Forfeit Thee Untrue is currently recording in Watts Productions studios with Best Producer award winner of the first South African Metal Music Awards of 2013, Clinton Watts. Perdeby sat down with drummer and former Tuks student Craig Palmer to get the latest news on their progress.
Forfeit Thee Untrue has been working around the obstacle of co-founder and guitarist Sean Towsen stepping down by alternating between guitaring roles. “For the full album Mitch [Pearson] is the lead guitarist, so Gideon [Karsten] has been doing the bass guitar and the rhythm. Some of the parts are different, like when Mitch comes up with a rhythm and he’s got a rhythm piece, Gideon takes the duties of bass and [lead] guitar,” Palmer explains. A potential replacement has come in the form of a Tuks student. “He hasn’t joined officially yet, but he’s going to be playing gigs with us,” says Palmer.
The band expects the album to be similar in style but better produced to that of their debut EP Blood Soaked Splinter. “In Blood Soaked Splinter it was kind of a ‘come up with a cool beat and then just play it and put a guitar to it and come up with a cool riff and guitar piece and I’ll throw the drums to it,’” Palmer says, adding that they have been spending more time on writing the songs.
“As much as we want to record the album, we want to take the time to make an awesome album. You can always hear an album that was made because the band had to make it, they didn’t want to make it. So we want that passion to come out in the music,” Palmer says.
A number of guest vocalists from other bands will be featuring on the album. Palmer explains, “The two bands that have always stood out for us in terms of what they stand for and intensity and the professionalism in music and lyrics and vocals was Hammer of Redemption and Adorned in Ash.” Besides those two local bands, Ryan Kirby, the vocalist of international band Fit for a King from Dallas, will be featured on one of the songs. “We said on the second full album we can have a guest vocalist, a big guy, like a really, really big name. Then we were kind of thinking ‘well, why don’t we just give it a shot now?’ See if some of the guys respond. Ryan Kirby from Fit for a King was one of the first guys. We actually already got his vocals back. We recorded the whole track with the drums and bass and guitars and Gideon’s section of the vocals, and we sent him the track and he sent it back to us. It’s an amazing opportunity and such an honour to be working with such a big name singing our words on one of our songs,” Palmer said.
Despite the band’s enthusiasm and dedication, a financial obstacle is hindering their progress. Although the band is signed to a label, they are funding the album themselves, making it a difficult process to complete. “What we’re doing now is for people to get behind the ministry and also to get it out there possibly sooner by asking people to invest in us. We’re approaching some businessmen, businesswomen, companies, institutions, organisations, saying ‘this is who we are, a Christian metal ministry and this is what we’re about’ and so on, and ask them if they would like to invest in the band by sponsoring a song,” Palmer said.
The album’s release date has not yet been set, because, as Palmer explained, “We don’t want to put a month on it, because then it’s like ‘Guys, it’s already January, February. Where’s your album?’” The band is hoping to get the album fully recorded by the end of the year so that the album is available early next year.
On the album, fans can expect some diversions from the hard and crashing metal songs to songs similar to “Grace covered sin”. “We’ve always liked to have that range, to go to very heavy, for the metal fans, and add chilled songs and ballads. We’ll still definitely have chilled songs, more acoustic-based, piano-based, not so much just tumbling guitar riffs and roaring guitars and drums,” Palmer said.
In the past few months, Forfeit Thee Untrue have performed a lot of live gigs, including festivals like This Is War, Reroute to Remain, and Blood & Ash. “It’s been really awesome in terms of the amount of support we’ve been getting with the live shows. It’s also because of the genre that it is in. It’s hard. Metal is persecuted enough and Christian metal is even more persecuted, so you get guys who support you and recognise you sometimes and just want to chat with you,” he said.
The band was also featured in the 2013 documentary SA Alternative Ministries where three of their songs were included in the bonus CD.
Although all of the members aren’t in the band full time, they are dedicated to the band through other responsibilities. “It definitely comes down to juggling. It also comes down to commitment. If you want to succeed in anything, whether it’s a business, or a band, you have to be committed,” Palmer says.
“A lot of these bands from South Africa or anywhere, it’s like you see them either explode on the scene and they come on to it, and all of the sudden they disappeared, or a lot of bands will release an album and then break up or go on a break, or you see them three or four weekends or a month and they’re playing gigs and then they disappear. So it’s important for us to, even if we’re not that in live shows, just to keep active, to keep busy with it,” Palmer explained.