THE FORGOTTEN AGE (from l-r): Ben Jones (rhythm guitar), Alex Wynne (bass/screamed vocals), Mike Bassington (vocals/lead guitar), Jack Hawley (drums)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
The Forgotten Age are a four-piece from north Wales, who take from a diverse range of influences and combine lively riffs with strong melodies and powerful vocals to create a metal sound that appeals to fans of Killswitch Engage and fellow Welsh outfit Bullet For My Valentine.
The band burst onto the scene in early 2016 with their debut single, ‘Undone’, the video to which got over 7,000 views within the first few months of release.
Also, in March last year, they brought out a first EP, ‘Enough’, which was well-received both by their growing legion of followers and much of the underground music press.
Now, with a highly-anticipated follow-up coming out next month, entitled ‘Paradigm’, the Bangor collective’s rhythm guitarist, Ben Jones, gave me an insight into the recording process, what to expect from it, as well as the inner workings of the quartet.
How did the band form?
Myself and Alex started jamming with our former lead guitarist, and eventually, she introduced us to Mike, who was interested in becoming the singer for the band. After one or two more sessions, we called in an old friend to drum for us, and started gigging under the name of The Forgotten Age.
From where did the name The Forgotten Age originate?
We attended a local networking session for musicians in Bangor, and of course, people started asking what the name of the band was. Prior to the event, we’d thrown around some ideas, and eventually, we decided that we liked the sound of The Forgotten Age.
What would you say was your approach to songwriting?
Our songs normally start off with a guitar riff for the verse and chorus. If the riffs are solid, it’s much easier to get inspired for the remainder of the track.
We always start by making sure that the transitions from section to section are really smooth, so as to maintain a fluid sound. The bridge section of the song always seems to be written last, as we tend to write quite linearly. Mike will often have an arsenal of lyrics stored away, and he can choose which fits the best stylistically.
What inspires the band lyrically?
Normally, the lyrics are inspired by events that have occurred in certain points of our lives, past conflicts, relationships, and the ways we deal with our differences, basically, human nature versus our self-imposed societal and moral restrictions.
The stuff we write about is very relatable, these things could happen to anyone, but because they are so personal, that’s what makes them unique, and hopefully, what makes them interesting.
In February 2016, you brought out a debut single, ‘Undone’, and the video for that got over 7,000 views within the first few months of release. Was that something that took you all by surprise?
It was definitely great to see, but with anything in life, you get out what you put in. We put in a lot of time and effort to reach a wider audience, so maybe it was less surprise and more relief that we were able to achieve several thousand views on our debut video, and see our hard work pay off.
And in March last year, the band released their first EP, ‘Enough’. How well was the reaction to that?
With it being our first EP, I think people were quite surprised at how crisp the record sounded.
Unlike a lot of bands these days, we don’t drop tune our guitars to crazy low tunings, and I think people found this to be refreshing. Not every song sounded the same on the EP, and I think because of this, we were able to captivate a wider audience.
Next month, you will be bringing out your second EP, ‘Paradigm’. How has the recording process been for that?
At times it was quite hectic. We had about four or five days to track drums, guitars and vocals. It’s never an easy feat, but when you’re on a budget, it’s something you just have to get on with.
We have a bad habit of finishing off at least one song in the studio, and this time around, it was the track ‘Paradigm’ – arguably the most technically demanding song of the record.
And how will it be different to ‘Enough’?
As opposed to our first record, which was a collection of our best songs, these songs were purposely written to fit the theme of ‘Paradigm’. In the process of writing and recording the EP, we finally found our sound as a band, and have produced a record that easily trumps ‘Enough’.
Vocally, the screams are way bigger and nastier. Mike’s clean vocals sound phenomenal, and are a stand out feature of the record. Guitar-wise, this record was far more demanding than ‘Enough’, and the riffs are on a different level to before.
How is the experience, for the band, of playing live?
Everyone in the band loves playing live. If you’re lucky enough to have a highly-energetic audience, you can feed off their energy and throw it right back at them, and it just makes for an amazing show.
There’s nothing more satisfying than watching people sing along to your original material, and over the years, this has become a common occurrence, especially in local venues.
What are your plans once the forthcoming EP has come out?
We’ll be looking to play a handful of shows across the UK in order to promote the EP, and during these events, you’ll be able to get your hands on brand new T-shirts and signed physical copies of the EP.
And finally, what is the band’s long-term aim?
We’re hoping that with the release of ‘Paradigm’, this will propel the band into the spotlight, and will help us reach a far larger audience.
We’re hoping we can catch the attention of big festival organisers, so that we can hit these bigger stages, like Download, Bloodstock, etc…
‘PARADIGM’, THE SECOND EP FROM THE FORGOTTEN AGE, WILL BE AVAILABLE TO STREAM, DOWNLOAD OR PURCHASE FROM JUNE 29.
FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES: