An Interview with Forbidden Society

by | Jun 24, 2024 | Interview, Releases, Spotlight

An Interview with Forbidden Society

Drum and Bass artist and label owner Forbidden Society is no stranger to the unconventional sound reverberating through the drum and bass scene. His music resonates with a distinctive vibe—a darkness intertwined with a sense of connection. It creates a dynamic exchange, an energy that flows between the artist and the crows, forming a musical bond that transcends the physical space. With his newest release on VISION Recordings, there is zero hesitation to show you the versatility of what he’s been working on. It’s a must-listen, and it’s guaranteed that you’ll hit that “repeat” button.

Forbidden Society has now shared his personal journey and insights with us at Best Drum and Bass. His history, current views on drum and bass, and his diverse musical influences – including drum and bass and other genres-are all part of his impressive journey through the Drum and Bass scene. Take advantage of his latest release on VISION.

You can stream and purchase the album here: Lonely Road Album on VISION: Digital / Vinyl

Take us back to the beginning. What was your first encounter with dnb/jungle, and what elements resonated with you the most?

Well, that is a long time ago, but as far as I can remember the really early days when I got into Jungle / Drum & Bass was when a friend of mine was a huge Metalheadz / Virus Recordings fan. At that time I was into Hardcore, Gabber, Breakcore, Digital Hardcore. I remember I started to really like those releases, especially from Doc Scott – The Unofficial Ghost from the VA Platinum Breakz that was released 1996, as far I can remember that is now 28 years ago. I would say that was my first ‘touch’ with this genre and those two labels resonated the most.

Were there specific artists, tracks, or experiences that solidified your connection to the scene?

There were artists like Ed Rush, Technical Itch, Goldie but slowly I started to discover also the Noisia project from NL. I also remember I was really into Freak Recordings – Dylan’s label for heavier Drum & Bass, later on I released my first tunes too. I remember Dylan did a podcast show, where he played his latest dubs and I was totally blown away from this, it was also connected to the event part – Therapy Sessions, that was the early start of my heavy Drum & Bass days.

In your journey through this genre, has there been a drum & bass track that has stood the test of time, never losing its magic?

There are few of those tracks, legendary tracks that you can still play these days and people will recognize. I actually started to do this again, I put in my sets some older tunes and try to mix them with new ones. I think tunes like ‘The NIne’ from Bad Company, ‘Block Control’ by Noisia do a really good job at the dancefloor, but I am sure you can find more of those. I love to combine the new with the old.

Who are the artists within and outside the drum & bass genre that have most significantly shaped your sound and style? How have their musical contributions influenced your creative process?

There are people that definitely influenced me, but you need to watch out during the process of creating the music so you do not copy them, there is ‘to be influenced’ and ‘to copy those artists actually. Even I sometimes did a tune, it was actually pretty good, but it sounded too much like this guy or that guy, so I deleted it, or not released it, just keep for my own sets.

I would mention from my side that people like Shades, Alix Perez, Noisia, Sleepnet, Imanu, Buunshin, Former, and Burial influenced my work.

While we all share a passion for drum and bass, what other musical genres do you find yourself drawn to? If you had to choose a favorite non-DnB artist, who would it be, and what aspects of their music resonate with you?

Lately I started to like alot UK Garage, but also I like Techno, Dubstep, Ambient, Punk, Metal.

I like the stuff from Burial as mentioned, Hamdi, Bicep, Sleep Token, Deathpact, Justice, Deadmau5, Zonderling i like those electronic projects, they have something in that makes me wanna dance always. Also the production level is really high there of course. From Metal i am a huge Tool fan, the complexity and the time signatures of their tracks are outstanding, plus the visual side.

What aspects of the drum & bass community are you most grateful for? How has being part of this community enriched your life, personally and professionally?

Well, the Drum & Bass scene is a living organism that changes all the time.

