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Interview - Forsaken Age

Interview with Forsaken Age from Forsaken Age
by Bex "Hardcore" Tasker at 21 December 2013, 11:48 PM

FORSAKEN AGE have taken the New Zealand Metal scene by storm, performing in gigs all over the country over the past few months. Bex scored an interview with singer Chrissy Scarfe, drummer Tam Cramer, and later joined by bassist Lee Scarfe, before they opened for Finnish Folk Metallers KORPIKLAANI on the 19th of October. Check it out.

So, what’s the story behind Forsaken Age?

Tam: The story behind Forsaken Age is we started as a covers band around 2009ish, played for a couple of years, then got fed up playing other peoples songs so thought we’d write some of our own. And it’s been downhill ever since…

What’s a typical band practice like for you guys?

Tam: Different things…

Chrissy: Yea! For me, wine out of the bottle, lots of cigarettes, lots of talking and discussing, depends on what’s coming up. If we’ve got gigs, it’s always running through the set, and if we haven’t got anything coming up we’re writing and coming up with ideas.

So who writes the music and the lyrics, is it all of you, or just one person?

Chrissy: Lee and Warren write the riffs, they come up with a riff, and then we work on that together, so they basically do that and I sort of listen to it and throw some words down and see if it works, but Tam’s written some of the lyrics.

Tam: Yea I write a few, two or three songs on the album. Chrissy and I kinda work together, she tends to write set lyrics and then throws them at me and I play around with them and stuff, that works.

Chrissy: Tweak them.

Tam: Tweak them!

So is there a general consensus of what is the best song, or do you guys have different opinions?

Tam: I think we’ve all got different opinions.

Chrissy: Yea.

Tam: To be honest. And it changes as well. Songs that we used to hate when we were doing the album, there were certain songs that we hated, because we were playing them over and over and over again, but then, once the album’s finished, “oh, that’s not a bad song”. But yea, we’ve got different opinions. My favourite one at the moment is a new one we’ve never played in Auckland before.

Chrissy: My favourite’s “Death Riders”, the one before the new one.

Tam:  We’re playing Death Riders  tonight.
Chrissy: One song on the album, “Hunting the Fox”,  is really special to me, because it’s about my Granddad at war in Egypt, and it’s taken directly from his diaries, so my mum gave me his diaries to read, and they inspired me to write a song .

Tam: And it changes, I think Warren’s favourite is “H.M.A.”

Have you each got a favourite different song to play live, like a better one for drumming and a better one for singing?

Chrissy: Mine’s “Pedal to the Metal”, because, you know, because of the audience participation.

Tam: Um, I quite like “Running in the Dark” to play live. But “Pedal to the Metal” is probably from an audience participation point of view the best one, gets the best reactions.
So if you guys weren’t a metal band, what would you be and what would you be called?

Chrissy: hmm… interesting.

Tam: what, still a band but not a metal band?

Well, anything. Would you be a circus?

Tam: um, I dunno. I’d probably be a computer geek. A respectable computer geek, which is what I do, it’s my alter ego anyway.

Chrissy: Actually, I can’t imagine not being in a band, because that’s basically what we do, outside of work.

Tam: I’d like to be a stuntman. Get set on fire and shit, I could do that.

So Chrissy, what’s it like being in a band with your husband?

Chrissy: It’s really cool, because we get to do something we both love together, but sometimes it takes over our lives, so basically all the band stuff that happens we’re always talking about it at home. So, as soon as we finish work, we talk about band stuff. Sometimes it can cause us… a little bit of friction, but we discuss it a lot, until we come to a conclusion. The worst thing is Lee coming out of the shower and going “I’ve just had an idea for a song!” Even worse than that – coming out of the toilet and going “I’ve just had an idea!”

Tam: Yea, he does some of his best work in the toilet.

Chrissy: He even recorded some of the intro in the toilet… we just thought it was good for acoustics.

Going off on that, do you guys always get along as a band, or are there conflicts or debates about who’s the most badass?

Tam: Nah, we get along pretty well.

Chrissy: No, we kind of have our own labels though; I’m normally the most drunk.  Yea we get on, even if we have an issue or we don’t agree on something we generally talk about it, come to a conclusion.
Tam: yea, in the end we’ve got four different people, thrown together, doing stuff under pressure… we get along pretty well, we have a laugh.

So was it a big step going from being a cover band?

Tam: Not really. It was just like a natural progression I think.

Chrissy: Yea.

Tam: It’s not like we’ve changed direction or anything, we still write songs in the style of the covers we were doing, obviously they’re not the same, but in the same sort of genre. So, not really. More pressure, I suppose, to do your own stuff. It’s harder doing your own stuff.

How would you describe your music to people who haven’t heard it before?

