Interviews: Forlorn Hope

In this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Heavy Metal band Forlorn Hope from the UK. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that? 

The whole idea for this band is founded in military history and the name is no exception. It comes from siege warfare in the Napoleonic era, which was a bloody business. After blowing a gap or “breach” in the walls of an enemy fortress, the attacking force would have to storm the breach with foot soldiers to capture the fortress, but this was incredibly dangerous.

The defenders would have every available gun trained on the breach and would have laid all manner of traps and obstacles in the attackers’ way. The men that went first would almost certainly be annihilated, but someone always has to go first.

Those who did go first - often volunteers attracted by the promise of promotion and fame should they survive - were known as the Forlorn Hope.

Chris (lead vocals & rhythm guitar) came up with the name several years ago when he first came up with the concept of this band, and it was part of the pitch he made to us in 2017 when we decided to form a new, original band. Once he explained what it meant, we all agreed it was perfect for us. 

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

We all love melodic metal and a good, catchy tune, so when we decided in 2017 to do something original, having been playing covers together for a few months, we knew that was the sort of music we wanted to write.

We’re also big fans of story-driven music, something which all of us except John (bass) had explored when we first played together in short-lived symphonic project Cathar some years ago.

Chris is the history enthusiast in the band and well before the five of us came together as a band he had been working on this historical power metal project with a little help from Alex (lead guitar). He pitched the concept to us as something to pursue and it ticked all of our boxes, so we went for it.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Oh yes. Danny (drums) and John are the oldest friends in the band and have played in a couple of bands together before this one, most notably a metalcore act called Ensorrowed which formed in 2010 at about the same time that Chris and Alex (lead guitar) first met in high school.

Chris went on to meet the Ensorrowed boys through the local metal scene while at university in Liverpool. When Ensorrowed split up, Danny and Chris founded Cathar. Chris brought in Alex as Cathar’s guitarist and through Cathar’s bass player we met Jade (keyboards) who became Cathar’s keyboard player. 

4. Each band member favorite band?

Chris - Avantasia

Alex - Symphony X

John - Alter Bridge

Jade - Iron Maiden

Danny - Guns N Roses

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

From a lyrical perspective, it’s the history and the fascinating stories that we write about. Our songwriting process always starts with the subject matter and we build the song to tell that story, so we’re always seeking out evocative stories with powerful narratives that will inspire us to write something dramatic and engaging.

From a musical perspective, it’s songwriters like Sabaton and Powerwolf who have such an incredible knack for writing irresistibly catchy metal tunes. Those are the sort of songs we want to write and artists like that inspire us to be better.

6. Where was your last gig?

At the time of writing it was a headline show at Rebellion in Manchester on Wednesday 1 May 2019. It was our first gig since January, having spent the best part of three months shut away working on our debut album, and it felt so good to be back on stage at last. We had a terrific time and are looking forward to playing many more gigs throughout the year.

7. Where would you like to play?

Somewhere genuinely historic, like on the deck of HMS Victory or at Château d'Hougoumont at Waterloo. Failing that though, Bloodstock would do just fine.

8. Who would you like to support?

Sabaton. They’re a huge influence for us, outstanding songwriters and performers and we’d be a pretty good fit both musically and thematically. It’d be a historical heavy metal extravaganza.

9. Who not?

We don’t really like to answer questions like that. We’re not in the business of doing other bands down.

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

We all have at different times and to different extents. The best cure is to just keep gigging as much as you can and your confidence will build naturally as you get more comfortable on stage. Don’t try to beat the nerves by getting smashed; your performance will only suffer as a result.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Sabaton is definitely our most significant influence. They’ve proved what an appetite there is out there for historical heavy metal and they’ve set the bar very high indeed. We certainly don’t seek to mimic them - we have a distinct sound and tend to focus on different periods in history - but it’s fair to say without Sabaton there would be no Forlorn Hope. 

Beyond that our influences is a blend of the classics - Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, etc. - and other contemporary power metal bands like Kamelot, Powerwolf and Avantasia.

Special mention should also go to Iced Earth’s 2004 historical concept album ‘The Glorious Burden’. The detail and passion for history that clearly went into their concept piece about the Battle of Gettysburg is something that Chris always seeks to emulate in his lyrics.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

We haven’t really had any weird fan requests yet, but you never know what the future holds. The closest we get is history enthusiasts who want to have an in-depth discussion about the Napoleonic Wars, and we just point them at Chris and everyone’s happy.

13. What do you think of your fans?

Our fans are absolutely fantastic. Our military history theme and our current focus on the Napoleonic Wars has attracted a very particular subset of metal fans. We regularly hear from history enthusiasts and reenactors and their passion is just wonderful. Not to mention the fans who just love some catchy, melodic heavy metal. The constant encouragement we receive from our fans really keeps us going.

14. What do you think of our site?

Looks like a great site with a really wide and diverse selection of artists featured.

15. Something to add?

Our debut album ‘Over the Hills’ will be released on 26/07/19. It’s a concept piece telling stories of horror and heroism from the Peninsular War of 1807-1814 through blazing, hook-filled heavy metal.

Pre-orders will open shortly on our official website and we wholeheartedly recommend that you purchase a hard copy so that you can savour Mitchell Nolte’s fantastic artwork and the detailed, historical background notes that accompany each track.

The first single ‘Rifles’ is currently available to stream and/or purchase from our official website, Youtube, Bandcamp and Spotify.

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