About Me

Interview with Foscor

Foscor hail from Catalonia, and take inspiration from the morbid, decadent, and sick reflections on a rapidly changing society, as the artistic landscape at the end of the nineteenth century shaped. The Catalans have returned with the second chapter “Les Sepulcres Blancs” of the trilogy initiated with “Les Irreals Visions” in 2017, yet strongly connected to the fin de siècle cultural movement of Modernisme. Visual things must acquire a new secret appearance, and with ‘Els Sepulcres Blancs’ FOSCOR treats poetically how facing a change of a sick world and society through the land of dreams. Fiar led Metal Imperium through an interesting conversation… read on…

M.I. - Foscor translates into “Darkness” in Catalan. How connected are you to your Catalan culture, roots and traditions?

Hi Sónia, thanks for sharing time with us to chat about the band’s new album and all related topics. To answer to your question, I need to jump far back to the very early days of the band, when Falke and I decided to use some specific tools to compose the initial iconography and universe. Those tools were already used 20 years ago with the aim of sharing to the world a piece of the place we live in and built our cultural environment and background. At least part of what was inspiring us as did decades before worldwide. 
Our first logo was made by using the F from the typography used within some drawings of the Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia, and an excuse for us to express how much the Catalan Modernisme movements inspired us. The Phoenix icon we used to use, came from an earlier cultural movement called “Renaixença”, which saw our Art disciplines and Social collectives stand up again after times of oppression. As you may see some of those tools are still a part of us, even in a more present and complete way, accompanying the use of our name and lyrics in our native tongue.
We believe this is the best way to deliver a more personal proposal, as it recalls and connects directly to the place where we live and have grown. From the difference comes the richness of this world. Let’s make it evident from what inspired and still teaches us in many levels. 

M.I. - “Els Sepulcres Blancs” is Foscor’s 2nd chapter of the trilogy initiated with “Les Irreals Visions” and was released recently. How do you feel when your material is released for the world to listen to? What kind of feelings come across you?

Excitement for sure… a sort of scaring vibe is also part of that moment, but only when it comes to see if you are going to be really able to emotionally connect with the audience. We create and perform music in order to set a dialogue with the rest of the world, let’s say by explaining the concept and speech behind an album and by sharing a part of ourselves, which have let a collection of songs and emotions happen. 
This is not only done for ourselves, because it would make no sense to keep struggling as much as we do to get new doors open and extend the chances and options on moments and experiences to be lived.
We are much more confident on what we are expressing and how we want to capture those emotions, so on the other hand there’s no doubt about the fact that what we have delivered is what we wanted to express and is so coherent with our goals and intentions. We are continuing with a journey started in 2016, before signing with Season Of Mist, and for sure now things are pretty much easier to create, concrete and express.
Anyway, as I said before, there’s always doubt about if people will connect with you and be part of the journey just for an instant. When that moment happens, it is priceless.

M.I. - What’s the main inspiration for the trilogy? How did you decide to do it? 

Before composing 2017’s “Les Irreals Visions”, the band was focused on finding a coherent speech that might lead both musical and conceptual parcels, also helping on aesthetical terms. From the need to make all parcels work as a whole thing, let’s say that during the previous albums everything was simply noted and not concreted.
I realized that many things we were trying to explore and express, even things that inspired us and we were not able to explain, already were explained and developed a century ago by the Catalan cultural movement called Modernisme. It made me see a clear way to connect a creative speech with a similar convulse social moment and finally the possibility of sharing a piece of our culture. All driven in a coherent and solid form connecting all our goals and interests in a proper way, and allowing us to translate the past into our present, and perhaps become an example for the future.

The artists taking part in all kind of Art disciplines within those years appeared in a moment of strong renovation of the cultural and social roles lived during the end of XIX C.; a probably already consumed model which stressed the people and the economical powers from cultural to social levels, etc. Did we need more proofs and excuses regarding how actual and vast might be something we merely had used on aesthetical terms before? No.
We drew a line divided in 3 chapters based on the following principles, which might summarize the scope of the creative process at that time:
  • Common things must acquire a new meaning
  • Visual things, a new secret appearance
  • And the already known, the dignity of the unknown

3 principles that must be read with poetical eyes, but speak of common issues in a global world and had a real goal in changing the world and improving the life of others through Art.

M.I. - Why the title “Els Sepulcres Blancs”? What does it mean?

