by Craig Mather


There’s something going on in The Forest…



The Forest is band that after gruelling guitar auditions have finally settled on a line up that sounds as powerful as it does fresh and punchy. Made up of three members who sight The Pixies, The Fall and Wire as influences have a new found confidence in a sound that is most definitely their own. Standing out in Manchester’s now eclectic and unashamedly hip new setting, The Forest without doubt is seamlessly confident with everything they do. Confessing, "it took us a while to find our feet and find our sound" is nothing to be humiliated by, as by doing so it has given Jonah time to make sure all his bullets are loaded before he starts to fire his big guns.


The band having been offered management deals are not being hasty in making any important decisions but grant the bands with management are the ones racing ahead. "We recently recorded with Soviet Union Records, and the results of that may end up being an EP" though on the basis of live performances alone the band have already played for High Voltage, Wired, Crack and currently  the city's biggest night, Blowout.


"Good evening, we are not the Longcut, or the Nine Black Alps" the band joke, knowing full well they are free of expectations, but irritating comparisons are going to be made between them and other bands for a while yet. "People seem to be excited about music again, people show up”. Enthralled,  but unruffled the band sound sincere with every word. "We like to find a place where we can all rest on the same level. I'll think of something, and Jack can come up with a guitar part for it straight away, we think we've found a way of working” .


(a forest)


The pay off for a lot of hard labour came in the form of a slot at this years Leeds Carling Festival and being recognized by series of attractive ladies. "It's easy to recognize Jack though with his hair" - the hair in question, a carefully grown, unmistakable Afro. Confident, and not arrogant, the band's roots are firmly planted in an Indie ethos. The Forest being one of many names Jonah wrote on his bathroom wall and admits he wanted to have a name for the band that was traditional, as oppose to arty. “You bring your own meaning to the name of a something, for example if you heard the name “The Pixies” for example, you might think of some twee pop band, but then you hear them and you automatically associate ‘that’ noise with The Pixies”.


The band can rest assured people will connect the dark, clever, obsessive music of The Forest with these three men who have now stamped their mark over Manchester, and that mark won't come off easily. Proudly stating “The songs are getting more progressive, so instead of going ‘verse chorus verse’ it might go ‘chorus, verse, verse’” - something that doesn’t sound remotely showy or pretentious, coming from any of the band.  “Hopefully it will click with people in Manchester, and then with people generally but it’s still early days”. There is nothing more direct than the truth and it is still very much early days, yet what people have seen and people have heard, people like - and the people of Manchester have good reason to like The Forest.



(the forest in a garden)


words: Craig Mather

pics: the forest (c)


(c)(p) oct04 - musicdash / 2004