1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?
Suicide Forest is a solo musical project that I originally had conceived back in 2015, it had originally been intended to be a project between myself and one other person but it just ended up working out to be a solo project. The intention was to create a project that focused on atmosphere above all else while exploring nihilistic philosophies and bleak existentialism.
2.How would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the album
The sound can be described like I said before as very atmospheric, focusing more on ethereal soundscapes as opposed to riff-driven extreme metal. While it has elements of traditional black metal, I like to think of it more as an exploration within the style.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with your music?
Lyrically, I tend to focus on depressive and suicidal thoughts and emotions and exploring bleak existentialism and nihilism and I like to do this primarily using metaphors involving the natural world; forest, trees, mountains, etc.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Suicide Forest'?
The name Suicide Forest was inspired obviously by the Aokigahara forest in Japan which is most well known as the suicide forest due to its reputation as a place to commit suicide. But it also works very well with the lyrical themes as I said earlier where I approach topics such as suicide and depression using metaphors involving forests, trees, etc.
5.On the album you recorded everything by yourself, are you open to working with other musicians on the album or do you prefer to work solo?
When it comes to the recording and writing process with Suicide Forest, I keep that strictly a solo work, as I feel that at this point, bringing in other musicians (however talented they may be) would bring something foreign to the project, creating a new entity all on its own. There are however, several musicians I work with to perform Suicide Forest live.
6.What are some of the best shows your live band has done so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
So far, I would have to say our best performance was opening for Xasthur in Tempe, Arizona. That was the first show where we started incorporating physical elements into the performance including lighting and a prop tree. With this aesthetic, we are able to create an experience that better reflects the depressing and ethereal atmosphere.
7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
We are performing at Festum Carnis with Nachtmystium in California this July, but other than that, no.
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of depressive black metal?
The Suicide Forest recordings have been released by two different labels, one based in the United States and one based in Italy. The reception on behalf of both labels has been nothing but positive.
9.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?
In my private life, I study 21st century music composition at the University of Arizona. Unlike a lot of people who call themselves musicians, this is something I do 100% full-time and therefore only make plans to be a musician both as a performer in my various bands and as a composer.
10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Being a composer and just an avid music fan, my music taste is varied and eclectic. Some days I will find myself listening to jazz, various periods of classical music, as well as countless types of extreme metal/ heavy metal, almost all eras of rock, and some mid-century pop. I also listen to a lot of contemporary classical music and find a lot of inspiration for Suicide Forest in the music of Arvo Part, Phillip Glass, Steve Reich, Marc Mellits, as well as bands such as Shining, Thy Light, Totalselfhatred, Make A Change… Kill Yourself, Wolves in the Throne Room, Leviathane, etc.
11.Do you have any online links where people can hear your music?
The first two Suicide Forest demos, “Emptiness” and “Indifference”, can be downloaded for free on my Bandcamp page, suicideforestblackmetal. bandcamp.com. You can also purchase physical mediums through either of my labels, folkvangerrecords.bandcamp.com and at waragainstyourself.bandcamp. com.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Nobody exists on purpose, nobody belongs anywhere, everybody is going to die.