in the Category: music

Post-iconoclast-punk fellows. Yes or no?

Fornet is known to ski enthusiasts as a glacier in Val-d’Isère, France. For the music nerds of the flatland, it is the experimental post-punk band from Limburg known for their turbulent guitars. These five young and passionate musicians released their self-titled EP in 2017. Since then, they’ve been performing across the north of the country and have already attended benchmarks such as Pukkelpop and Best Kept Secret. This month marks the release of their first full-length, Anti-tragedy, which will be out on Sentimental records (Rumours, El Yunque, Crowd of Chairs…). It’s an album drenched in spoken word, minimalist beats and memorable bass lines. To celebrate the trip the boys are about to take you on, we rang lead-vocalist and guitarist Johan Marc Baeten for a chat about post-iconoclast-punk fellows, irony in the lyrics and fresh starts.

Interview by Hadrien Panelli
Photos by Naser Kianersi & Zoë Boogaerts, shot in Leuven

With all things related to moving this month, we were wondering why Fornet haven't been on a real tour yet?

Well, it’s true that we started in 2012, but that was mostly fooling around. Things started getting more serious from 2015/’16 onwards, when we started preparing our debut EP [released September 2017]. We were supposed to go on a tour in February 2018. But one of our band members’ father passed away just before the tour, which is why we decided to cancel it.

We needed a fresh start, a new direction from what we’d been doing and the lyrics have become a more important facet of the package

Oh, sad news – and completely understandable… Do you rehearse in Limburg?

Mostly, yes. We were artists-in-residence at Muziekodroom so we had the opportunity to rehearse a lot for free there. So shout-out to everyone at Muziekodroom; they’ve been very kind and generous to us. We rehearse at Volta in Brussels as well and at PXL Music in Hasselt nowadays, as our drummer studies there.

Could we say that you’re a new Fornet now?

We felt that we needed a fresh start, a new direction from what we’d been doing and the lyrics have become a more important facet of the package. That’s why there are two spoken word songs on the album. Vocals carry more importance because we tried working with pop techniques.


Can you speak about the bands that inspire you?

Artists such as Dean Blunt, bands such as The Fall. I think we all have a wide array of influences. We love Xiu Xiu, Earl Sweatshirt, This Heat and Women; the way in which they subtly incorporate electronic elements into their guitar-driven songs.

There aren't many rock bands like yours in Belgium right now. How connected do you feel to the Belgian scene?

Since we’re from Limburg we do feel connected to some other Limburg bands. El Yunque, for example, released a great album last year. I wouldn’t say we belong to a particular scene. Flanders is just one big-but-small scene. We also played with Sergeant a couple of times, they’re one of the most interesting acts around at the moment. It comes down to the bands you feel artistically related to, not so much the geographical scene.

We played with Sergeant a couple of times, they’re one of the most interesting acts around at the moment

With your new record, you might be part of the new post-iconoclast-punk scene (black midi, Black Country, New Road…). Do you agree?

Yes and no. Maybe some of the more guitar-based songs on the record have a similar kind of energy. But I think we’ve tried to step beyond and focused on a whole different type of sounds and ideas in other songs. It reflects the evolution that was organically happening inside the band: we wanted to use new elements and approaches, just because we felt it was necessary. Less ‘post-punk’ in my eyes, but the DIY attitude and importance of conceptualism, typical of post-punk, still reflect in those songs too.


So now, you'll start a new trip after the record is released. Any expectations?

Well, no particular expectations. We’re going to play some cool venues soon. No big places but rather intimate settings, which suits our music well. BarBroos in Gent, Trix Café in Antwerp and Volta in Brussels, for example. These venues provide us an intimate, close-to-the-people setting, which we really like.

***This event has been cancelled/postponed***
26 Mar - Bar Broos, Ghent