a Tribute to the Swedish Black Doom masters, and a few years later in a Tribute to Enslaved. The third album “Groans to the Guilty” in 2009 again for Temple of Darkness records from Barcelona, helped us to establish the band in an international level with several Live appearances in Fests and very good feedback from the big media. Perhaps the Avantgarde approach let us get an own parcel, while keeping the basic rules untouched helping to recognize Foscor from the very first moment. I invite everybody to listen to our discography from the very first album to the last here: https://foscor.bandcamp.com/
Are you going to release a new album soon?
In fact, we have already started composing a new one or at least, let’s say we have launched several demos as a first step on the way of composing a new album. I don’t know if it would be possible, but we would like to get it released early next year, 2017. This is not an easy task… we need to discuss and evaluate many things concerning the next step, and also find a new label to work with… not an easy task in just 1 year. Step by step… we have never done things in a rush, perhaps this is the problem for not getting a more constant working rhythm as the industry and market seem to request to the bands nowadays. What I’m sure is that a next album must be a special thing or not to be.
Who mainly writes the lyrics and what are the lyrical themes?
I am the owner of the Word tool in the band… As vocalist I think I can express more credibility and honesty on the musical speech by writing about my own thoughts than using others one. I use to write about Darkness from the humanistic point of view, as a filter for reading oneself and the world around us. Our latest album “Those Horrors Wither”would be meant to show the relevance which primal fears hold to get to know ourselves, to know our flaws, and ultimately how we deal with the difficulties life itself makes us face. These Horrors are silenced by society, culture and history, relegating the individual too often to its least significance. A resume track by track would be as follows:
WHIRL OF DREAD. A whirlwind of terror haunts us every moment. The primal fears are latent, and whether not known and interpreted correctly, they can lead us to a spiral of consumption, by not knowing how to manage our powers. The urge to live in balance, to control the path we tread is a magnificent ally, as a starting point to get into our inner selves. But if you live out of that urge after the difficulties, it turns against you in a relentless way, until it spoils and strips you off the powers which make us unique.
ADDICTION. Good is that which we do not want to lose. The feeling of owning a personal Good at an emotional or physical stage is something very precious. So we become addicted to Happiness, by communicating with others, choosing our way of life, drugs, anything to an obsessive level; and again it turns against us because it is beyond our control, and we do not know how to use it in a constructive sense.
SENESCÈNCIA. The inexorable passage of time which leads us to death must be lived conversely. The more experience and knowledge we gather, the better the conditions to face difficulties, to take pleasure of all the past and future moments and get to the final stage in emotional plenitude.
L.AMOR.T. Like love, the craving to be part of a whole, a family or a relationship stands as the ultimate goal in life, and it implies a loss of identity. In fact, this goal of being part of something or feeling loved haunts us by our fear of death itself, our fear to walk all alone throughout a life of which we do not know when the end comes, but still bitterly conscious of it all. That feeling discomforts and stresses us so much, that we need to be part of something: Love. Love suffocates the being, changes its nature, makes it weak and compelled to take care of others, even just a relationship, and thus the individual moves away from itself. Again the negative side of something is revealed, of an ancestral fear of loneliness. But we must learn from it, to walk alone or not with no crosses to bear.
THOSE HORRORS WITHER. The primal fears bring out the worst of ourselves, but they should help us learn what we are made of, and how to use those fears. Experience proves useful to face present and future, and to grant us freedom of action. Fear can evolve in lack of control, in lies, the deceit of not to understand what is happening in our inside and turn a blind eye on it. Often one cannot control the environment or the emotional reactions, and that leads to a psychosomatic, uncontrollable response. Society silences many of the basic instincts, fears, needs. They are not taken as correct for the proper development of the community. “It’s in the dark when I see clearly”… because in the depth of the human being, in its most basic instincts and fears lies the starting point of an emotional growth game. The truth that sets us free.
GRACEFUL PANDORA. The Myth of Pandora and the box could well represent an early stage in which these primary evils plunge mankind into eternal sorrow. It was meant so that FAITH was the ultimate evil in the box (or the only Good according to biased historical post interpretations) and the one which is not released. Are we masters of our fate? The female character of Pandora is utterly intentional, with that mix of beauty, wisdom and charm, lies, seduction and greed. Right the definition of humanity itself. She is all out deception disguised as a lover, a gift for the man, a mixture of good and evil. As Hope, which eventually remains in the box. ‘Hope’ may be interpreted from a religious point of view, as a human limitation, or a wish for excellence. Hence its choice as a single of the album.
TO STRANGLE A GHOST. The will to control things, to be master of your own choices. You beckon repetition as a means to have a sense of security in life, but it turns against you, leading and manipulating you like a puppet. It’s like mist, a spook that you want to grip but can never be destroyed. You try, but it slips through your fingers.
What are the influences?
We have never denied the fact that Foscor was conceived in order to develop with our own language the feeling we got from 90’s Norwegian Black Metal ( mainly ). Also British Doom and not as a direct influence but deep inspiration, the 90’s Dark Symphonies or Dark Ambient music, filled our emotional palette. With the pass of the years, we have developed the language from a more primitive music into what some people used to call Avantgarde. If anyone can set a connection speech among our albums concerning influences, I think I’m not wrong by mentioning Ved Buens Ende, Katatonia or Enslaved. With the latest album “Those Horrors Wither” we tried to break our own unconscious rules and reach a unique language out of the direct references that during the first 3 albums someone could identify. I sincerely think that we go it… our range listening music goes from Black metal to Pop music… from Alice in Chains to Deathspell Omega. So, we tried to abstract ourselves from these references and work in the most personal and emotional way we could. It was a hard challenge, introducing new elements to our music and breaking the dynamism set with the previous albums The result is out there… and nobody else than each listener can give it a personal sense and meaning. We just hope people could feel what the album offers.
Are there any shows confirmed for this year?
Yes, next Saturday 16th we are playing in our hometown Barcelona as part of the Catalonia Extreme Winter Fest, among good friends and bands as German Eïs, our brothers Lux Divina, or the French outfits Mortifera and Nocturnal Depression. Later, in mid February, we will face a couple of dates with Primordial, first one in Lisbon on Friday the 12th as part of the Under the Doom Fest lineup, and in Madrid the day after. We are now trying to close several Live dates until the end of 2016, focusing our efforts on spreading our latest album out of Spain, as we already toured last year supporting Vallenfyre across the Iberian peninsula.
Do you have a message for the fans?
15 years is enough time for gathering with a good bunch of the noble people out there, share tons of nice experiences and hours and hours of music: Band members, press, Artists, Promoters, Crew…but mainly the audience. They are the main reason for being able to live 15 years and keep very nice memories with us. Thank you all for giving us the chance of learning, living and enjoying from our common passion.
Thank you Fiar, all the best!
Thank you so much Carla, and sincere apologies for the delay answering the interview. I really appreciate your interest on us. All the best!
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