Ever since we’ve listed emo/math rock band Forests‘ Who Cares Really as one of our top releases of 2015, the fun-loving trio seems to be on course for greater heights. Within a span of little over a month, the nascent band has released their highly-acclaimed debut LP Sun Eat Moon Grave Party, completed a tour in Japan, did a music video shoot with our friends at Bandwagon, and played two well-received shows in Singapore so far – one for fellow emo upstarts the Cosmic Child/Long Live The Empire‘s EP launch and one for emo stalwarts The Caulfield Cult.
Last Saturday’s show at the Caulfield Cult’s EP launch was a treat for fans of the loosely-termed emo genre. Held at the Substation, the show brought together two billings – one rising upstart and the other a veteran in the local scene. The high octane show brought many memories – from the struggling with a faulty bass amp, the intense chant-alongs, and giving plenty of throwback to the days where bands like Yellowcard, American Football and Sunny Day Real Estate ruled the roost.
So how did our cult-heroes Forests come into fruition? Formed by members Darell (Bass and vocals), Adam (Guitars and Vocals) and Niki (Drums), the band’s members met via music portal SOFT – according to the band’s drummer Niki.
“This band would not have formed if I hadn’t been on a music forum, just window shopping in the ‘bands wanted’ section,” he says.
The band’s vocalist-bassist Darell adds that he and guitarist-vocalist Adam wanted to start a “three-piece dance-screamo band” in the vein of indie rock band Two Door Cinema Club.
He says, “I wanted to start a three-piece band that played emo music, and the first person I had in mind was Adam, who was playing for Earl Grey at that time. We had a conversation and we decided to jam together.”
“I wanted to try something different. I noticed in Singapore that they didn’t have a proper three-piece midwest emo/math band, so we started the band,” he says.
Having hailed from various established projects before this – Darell playing bass for post-hardcore band Allegiance, Adam was a guitarist for metalcore stalwarts Monsters In Living Flesh and Niki serving as a drummer concurrently for progressive rock outfit Bear Culture – how did the band settle on pursuing the midwest emo genre? “We never agreed on any genre actually. When the band was formed, we always questioned our genre,” Darell says.
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“At the start, we didn’t really know what genre we were, but with the full length release, we discovered what kind of music we played. We have more of a solid sound now, compared to our EP. We now know what the Forests sound is (laughs).”
Adam chimes in. “It wasn’t a conscious decision. We showed up for the first jamming session, and I had a few riffs written, and we just worked around those riffs,” he says.
Hailed for their emotionally-depth charged lyrics yet-sonically fun approach to songwriting, Forests has garnered a reputation for their hard-hitting lyrics. Examples include acoustic number Feels Like Your Best Friend Is Going Away Forever‘s “I can’t do anything/ Now that it’s over/ I couldn’t wait to see you/ But you’re not coming over” and Tamago‘s “I hate nightmares/ But you’re my favourite one.”
Darell, who writes most of the lyrics with help from Adam, says that these lyrics are “not based on his experiences.”
“I just write it as a story for anyone to relate to. It’s nothing personal to me. Some of the words sounded cool, so we just put it in,” he says.
With a highly-received debut LP, an international tour and various shows under their belt, what’s next for the self-deprecating and cheeky emo upstarts? Darell says, “Our end goal is to perform at Baybeats eventually. After we play Baybeats or hit 1000 likes on Facebook, we will disband the band.”
Adam adds, “Darell wants to play Baybeats before he hits 30. That is his lifelong dream. And I hate all our fans (laughs). Shout out to Baybeats!”
Godspeed Forests, Godspeed.