For those who are not acquainted with Forgotten Tales, can you give them a short introduction of the band and its history?
The band started in 1999 with a tribute to power metal initiated by Sonia's brother. After three or five shows in our area, people started asking if we had original stuff. The answer was obviously “no” but at that time I began to write songs for an eventual album. So in 2001 came 'The Promise'. Then things went well and here we are with three albums. Here in Canada, we opened for almost all the big power metal bands in Europe such as Edguy, Stratovarius, Nightwish, Sonata Arctica, Hammerfall and a couple more.
So Forgotten Tales started as a power metal tribute band, opened for acts such as Nightwish, Edguy, Gamma Ray and Stratovarius, like you already said, and now has its third full length album released. Life is grand, isn't it?
Yes... It didn't seem that way in the beginning. We were only supposed to do a one night show and put an end to the project. The three first shows were sold out. At that time, no power metal bands ever came to Quebec City. I'm happy we changed our minds and continued.
When Forgotten Tales performed as a tribute band, what were the (your) favourite bands to play songs from? I assume Rhapsody (of Fire) and Angra were amongst them? And perhaps from Edguy too?
Yes, all three were among them along with Stratovarius, Freedom Call, Nocturnal Rites and Hammerfall to name a few.
How is the musical climate in Canada for rock, metal or specific the music Forgotten Tales play?
It was very good the first five or six years since it was a new market but since a couple of years, promoters saturated it by producing too many European bands in a too short amount of time. There were fights between promoters to have these bands and it made the tickets became more expensive. We still have a good fan base here in Quebec province even if the music style is very underground. Metal is quite popular here, especially all that's brutal.
Marty, you are responsible for (most of) the song writing within Forgotten Tales, is there also some sort of a group process?
I compose everything, even the lyrics, but when it's time for the others to learn songs, they are welcome to put their own ideas here and there. Since I'm not a bass player or a keyboardist, sometimes I write things that can't be played or are too hard to put on the instrument, especially the drums. I must say that their help is precious.
Can you tell something more about the lyrics? The medieval period is a thankful subject, but is there a (or an other) special reason for this?
The third album may show some medieval references depending of the point of view but when I wrote the songs, I tried to make them timeless. They could be pertinent in any era. But for the two first albums, I must admit that it's more obvious. I used to play D&D, read 'Dragonlance' and 'Lord Of The Rings'. I like the medieval period but there are other things to talk about in power metal. Don't you think?
I agree! Does the band name Forgotten Tales refer in a way to this medieval time?
Absolutely... Some people thought we chose the name because of Blind Guardian's album 'The Forgotten Tales' but it's pure coincidence. If I had known, the band would have a different name today. Some people even thought we were a tribute to BG. Now there's no more confusion since we established our name.
I can imagine there has been a call to do some music for a movie that has? J
No... No one called us yet. But I'd like to.
I was a little pleasantly surprised by the compositions; fine arrangements, a lot of double bass drums, sparkling guitars (heavy riffs and solo's) and of course Sonia's vocal performance. Was there a choir used in 'Angel Eyes'?
Good question!!! That choir is made of Sonia's voice and mine. There are sixteen layers of both our voices doing different harmonies. Each track has been recorded individually, mixed and panned to give the result we have on the song. I really like the ambiance it creates.
Wow, what a hell of a job! But it pays off. On Forgotten Tales' site (nice by the way) it says there were not so many live shows the past year, is that correct? If so, how come?
At that time, we were recording the album. We had some propositions but we had to concentrate on the recording. There were a lot of arrangements that weren't completed also and I didn't have much time.
Do you focus on Europe or is North America also a market for a Canadian band like Forgotten Tales?
North America is good but power metal is still underground here. We take every opportunity that is presented to us. Our main focus will be on Europe and Asia in the future.
Is there already contact with some promoter for shows or festivals in Europe? I think there is are lot of fans that wants to see you perform live!
We are not in contact with anyone presently but we'll consider any invitation and we would be happy to perform in Europe.
If you had the chance to go on tour with a band with a big name, which one would that be?
I don't know, Iron Maiden maybe. Angra or Rhapsody could be cool too.
This one is especially for Sonia. How do you feel in a/this business dominated by men?
Sonia: I feel very comfortable. As far as I remember, I always worked with men. I can say I know how to deal with them. I accept them as they are, sometimes cool, open and sympathetic and even when they are macho and arrogant. Anyways, I guess it would be the same with women. I always thought mutual respect is the most important thing in any work situation.
Can you name three favourite albums of 2010?
'The Great Escape' by Seventh Wonder. To be honest, I didn't have time to hear anything new last year because of the recording. But in 2009, Freak Kitchen's 'Land of the Freak' was a great discovery and still one of my favourites.
How do you see the near future for Forgotten Tales?
Finding new labels to get a decent distribution in Europe and South America. We're also working on ideas for a video.
I read a tweet from Gene Simmons in which he says he should sign some Canadian bands for his Simmons/Universal Record label! I gave him a hint. For now thank you for taking time to do this interview. Is there anything you want to say to the readers of Lords Of Metal?
Hi everyone, Forgotten Tales says thanks for being there and for your great support. Without you, we wouldn't be there. We can't wait to play in your area. Be part of the tale...