FOSCOR… it is quite a new name for me, and it was quite in fact a new name that we should discover. It’s a need to stretch lines koz there were just a lot of bands that were good but still left un-noticed because the herd of feeble masses never want to know further about them either. One of the aims of this zine is to bring out obscure bands, as what it is now. Foscor came from Spain. They were a good Black Metal band with a perfect mixture of aggression, haunting chants, and these "melodies". Not totally different among other bands from this genre, but Foscor do their homework very well. The sheer intensity this band has made is perfect, though they are very hissy at times (you know… Black Metal guitars that always buzzing around). Drum Machine - it's the only last thing. Seems that the world is now fed up meddling with arrogant behaviours of human drummers. And so, here I have the chance to make an interview with Foscor mainman, Friar. Also doing his job for LUX DIVINA. These bands should be put an eye on… (no spell check being made on all the answers given for this interview)
Bruno: I think you've been so enthusiastic receiving my mail. Isn't that some countries like Philippines can drive your interest to make contact with? I think you are willing enough to accept us Asians as one of your supporters, are you?
Friar: Well, first of all I wouldn’t like say who have to listen our music, or who is more black metal fan than other...this is shit, and this shit is the main thing of the scene’s problems. I mean, I know what is my way of think and my way in the music, I have my own values, and I don’t need to compare myself or be compared. If someone are interested in listen to this music, is free to do what he wants, so if in your country are people, like you, interested in this scene or with ambitions to grow as a musician or redactor in a ‘zine...Ok man, good luck!! I know where are you going with this question ( we are going to wait to the next question/answer...), but our main will is to show our music to the most people we can, so the Asians are supporters as well as other people in the world. I don’t know what is your Black Metal culture, or your ( Asians...) metal culture; I have to be sincere and say that I don’t know anything about your scene ( well, I know some bands that have signed for an European labels...as Impiety, Sigh...), but concerning the meaning of a supporter, you are as valid as other. The fact is the musical culture you have, for example, the Black Metal is borned in Europe, and I’m fucked to listen a lot of bands doing the same style or music...but maybe, you are more receptive ( I repeat I don’t know how is the scene in general Asia...) because in your country you don’t have the easiness to listen all the underground bands, so the interest is great. I don’t know if this is as I have said, but a place where this is happening too is South America. So, our will is to show our music to people who could be interested in listen to this style...this is the reason to intent to arrive to you as a possible Asian supporters.
Bruno: Well, there are some bands that never want any Asian fans. I think the situation in Foscor was rather different? Stand me corrected about these NS elements: was it a healthy thing or is it a new boundary among white and coloured Metalheads?
Friar: Ok, following the last answer and answering this...we are not a NS band. We don’t respect the XX century way of think and his philosophy, well, the last great human movements .Great movements as Nazism or Communism, is the same, the main change is the enemy they have. The world is full of stupid people more worried about discussing and comparing himself with others than in the thing concerning himself. I mean, I’m part of this modern society, but I’m doing all I can to think by myself and to grow in knowledge; perhaps because I don’t want to be controlled by a way of think, or movement that guide my life into some rules; the life have many rules to be worried about if a coloured Metalhead are into Black Metal or no...I wouldn’t say we have enemies...I only say that we don’t respect the concept “masses”: you can name it as Christianity, communism, nazism or what you want...the most important think is to think by oneself. So...FOSCOR is worried in himself, to be better than yesterday, not in discussing about the Asians black metal interest or NS themes. Many people can name that as a Misanthropic attitude...well, I prefer name it as the intention to be better with myself and don’t be depending of other people or rules.
Bruno: As you told me, Foscor has been discussing things with 2 European labels. Have you been caught yourself signing a contract with any of these labels? Why choose this label in the first place? Do they hold a better future for you?
Friar: As I told you, we are into negotiations with one of the 2 European labels, who show interest in our music. The main reason is that this label has showed interest in LUX DIVINA too( LUX DIVINA is one of my other bands, where I play the keyboards), and it means that they understand the differences and our philosophy. I know his will, and I think is better for us: FOSCOR/ LUX DIVINA. Maybe because we have a friend band into this label, and we know more about this label than about the other; and lastly because his offer were more flexible than the other. The other offer were so good too, and maybe in the future we will collaborate together, in the distribution or in other work. Who knows that??