I am happy I can live my dream, playing shows, clubs, halls, festivals, meeting new interesting people, seeing other countries (never been in the US, actually would love to come over you country and play some shows). I have really nice fans that support me during the years. To be a part of the scene is nice, but to be super honest with you, I was always kind of on the side of it, i never connected to anyone and did just my own thing well till now, as VISION is like my family and the spiritual sync i have with those people there is amazing, loving them.

From your perspective, who are some of the most noteworthy drum & bass artists making waves in the scene today? Are there any emerging talents or established names that you believe deserve recognition?

So I made a list of producers I think are making waves atm in the scene:

The Caracal Project
Ternion Sound
On Hell

I am sure there are a lot of producers that create great music and are not recognized. The thing is, I don’t have not much time to search for them. I always try to say at my socials to people, send me their new music.

Great thing for this is definitely VISION RADIO they are supporting so many new artists in their podcast which is amazing, even after hearing some of their episodes go and buy the music for my sets.

What are your thoughts on the current state of drum & bass, domestically and globally? Are there any specific trends, challenges, or opportunities that you find particularly noteworthy?

I think the Drum & Bass scene is growing, now specially in the states, which is a great thing (i would love to come over your country and play there really) Same thing in Europe, i would say my country – Czech Republic might be the biggest in the terms of what people here listen to actually – i would say Drum & Bass and Hip Hop, there is in every big / small city at least one DNB event every Friday, Saturday, sometimes even more. So many festivals and we should not forget Let It Roll Festival, which is the only DNB festival in the world and huge, people around the world are coming to this festival, so it’s Beats For Love festival in my hometown, with capacity of 50.000 is the biggest electronic music festival in Czech Republic where i am hosting every year my own stage for 6+ k ppl.

As for trends, well we all know there is a lot of social media content created by the artists, there is a lot of attention to that which came naturally i think. We all evolve so the music industry does, so the technology and you are simply in it or out of it. I read some articles about how bad this is, how before was it better, well it is what it is, take it or leave it, it’s simple, you can speak yourself out on socials but basically that is all you can do with it. In the other hand there is a lot of music coming out, the whole thing with producing, playing events became a bit easier in my opinion now, speaking of tutorial, Patreon’s, you have really a lot of opportunities now, but time will tell if the content was good enough or not.

Forbidden Society is a standout name. Could you tell us the story behind it and explain how it embodies your identity as an artist?

The name “Forbidden Society” is a nod to the idea that art and creativity are often seen as taboo or unconventional, and that the truest forms of self-expression can be met with resistance or even ostracism. As an artist, I wanted a name that reflected this tension between creative freedom and societal expectations. The word “Forbidden” also speaks to the darker, more provocative aspects of my work, which often explores themes of mortality, identity, and the human condition. By embracing the label of “forbidden,” I’m reclaiming the idea that art should be bold, daring, and unapologetic – a reflection of the complexities and contradictions of human experience.

How would you define your label’s unique identity and sound, Forbidden Society Recordings? What distinguishes your releases and artists from others in the drum & bass scene?

Forbidden Society Recordings is a platform that celebrates the darker, more experimental side of drum and bass. We’re not afraid to push boundaries, explore new sounds, and defy expectations. Our identity is rooted in the idea that music should be a reflection of the human experience – all its complexities, contradictions, and raw emotions. Our sound is characterized by its gritty, atmospheric textures, often featuring haunting vocals, industrial samples, and brooding melodies. What sets us apart is our commitment to showcasing emerging talent from the underground, as well as established acts who share our vision for a more avant-garde drum and bass scene. Our releases often feature intricate production techniques, blending of genres, and a willingness to take risks – all of which has earned us a reputation for being a label that’s not afraid to challenge the status quo.

What key elements set your releases and artists apart?

