Fourward: The Foot Soldiers
Four European minds, working together in the electronic field, utilising the use of technology to create a sound representative of a time and era. Unless Kraftwerk have a new EP out on Metalheadz- we can only be talking about one group right now.
Austrian crew Fourward are picking up where they left off in 2014 with a mountainous EP on Shogun Audio. Lukas, Ludwig, Dominik and Niklas deliver the Foot Soldiers EP boasting their signature sound and innovative designs; signed exclusively to Shogun. The unique dynamics of working as a four piece at this level continues to be a success, as they march towards the summit of d&b in a new year which promises to be bigger and better than ever for the Viennese quartet.
The Foot Soldiers EP is released on vinyl and digital on 8th Feb.
Easy Fourward! Just quickly – who’s taking responsibility for this interview? Or do you normally share the questions between the four of you?
Hey guys, this time it’s Lukas and Ludwig answering your questions.
You kick off Shogun’s 2015 with the stomping Foot Soldiers/ Tingod EP. Is this a start as a means to go on for this year?
Ludwig: I think it’s the start of another great year for both the label and ourselves, really looking forward to 2015, we hope to continue where we left off last year.
Can you tell us how the EP came together?
Lukas: The Foot Soldiers / Tingod EP represents the sound we are best known for. Neurofunk for the dancefloor. The EP kicks off the new year nicely for us. New projects after that will be a bit different though but still have the Fourward signature sound.
Briefly talk me through how the four of you met and formed the group
Ludwig: We’ve all known each other for a really long time now, from school, the skate park, dnb parties, me and Niklas even went to kindergarten together, that was over 25 years ago, goddammit I’m old!
What inspired you individually to get into drum and bass living in Vienna?
Ludwig: None of us actually grew up in Vienna, so we all got into dnb a long time before we moved to Vienna. But the scene in Vienna definitely helped us develop and kind of shaped us in terms of where we wanted to take our sound.
With Camo and Krooked also hailing from the capital, you guys are certainly putting it on the D&B map. Did C&K demonstrate to you what was possible to achieve with dance music in Austria?
Ludwig: I always admired their extremely professional attitude. Personally, I definitely learned from them throughout the years. They are indeed a very good example that hard work and unlimited dedication pay off in this business.
Lukas: Their success and attitude is very inspiring. Lots of young people started listening to D&B because of their work.
Friction recently played Vienna with Linguistics representing Shogun. How does it feel seeing one of the UKs biggest d&b labels that you’re exclusively signed to, play your home town?
Ludwig: We always try to be at those gigs, whenever it’s possible. As all the guys from the label are from the UK we don’t get to meet them a lot, it’s always good fun as well, hehe.
With four individual inputs how do you ever reach a unanimous decision working together?! Talk me through the process of how a track would come into existence. From an idea, into its formation and finally its release.
Lukas: The inspiration often comes from playing around with a synthesizer, a field recording, a sample or other music genres. In the beginning I create new sounds, loops, ideas and clips. After gathering a good amount of these loops Ludwig comes to the studio and we start to arrange the ones we like most. Then I create rough mixes and Ludwig/Dominik test them in the club. If they pass the test it’s time for the final mixdown. The whole process is basically a “back and forth” between all those steps until we have a pack of tunes that complement each other. We also try to involve the label guys as soon as possible. Their feedback is very important as well.
Logistically, how do live performances from you work? Are all four of you behind the decks going b2b2b2b or is it one man representing, I’m intrigued!
Ludwig: 90% of the time a Fourward show will be a normal DJ set performed by one DJ. We did a few b2b2b2b’s in our early years, but haven’t done one in ages.
Your debut album Episodes was released in 2011, after a string of successful releases since then can we expect a second album in the pipeline?
Ludwig: A second album is definitely a big goal. A good album takes a lot of time though, so it could take a while, we want to make it right!
You had a massive track on Shogun called Countdown last year; it featured south London’s Kyza, known mostly for his UK hip-hop. Tell me how this collab came into to being!
Ludwig: We got in contact with Kyza through our label boss K-Tee. He sent Kyza the instrumental, Kyza was feeling it, wrote the lyrics, went into the studio, boom, done. We love his lyrics, his flow, I personally would love to work with him again.
Your track Exile featured on 10 Years of Shogun along-side many tracks that have made Shogun one of the most revered labels of the last decade . You guys are seen as one of the new faces of Shogun and the direction it’s going in. This must make you feel pretty humbled!
Ludwig: I don’t think we are the new faces of Shogun, but I’m very happy that we are now one of the many faces of Shogun Audio. I always loved the different flavours that the label had to offer, and hopefully we can add our bit to the story of the next 10 years of Shogun Audio.
What names in the scene at the moment are inspiring you?
Ludwig: That’s a tough one, as there are so many out there at the moment. Definitely Icicle, his album is amazing. Dimension has a HUGE single forthcoming, Mefjus, Joe ford, can’t wait to hear Spectrasoul’s new album as well. Dnb is alive and healthy! ·
In an alternate reality, if you four had never met what would you be doing with your lives right now?
Ludwig: Interesting question, hard to answer. Music would definitely still be a big part of my life, most likely not my job though.
Lukas: Hmm…tough one. I would probably be a very unsuccessful hiphop/house or ambient producer or a Buddhist monk haha.
Any final words/ big ups?
Ludwig: Thanks for the interview as always, big up everybody supporting us throughout the years, you know who you are!
Need more Fourward flavours? Check their exclusive mix for The Risky’s Future Sounds Podcast!