Bruno: Your song "entrance to the shadows village" was rather too drifting and slow. The other 2 songs were too aggressive. What is the vision on such writing a slow track in behalf of the aggression that you possessed on some of the tracks?
Friar: Well, our style is made from our feelings, and our feelings come from the Nature and Darkness, so the thing you have to see is that the feeling we put in the songs is the same...but no the way to show them. I wouldn’t like to talk about music styles in our music ( we are into general Black Metal...), but I listen different music styles and my mind are open to them; I listen some Dark Symphonies, ancient slow Doom or early European classic Death Metal bands...so, the way to show the music is not important, the main thing is that a band could have an atmosphere, the same atmosphere. So, “ Entrance to the Shadow’s Village” shows the darkness in an specific way ( as the lyrics shows...and as the slowness you talk about ) but being part of the same dark world where we walk.
Bruno: I should say that "Entrance…" reminds me of a Colombian band, Occultus. Is this a flattering comparison or maybe you just don't want to be compared to anyone?
Friar: Sorry but I haven’t listen the Occultus music. I accept to be compared with other bands, it is a normal thing, as well as I have been inspired by other bands too. But I think that after listening a lot of music through the years, I have the capacity of take influences and transform it into my style. Maybe this is a thing that have to say the listeners ( if our music is like other band, as you have compared...), but I don’t like to copy to any band, as well as I like to recover the old spirit of some bands. I hope the readers could understand this point. Sometimes, I take an idea of an old or new song, and I fit it into my way...this is like to view a landscape and transform it into music; is like apply my language to an idea that have appeared to me. I’m sure that the only valid thing, is to tell you what are my influences, and then you can see if our music is like their music or not. As we write in the biography, the main influence we have had, is the early 90’ Black Metal bands, their spirit and sincerity. I prefer to talk about the spirit we have than a music style.
Bruno: There is no human drummer listed on your promo-booklet. Are you using drum machine or is it a real human drummer smashing the skins over there?
Friar: We have used programmed drums in these work. These is ‘cause these songs have been composed and recorded during the last 3 years by two members: Falke and I. Norax, (the singer) has became member of the band after we had recorded the songs. So, as we were a two members band and we didn’t play the drums, we decided to use programmed ones. You have to think that all the FOSCOR’s song are composed before my entering into LUX DIVINA’s horde, so we didn’t have a drummer to ask him the possibility of playing our drums. You can say: why didn’t you wait to record the songs again with a true drummer?? Because the spirit we caught with this songs, are so important for us, it shows one of our edges and is so important for us to show them as we conceived in the past. Now we are thinking in the recording of the future songs, and maybe we will use the LUX DIVINA’s drummer, because a possible live concert too. Then the sound will change a lot...we will see.
Bruno: I've only heard DEMONLORD from Spain and I noticed that they too are using these "male humming voices". Is this some kind of a Spanish folk (traditional) music that you want people world-wide to take notice about your Spanish culture?
Friar: No, no...this kind of vocals show our interest and respect to the old chants. The Vikings, Celts, Iberian...all this ancient cultures had chants ( as all the ancient cultures in the world ). We know we aren’t singing in the same way, because we don’t have true studies about that, but the will is to recover the Epic and Majestic spirit of our ancestors. In each European lands there are specific chants, with different using of the vocals. Our using is in general a wish to show that our past are important.
Bruno: I think your guitar was too clean but heavily distorted (still, never harm your riffs). What are your gears, processors, and your guitar use? (Note: This is not for free advertising) Are you content enough using these products? And what is that gear you want to have but you just can't have it until now?
Friar: The FOSCOR’s music is recorded in a digital recorder table ( Roland if you want to know the name...), and the distortion and strings sounds have been looked for changing the values of this table. After recording all that music in different moments, in our house, in the rehearsal room, etc...we send all the information to the PC and then we use a sound program to change the labels and find the atmosphere we want. With FOSCOR, we are satisfied with the material we use, because we can get the sound that we want. Another thing is with LUX DIVINA, because we have to play in concerts, and then the instruments have to be better, because our music sound needs more clear work too. The material is more important in LUX DIVINA, to get our character we need a good drum, and a better guitar, and a good gear for the keyboards sounds and clear vocals...The day when FOSCOR will play live, then we will have to be more demanding with our gear.
