“Freedom for us is the illusion that is draped over our eyes by the cosmic order.”
Interview by Jason Guest
Jason: Thanks for taking time out for this interview and congratulations on Blakaz Askǭ Hertô (Ed: reviewed here). To begin, when forming Fōr, did you have a vision of what you wanted the band to be?
Fōr: When we first started, we didn’t really have a set vision or concept with the band or the music. Our demo Kundaz is more of a collection of initial ideas. When we began working on the EP is when the concept and vision of exploring deeper into the darker aspect of Germanic magic really began. What you hear now with the EP is what we felt was proper at that time, what happens next is up in the stars.
Jason: Can you tell us where the name Fōr originated? What does this name signify for the band?
Fōr: The name “Fōr” is Proto-Germanic for “Fire”. To us, the music is an untamed fire. If you listen to the music on the EP, to us, they feel as if consumed by these flames, spreading in ways that you may not expect. More importantly, the name represents the burning and destructive aspects of Múspellsheimr that lives within us to create this music.
Jason: Musically, who are Fōr’s main influences? Are there any bands that have had a significant impact on the band and its sound?
Fōr: When people review and listen to our music, they bring to mind, bands such as Portal, Archgoat, Grave Upheaval etc. We did not have any specific style in mind from any band when we began writing music. It simply is what it is, and is open for others to draw their own interpretation.
Jason: Blakaz Askǭ Hertô, translates as “Black Ash Heart” in respect to the black witch Gullveig and her immolation by Æsir as well as her heart being consumed by Loke. What is about this myth in particular that drew you to it and write music as homage?
Fōr: The title to us signifies birth through death. When Loke ate Gullveig’s still beating rime-heart, he became pregnant with Jörmundgandr and ultimately gave birth to the serpent. This story is closely tied into the meaning of the band’s name as Loke is of Muspell-essence, and is himself a representation of the black flame. This story can also be compared to the creation story as fire and ice coming together to give birth to life as Niflheimr and Múspellsheimr combined with Ginnungagap.
Jason: The Gullveig myth tells of the need for destruction in order to achieve freedom. How does Fōr’s music seek to capture, to represent, or to embody this concept?
Fōr: What is freedom? Freedom for us is the illusion that is draped over our eyes by the cosmic order. We feel the representation of Gullveig and her ultimate goal to destroy life and bring the world to the original essence of nothingness or “chaos” as some have put it, is to unveil that illusion. True “freedom” is only achievable through death. To be one with Ginnungagap is the only way one can truly be free. But of course, freedom is a very subjective term and can represent a plethora of interpretations. Although we feel we are on the right path, we feel there is nothing that is certain. Anything can change.
Jason: Fōr’s music is based upon the sacred bindrune, Ulfhamir. What does this these Berserkers represent to Fōr?
Fōr: Well, you have actually mixed up Ulfhamir and Ulfheðinn. The Ulfheðinn were the wolf warriors equivalent to the bear-empowered warriors we call Berserkers. The bindrune Ulfhamir as mentioned is very sacred to us. To give away its meaning and purpose for all to see would desaturate the value and power that we have placed within. It is best for others to, if they feel necessary, interpret their own meaning behind it.
Jason: Music is a very powerful medium for conveying messages, both secular and spiritual. Do you think that music, something intangible and abstract, is itself imbued with a power to provide an avenue into these unknown aspects of existence?
Fōr: Simple answer? Yes. Our music is very much a galdr in every aspect. We place everything we have be it magic, our own energy, strengths and ambitions into our music, making them transcend from being just music into powerful incantations. We personally visualize our music as witnessing Ginnungagap yawning as the essence of Múspellsheimr and Niflheimr are being poured into this acosmic well, if you will. The shapeless horrors, beings or energies that are emerging from the void, represents the true nature of Fōr. As mentioned, it is very intangible and abstract and it is almost pointless as we as humans are condemned to five simple senses that try to make sense of something that is so vast, massive and incomprehensible that it is very hard to justify or break down what Fōr truly means.
Jason: Within extreme music, there’s a deep-seated desire to explore belief systems, systems of symbolic representation, and philosophies that are in distinct opposition to the dominant ideologies of the west in the 21st century. Why do you think this is?
Fōr: We feel it all boils down to man’s curiosity to things that are made out to be taboo. Some people are willing to conform and follow the rules, where there are some people who go against the grain, possessing a free spirit that are willing to risk to learn and understand what is made out to be “forbidden.” Those with the true fire burning inside do not want to be chained down and made into a slave, but instead be ready to confront what is lurking in the dark and face what is hiding in the unknown.
Jason: Myths are very important in terms of individual, cultural and national identity, and bear much significance for musicians involved in extreme music. What is it that makes these two distinct domains such good bedfellows?
Fōr: Concerning cultural and national identity, mixed with extreme music, we don’t really feel that most bands truly embrace the essence of who they are, or where they come from aside from the Pagan or even NSBM bands. Obviously a Satanic band is more of a religious band, and not a cultural band. If you really look deep into the music scene, you won’t find very many bands expressing about their cultural or national identities that, again are outside of the Pagan or NSBM scene. It goes back to music being a medium. Music is the perfect outlet to express yourself, be it spiritually, politically or emotionally.
Jason: What does the future hold for the band? Is there more material in the works? An album?
Fōr: Only the future can tell. Our fates are sealed and we must accept that. We are currently writing music for two up-coming splits that will see the light sometime next year. A new album will manifest when the time is right. Fōr is very much an organism in the sense that we do not write the music when we feel ready, but instead the music writes itself when it feels necessary.
Jason: Will you remain with the Gullveig myth for inspiration for future works or do you have other areas that you wish to explore?
Fōr: We will always remain firmly rooted within the Germanic ideology as far as lyrics and concepts go. The Germanic mythology is so vast and so deep that there are so many stories and hidden messages to unravel that no man will ever truly understand the whole story. Gullveig was the concept of our latest EP, but she will always be the main reason behind what we do and what we write about. This band is very much a beacon of her darkness and our music is her voice.
Jason: Why choose to work with Iron Bonehead Productions? Do you plan to work with them for future releases?
Fōr: Working with Iron Bonehead Productions was simply a stroke of good luck. We emailed them not expecting much and it turned out for the best. All of our future releases will be exclusively released by IBP until they say otherwise.
Jason: Thanks again for taking time out for this interview. Do you have any closing words for our readers?
Fōr: ƀlōtan hailaga dauþaz