Lee: Heavy fucking Metal!

Tam: Pretty much. That covers it.

Lee: Yea, just meat and potatoes heavy metal.

Tam: Classic metal. Yea. It is what it is. We are what we say on the tin.

So, you’re opening for Korpiklaani tonight, are you guys excited?

Lee: Yes! Haha.

Tam: Yes, haha just a wee bit.

Do you think it will be different from Nightwish?

Lee: I think… I imagine it will be similar, I mean there’s a cross-over crowd. I’d prefer to play here \[At the Kings Arms] than I did the studio, the crowd’s a lot closer, they’re a lot noisier, the studio’s… it was a fun experience, but I’d still prefer here.

Get closer to the fans?
Lee: Yea.

Tam: Yea, there’s good and bad points about playing here, for fans of Korpiklaani.

Lee: It’s gonna definitely be interesting.

Tam: It’s gonna be an interesting evening, yes.

So if you could support any band in the world, whether they’re alive or dead?


Chrissy: MANOWAR.


Lee: Yea, I think both those bands would be a dream come true.

Chrissy: And Warren would be ACCEPT.

If you could tour anywhere in the world, where do you think it would be?

Chrissy: Europe.

Tam: South America. I come from Europe, so… I’ve been there.

Lee: I like Japan, Japan would be a good place to go.

Tam: Warren wants to go to Japan.

Lee: Maybe some of the islands, like Tahiti, Fiji.

Tam: Kazakhstan.

Lee: I think Europe and South America, Europe particularly is sort of like the last strongpoint of Heavy Metal , and in South America they’re just fuckin’ mad, insane. We’ve got a couple of people who quite religiously follow us from Mexico.

Tam: They’re lunatics.

Lee: They’re insane, mad.

Have you got any words of advice for any aspiring musicians?

Tam: Get a job, hippy.

Lee: Have a plan B, because music’s not gonna be a good plan A, so make sure that you… you’re gonna need a job to pay for it, for a start, because no one else is gonna pay for it.

Tam: Don’t take it too seriously. Enjoy it for what it is, it’s not gonna pay your mortgage. Just have fun while you’re doing it. If it’s not fun, there’s no point doing it.

Chrissy: Yea, we always said the minute that we stop having fun with it, that’s when we’re done.

Lee: Because you don’t wanna wind up 40 years old and all you’ve ever done is played in a band.

Tam: And avoid dodgy blonde interviewers…

Lee: Yea.

Yea, we’re terrible. Lee, I asked Chrissy this, and she said to ask you: what’s it like being in a band with your wife?

Lee: Ah. There’s an old phrase, what goes on tour stays on tour… Yea, I don’t get to enjoy that.

Chrissy: Hahaha!

Lee: There’s no hookers, no blow… No, there’s good and bad points, the good point is we get to share something we both love, and it’s lucky that we’ve both got fairly similar taste in music, so that doesn’t cause problems. And there’s bad points too, like you can’t leave it in the practice room, you can’t leave it on tour, you can’t leave it at the show, it ends up always coming back home. We went into it with a bit of trepidation, there was some concern about being in a band together, because I was in other bands before. It’s hard to remain friends with band mates. We’re lucky we’re all friends, we do things outside the band, we’re really really lucky. Probably lucky it hasn’t caused a divorce, really.

So what are the next steps for you guys, a new album or tour?

Lee: We’ve got a couple of things on the go, we’re taking a break after the Christchurch show, and we’re gonna write, do some more recording. There’s a couple of things we really wanna do, one is lay something down on vinyl, just because.

Tam: We’ve got two new songs which aren’t on the album that we’re playing live currently, and we’ve got probably another two or three which we’re working on which aren’t finished yet, so we’d like to record them. We’re toying with the idea of Australia, tours in Australia possibly.

Lee: Yea, and then hopefully headlining Wacken 2015.

Tam: Getting the sponsorship deal would be good for us as well…

Lee: Hammersmith, we’d like to play Hammersmith.

Tam: Hammersmith tube station.

Lee: Busk outside it! If the opportunity came up to go further afield, we wouldn’t up sticks and go and move, but if something came up, a promoter said “hey, come over here”, we’d probably consider paying our own airfares, type thing.

Tam: Yea, tentative ideas, things going on in the background, but don’t sweat if it never came to anything, but yea, we wouldn’t knock the idea.

Lee: Think we’ll just do what we do, and see what happens.

Cool, that’s all I have. Is there anything else you guys wanna say?

Lee: uh, nope.

Tam: this has been the best interview I’ve ever done…

It’s your only one, isn’t it?


Well, that’s good. Thank you guys so much.

Tam: No worries.

Chrissy: Thanks!


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Edited 09 February 2023

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