“The initial inspiration for the album came one evening”-Exclusive interview with Maja Shining from Forever Still!

1 How do you feeling in the quarantine?

“There’s no doubt that it has been a real strange time.
It seemed as if the world changed from one day to another and in a lot of ways it did.
We’ve had shows cancelled as well as moved all the way to next year, which is rough, since it’s what we love doing not to mention our bread and butter.
Personally it hasn’t hit me that hard, since I’ve spent most of my time working on new music.”

2 Do you tolerate confinement well?

“In Denmark we’ve been lucky, because we haven’t been forced to stay inside.
There has been a ban on 10+ groups and most activities and establishments have been closed down, but we have still been able to leave our homes, so I’ve been using the city and nature reserves close by for long walks.”

3 I saw you launched a YouTube channel.
How did you come up with the idea to start this?
Or will there be more videos on your channel in the future?

“I had a channel a long long time ago, just super casual, and I’ve actually wanted to start it up again for a very long time, but there are just so many things, I want to do, and I can’t possibly do them all.
Quarantine gave me a good reason and time to finally get it going.
I just love singing and I do it in my home all the time, so why not share it with people?
I’m working on the next one currently, but I needed to learn a new instrument for the one I wanted to do, so I’m practicing hard and excited to share that one soon!”

4 Do you have any plans after the quarantine?

“Quarantine has mostly ended in Denmark, but it’ll still be a while, before we’re able to go out and play shows again.
We have shows starting September, so hopefully that’ll still be possible.
In the meantime we’ll keep working on the album we’ve written in quarantine.”

5 Do you write new songs or has your rest been the main role now?

“We actually managed to write a full album in quarantine, so that’s a little crazy but so cool!
I’m not great at resting, even when being sick, I’m so impatient and just want to get well and start doing things again.”

6 What gave you the idea for the cover or font style of the Breathe In Colours album?

“The digital font style fits really well with binary code behind me on the cover.
We thought it was important to have the contrast of something warm, personal and human on the cover to the cold, cynical and digital world, because that’s what the different facets of the album are too.”

Cover of the latest album

7 What was the concept of the album?

“The initial inspiration for the album came one evening, when we were watching the news and realised how much the problems we are facing right now resemble those of the dystopian futures, we read about as kids:
The government in the pocket of big companies, the serious issues concerning climate change and the media preaching fear and driving us further away from one another.
Despite that, there is a very positive message on the album – like the cover art, you just have to look a little closer to find it.”

8 What does the album title mean?

“The album title was born from an experience I had as a young teenager, where I started wearing all black and a friend of my mother’s suggested that I wear more colours.
I told her that it’s just an aesthetic preference and she replied that it was okay “as long as I remembered to keep the colours on the inside”.
At that time I thought, it was the stupidest thing, I’d ever heard, since wearing all black doesn’t automatically mean you’re sad inside.
Despite thinking that, her words stuck with me and I was able to have it make sense in a new way much later in life.
For this album it’s an affirmation that even though the world sometimes seems cold and grey, there is still colour and kindness to be found, but in order to see it, we first have to find the colours on the inside.”

9 I know you’re also editing videos and you’re taking your share of several things affect the background work.
The videos are amazing!
Good job!
I’ve been wondering one thing for a long time.

Do you you cut Forever Still videos?

“Thank you!
We were lucky enough to work with some amazing people called Daniel Jäger and Florian Schlotzhauer at Ruhrakademie in Germany for most of the videos on Breathe In Colours including some rehearsal sessions, and it was really nice to work with someone outside the band and combine their creative strengths with ours.
For the Tied Down album, I’ve edited all the music videos, and shot it together with Mikkel.”

10 What kind of work do you do in the band besides songwriting and singing?

“I have done several of our music videos, band photos and album cover art and merch designs and such.
I also take care of our social media channels.
We’ve always been a DIY-band in the widest sense, and we’ve held onto that in most aspects of our band-life, but outsourcing some things like booking has been really good for us.
That has allowed us to focus our energy on more creative things.”

11 I was sorry you couldn’t  get to Hungary. Maybe, on a next tour, do you plan to come to us?

“I sure was too! We were so looking forward to coming to Budapest. We’re still not sure what’s going to happen with touring this fall due to the whole covid-19-situation, but there’s no doubt, we wanna go as soon as we get the chance to.”

12 What video games do you like? I saw you really like to play.

“I do!
Currently I’m playing Red Dead Redemption 2, which is an absolutely fantastic game.
It’s so detailed and there’s so much to do and look at.
I’m also playing The Last of Us, which is another amazing game that only makes me more excited for Part 2, which comes out next month.”

13 I know you really like animals.
You also have a kitten.
Maybe you’re interested in animal welfare?

“I really do.
I’ve been around animals my entire life and knew I wanted a home with cats the minute I moved out.
Before I got serious with music, I even wanted to become a veterinarian, because of my love for animals and wanting to do everything good I possibly could for them. I went vegetarian at age 15 and finally went vegan 3 years ago after having wanted to for a long time.
It was such an easy adjustment, I wish I’d done it sooner.
Everyone hate animal cruelty and at some point I started wondering “but then why do we accept it with some species and not others?”
It occurred to me that it’s purely cultural that we have decided, which species we love and which we mistreat and eat.
When I realized that I had to align my actions with my values.”

14 You are young, you love life.
How do you spend your free time?
Do you have a special hobby?

“Apart from video games, which we already talked about, I’ve always been an avid reader and quarantine has given me some time to dive into books I’ve long wanted to ready.
Currently I’m reading “Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World” by Haruki Murakami.
I also love nature and enjoy going for long walks and even horseback rides in the woods several times a week.
Usually I’d be going to enjoy some of the many local shows, but for obvious reasons that has been impossible for the past couple of months.
I did manage to meet up with Lacuna Coil again when they came to Copenhagen shortly before the Covid-19 shut-down, and it was so nice to see them again for the first time since our tour together in 2016.”

Thank you for the interview and good luck for the future.
I hope we can meet in the near future.

“Pleasure and I sure hope so too!”

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