Enforsaken was a band I happened to stumble upon just by pure chance. It was very intriguing to hear the more European sound from the states, and done well, no less! I was able to get ahold of guitarist Steve Stell to see how things were going for Enforsaken, hot off the release of their debut, Embraced by Misery.
Wayfaerer-Whats the general response been to the album thus far?
Steve-The response has been great. We've had alot of really good reviews and people seem to really be enjoying the cd. We were already getting good reviews on it with just the crappy unmastered promo cdrs that we sent around before the real cd officially came out. so we're definitely pleased with the response to it so far.
W-Would you say that you are completely satisfied with this release or are there things you'd like to change next time around?
S-Yeah, there's a few things that we're not happy with. Some guitar parts could have been played a bit cleaner, some drum fills could be a bit smoother. but overall, I think we're all satisfied with the recording. we're all our own worst critics i guess. We can hear the slightest mistakes, but most other people can't. We weren't even planning on putting this out on a record label. we we're just going to use it as a demo. So people can take it for what it is. however, next time, We'll definitely spend more than just 3 days in the studio.
W-Could you give us a brief band history?
S-The band was formed in 1998 as a two piece, just Pat and I. We originally intended Enforsaken to be just a side project because we were both in differnt bands at the time(Deadpornstar and The Fallen). We decided that what we were writing was cooler than our other bands material, so we decided to make Enforsaken a full time project. We then added Joe, Steven and Eric to complete the line up, because before then, pat and I were both doing vocals and I was playing bass in the studio. We knew that couldn't work out in the long run. So ever since last year, we've been a 5 piece and that same line up remains intact until this very day.
W-How did you decide to use Carlos Holmberg for your artwork?
S-I'm a huge Soilwork fan, and I just happened to come across his email address. I sent him an email to ask him about his rates. I figured he'd charge us an arm and a leg for some kind of art,but he actually gave us a great deal. he came up with several pieces for us. All of them were awesome, but we chose the "nun/corpse" pic in the end. there's just something so creepy about it. Carlos busted his ass to get the pic to us by our cd production deadline.He's a total pro. He's just a really nice guy and it was a pleasure to work with him. I think our next cd will feature his art as well.
W-Was the creepy feel something that you were looking for, or did it just seem to fit when you saw the artwork?
S-We really didn't give Carlos any ideas or guide him in any certain direction. He came up with the picture on his own. When i first saw it, it looked kind of wierd to me. I almost didn't like it. It just seemed too strange. then i looked at it a couple of days later. that's when I realised how fucking crazy evil it was. It started to grow on me. The rest of the band agreed, so we bought it from him. We we're actually going to use this landscape piture that I took at a swamp by our rehearsal spot for our cover
art...but it looked way too "Nordic" black metal for us. it looked cool, but then the cd would have looked like a million other black metal cd covers.
W-What made you decide to go with a more European approach to the sound, there aren't that many American death metal bands that use alot of melody like you guys.
S-We all grew up listening to European black/death metal. Most of us learned how to play our instruments from trying to play early Darkthrone, Carcass, Pestilence, Dismember, At the Gates, Edge of Sanity, Dark Tranquillity riffs etc. I'm speaking mostly for joe and I on this, but all of us are into the whole european sound. So all of this has just naturally rubbed off into Enforsaken. We're also influenced by American bands like Autopsy, Death etc...
W-How did you get noticed by Lifeless Records and how do you feel the relationship with them has went so far?
S-We played a show last lear with Dismember, Shadows Fall, Krisiun and Kataklysm. We were the opening band, and Matt Bachand watched our set. He really liked us, and told us that he wanted to work with us. At that point, we weren't ready to record, so we just kept in touch. we finally got everything together and made a deal with him a few months ago. So far everything has been great with Matt. So far He put us on The new england metal and hardcore/lifeless rec 2001 cd comp. That has definitely helped us get some exposure. He's also gotten our cds out to many distros. He's just doing a great job with all kinds of things for us, so we're happy.He's got big plans for us.
W-Sounds great, do you plan to release the next album on Lifeless as well?
S-I guess we'll just have to see what the future brings. If Matt can hook us up with a great deal, I don't see why we wouldn't. He's helped us alot already, and for that we're thankful. He's busy as hell with Shadows Fall,
so everything he does for us is much appreciated. So who knows, we'll just have to wait and see.
W-I saw on the site that Embraced by Misery will be getting released in Europe and Japan very soon, who will be distributing the album over there and how does it feel to get worldwide distribution so quickly?
S-Embraced by Misery will be released in Europe by LifeForce Records Germany.
Matt from Lifeless gave Stefan, (the owner of LifeForce) a copy of the
Lifeless Records 2001 compilation. that comp features our song, "The Acting
Parts" , and I guess Stefan was just totally blown away by it! He offered us
a great deal so we took it. The European version will have a cover of
Carcass' incarnated solvent abuse on it too, so we're very excited about
that. It's great that we have worldwide distribution so quickly. we weren't
expecting to this fast for sure. but we're not complaining. We just want to
get our music to as many people as possible, so all of this defintely helps!
W-Is there any way for us American fans to hear the Carcass cover?
S-Sure. Lifeforce Records are sending us our own copies to sell in the United
States. it will be available to buy through us as soon as we get them. just
check our website or ebay for them in early August, we should have them by
then. They won't be priced much higher than our domestic release. We'll probably sell them for $9 or $10 postage included.
W-Have you started writing any new material?
S-Yes. we almost have two new completed songs. Things are coming along slowly but surely.
W-How do these two songs compare with the material on Embraced by Misery?
S-The two new songs are very different from each other. one is a very fast
paced, in your face style song. I can't really compare it to our other songs
beacause it's just different. it's still Enforsaken, but it's actually much
heavier than some of our older material. The other song is in more of a mid
paced style. We're experimenting with different drum beats on that one right
now. We still need to fine tune a few things on both of them, but things are
coming along. There haven't been any drastic changes in our sound...yet.
W-Do you have any major tour plans at the moment?
S-We were going to do an East Coast u.s. summer tour, but i think we're going
to wait until the cd spreads around a litte bit more. More people still need
to hear the cd. We'll probably do some fests though. We'll probably just be
doing shows in the Chicagoland area for the next few months.
W-What kinds of reactions do you get from live performances?
S-It all depends on the crowd. If we play with hardcore bands, the reaction
usually isn't that great. But otherwise, the reactions are pretty much
always good.We've started some pits, so that's a good sign! We actually
haven't played all that many shows. i think we've only done about 5 or so.
W-If you could convince everyone to buy the album by one phrase, what would it be?
S-Enforsaken's "Embraced by Misery" fucking rules...and so will you if you buy
W-What are some of your own favorite bands at the moment?
S-Right now i'm into Soilwork, Deftones, Dark Tranquillity, Zyklon, Arch
Enemy, Spiritual Beggars and Al Green. I still listen to the classic death
metal stuff like Entombed's left hand path, Dismember's Like an ever flowing
stream, any album by Carcass etc. We all have different tastes, so i can't
speak for the rest of the guys.
W-Do you have a personal favorite track that you have recorded, and if so why?
S-My personal favorite is The Acting Parts. That song just sounds really good
to me. The arrangement is very good. It's very catchy. I like all of our
songs, but that one is definitely my favorite. I want to continue writing
more songs like that.
W-Anything else that you would like to say in conclusion?
S-Thank you very much for the interview Kyle! Everyone check out our website,
www.enforsaken.com and pick up a copy of Embraced By Misery. It's only
$8ppd, so no excuses! Thanks again!