Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.
Most of us are ex-colleagues from now defunct bands and music projects. In late 2014 we got together and decided we actually quite like working together - it takes a lot of time to get a group of people you can count on musically and we’d developed a pretty unique style and way of working over the years. We also had a lot of compositions still in the pipeline, and putting these ideas under a new banner breathed new life into them. Going ahead with booking Parlour Studios to record an album 6 months from then, we put an ad out seeking a drummer. We really lucked out when Aelle answered the call - he’s a monster behind the kit and everything we were looking for in the final piece to the puzzle.
How would you describe your style? Which bands influenced your music?
We describe our sound as a distinctly English style of black metal. It’s impossible to compose something new and relevant without drawing upon influences from outside the genre - as such, you’ll likely recognise a lot of death metal and classical music in our live exhibition and forthcoming album too. That said, we were influenced heavily by our black metal forefathers Emperor (whom we pay homage to with our cover of the classic ‘Cosmic Keys…’), along with bands like Summoning, Hecate Enthroned, Immortal, Dimmu Borgir, Dark Funeral, and so on.
Why should a metalhead buy your demos/albums?
I’d never recommend buying a ‘demo’ unless you’re a collector, because that literally means a prototype product. I’d suggest downloading our single and deciding what you think for yourself - it’s free, so you’ve really got nothing to lose. We do Formicarius because we feel it’s important - there are very few bands pushing the boundaries of black metal, period. If you want to keep living in the past with crusty Darkthrone demos from 1989, they already exist and you can have them. But if you want something new and relevant and have any interest in the future of music in this genre, you can’t miss this. I could be here all day churning out marketing jargon about how nobody writes or sounds like us, but we’re privileged enough to be alive in the year 2016 where it’s very easy to access and hear music; it keeps your artists honest and you can make up your own opinion. I will say that we’re single minded in our mission, we’re going to do the best with what we’ve got and we’re here to stay, so you might want to get used to it!
What have you released so far and how were your releases received by the public/media?
As mentioned earlier, we have so far released a single entitled ‘ Lake of the Dead’ as a precursor to our album awaiting release this year. I’ll let a few selected media quotes speak for themselves: “...wonderfully grim, harsh and raw... A uniqueness that stands out amongst a sea of bands all doing the same thing.” - Soundscape Magazine “Formicarius craft elaborate tempests of black metal that hit the listener like a finely sharpened sword to the skull: ornate yet destructive.” - Femetalism Formicarius’ Black Metal is Symphonic, Old-School and dark. Harking back to an early era when bands like Emperor, Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth were still young, Formicarius are attempting to herald a return to such times." - Wonderbox Metal Public opinion has been overwhelmingly positive. We’re gathering fans to our cause at an alarming rate who can’t get enough of what we’re putting out there. We’ll have to amend that soon…
Do you play live as well? How's your live activity so far?
We do indeed, having travelled so far up north to Bradford and west to Neath in Wales , along with gracing our homeland of London . Again, the response has been one of raving positivity and surprise - we’ve gathered many a loyal disciple from the strength of our performances alone. We have many a conquest planned for the year, including Bristol in march, Northern Symphony Festival, Southampton and the Midlands this April, and a return to London this August swiftly followed by Eradication Open Air in Wales .
What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?
As stated earlier, we are very much a part of the future of black metal, and we’re going to be flying this banner high, extremely loud and proud for a long, long time. It’s in the interests of these business ventures to be interested in Formicarius and to capitalise on us in the present - that’s the purpose these jobs serve. Those who recognise our value now will reap the long term benefits, everyone has so much to gain here.
What plans do you have for the near future as a band?
We began the year with a management alliance with Imperative PR, and most recently announced we’ll be recording a cover of Merciful Fate’s ‘Witches Dance’ for an upcoming compilation released through Blackened Death Records. Aside from our abundance of live dates, as alluded to previously we have an album awaiting release… but that’s the extent of what I can say about that at this time. We have a few other tight lipped secrets up our sleeves - all I can say is, watch this space!
Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?