1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the musical project since the recording of the new ep?
Yes, gladly. Since the recording of the EP, there was of course the mixing and mastering coupled with all the logistical work relating to pressing the actual copies. The CDs just came in yesterday and the vinyl are still being cut. Now, I am doing interviews, reading and sharing reviews and trying to post more online. It's surprisingly difficult for me, but we're giving it a good effort. I am considering a cassette release for this EP as well. One would hope that after the musique is sent in to cut that it would just be a period of waiting until the release. As an independant and unsigned artist, the work never stops.
2.You have a new ep coming out in September, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
This EP is totally different yet echoes the same. We have done mostly acoustic material in the past, and we will agayne in the future. This EP is a side-step and artistic statement meant to highlight the Black and Doom metal so underlyingly presentin all Forever Autumn werke. It is not necessarily a new direction, but something that I have wanted to do for a long tyme. There is of course, heavy distortion and electric guitars but it still ties to the archaic and organic of Forever Autumn in the beating of the bodhrán. Instead of a full kit, I decided to use the bodhrán and one large 'doom drum' for this release. These instruments speak to more 'traditional' Forever Autumn whilst the raw unrelenting Black Metal weaves it's dark tapestry.
3.The new recording shows the music going back to a heavier direction after years of being acoustic, what was the decision behind going into this musical direction?
In truth, I had always had a fantasy of leading a Black Metal band. I have been sitting on the idea of this EP for many years.The tyme wes finally right, and it all came together. As mentioned above; it's not a new direction but an artistic statement.The next full length album (which we are already working on) will be a return to the 'traditional' acoustic of Forever Autumn.This EP highlights and celebrates an invaluable part of me and my process. On the next release you can expect more bodhrán blast-beats and rapid riffs interwoven with the blackened Other-Worldy visceral folk commonly associated with Forever Autumn.
4.A lot of your lyrics cover Celtic Paganism and Shamanism, can you tell us a little bit more about how your interest in this path has evolved over the years?
Yes, I can. These elements of Celtic Paganism and Shamanism are integral across the body of my werke. It appears not just in musique but in my visual werkes and other endeavors as well. It seems (from outside perspectives) that I move and carry myself through the world with such things shining through. It is definitely an interest, but moreover I would say that it is a calling. It is part of the werke I must do here. The evolution sees a growing pattern of interconnectedness with Spirit and my visits to the Other-World. The wisdom and medicine from such endeavors are brought back for the good of the people.My werke calls to the primal and archaic. It is by no means for ev'ryone. Those who are willing and able will find great medicine in my werkes. The Celtic aspect is in the bloed, after all Dubhghaill is a strong Irish name. It is difficult to explainbeyond that. Thank you for asking such a question. These things are important for people to hear and understand.
5.What are some of the other lyrical topics and subjects you have explored over the years with your music?
Other lyrical topics include death, isolation, loss and carrying on in the face of adversity. I am looking for others but most of it seems to fall under the above question on Celtic Paganism and Shamanism.
6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Forever Autumn'?
Since my name is Autumn Ni Dubhghaill, there is a common misconception that it's named after myself. I suppose, in an unconscious way, that could be true? Forever myself. The primary inspiration comes from the season of Autumn, that dying tyme of year. It is not necessarily the bright coloured, cooling days of the early Fall, but speaks more to the bleakness of Oktober and Novembre. That desolation and coming silence, that tyme of introspection and loss, and the coming of Winter tie in with common themes throughout Forever Autumn. There is also an element of hope where others find despair.The period of Fall and Winter become my more active and inspired tymes. Great werke is oft created in this period. The lightis sideways and fading and much more agreeable to my sensitive skin and eyes. Darkness is coming, and in it we thrive.
7.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new ep cover?
The artwerke for 'Hail the Forest Dark' is meant to honour early Black Metal. The left hand is raised in horns as a nod to the Satanic Black Metallers out there and their Left-Hand Path whilst the right hand sits lower yet holds the light of inspirit.The candle illuminates the darkness, just enough to define the figure in a haunting sense. The elbows sit on a similar plane to show the duality of the light and the dark, and the bullet belt harkens as well to early Black Metal. This cover also marks a bold departure from other album covers, where less of self is presented and more of my werke. Here, on 'Hail the Forest Dark', while still my own original artwork, the self is much more present and revealed in a way that I have not done before. It marks a turning point, signallyng the honest exposure of self, yet still presented in a controlled way. The cover of this release is carefully composed like that of the Olde Master Painters where nothing is inserted without a reason. The imagery of the piece highlights the self revealed.
8.What are some of the best shows that you have played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Some of our best shows have been the smaller, more intimate ones. These are the shows in a small venue with people crowded close. Some of our best shows have been marked by some listeners sitting on the floor and letting themselves be taken away by the musically woven spell. Our stage performance is simple, we often sit in chairs which lends itself to a more personal atmosphere, though this EP would have to be performed a little differently. One of the most memorable shows waes in an above-described environment with a notable difference; during our set, the spirit-ghost of a man appeared side-stage. He loved the musique and nodded along. I have not seen him since, but I know that by performing my craft, I helped him in some way. We've played that venue agayne, but I've not seen him agayne.
9.The musical project has been around since 2000, what is it that motivates you to keep going after a couple of decades?