As soon as we decided to draw this line for the next 3 albums right before signing with Season Of Mist, the current and new one “Els Sepulcres Blancs” goes deeper into the second premise, where the world of dreams could be seen as the ultimate expression of individual state. A level where moral boundaries might not affect your ideals, and imagining a better world could be done freely. 
The title translates as “The White Tombs”, taken from one of the works from the Catalan playwright Jaume Brossa, from 1900. He played a leadership role during the Modernisme cultural and artistic movement within literature. The album content is not specifically based on this book, but takes its title from that beautiful metaphor for the act of dreaming. Obviously, a metaphor… but a beautiful one in times of extremes in which humans are in need of references, also in need to connect with each other in a different and more balanced way.
As it happens with all the dreamy references, fog is one of the main sources of inspiration and it is used recurrently to achieve this secret appearance we are claiming for. A sort of filter to watch and live the world in an intimate and subtle manner; where anyone might find beauty in the most decadent corners.

M.I. - The album includes 7 tracks and none is in English, just like in the 1st chapter. Why?

Look at our first 4 albums where we were mixing both languages. Wrongly or not, we thought that we might be able to approach our proposal much better to the world. But after drawing the clear concept line we found with the Modernisme Catalan movement the only way to get full coherency was by singing all in the language we speak, feel and think: Catalan. It makes the emotional level we are trying to achieve and express, more credible, and turns ours a more unique voice to the world.

M.I. - Fiar is responsible for the lyrics. What lyrical themes are addressed?

I always describe the way I write as an exercise on reaching the edge of night and finding a new dawn to wake up stronger. It is like overcoming weaknesses with the heart full of vitality, using metaphors and poetry for dealing with daily issues that may affect whoever you want.
Humanism might be the main scope of my work as writer, but the references to many life moments, historic moments and situations inspiring me, turns this into a mess of emotions trying to reach reconciliation between the spiritual level and the here; the ideal and the real level; and try to turn all moments in eternal, as they might be the very last ones.

M.I. - The beautiful cover is a photography by Deborah Sheedy. What’s its meaning?

For us, achieving coherence among all the creative parcels is a goal in every album. The artwork must be an extension for what music expresses and what lyrics develop, and on the visual parcel, once we drew the line to follow within the next band’s albums in terms of concept and Creative process, photography was set as the best channel to connect reality with the hallucination level we were dealing with on lyrics. 
With Deborah’s photography, as we managed to get with Nona Limmen’s one in the previous album, we set some terms for her to develop the scene. Intimacy, monumentality, the foggy ideal level and a vague reality for describing the action on exciting the senses that we were looking for; as so those artists tried a century before.
Deborah’s scene is set in the bedroom, a place and shelter, far from the threatening social world. A world which must better be seen through the eyes of women, and that’s another reason for working with the female figure through the camera of a female photographer.
As we translate that cultural moment and movement from the end of XIX C. and early XX C. into or current days, Deborah Sheedy translates as she feels the bed’s metaphor and the act of dreaming.

M.I. - The album has been available for a few days already… how’s the response been so far?

I’m so happy with the feedback received until now… besides having the impression that together with Season Of Mist we have arrived further in terms of promotion compared to “Les Irreals Visions”, the response from press and audience from what we are reading is overwhelming.
Our goal was for our name and proposal to get to a place in the international scene as something different and personal, and I think that from the music to the concept and so, nobody doubts we got it. Still ii is a surprising thing for many people and new listeners we get, but hopefully with time everybody will see as normal and singular our tools as they see a band like Solstafir singing in Icelandic and using part of their lives and background on what they do, or many others.  

M.I. - Who runs Foscor’s Facebook page and other social media? Is it nice dealing with the fans directly and have their reactions straight away?

It’s directly me who takes care of the social media and band’s communications. Sometimes an exhausting task when it comes to getting everything updated and well presented aesthetically speaking. If you want to keep the coherency along all the band’s parcels, everything must be at the same level of care. Getting in touch with people through social media is the first step to get that wished dialogue I was mentioning before, and for sure a gift to this still hard task.
There must exist a balance between all parcels of creation and communication. Internet is a great tool but must be handled with care.

M.I. - What does Foscor have in store for 2019/2020?

We will be focused in bringing our music Live all around there. We are now working with Doomstar Bookings and besides a run of Iberian dates before the end of 2019, we would try to jump into Europe during the first quarter of 2020.

M.I. - I know this may be way too early to ask but are you already preparing the 3rd part of the trilogy be released? If you are, do you have any idea when it’ll be released?

