Interview: Forget Conformity
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today? Music is just one of those things that was always around. No matter if it was friends or family gatherings, eventually it more or less got into us and inspired us. Had it not have been for the music we make, we would still be four awesome nerds.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity? Speaking more on the nerd statement, we’re all into gaming, movies, comic books, graphic novels, science fiction, etc. We try to find inspiration in our everyday lives, but we often manage to influence and motivate one another. Once we’ve got that one idea, that one riff, that one pattern, we like to strike while the iron is hot.
How long has your band been around? About 6 years. We were established in 2014 with Jonathon Baker(drummer) and a few old pals. He is the only founding member still in the band.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music? Although not all of us were born here, we hail from Fort Worth, Texas. In it does influence us when we consider that fact that Pantera was from here as well as Oh, Sleeper. I think it’s more motivation and respect though. We try to gain knowledge from those who came before us and are willing to put in the same amount of time and effort.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you? The name Forget Conformity started out as the main choice in a list of names, but over the years it became a lot more. It’s somewhat of a mindset, a way of life.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played. The best show was probably So what! Music Fest 2017 I believe. The worst show was the one at The Curtain Club (closed) in Dallas where a monitor fell on Baker, before our current lineup.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already? So far favorite venues include Zombie’s in San Antonio, Come and Take It Live in Austin. Aspiring venues to play would have to include CBGB and Carnegie Hall.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket? Norma Jean, August Burns Red, Born of Osiris, Iron Maiden.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band? Practice strategically and relentlessly, be willing to take criticism before you give it, play with and learn from other better musicians. Taking care of mind and body is equally as important as anything having to do with the instrument, especially considering the instrument is an extension of you and you of it.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be? Keep an open mind about everything. Not every opportunity is a good opportunity, know the difference. Build relationships and maintain them with the right people. Practice, practice, practice, then learn how to successfully run a business and then practice some more, haha. Last but not least, nothing is without sacrifice so be strategic in your choices.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why? “Not Enough Time” is a memorial to a dear friend and colleague who died in a car collision with a drunk driver. “Valhalla” is about the Viking heaven but also a salute to our veterans and a memorial to our fallen soldiers “who never made it home”.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most? Valhalla, Samurai, and Tragic are the bigger of our fan favorites.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music? We typically build off of ideas, concepts, or simply riffs. There have been times that we accidentally wrote songs, turning what should have been a one-hour rehearsal into a 3-hour songwriting session. Yet, we try not to limit ourselves in how we go about the process because we’re aware that it takes many forms and happens in many ways. At the end of the day, we make sure we give it our all, hold nothing back, and leave small piece of ourselves within the music.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music? We often communicate to our fans inadvertently to think for themselves, find facts and not just the story, fight for what you believe in, be of strong mind and body, and to never give up. The story of our own personal journeys lies within our music occasionally. It might not always be pretty, but there’s always something there to be learned or considered.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them? Most definitely. Probably the biggest disagreement within the band came just before I(Sam – bassist/cleans) joined during the writing process of Laughing Man. At a certain point, everyone was extremely unhappy with each other’s parts and nearly wanted to rip one another apart over it. In the end, all it took was a cool head and a re-examination of the music. That’s honestly all it usually takes is a closer look and maybe a different mindset or perspective. At this point, we’re good at knowing how to make it over those types of rough patches.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up? We’ve actually just confirmed the producer and date to record our first single from our upcoming album “Light Cast From Darkness”. The single will most likely be available on digital platforms as early as March 2020 so be on the lookout. Aside from that, we’re planning on a bigger tour this year as well as a Northern or Mountain West tour. Also, new merch, gear, touring vehicle, and sponsorships (fingers crossed).