I believe that there are two major motivational factors to consider. One is the dream; the idea that through dedication and hard work, we too can 'make it'. It's clear that we don't have the luck that many others do by being in the right place at the right tyme, but ever we press onward. There are, of course, countless moments of doubt that plague the saga, but one has to keep the dream. The other motivational factor is the calling. This is my werke. This is what I must do. This ties back in with the Shamanic aspects of myself and my werke. Over the years, we have made a positive impact on many people, and perhaps so many more that we don't even know about. We provide wisdom and medicine. We provide escape. We bring Spirit to this world, to help others be not so alone, to help them do their werke and pursue their own dreams. We chase the dream whilst feeding the dream of others by providing them with the introspection and blessyngs needed to come into their own selves. It is for these reasons that we continue after decades. We have been working hard to come to this tyme.
10.On the new ep you also had a guest appearance from Aaron Stainthorpe of 'My Dying Bride, can you tell us a little bit more about his contribution to the recording?
Indeed. Aaron and I have become good friends over the years. I, a fan of his musique and he of myne. He had some great feedback on our last full-length, 'Howls in the Forest at Dusk'. There waes one song in particular, 'Owl Bones and River Stones', of which he had a lot to say. We agreed that it would be fun to work together. I had decided to finally tackle this Black Metal EP and asked Aaron if he would like to hjelp out. Enthusiastically he agreed and we worked together on this new werke. At first it waes just about narration, but we decided to go further and involve him on all tracks. I had some perfect roles planned for him as I needed a voice to a particularly important entity. The result waes much better than I had anticipated. We may work together in the future too as we both enjoyed it. I do have a new balalaika song that would benefit from his talents. This collaboration is also a milestone for myself and Forever Autumn, by letting someone into the 'sanctum sanctorum' so to speak. It is rare for me to involve others in my werke, apart from Jon. Just as the cover art is a bold newstatement, so too is the integration of the talents of a dear friend. I am ever thankful for Aaron's presence on these recordings.
11.From 2002 to 2014 there was no music being released, can you tell us a little bit more about what was going on during that time frame?
There were a few more demos in 2003 and 2004. I believe that 'Archaic' came about around then. Then, in 2005, 'Waiting for Öktober' waes recorded but didn't see a limited release until I could afford it in 2008. In 2009, we made some crude live recordings that were never really released. We were active during that tyme with limited performances and the like. During that period, I had also returned to school a few tymes to finish my art degree. I would like to have produced more at that point but money waes quite tight and I lacked the proper recording gear that I now possess. The rest of it seems a strangefog, almost as if it is hard to process that it haes been that long. Many bands would have produced much more in that tymeframe, and would that we could have, but money is a real issue when your project is entirely self-funded. I feel that I may have been much more active producing my visual art and showing at galleries and things during that tyme.
12.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
We are always looking for a label, and no we have not received any interest. In the past two decades, I have sent so much musique out to so many labels that I have lost count. None have ever been interested. Most don't even provide a 'thanks but no thanks'. I know they must have so much coming in that it's difficult to respond, but still... It is additionally difficult in that many labels don't actually want to hear from you. They seem to have a 'we'll find you' sort of policy, but they never do. Maybe this EP is the impetus for change? Perhaps, after two decades of hard work that reward will finally be revealed?
13.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of neo-folk, black and doom metal?
Forever Autumn fans are few and far between. They are scattered across the globe. Some are very dedicated. They, like myself, tend to retreat into seclusion. I had long felt that the Neo-Folk scene would really appreciate my werke but it haes been an astonishing dead end. I have joined online groups and the like but for all my tries to introduce, Forever Autumntends to be blocked and just not posted. I have had a difficult tyme finding a space in the Neo-Folk scene. Black and Doom metal, while prevalent in Forever Autumn is often missed by those in the Black and Doom scenes. Honestly, we've not had much Black Metal attention, but I am hoping that 'Hail the Forest Dark' will change that. We have existed on the periphery of the underground Doom scene for these decades. Though often missed by Doom fans, we have been able to carve out a haunted little corner even if we are not understood. All those at doom-metal.com have been staunch supporters for many years. It is through the aid of that nexus point that we have been able to accomplish much of what we have. Forever Autumn haes long been an obscure force, never quite fitting in anywhere. To our dedicated fans; thank you for your continued support all these many long years.
14.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician during the future?
I endeavor to project into the future. What I see is a new album, tentatively entitled "the Lamentations" as well as a contemporary re-imagining of the very early Forever Autumn werkes possibly called "Antiquity". We have also begun a conversation about a boxed set, which would also include the two aforementioned albums. I hope to see new fansand make new friends. I hope for Forever Autumn to reach those who could benefit from it and once it is safe for live performances agayne, I would really love to perform. I have missed performing, dearly.
15.What are you currently listening to nowadays?
Recently, I've been listenyng to Asgard, Sargeist and Death, as well as olde Kreator records and Darkthrone. I have been on a bit of a Siouxsie and the Banshees kick for a while and believe it or not; Human Drama. Now that I have had my tape deck fixed, I am also rediscovering some olde Black Metal tapes like The Cross, Black Funeral and some early Mayhem. In the carit haes been Slayer, Venom, and Mayhem with Foresti and the Sisters of Mercy.
16.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
First I must thank you for doing your research and asking some really good, thought out questions. I thank all those reading this and cannot stress enough; support the underground. In conclusion, thank you; it is tyme for a cup of tea.