It’s too early in terms of composing and working as we did with this new album and of course the previous one, but I already know its title and of course the concept behind it. You must think that we still need to face the Live cycle with this album, and prepare it properly to get the band’s music live as coherent as the rest of parcels… so there’s a lot to do yet.
But related to the question about the album topic, the third part will dig deeper into the third premise of the before mentioned: 
And the already known, the dignity of the unknown
Let’s say that at the end, there’s an action required to allow the change happen and that’s what we will develop into the future closure of this trilogy. I cannot anticipate when it might be. We need to feel the moment and there’s a lot to do yet before.

M.I. - How is a Foscor live show? What’s the craziest show you’ve played at?

Tragic might be the best word to describe our Live show and how people experience our music there. It is probably way more intense than what can be heard on the album, and obviously it is due because the direct itself. I think this is the magic of the Live experience, how human and strong it becomes the connection between the crowd and the band.
I remember many good and crazy nights but with no doubt I would remind the last album presentation in Barcelona, and a couple of gigs years before, celebrating the band’s 10th Anniversary and with a friend band called Vidres A La Sang. The enthusiasm was beyond real during those nights and we felt like no other occasion, that dialogue and connection I claim to live. 

M.I. - Music spreads so fast these days because of the internet. Do you think technology and social media may have affected the essence of music?

I don’t think the essence of music might be affected by internet but it’s true that the consume habits have changed so much compared to the 90’s. Nowadays the life of an album is much shorter than before, and a band only keeps visibility beyond the promotional period if the Live presence is constant and extensive. It requires a continuous struggle to enlarge the cycles of the albums, as the amount of bands out there is by far too huge for following every band and its proposal as music and art requires.
The albums are not made as fast food/music yet… but the consume leads to this too short life habits. It is not only about music but aesthetics, which must keep people’s attention for longer. When someone finds a proposal he likes, internet allows to get closer and much better informed and communicated than ever. But internet requires a personal filter if you don’t want to be swallowed by the infinity of news and massive music offers. Everything requires a balance, and for sure internet needs to be treated as a great tool which might make you feel lost and not conscious of what you are dealing with due the oversaturated market.

M.I. - How’s the underground scene in Catalonia? Do metal bands get along? Many people attending the shows now that Barcelona is filled with tourists?

Barcelona and its surroundings have a strong scene in all music styles which nowadays offers so strong proposals known worldwide, far from how it was simply a decade ago. Look at our label mates Obsidian Kingdom, the thrashers Crisix or the instrumental rockers of Syberia. All of them have grown from no references and now are offering very unique voices in each style reaching visibility far from our small territory. Death Metallers Graveyard or the Fantasy Folk band Trobar De Morte, or Post-Rockers Ánteros are even more present on international stages than they are here, and the list continues strong with many other acts from Black Metal to Post Punk.
There’s also a very healthy relation among many of them, not only within their own style scenes, which allow learn and share interests on many different levels ad it happens with many other bands from the Spanish territory. 
Although losing many mid and small venues where playing, the city of Barcelona still keeps a strong infrastructure and means to be a good spot for international tours where local bands can take part and keep growing. I would say this is a healthy moment for our scene and bands.

M.I. - Do Foscor pay attention to politics? Are you for the independence of Catalonia or against it? Why? 

Foscor is a creative collective interested in dialoguing to the world and connecting with equal individuals through Art. Music, lyrics, visuals and of course the Live experience are what Foscor offers in order to know how we understand and read the world. Politics have never been part of the lyric content and will never be. I won’t say we are dealing with way more important topics, but actually, speaking of politics would appear to me a so banal act.
Politics and politicians should be the parcel in charge of giving order and leading the humanity interests and needs. It has been proved too much times that this class of people must leave aside all emotions and also to be empathetic with the common being or particular one. We are trying to deal, explore and learn from emotions, our weaknesses and all these threats that make our lives so difficult.
Said that, it is true that we live in a social world and as part of it, we suffer all the effects of our own politics. I am for the independence of Catalonia as for the independence of any other territory or collective with its own common project and historic memory, which might have own aspirations on becoming different from what it lives surrounded by.
Not only because we have our own culture, which seems to be so annoying in the never-ending Spanish utopia for a project on getting an homogeneous country, we have more rights than anybody else. But it’s not a nice thing to see a peaceful collective being beat by the police just for the sake of voting… and that sort of things, affects you as affects the way you write and express own emotions.
It has nothing to do with politics, but with those humans who cannot deal with the difference.

M.I. - Please share a message with Metal Imperium’s readers. 

May darkness be tragic…

For Portuguese version, click here

Questions by Sónia Fonseca