Interview with the Furor – Blackened Death Metal from Perth Western Australia

The Furor are a great Black/ Thrash / Death band out of Perth Western Australia one of the most remote cities in the world. I spoke to main man Disaster this week about life in Australia, the emerging metal scene in China and other parts of Asia and inspiration found in bleak post apocalyptic films. Read on

* You guys come from Perth Western Australia one of the most isolated cities in the world. Do you think that’s a blessing or a curse for the band?
It probably leans more towards the curse side of things I’d say, but it’s still ok, we have enough of a scene here in Australia to keep us busy, and most of the motivation to do this comes from inside anyway. The biggest downside is travel expenses-It costs us A LOT in airfares to leave our hometown Perth, which coincidentally is the most isolated capital city in the world. Touring in Australia can be difficult – eg not too many cities to play, long travel times etc and to get to another country, we pay 4 times as much as anyone else.

When you see an Australian band touring Europe or America, it’s a display of pure heart, because you know they’ve spent their everything to get there. I’m lucky enough to have toured the world a few times already, but many Australian bands unfortunately never make it out into the world. People always seem interested that we are black metal band based in Australia, I guess it’s a novelty to Europeans, but I don’t reflect on it. I just write the music I enjoy. Geography doesn’t really influence my songwriting.

* How did you guys get into Black metal? what was the gateway band or artists for you? How does a “grim and frost bitten” genre of music that started in Northern Europe translate to people living in Australia?
I would generally say Australian Black Metal has more of a Thrash or Death metal influence. That dry, barbaric, straightforward in your face intent is what defines it much of the time. Sure we have bands that hang our in the fog and sing about nature and stuff, but generally I think Aussie Black Metal is more militant in approach. More like the Canadian bands. We don’t have much history to sing about, so often we just sing about WAR and DEVASTATION. Plain and Simple. The bands that turned me on to extreme metal were Napalm Death, Bolt Thrower, Morbid Angel, Terrorizer, Bestial Warlust, Destroyer 666, Angelcorpse, Mayhem, Impaled Nazazrene, Marduk, Impiety, Absu etc I first heard Death/Extreme Metal in 93 and continued from there. It was obviously the most vibrant and interesting music choice.

* How hard is it for you guys to tour down there? I know there are great distances between all the major cities? Is touring even something The Furor does? Many black metal bands don’t tour in the traditional sense but choose to play ‘events’?
The Furor has been inactive on the live front for 12 months now, but we toured Australia a lot between 2004- 2007. We did national Australia tours with Behemoth, Marduk and Nile, plus approximately 70 shows in our home town. I like playing live more than anything,but…….. Touring is a huge fuck around in Australia. A very expensive undertaking. Driving between shows is probably more trouble than it’s worth, so we fly around this vast country of ours, and that is expensive. Plus you can only line up about 5 shows for a tour, so making consistent money is very tricky. I was blown away by how easy it was to tour around Europe. Their definition of ‘hard travel’ is laughable by Australian standards. They have the world market in their backyard.

* As a 2 piece band how do you guys deal with playing live shows?
We don’t play live anymore because it’s too hard to find willing members. The lineup was stable for the first 5 years, but members left the band due to lack of enthusiasm. I reformed a 3 piece lineup for some shows last years, but again, the members could not commit. So I moved on too. I have other bands now that are more active than The Furor. The general lineup is myself on drums and vocals, ‘SOMEONE’ on guitar and ‘SOMEONE’ on bass.

It has varied quite a bit over the years.

* What’s been the biggest live show to date you guys have played? and How was the band received?
The biggest and best live show I’ve played with The Furor was probably with Behemoth in Sydney in 2006. Only bout 300 crammed into a club, but there was great energy. That was on their Demigod tour when their popularity was huge! I’ve played much bigger shows with other bands though. Germany…Wacken, With Full Force fest, Rock am Ring, Rock im Park, Pulp Summerslam in the Phillipines, Dubai Desert Rock fest, these were by far the biggest shows I’ve ever played, 50,000 people plus. A huge buzz. I love it.

* What’s the Black metal scene like in Perth? I have had friends in the death metal scene (in the 90s) tell me they are lucky to draw 40 people to a show yet when a big name band like Bolt Thrower or Carcass come to town 1000s of people show up? Why do you think that is? Do you think Perth people have an attitude..”oh they are from over seas they must be good or they are local they can’t be good”? or is it something else?
People generally do come out for the bigger bands of course, but the turnouts for our local bands on a weekly basis are quite good, bout 100ppl for the average weekend show. Sometime twice a week, every week….not bad for a bumfuck isolated town! A lot of it comes down to the promotion, or what else is on that weekend etc There is a large group of people who ONLY come our for International bands and know little about the local scene, because promotion of the local bands is slim I suppose, or local bands don’t have the same quality as touring bands?? Maybe… Many people can’t afford to see every show, so they just pick the big ones.

