TFword in Conversation With Forbidden Society

The Czech bass music legend spoke about his latest EP, his stylistic vision for his future releases, and his plans for this year.

If there is one thing that we have known about Forbidden Society, it is that he has never shied away from making bold moves. A label owner, producer, DJ, and clothing brand creator, Forbidden Society has consistently been at the forefront of everything he has pursued.

As a result, the Czech-based producer has amassed a formidable reputation for his cutting-edge music and a fanbase that follows his explorations dedicatedly. Forbidden Society has released his uncompromising style of music on some of the most prestigious labels in bass music, championing a style that is measured, fast-paced, and forward-thinking while maintaining an aggressive edge.

Resuming his heavily packed release schedule, Forbidden Society has now returned to his self-titled imprint to release his first EP of the year. The ‘Refuse’ EP follows similar paths that we have long associated Forbidden Society’s music with—obscure, razor-sharp, and powerful.

As he sets sail for another year of international success, we asked the legendary DJ and producer to take a quick pit stop for a chat with us about his latest EP, and here is what he had to say:

TFword: The general consensus has been that 2023 flew past faster than any other year in recent memory. Do you feel the same as well?
Forbidden Society: Yes, I feel the same as most of the time I spend in my studio working on several projects, so yeah, time flies even more faster there. With playing shows and family time, it went actually maybe too fast.

TF: First release of the year with ‘Refuse EP’ and as we’d expect, trademark Forbidden Society. When did you begin working on the EP?
Forbidden Society: The EP was in the works all in all, like over a year and a half. The oldest project from the EP, as far as I can remember, was Lowrider. I wasn’t sure if I should put separate singles out or a full EP, but after hearing all those tunes, I decided it would make sense to put them on one EP. Generally, I spend more time on the tunes and give in between more breaks and come back to them if the punch is still in or it needs to work more on those tunes, and this takes time, so that was one of the reasons why it took so long.

TF: What we love about the EP is it’s an engaging listen right from the word go, with its intensity rising with every tune. Talk us through the experience of putting the Refuse EP together.
Forbidden Society: Thank you very much! Well, some of the ideas came in after being on tour and listening to some interesting DJ sets; some of the tunes were written by seeing movies, for instance, Minus Two was influenced by a teaser of the Minus One Godzilla movie; Lowrider was more like an experimental session; and this tune came together basically really fast; the first drop with the Reese was like, Ok, well, what can I do differently? How about the first drop being completely different?

Then the ideas came together somehow, so it made sense to me. At the Gates is more like a moody Burial-influenced lo-fi DNB thing—you know, a bit of emotional stuff. Downlift was kind of reminding me of the past, and I was trying to combine my old FS with the new one, but it still synced with the whole EP. Refuse was more like an influence of the early Dillinja stuff. The most difficult tune to work on was Hollow. It might sound minimal, and there are only a few parts, but making this one sound good and punchy gave me a hell of a time in the studio, to be honest. All in all, I wanted this EP to be a bit heavier than my previous ones.

TF: To say that the title track is a face-slapper is an understatement. Tell us how the track came about, please.
Forbidden Society: Thank you! I think I wrote it already in my previous answer. The tune is strongly influenced by the old Dillinja. I have seen a documentary of him being in the studio and working on tunes. That was for me, like after the film ends, running in my studio and working on the tune.

TF: The EP also marks your first release since September last year. Do you think a break, even a brief one was necessary to explore your sonic avenues further?
Forbidden Society: It is 100% necessary, in my opinion. I was working without releasing music on several projects like those mentioned, but I took some breaks in between; It is a must. After some breaks I just could not wait to jump in the studio and was even wondering myself, with which ideas I came up with, that it would not be possible if I sat in the studio every day, but this is just me; I am sure for others it works differently.

In general, you just need to explore something by living real life so you can transform that in your music with a clean head.

TF: Is there a stylistic vision you have in mind that you are looking to push for the coming twelve months?
Forbidden Society: 100% yes – there is a big project coming out before summer, and I was putting my best effort into it. The tunes I think you would not expect to hear from me are completely different takes on tunes—well, some of those. I can’t wait to hear what people say about this project. This would be maybe my biggest project in my career since I remixed Noisia.

TF: What can we expect from Forbidden Society as an artist and your label in 2024?
Forbidden Society: More music definitely; this EP was just a first thing; I have a remix that I am working on, 1 track released as a part of a compilation; one big project I do not want to write more about yet; my solo 140 EP on my own label; and a few more things in the works, collabs too. More merchandise from my brand, Forbidden Wear, and you should definitely check out some of those collections. I spend loads of time syncing my clothing brand with the music. The past year I was just finishing stuff for the projects that have been on the line for a long time, but this year I will be more active in terms of releasing music.

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