This interview with the drummer Nicke Grabowski of The Forsaken was done through e-mail in January 2001.

Could you please give us a short biographical background on the band for those who don´t know The Forsaken yet?
Answer: We started out in 1997 under another name, "Septic Breed", but back then the line-up was different from now. We recorded one demo, "Patterns of Delusive Design", and gained good feedback from magazines other people who heard the material, but the dedication in the band was not that high at that point, we just wanted to have a great time at the rehearsals, playing the music we all care for. As everything became more serious we wanted to go further with our music, both musically and as-well as with the "career" of the band. Two of the members did not want to put that kind of an effort to the music so we replaced them with Anders (Vocals) and Michael (Bass). All the old material was discarded and we practically began working from scratch, this was the time when we changed our name to "The Forsaken", this was the summer 1999. We wrote four or five songs and recorded three of them with Tommy Tägtgren at The Abyss Studios and the result were indeed very good and several offers came up. That is practically how we got hooked to Century Media, well, and here we are with our debut album out for the crowd to enjoy.

You will soon be releasing your debut album called "Manifest Of Hate". Could you tell us a little about the story behind it and what the listener can expect from it? yet?
Answer: The album was written in about a year and a half, it is a process of its own kind, writing material for an album. We are very picky when it comes to choose what to use, it's a long procedure. But I think we have managed to get things right and to come up with a brutal and good debut album. People can expect to be assaulted by the brutality of the US kind of death-metal with inputs of the melodic sound that are more common in this part of the world, also there are pretty well executed and melodic leads involved. I do not know any bands that play exactly this kind of a mix, but this is up to the listener to decide, whether there are or are not any bands sounding the way we do.

The album was recorded at the well-known Abyss Studio in Sweden with Tommy Tägtgren in charge. How has it been working with him?
Answer: He is excellent to work with in all means, an easy guy, very open-minded to new ideas. We worked with him on the demo that got us the deal with Century Media and the fact that we really came along with each-other during the recording of the demo, is one of the reasons why there were no doubt where we wanted to record the album. In fact, we booked the studio when we recorded the demo, because he wanted us to, he thought that if we would not be able to get a deal on the demo he would quit working in the studio…haha…well, he did not have to do that.

You have been signed to the Century Media label, one of the biggest metal labels in the world. You must be very happy about that, were there any other offers that you turned down?
Answer: Yeah - of-course, it is pretty cool, but not just because it is Century Media, more that it is because the proof we have in our hands at this point. First, when we were up to choose the label that would work the best for us there were lots of discussions, especially as we had about six or seven offers to choose between. You know, being very small on a big label, or big on a small label, well, that is hard! You do not know until you have worked with a label more closely. But I must say that the work CM has done for us is excellent and they are all very cool guys. The experiences I got from working with them the year that has pasted by since we signed the deal is that they really care for their bands, and that is something not every label do!

There are still a lot of death metal bands evolving from the Swedish scene. What do you think separates The Forsaken from the rest of them?
Answer: I do not think very much about it, really! This is something that is for the person who listens to the album to judge. But if I would think of something it would be the mix I mentioned before of both really brutal riffs with blasts and melody and I do not think that is very common for the Swedish bands.

Have you been in any other bands prior to The Forsaken? If so, please tell us a little about them.
Answer: I have been in a grind/death band called "A.I.S", pretty much of the likes of Napalm Death and Nasum, the band was not that successful so there are really not that much that I can tell. When it comes to the guitarists, Stefan and Patrik, well, this is their first band. Michael has been playing with "Embraced"(R.I.P) for seven or eight years, unfortunately has this great band put an end to their musical movement. Michael also has "Evergrey", and I think that I do not have to introduce them to you. When it comes to Anders he has "Ominous", I think he have been a member of that band for about four or five years.

If you had the chance to play with any band or artist, living or not so living, who would that be and why?
Answer: That is personal from member to member of "The Forsaken" but I would really like to go on tour with "Death" when they were touring for their album, "Symbolic", I am very influenced by Gene Hogland and his drum-work so that would be really cool, and also, "Death" is a great band! But I can come up with a whole bunch of acts that would be really cool to tour with but I think the list would be too long for the interview.

What do the band members do when not making music?
Answer: Except hanging out, drinking beers and listen to metal, well… Four of us have work to attend to when we do not have our time with the music, we have to keep up with the expenses of our instruments. The other one, Anders, is studying at the moment.

Does any of the band members have some kind of musical education or are you all self-taught?
Answer: All of us are self-taught, except for Patrik who has been studying at a musical school for three years. I think it might be good to be self-taught as sometimes there are rules in the creative process that are more "free" than if you are an educated musician. I think it might be easier to develop your own style of playing on your instrument, but that is only a thought! That sure depends on the person playing the instrument. As for an example, Peter in "Darkane" has a really different and unique style, and he is an educated musician.

How do you feel about playing live? What kind of shows have you done so far?
Answer: I think that live-shows are one of the things we really play for, and I think that most bands do. This is the time when you can prove yourself, see if the crowd enjoy your creations. It is also the best way to promote your-selves as a band. If you got a bad review you might change the heart of the people who check you out on stage. We have only done shows in Sweden. Small shows in general. But we are going on tour in February as support act together with our label-mates "Carnal Forge" and "Nile" and "The Haunted" as headlines. That will be really cool, and I think it will be a great experience for the band to go out on the roads, then we will see how the response have been towards the album.

What do you think of the Swedish metal scene in general? Any new unknown bands you think is worth mentioning?
Answers: I think that things could have been better when it comes to attend to shows and to support bands doing shows, as I think it is, people rather consider doing other things than check out newcomers on stage. When it comes to more "accepted" and well-known bands people use to show up, but sometimes it boring to see that even at that point there are a very small bunch of metal heads that shows up. The latest years I have been really lousy when it comes to follow the underground bands in Sweden. But I can mention one band I think is very good. If you are into very technical death-metal, the US style, you should check out Spawn of Possession at their web site:

What are your thoughts on the Swedish society and the state our world is in?
Answer: I do not like living in this kind of guardian regency as we do, but on the other hand, things might be worse if not. But I think that the government should loose their lashes a little bit. When it comes to the state the world is in, well, I do not want to write a novel of my thoughts…haha!

Your top five bands ever?
Answer: I have lots of favourites to put on this list so it is hard to come up with. But if you want to have a list, well, 1. Death 2. Slayer 3. Theory In Practice 4. At The Gates 5. Vader. This is what I can think of at the moment, ask me another time and I can assure you that the list will be different.

What will happen with The Forsaken in the nearest future. Any plans or goals?
Answer: Our goal is first of all to make music that is appealing to our-selves. It is always a bonus if the crowd enjoys your work. As it is now we will continue working with this music and try to put up a sequel to "Manifest of Hate" that will be at a higher level of our music. The nearest plan we have is the confirmed European tour we have in February as I mentioned before, check us out of you are near any of the venues!

What do you think about the future of metal music?
Answer: I cannot say, because I do not want to speculate on things I do not know anything about. It is too hard to try to predict the future, as everything is moving, especially this scene, and everything you think of never appears to happen.

Any final words you would like to place here?
Answer: Yeah - thanks for the interview and for all you other metal-heads out there, check out our album and let the metal rain on you, hope to see you all on tour!!

Links of interest:

The Forsaken Official site
Century Media