|1. How did the band get started? How did you meet
and how long have you been together?
Leo Stivala: Simeon (the drummer) and Kevin (our first guitarist)
formed a band called Blind Alley. This goes back to 1989. I was doing
nothing at that time so I did some rehearsals on vocals and I was
in. Our music was already very doom oriented. Then our bassist Tony
left and Albert joined in and we changed the moniker to Forsaken.
We've been together for 12 years as FORSAKEN. After a series of changes
in the lineup throughout these years, our latest line up to date is
me Leo Stivala on vocals, Sean Vukovic on guitars, Albert Bell on
bass, Simeon Gatt on drums and Mario Ellul on keyboards.
2. How would you describe your music?
Leo Stivala: I describe our music to be Epic Power Doom Metal.
I feel there are also progressive and thrash touches in our music
whish are a result of our different influences.
3. What are
your biggest influences?
Leo Stivala: Our biggest influence are Black Sabbath. But we
are also very influenced by the giants of the doom metal scene namely
Candlemass, Trouble, Pentagram, Revelation and St.Vitus. Thrash and
heavy metal are also genres of metal which really influence us.
What influence do you think your bands has in music and metal today?
Leo Stivala: I think that there are really good bands around
nowadays even in the doom metal scene like Doomshine, Thunderstorm
and Mirror of Deception. But we're absolutely not into nu metal and
very extreme metal. We are very bound to the roots of metal at its
5. What made you want to be in the band? And if you werent
in the band what would you be doing now?
Leo Stivala: I always had the idea of being in a band from
my early days attending gigs here in Malta. I was always a big Sabbath
fan Forsaken is my ideal band. I hope to remain in Forsaken. Its such
an integral part of myself. If I wasn't in the band ...........I don't
know maybe I would have my own boat and go fishing 3 times a week.
Its my favorite passion after Heavy metal and Forsaken.
any band members in side projects? If so what are they, and explain
a little about them.
Leo Stivala: Me and Albert used to be in a doom band called
Born Too Late but it only lasted for a couple of weeks. Then Simeon
joined us in a thrash project called Amethyst but due to various circumstances
this failed too. We prefer to concentrate fully on Forsaken now. Sean
is in a blues band called Filletti and friends and Mario has his own
band too called Weeping Silence. They play romantic atmospheric doom
ala Gathering and My Dying Bride.
7. How would you feel if a band took
their sound from yours and became very well known?
Leo Stivala: This is a bit exaggerated but if it happens........well
I guess good luck to them. At least we can say that we have influenced
some one in our lives.
8. What current bands do you like or respect?
Leo Stivala: I personally really respect all Black Sabbath
members as being so true to what they believe and for being so charismatic
and influencing in our lives in metal. I also like Candlemass and
Trouble very much. They have such a strong and unique sound. New emerging
bands which I also really like are Forefather (UK), Twisted Tower
Dire and Doomshine.
9. How many demos/albums do
you have? Tell me about them!!
Leo Stivala: We have 1 demo called Requiem self released in
1991, 1 12" EP called Virtues of Sanctity released by a French
label called Arkham productions in 1994, a full length album called
Evermore released in 1996 by a Maltese label called Storm Records.
The latest mini cd called Iconoclast released in 2002 by a Scottish
label called Golden Lake Productions.
10. What demo/album do you like
Leo Stivala: I don't really have a favorite. I feel the backlog
of our material is really a load of hard working and I appreciate
every single note in it.
11. What is the meaning behind the
Leo Stivala: Our songs reflect our innermost feelings towards
different circumstances in life. Basically we write on everything.
We have songs about love, religion, Mysticism, sadness, good and evil.
We write on very personal terms and its always on things which arouse
our interest and beliefs.
12. What are the bands favorite songs?
Leo Stivala: That's a difficult one. I really don't have a
fave song but one which really drives me crazy is Martyr's Prayer
which is featured in the Iconoclast mini-cd. Albert likes Carpe Diem
which will be featured in our next release. Mario is really enthusiastic
on Via Crucis also featured on Iconoclast. Sean really likes a new
song called The Eyes of Prometheus which will be featured on our future
release. Simeon doesn't really have a fave song he' s into everything.
13. What does the future
hold for the band?
Leo Stivala: Presently we are in studio recording our new album.
The will be released by Golden Lake Prods. The Scottish label which
released our ICONOCLAST mini cd. The album shall be titled ANIMA MUNDI
and it is scheduled to be released later this year or in the beginning
of 2004. We are also trying to consolidate contacts to play abroad
around Europe. But this is still in a very early stage so nothing
is sure about it.
14. If you could play with
any band who would it be and why?
Leo Stivala: Candlemass definitely because they are so bloody
15. Who writes the majority
of the music?
Leo Stivala: It is a very collective effort. We mix everyone's
ideas in a whole concept around which the song is built. Lyrically
Albert writes the majority of the lyrics but I also contribute every
now and then.
16. Who has been the favorite band youve played with
Leo Stivala: I think Revelation. We played with them at the
Doom Shall Rise Festival in Germany last February. On stage they were
brilliant and we got to know them personally. They are really honest
and good guys.
17. Where did you get the band name from?
Leo Stivala: When the band was called Blind Alley and we consolidated
our style as being doom metal, we thought that the Blind Alley title
was too soft for a doom band's name. We wanted something stronger.
Our first keyboardist Cay came out with FORSAKEN. It sounded great
and we said that's it. Forsaken was born to stay.
Describe what the band is like live?
Leo Stivala: We head bang a lot . We get so intense. We change
personally on stage and love it when we play live. As a front man
I try to get a good sense of communication with the crowd and let
the people sing with harmonies etc. Basically we let our passion for
metal flow on stage on to the crowd. Its great.
19. If you are gonna
do any kind of video what would be in it?
Leo Stivala: Once we did a video of Where Angels have Fallen.
Nothing special but it was ok for a first try. I don't what a video
would be like. Maybe very religious and dark. Who knows maybe filled
with crosses. Its difficult to say.
20. Are there any touring plans made; if so
tell me about them?
Leo Stivala: As I told you before nothing is sure yet. We would
like to do a small European tour but its difficult to get contacts
from Malta. We hope to have positive results as regards touring.
21. Where do you think the band will be 20 years from now?
Leo Stivala: I hope the band will be still going on although
we will be at our fifties. If Forsaken is still going on 20 years
from now it will still be doomed and heavy for sure.