Bruno: I want to discuss your other band, Lux Divina. How would you differ those riffs from Foscor and L.D.? Was it you want many bands so that you can have many visions of creating new riffs inside your sub-conscious?
Friar: I don’t think I have many visions of creating music in my mind, well only if we talk about my status of playing the keyboards with LUX DIVINA and the bass with FOSCOR, because with this two instruments I can do so different music, and the limits are different. So the music appears to me in a different way. When I’m composing I don’t look for anything special...I play the instruments, and when I listen to some sound that give me feeling ( concerning my mind elements, visions or things that give me emotions...), then I work to give it a true form that fits with my will. When I listen the first sounds I know if that can fits into one or other band. The fact is the atmosphere and feeling I find, each band have one feeling univers, so I only have to imagine the sensation, or the situation the music give me, and then I decide the band where the riff or song will go. So, I have a lot of ideas, and a lot of things in that world that arouse feeling to me.. the different bands are ways to show each kind of feeling or emotion.
Bruno: "Occasus Caeremonia" reminds me of the ambient vibe of Endura. Are you a fan of ambient or is this track just use for an intro? And it seems to me that some songs on L.D. was also under the influence of Ambient, what's the reason for this?
Friar: Congratulations man!!! You are the first person that have seen that point. It satisfies me because I’m the creator of the keyboards atmosphere, and to me and for the band, the keyboards aren’t only the typical keys. Of course, in the “metal songs” the keyboard are used as another instrument, at the same level than the guitars, or bass, etc...but the keyboards songs, “Dark Symphonies”, have they own entity. We don’t have the concept of the normal intro/outro...these songs are another tales, expressed by the using of keyboards. Is the same thing I have explained before with FOSCOR and the song “ Entrance...”, we can play the music with a different way to be showed, but the feeling is the same you can find in the other songs. LUX DIVINA’s “ Occasus Caeremonia” Mcd is a full and closed tale, a recreation in 6 parts: the first is the introduction in the landscapes where the tale are going to happen; then the battle begins, and we start to walk through different places where the tales happens ( each song talk about one different aspect of our pagan conception...); and last but not least, the final chapter with “ ...My Pagan Kingdom”, a self recreation of the place where we feel free: The Forest, with all his creatures, with all his life... Endura is a good band, that I have heard, but I think doesn’t have influenced me...Maybe opus like Raison D’Etre are more important for me...and the classical music, of course.
Bruno: Your voice on both bands never changed, but before doing all these screamy vocals, have you been undergoing into some rehearsal in which you can tune up your voice properly? I think Fenriz is one of your inspirations, as it obviously shows anyway…
Friar: I think Norax’s voice don’t have anything in common with Fenriz’s vocals. The voice is as another instrument, and the Fenriz’s one is more deep than the Norax’s one (well.. actually, yes! -Bruno). About the voice rehearsals, I have to say that the Norax evolution have been made through the years, as my evolution with the bass, vocals or keyboards...slowly through the years of self learning. The inspirations you talk about, can be found in the first demo, where the band was inspired to do a band by some Black/Folk bands, but nowadays, I think that we have the capacity of decide what scream or riff we like to put in a song. We control our instruments, not the instruments or a band style control us.
Bruno: As I listened carefully on both bands, I don't see any much difference between the both of them. Only that I think, L.D. was compose of 5 persons while Foscor was only a Trio. What are the other differences among the two that you want people to make emphasis on?
Friar: Well, it is a pity that you don’t find more differences...you are right if we talk about the fact that there are the same two members into both bands, and the things I compose are similar. But I can separate a riff for LUX DIVINA, for FOSCOR or for my other band LUCIFUGUM. The difference is the atmosphere that the music give me. LUX DIVINA’s music is a bit more describing than the FOSCOR’s one. In LUX DIVINA we look for an atmosphere different than in FOSCOR, because we are more influenced by a natural landscape or a forest; the water, the fire, the wind and the earth are part of our mind, and the songs talk and walk through them...I think the music is more contemplative, more poethic. As you said before, the dark symphonies included show that way of think. The majesty of Mother Nature. LUX DIVINA is concentrated in explain the paganism as a way of relation with Nature; the beauties of the Nature are our inspiration. With FOSCOR we look for a more raw atmosphere; we are into the night, a cave, the battle and the majesty of Darkness. If people have the opportunity to listen to our music, look for the landscapes showed in the covers, or in the inside artwork and he will find there the difference of the music atmosphere. The philosophy is the same, because we are friends and we understand our will, but we understand the meaning of our band’s music, and the differences are in the influencing things and the describing feelings we recreate. As I said in the beginning, I don’t look for the music, I play and if the riff give me feeling in any of the ways I have, this riff will be converted into a song, with no exception.