* Being closer to Asia than the USA and Europe have the band formed ties with say the metal scenes in Korea? China? Singapore ? Malaysia etc?
Yes, I’m not sure you’re aware, but I also play drums in Impiety, one of Asia’s longest running Black/Death Metal bands. In my years touring Asia with Impiety, I’ve made many strong contacts throughout Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, The Philippines and China. We played all these places and I can assure you, the scene is very active and the bands kick arse.

The Asian scene is often overlooked in the world scheme of things. I was impressed with the intensity of it when I saw it first hand. Not only the metal scene, but Asia is an amazing place to travel in general, so much diversity and history.

* Have any of the band visited the USA before and what did they think of it? Did they enjoy it?
I’ve never toured USA before unfortunately!! That’s one of my dreams actually. People tell me it’s a great place to tour. They say it can be tough, but ultimately, VERY WORTHWHILE.

* When I think of Perth and Armageddon I think of the film “These final hours” an end of the world movie filmed in Perth..have you seen it – if so what are your thoughts?
No I haven’t seen that before? This is the first I’ve heard of it?? I’m a big fan of films AND the apocalypse, so I’ll be sure to check it out.

* Speaking of end of the world / Post Apocalyptic films do you have a favorite?
The Day After was a great one, we used to watch it for inspiration. I’m a big fan of the George Romero Zombi films, very bleak and apocalyptic stuff there. The Quiet Earth from New Zealand was a good one too. The Bronx Warriors Ha! Those 80’s Italian action films set in America were great!

* Your new album is called “Cavalries of the Occult” Do any of you guys practice in the occult arts? If so which ones? and what results have you seen so far?
No I don’t personally practice any Occult Arts, although I believe there can be worth to it. The universe is wired up in a very mysterious way, and with the right knowledge, I believe you can attract certain circumstances and tap into non local powers. That’s my intuition anyway. I’ve not looked into it too deeply. I’m too busy playing music.

I’ve had some very bizarre transcendental experiences on Magic Mushrooms and DMT, so I’ll believe almost anything. Almost…. The term Occult in conjunction with the artwork featured on the cover, seemed perfect. The Furor’s music definitely has a dimension of ‘Occultishness’ to the sound, a violent bombardment of sinister evil.

* What was the recording process like for “Cavalries of the Occult” – do you go to a studio or prefer to record with a home set up?
I recorded everything at home on my own computer. The drums were recorded live in my rehearsal space, and guitars were tracked at a friend’s house. The final mix was done by Nizam Aziz at studio 47 in Singapore. Nizam and myself have a long history together. We toured and played in Impiety for a few years, he’s mixed 5 of Impiety’s previous releases which were great. It was very easy to work with him because of our history together, he knows my style of music extremely well!

* How are the songs written – since you are a drummer and a guitarist, do you start with a guitar riff or a good drum pattern first?
I always begin with guitars. I write enough riffs for an clever arrangement, all guitars, then I write lyrics/vocals, then drums are the last thing to be added. I’ll demo the songs with myself on all instruments, then I write it out for the members to learn. I think our music is actually quite riff based. Some think it’s mostly drums, but I’d beg to differ. Mindless brutality doesn’t interest me too much, even super fast extreme drumming can bore me. I need to hear riffs with intention and a story. The riffs carry the song.

* Was it always your plan to drum and sing? Would you ever want to step from behind the kit at all?
I originally started drumming and singing in 1997 with my previous band PAGAN. Then I wanted to do it for the Furor years later. I love doing vocals and writing lyrics, I always have. It can be physically demanding to do drums and vocals simultaneously, but it’s rewarding. It looks insane and it seems to command respect from people. I also sing in a Black/Thrash band called BLOODLUST. It’s great to play a show as vocalist, it gives you a whole different angle. I mosh my ass off when I’m doing vocals alone. You can throw your whole body into it, unlike doing drums and vocals.

* Do you guys have a ‘bucket list” of shows you want to play any where in the world? if so let’s hear them.
Not specifically, but yes of course, we take our music seriously and want to go to as many places as we can manage. USA tour would be great, I’d love to see your country in full.

* Any final words to your friends and fans?
Check out the new album ‘Cavalries of the Occult’, soon to be unleashed on Transcending Obscurity records. Thanks for the support thus far and I promise to do my best making the sickest music possible. Hailz!!! Urghhh!!!!