Forfeit Thee Untrue
Another day. Another interview with local legends.
Now you’ve only been around a few years. How did Forfeit Thee Untrue start?
The origins of Forfeit Thee Untrue can be traced back to 2006 and started with co-founders, Craig Palmer & Sean Towsen (former rhythm guitarist, who stepped down in 2013). It was only in 2010 when the name, Forfeit Thee Untrue, came about and 2011 when Gideon ‘Gidz’ Karsten agreed to assist Palmer & Towsen with some song ideas that FTU became more official as a “band”. From there, Karsten, Palmer and Towsen worked on several songs with the idea of recording the songs and releasing an EP.
Where did you get the name?
“Forfeit Thee Untrue” comes from an idea, philosophy and band mission statement to get rid of the fake areas in one’s life; whether it be in one’s own heart, at school, at work, in relationships, in politics, in religion, etc. and subsequently to strive for being yourself and being real, to drop the masks and to be/become the person God created you to be.
What genre of music do you consider Forfeit Thee Untrue to be?
There have been many debates surrounding what sub-genre of metal FTU falls into, but we consider FTU to fall under the general genre of Christian metal, with paramount influences of the metalcore and Alternative metal subgenres.
What’s the inspiration behind most of your songs?
God is the inspiration behind ALL of our songs. We tend to write music and lyrics that are very dark, bold and subsequently often controversial, which seek to expose evil (serving as a “warning”) and/or to write about situations that are relevant to what a lot of people will go through in their daily lives but then offering some sort of hope or faith for the listener – a light in the darkness – even in the most negative of situations, which can be found and pursued through and in our relationship with Jesus Christ. We often tend to write songs as “stories”, which subsequently involves writing from various character/entity perspectives in order to make the story or viewpoint more real and alive.
Tell us a joke.
Knock, knock. Who’s there? Atch. Atch who? Bless you.
So who would you say is your greatest musical influence and why?
Probably Demon Hunter because of their bold Christian stance and musically because of the love for both the heavier, brutal metal elements, as well as the melodic softer side, and the combination of the two.
Could you briefly describe the music-making process?
For us, we kinda feel we do things backwards to the “norm”, but it works for us. Usually we will first get a song title or theme, then the lyrics would be written 90% in terms of content and song structure (verse, prechorus, chorus, etc.). Following that, one of us would either come up with a riff or drum beat for somewhere in the song and then the rest of us would build around/add to that and work from there. We do however always write the music for every song as a band.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Do you have a set time each week in which you practice or are rehearsals more spontaneous?
We usually practice on Sunday afternoons and sometimes on a Wednesday night. We will typically spend the first hour having coffee and chatting about personal aspects and sharing stories, then we would share something from Scripture and pray together. Following this we would then either work on a new song or practice other songs already written (depending on whether we are in the process of recording or preparing for a show.
Who have you performed with and where?
We have only performed in South Africa, particularly in our province – Gauteng. We have played at several venues including pubs and clubs, as well as played several shows at various churches and another at SABC studios (local television and production network). We have played several festivals including Deathfest South Africa, Defying Death and High on Faith. We have not played with any international acts as yet, but have played beside and with some of SA’s top metal/rock bands, including Red Helen, The Hammer of Redemption, Adorned in Ash, Agro, 11th Hour, Facing the Gallows and Octainium.
Any advice for new bands?
Stay true to yourself and the music that you want to make/play, regardless of the scene in the country. If you have the passion and the drive, then you will be successful regardless because you will be creating music/doing something that is true to your heart. Also, many bands are “playing it safe” and just doing something similar to the next band. In light of that, don’t be afraid to push the boundaries of the genres/subgenres, as well as what is “acceptable”. Regardless of whether people love the music you write/play or hate it, make sure they won’t forget the experience
At the moment, we have had interest from another international record label and will be signing with them soon and then releasing our debut full-length album, Cremation Jesus Lacrimam, mid-year. Following that, we plan to do an album launch, play some shows and festivals to promote the album, hopefully do some shows a bit further away as well – possibly a South African tour. Something else that is close to our hearts is our campaign against suicide and drugs. In 2014 we co-hosted an anti-suicide / anti-drug campaign and event, Defying Death, and we will be looking to get a 2015 DD event off the ground. We would also like to look at doing a music video, as well as release a DVD for the making of the album later in the year.
Any last words?
Just a massive thank you to 925 Rebellion for your interest in and support of FTU. We always appreciate any support when it comes to our music and ministry. To those of you who read this interview, thank you to you as well for your support in our music and what we stand for. We salute you! Eyes to the sky!