Bruno: A flyer of L.D. was printed as a split flyer with Lucifugum. Are you in contact with the armies of this terroristic Black Metal act? I think this is a Full Moon band, do you think Spain is about to rise now considering that some of your bands get signed by a North American label?
Friar: Sorry man, but you are wrong about that. The problem is that in the Black Metal scene exist two bands called LUCIFUGUM. You are right when you ask me about my relation with LUCIFUGUM, because I’m the bassist/vocalist of the Catalan ( Spanish ) LUCIFUGUM; but the Full Moon Rec.’s band is the Ukrainian LUCIFUGUM. They are members of Nokturnal Mortum, and other bands from the European East. I have been in contact with the Ukrainian Lucifugum, concerning LUX DIVINA’s themes, but we don’t have nothing in common. Our music is too different I think... Well, about the rising of Spanish scene, I think that it is a reality, but never because some bands have signed for an U.S.A label. Our bands are related with all the people who show interest in our music, as well as we send our music to the people who can be interested, of course; as you when send to us the first mail advertising about your ‘zine. About this themes, if I have to talk with a label, first I want to know what’s his way of thinking, and if it fits with our way; I don’t think that North America is a referent concerning Black Metal or other things...
Bruno: How's the Christian religion doing on such a country like Spain? Are there many Jews and Christian morals that you wish of breaking out with? I guess that the Matador shows on Madrid doesn't affect your band, ah ah ah…
Friar: Well, about the Christian tradition, it invaded Europe many years ago, and ‘till then our true European culture where slowly forgotten. Nowadays, the great part of Europe are influenced by the Christian morality...is something normal after 20 centuries. I’m sure that I’m influenced too, but I know the damage they made, and I don’t care the Christian religion and all his merchandising do. In Spain there are a lot of Christian celebrations, overcoat in the Spanish south...when the people forgot his own character to follow a fucking idol, it sucks me ( this is the same thing in the Black Metal or in Football, or in the politician world as I have said a few questions before...every people should have to be himself). About the bulls shows...no comments, is another show of the human strength over the Mother Nature.
Bruno: Spain, as far as I know…bands like Fermento, Unbounded Terror and the label Repulse were all Death Metal. In what reason do you think, why Black Metal invaded Spain these recent years? Is Death Metal still alive in your country?
Friar: This is the same evolution than in the rest of Europe. This death bands were playing here at the same moment the great European and U.S.A. death bands were playing. With Black Metal is the same, in middle 90’ the Black Metal was in his apogee, and in Spain were some bands that start playing this style...The main difference between our bands, better said, this country, is that we never have exported great bands, because here we don’t have the same infrastructure than other countries. Spain is one of the last places where the Black Metal exploded...I don’t know what is the reason.. maybe because here there are a lot of people playing, but not a lot of people listening and buying to our bands; is the culture I think. Now the theme haven’t changed, but there are a lot of people playing and showing they can do good music ( Death & Black Metal...), we only need the great labels in our country who put the first stone to make the infrastructure to underground bands could arrive to the people. By the moment, the great movement is an underground scene. The hope is, that bands as our bands, have received interest from labels from other countries...maybe the Spanish people could see that out there our music have good reputation. I don’t know if you know that, but Repulse Rec. (the main Spanish records label ‘till now...) have closed: as a label and as a distributor. This is because the people are doing Cdr of the original CDs: if a great label like Repulse have closed...what’s the future of the Spanish infrastructure??? And then, who have to put his confidence in the underground bands??? Well....your question....now is when the few bands there are, have seen the foreign interest...so the “invasion” is looked by the rest of the world with ‘zines like your. The problem is around the world; every people who have a little gear to record himself, and with a CD recorder can do a Cdr promo and show it to the rest of the world...this is a saturation....so the better bands will survive. Only the sincere ones can follow in this world...
by Bruno (Kratornas)