Tea & Biscuits With: Forbidden Society
Forbidden Society has embodied what it takes to be an independent artist in the digital world. A label owner, head of a clothing line and a DJ, he’s proved himself to be a multi-faceted part of the Drum & Bass community. As well as being part of the hard-lined trio 3RDKND, his solo work has also gained him recognition.
With wide-ranging success from a career that has spanned over decades, his return is marked with a brand-new single which sees him dipping back into the genre he launched himself from. One which also marks the roots of his love for electronic sounds.
After branching out into the world of 140 with ‘Missing Pieces / Ritual’, which saw a host of support from the likes of tastemakers UKF, his follow up hits differently but with the same quality which Forbidden Society achieves through all the music he unleashes. Taking the listener deep into the brooding sonic sphere Forbidden Society has coined since exploring his work creatively, ‘Static’ is a sure-fire sub rattler, once again dropping on his own self-titled platform. Its quaking bass levels grab you following its first punching drop and with each shifting snare drum moving the track forward, you’re pulled along with its weight. Proving that despite his more minimalist approach he’s still here to smash dancefloors to pieces.
‘Static’ shows that despite dipping his toes into unchartered waters with his last single, Forbidden Society is still here to capitalise on his Drum & Bass journey whilst diving into the murkier sounds. In so he again demonstrates his versatility, something which can also be seen through his business ventures and the Forbidden Society stamp which has infiltrated the dance music scene – through merchandise, artwork and more importantly, his music.
To coincide with the release of ‘Static’, we had chat over a cup of tea and biscuits with Forbidden Society to find out a bit about his change of sound, COVID, managing all the different things he’s got on his plate and more!
Hey Jindrich! Thanks for speaking to us. You’ve recently taken a different direction from your harder drum & bass signature. What made you want to take this direction? And is this a route you’ll be continuing to go down with your next few releases?
Hi there! Well I thank you for having me here. Yes that’s true, the transformation began in 2016 after hearing some of the Critical Music and 1985 stuff. I found out that’s the way I wanted to go now, the music is still dark but heavy in it’s own way and I totally loved it and still do! With the hard Drum & Bass, I still got lots of messages asking me why I do not produce heavy stuff anymore, it’s evolution I would say, some say I’m getting older and stuff but well this might be true at the end of the day but I found I do not have anything more to say in this sub genre, and I would lie to myself and to my fans too. I explored whole new level with the new direction I am going now. As for the future yes, I am going definitely this way, actually even more in depth, I have lots of 120/140/75 stuff on and setting up a new PC to start over again on a new level. More experimenting!
How do you juggle producing music, DJing, running a label and managing a clothing brand? Where do you find the time, and what came first? Was there a natural progression into each part of your career?
Well after I quit my ex job – a waiter in a Hotel for 14 years (yeah crazy i know) I felt like I would like to start my own thing, at that time I had NO CLUE how things actually worked, I just knew I wanted to release music on my own imprint and I needed to tell people so they knew and bought the stuff. The same thing happened with the merchandise and promoting events. I just love it since the begin, this is my life and I think everyone has their own path here, and this is my own.
In the early start it was like I mentioned really crazy, everything just kind of started here in the Czech Republic, I was kind of in the early days of it when DNB started to get big over here. I made some contacts over the years with people, learned some marketing skills. It was and still is very time consuming as I do not have anyone working for my label / clothing line / music. I am doing this all by myself and I love to have control over all aspects of my brand, sometimes it is too much, but this all gets forgotten if you have just put out music or you play a gig and people like it, then you say like ok, it was really worth it.
Your new single ‘Ritual / Missing Pieces’ is one of your first 140 releases. Have you been inspired by any other artists of a similar style, or was there a particular piece of music or an event which inspired this direction?
Yes, it is my first 140 release ever. And as for the inspiration yes, I was inspired by the 1985 Music gang, because what Alix is doing with his brand is just great and inspiring (although I’m doing it my own way). I think he just kind of opened the doors for lots of artists with the 120/140 stuff. It’s dark and heavy, I mean c’mon! It’s just badass stuff! I name it 120/140 as I do not like for some reason the word Dubstep. It has all of the Drum & Bass feeling but it’s just slower. I love it, you can just experiment with stuff.
I am also happy the Drum & Bass world is more open to this, even in the Czech Republic. There was a time in CZ if you played the 140 stuff at a DNB event people would crucify you for that. But now as things have changed they’ve started to be more open minded and that’s great. I can’t wait to play some of my new 140 stuff at some DNB gigs.
How has Coronavirus impacted your work methods? Was Coronavirus part of the reason why you’ve started to write music in different tempos, outside of club settings? And has not being able to play at clubs changed the way you approach writing music?
It affected me a lot in terms of writing music. There was more time, no rush, you could think more of what you do which direction you go, what tempo you use, you can more experimenting trying new stuff. In those terms I think it affected me, actually I started to write even 130 Warehouse Techno tunes, and for some reason people even like it. So yeah, I think it wasn’t just me that it affected in this way, I hear many great non-DNB tunes from artists that before the pandemic they wrote basically only DNB. And those tunes were great, I loved it.
But all in all, we are supposed to be in clubs, playing and partying. It’s difficult to write Club music without a Club like Thys from Noisia once wrote on his Twitter. This is like you all know, you travel, you play you just live life you know. So yeah, I cannot wait to play again and meet people and get socialized again. I am an extreme introvert I would say, but even for me this is too much. I will see my mother after one year and two months, i mean c’mon you know, this is crazy.
You’re a frequent face on the Czech drum & bass circuit – what do you think it is about Czechia that has made it such an important part of drum & bass? What venues do you think have helped create this image?
The Czech Drum & Bass scene has their roots back in 1996, I would say maybe even earlier. There are cities like Praha and Ostrava, they were bringing the first names from DNB to the Czech Republic and started the whole movement. It’s still the electronic music style most heard by young people here with Hip Hop, and those two worlds are not that far from each other. So yeah, Let It Roll from the early start of the movement is getting bigger and bigger, Beats For Love Festival / Club Fabric in Ostrava on the other side of the Country. Cross Club in Prague, I would say those are the main parts from the early starts in DNB in CZ.
What are your hopes for the live music scene when we’re all able to attend raves again? Is there anything you’d like to see change, or you’d like to see more of?
I just want everyone to be safe, healthy and that we can live our lives again not only in terms of going / playing gigs. I think that is the most important thing right now, everything else is just life you know, good things / bad things. This was just a hard time for everyone and we all need to fill our batteries again to get socialized and most importantly not to be afraid, or too afraid.
You only live once, no second chance here, so make the best of it every day!