The key elements that set our releases and artists apart are:

* Unique blend of dark, atmospheric textures and intricate drum patterns, often incorporating industrial and ambient influences

* A focus on showcasing emerging talent from the underground, as well as established acts who share our vision for a more avant-garde drum and bass scene

* Experimentation with unconventional sounds, samples, and production techniques, resulting in a distinctive sonic signature

* A strong emphasis on storytelling through music, often incorporating haunting vocals, eerie soundscapes, and emotive melodies to create a sense of depth and narrative

* A willingness to challenge the norms of the drum and bass genre, pushing the boundaries of what’s expected from the sound

* A passion for creating a sense of community among our artists, fans, and label team, fostering a culture of creative collaboration and mutual support.

How do you envision the future of drum & bass evolving in the coming years? What role do you hope to play in shaping its trajectory, and what changes or developments would you like to see within the genre?

I’m stoked to see where drum and bass is headed in the future. I think it’s gonna get even more wild and experimental, with producers pushing the boundaries of what’s possible within the sound. I’m hyped to see more new artists coming up with fresh sounds and styles, keeping the scene fresh and exciting. As an artist, I hope to make my mark on the scene by releasing tracks that are good and inspiring others to do the same. If there’s one thing I’d like to see change in the scene, it’s more people support each other, i think we need more support and be a bit less selfish and egoistic.

Tell us about the exciting projects you’re currently working on. I know you just had a release on VISION, which is fantastic! Are there any upcoming releases, collaborations, or label signings you’re particularly excited about?

I’m really grateful to have had the opportunity to work with VISION, they’re an incredible team that’s been a huge support system for me. They’ve given me the freedom to express myself creatively and push my sound in new directions. Speaking of which, I’m really excited about my upcoming release on Overview, a UK-based label that’s all about showcasing innovative drum and bass sounds. 3 tracks that’s got a slightly different vibe, 2 DNB one 140.

Your new track, “Addict,” is literally addicting. What’s been the reaction to your latest releases on VISION? It’s tough to pick one track that I love the most.

Thank you so much for the kind words about “Addict”! I’m really happy to hear that it’s resonating with people. As for my latest releases on VISION, I’ve been blown away by the response. It’s been amazing to see how my music has connected with fans and DJs alike. What’s been most special is seeing how people have taken to the different tracks in unique ways – some have messaged me saying they’ve had a track stuck in their head for days, while others have told me they’ve been playing my tunes at their parties.

It’s surreal to think that something I created can bring people joy like that.

But honestly, it’s not just about me – I’ve been surrounded by an incredible team at VISION who have been instrumental in helping me grow as an artist. Everyone has been super supportive and has given me the freedom to experiment and try new things. And of course, I’m also grateful to my fans for embracing my music and spreading the word – without them, none of this would be possible!

If you could offer some words of wisdom to aspiring drum & bass artists, what would be the most valuable advice you’d share? What are the crucial lessons you’ve learned throughout your career?

The most valuable advice I’d share with aspiring drum & bass artists is to never stop pushing yourself creatively and to always stay true to your own unique sound. Don’t try to follow the trends or copy what’s already out there – instead, find your own voice and let it shine. Trust me, it’s not always easy, but it’s worth it. Throughout my career, I’ve learned that perseverance is key and that setbacks are just opportunities to learn and grow. Don’t be too hard on yourself when things don’t go as planned, and don’t be afraid to take risks and try new things. And most importantly, always keep making music that makes you happy – if you’re not vibing with it, why would anyone else? Keep grinding, stay humble, and the rest will fall into place.

Thanks for answering some questions and giving insight into who you are as an artist and what your label is all about!

Don’t forget to check out the newest album, “Lonely Road,” now available on VISION!

Lonely Road Album on VISION:
Digital / Vinyl →

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Soundcloud → @visionrecordings
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Forbidden Society Recordings :

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Little Junglist alien girl based in Oklahoma City. Spreading the word of drum and bass on the daily. Catch me front row, eyes closed, with the bass flowing through my soul.