Interview with Maja Shining (Forever Still)

Danish heavy alternate rockers FOREVER STILL release their second album for Nuclear Blast ‘Breathe In Colours’ on March 29TH.

Casper spoke to front woman MAJA SHINING about the journey of its creation. 

Megacorporations owning our governments, the world on the verge of ecological collapse and humanity fleeing into cyberspace to escape the horrors of the real world – is this 2019?

When Philip K. Dick wrote what would later become Blade Runner, no one would have believed that the dystopian cyberpunk future he imagined 2019 to be, would be so similar to the world we live in today…

This realisation is what sparked the idea for the new album from FOREVER STILLBreathe In Colours, which will be released via Nuclear Blast on March 29th.

With their sophomore full-length album, the band has evolved their songwriting skills even further and didn’t want to produce a carbon copy of its predecessor »Tied Down«, released in 2016. Instead, the new album drifts both into more epic moments like on the captivating opener ‘Rewind’ or ‘Embrace The Tide’, while frontwoman Maja Shining also delivers her heaviest screams to date on the groovy ‘Survive’ or their emotional declaration of war, ‘Fight’. And for the first time, the songwriting duo of singer Maja and multi-instrumentalist Mikkel Haastrup have decided to make the album a more collaborative effort and therefore brought their long time live drummer, Rune Frisch, into the studio with them to record the drums – a big step for the two young musicians who handled everything on their own on the previous record, from music videos to band photos, the album production and even concert booking.

For Breathe In Colours, the band decided to work with a futuristic and dystopian theme, as Maja explains: “Instead of looking in, we turned our focus to the world and saw it in a state of change. It somehow reminded us of the dystopian cyberpunk future, we’d seen in books and movies when we were kids, where megacorporations own our governments, the world is on the verge of ecological collapse and humanity is fleeing into cyberspace building walls around ourselves to escape the horrors of the real world. This, and the fact that two of the most influential cyberpunk works of all time, Blade Runner and Akira, are set in 2019, is what gave us the initial idea for the album and its more electronic and raw sound.”

On their social media, FOREVER STILL have already revealed some initial info on the new album hidden in binary code language, and the explanation behind the cover artwork of Breathe In Colours – still designed by Maja herself – is just as fascinating:
“At first glance, the cover art appears quite dark and gloomy, but in reality, it’s bursting with colour. Just like the real world – sometimes we just have to look really closely to actually see it. The many numbers behind me represent all the colours in the world in binary code – more commonly known as ‘computer language’ and at the same time it’s a reference to the world becoming so digital and people escaping into their computers to find colours instead of living in the real world and finding them there.”

After accomplishing two extensive European tours alongside LACUNA COIL and CHILDREN OF BODOM, the band was able to refine both their live performance and songwriting skills and to experiment with a heavier direction and the incorporation of post-rock moments, while the lyrical themes centre mostly around inner and outer wars, the need to overcome struggles and self-doubts and growing stronger through that experience – a topic that many fans can relate to and that have always helped them connect to the music ever since the band released their first singles in 2014. In the same empathic vein, the album title was inspired by an early memory that Maja kept with her from her teenage years:

“The album title was born from an experience, I had as a young teenager, where I started wearing all black and a friend of my mother’s suggested that I wear more colours. I told her that it’s just an aesthetic preference and she replied that it was okay “as long as I remembered to keep the colours on the inside”. At that time I thought, it was the stupidest thing, I’d ever heard, since wearing all black doesn’t automatically mean you’re sad inside. Despite thinking that, her words stuck with me and I was able to have it make sense in a new way much later in life. For this album it’s an affirmation that even though the world sometimes seems cold and grey, there is still colour and kindness to be found, but in order to see it, we first have to find the colours on the inside”

After sweat, blood and tears and the surprising use of a theremin, the result of FOREVER STILL’s efforts to break through the numbing grey, is a surprisingly diversified and mature album that breathes fresh air – and colours – into the bland rock scene.

Tracklist:
01. Rewind
02. Fight!
03. Breathe in Colours
04. Is It Gone?
05. Survive
06. Do Your Worst
07. Pieces
08. Rising Over You
09. Say Your Goodbyes
10. Embrace the Tide
11. Is It Gone? (Acoustic Version) [bonus track]
12. Perfect Day [bonus track]