One of the albums I’ve enjoyed listening to the most off late is ‘With These Fists’ by the Norwegian band FORGERY. The game is thrash, and these guys play the game excellently. I had the chance to send Forgery singer and guitarist Anders Moen a bunch of questions.
Thomas: Anders, first of all; thanks for providing me with a great thrash kick with ‘With These Fists’. Secondly, could you give our readers a short introduction to the band?
Anders: You’re welcome; our band consists of four guys having a good time making music.
Me and Morten Steen (bass) go way back to the early years and met at an audition, I didn’t get the gig and Morten quit that band shortly after. We started hanging out and jamming together. Ronny Hansen is a great guitarist we found through friends, hearing he was in between bands. Where Morten and I had a more Thrash mindset, Ronny brought Death to the mix. He was also the guy who introduced me to Meshuggah, which had a huge impact on our music from then on. To top it all off we needed a really good drummer who could pull off anything we threw at him. We got lucky and Jan Roger Halvorsen was the second drummer we auditioned. He bites down and swears through his teeth at times, but he does not give up.
Thomas: You started out in 1990, but had a long break from around 1992 until 2002. What made you come back together back then? Do you still have the same line-up as back in 1990?
Anders: Forgery died in 92/93 because our drummer (Lars R. Sørensen) left and we could not find a drummer who could play what we needed in Forgery. I kept on playing in another band until that band lost its momentum and died a slow, agonizing death. In 2002/2003, I contacted a drummer friend of mine (Karl Jonny Lervåg) and we started jamming, not long after that, I called Morten and wondered if he wanted to play some metal again. It was Karl Jonny’s idea to call ourselves Forgery again - it was never our intension to start up an old band or play songs from ’92. This is a band whose history started in 2003-ish. Karl Jonny left after a couple of years and we got hold of Jan Roger, and that has been the lineup for the last 7 years.
Thomas: As I wrote in my review of ‘With These Fists’, I hear Prong, Machine Head and Sepultura in your music. Who would you cite as your main influences?
Anders: My personal influences include all of the above, Morten and I started doing this together when Metallica still made cool music, so you could throw in those guys and Slayer, Pantera, Megadeth, Exodus, Kreator, Sodom and Holy Moses. As I said Ronny introduced me to Meshuggah which has changed the way I make music.
Thomas: What kind of lyrical universe do you revolve around? Political topics, fantasy, emotions?
Anders: It’s a mix of political rants against war, religion and the abuse of power and inner demons that need to be fought or fed. Throw in some anxiety and you’re there.
Thomas: Imagine you listen to ‘With These Fists’ in ten years; which song from the album do you think will stand out in particular and still be amazing?
Anders: I really don’t know, you get kind of blind after hearing these songs so much when you record and mix an album. I can guess, and it would probably be ‘Mind of Rage’, ‘Anatomy of Pain’, ‘Black Mourning’ and ‘Shadows of Fear’.
Thomas: Are you doing a tour in support of the album?
Anders: Touring is a very expensive and difficult thing to pull off. There will not be a tour, but some gigs here and there this spring, and we’re working to fill up the autumn. After that I see us starting to record the next album around December/January.
Thomas: How do you fit into the metal scene in Oslo right now? Are there a lot of thrash bands around?
Anders: There are some Thrash bands in Oslo, yes. There was a time when there was nothing but black metal bands here, but that time has passed. Now there are retro thrash bands that capture the sound of the early 80s, new and contemporary thrash and all in between. We are closer to the latter.
Thomas: A Norwegian band on an Australian label? How did that come about?
Anders: In 2012 we did a tour with Harm and Tantara. Harm brought with them an Australian guy that had flown from Australia to join them on tour… the guy was Pete from Battlegod Production, Harm’s record label. He saw us live 9 times in three weeks and we had an agreement before the tour was over.
Thomas: I was looking you up on facebook, and the first thing I bumped into was a rock cover band from South West London called Forgery! Are we going to see a big lawsuit any time soon? :}
Anders: HAHHAHAHAHA they’re not the only ones. There have been a couple of them around, nothing to worry about.
Thomas: If you were to recommend some Norwegian bands you find great and innovative right now, who would you mention?
Anders: We have some really cool Norwegian bands, check out: Imbalance, Dead Trooper, Blodspor, Blood Tsunami, Ashowa, Kraken and our friends from Battlegod, Harm and Subliritum.
Thomas: What are you listening to at the moment – who are the movers on the global metal scene right now?
Anders: At the moment I’m listening to Enslaved and Gojira, but I always circle back to Meshuggah from time to time.
Thomas: Thanks for answering these questions. Any last comments to our readers?
Anders: Well, check out our album, open a beer, turn up the volume and have a good time .