Forever Still is a band that I ran into a few months ago while checking out some new music that had popped up on my feed when they were promoting the song, “Awake the Fire”, off of their latest full length release, “Tied Down”. After hearing this one song, I knew that they had something special. Their music is dark, heavy, and hauntingly beautiful. After listening to their album a few times and checking out their social networking sites and all of the comments left by their fans about how much of an effect their music had on them, I knew I wanted to find out more. So, soon after we had changed our format to an online magazine, I had contacted them and lead vocalist Maja Shining responded enthusiastically saying that she would love to help us out. Unfortunately my schedule and hers did not seem to want to match up over the next month plus, so it took looked as if the interview may never occur. But I knew I really wanted to make it happen, and so did Maja. So we kept in contact, as best as we could, and finally were able to complete the interview after a long delay. Here is what she had to say:
For those who may not have heard of Forever Still, give us a little detail on the band itself and your music.
Forever Still is a melodic heavy rock band from Copenhagen, Denmark. I started the band with Mikkel (live bass) with whom I’ve written all the songs. He plays every instrument in the studio and I write vocal melodies and lyrics. Together we manage everything in the band – recording, producing, mixing, mastering, videos, art, design, booking, you name it. Live we have Partsch on guitar and Dennis on drums.
Your latest album, Tied Down, just came out this January and I saw you just got back from a tour of the UK. What else is planned for this year for Forever Still?
Lots of things! We’ve just released a music video for the album single “Break the Glass” and we’re currently working on the next music video. We’re in the midst of planning a lot of shows for 2016 which will bring us to Germany, Italy, Sweden, Denmark and back to the UK again amongst other places. We’ve also started writing for our next release and already have the first demos on the table.
And speaking of the album, it is an amazingly original heavy rock album that does a great job of blending in different influences and styles of music. Who has inspired the band musically?
Thank you so very much! Any inspiration from other bands is completely subconscious, but I definitely think it shows that we listen to a lot of music outside of our own genre – currently I have Cult of Luna feat. Julie Christmas running in the background. We write solely from personal experience and emotion since it’s crucial for us that the music is honest and completely from the heart.
Your latest video for Break the Glass was just released on March 31st and showcases the band playing along with a great representation of the song itself with concept where, at the end, you reach out to help yourself up. Who came up with the concept and how did the video come about?
Actually this was a totally new approach to making a music video! We posted the lyrics to our fans before the song was released and had them help out with their ideas for the themes of the video. We sat down and put some of the ideas together and completed if with the vision we had. It was a lot of fun to work with it this way! The video is shot by the band and edited by myself.
Haha yeah, time is always an issue when there are so many things you want to do. But it’s all about hard work and sticking with it – like when people ask us what our hobbies or favorite TV shows are the answer is “none”, because the band is literally all there is time for. If you’re in a band you just have to make up your mind, if you want it to be a hobby band or if you want to set everything else aside and have the band be your number one priority. It’s important for us to be the driving force behind the creative process and of course be the ones who respond on our social media sites. Beside that we’re very open to working with people who has the same passion for the band as we do.
I think what endeared me to Forever Still is how powerful your music and lyrical content is. Your music speaks a lot about struggles, both internal and externally. You have already mentioned that your music is written from personal experience. How much of your music would you say is actually from personal experience?
All of it is written from personal experience or at least emotion. We use the music as an outlet for emotions that’d otherwise boil over and to connect with others who may be dealing with similar issues or find that they relate to something in the songs. We’d never be able to make music that wasn’t completely honest and unfiltered since it’s the reason we started making it in the first place.
Looking through your feeds, I notice a lot of comments from fans about how they can relate to your music personally. How does it make you feel to see that your music connects with so many others who may need a bit of inspiration or the knowledge that someone out there feels the same as they do?
It’s one of the best things to hear, and even better when people come up to us after the shows to talk about their connection to the music. It means the world to me that something we’ve created can help someone through a bad time in their life or brighten their day. It’s the same way we ourselves connected with music at a time in our lives when we really needed it. And the music is made for that very reason; to be healing for the creator as well as the listener.
And, while on the topic of inspiration. We already covered your musical inspiration, but who would you say has inspired you personally?
The most inspiring thing to me has been to work with someone who has been able to connect with me on a deeper level. I’m a very private person, and I don’t open up to a lot of people, but making the kind of music we do, opening up is mandatory. It has definitely helped me heal myself as well. Mikkel has also been the first person to believe in my talent and has pushed me to do what I do best. Thank you.
What would you like to say to those that are going through difficult times or dealing with mental illness right now?
Start getting help and start helping yourself. Get therapy, talk to someone, read self help books, go online (maybe you wanna chat with someone about your issues, learn how to meditate, learn mindfulness – open yourself up!) and most importantly, have patience with yourself. It’s gonna be a rollercoaster and a long, tough ride. Do you know why they all say it get’s better? Because it’s true. If you make it so.
Photo by: Lars Winther Schmidt
Lastly, we have a playlist that is comprised of songs that artists we have interviewed have hand picked as songs that inspired them. Can you give me a song or two that I should add to our playlist?
I can’t pick out one or two songs that inspired me since it’s so subconscious and ever changing. But you can grab these two from my playlist today.
Cult of Luna and Julie Christmas – Chevron
If you are a musician, no matter your fan base, and would like to share your story or be interviewed by us, please use the contact form at the top of the page. We would love to hear from you. And if you are someone who has been helped by music in your life, we would love to hear from you also. We can help you share your story, publicly or anonymously. Your story could be the reason someone makes it through another day.
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