Recently, I had the honor of listening to the tremendous sounds of Forest Robots. His new album Supermoon Moonlight Part One is filled with an electronic music that has an amazing organic sound and feel. Not only did I find the music of Forest Robots to be of an exceptional quality, but his perspective on life filled with prose of enlightenment. I think you will enjoy reading an interview I conducted with this musical genius.
Warlock Asylum: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few question. However, for a few of our readers who may not be familiar with your work please introduce yourself. Who is Forest Robots a.k.a. Fran Dominguez?
Forest Robots: I’m a husband and a father living in Los Angeles, California, who spends an inordinate amount of time in the outdoors exploring hard to reach mountain ranges throughout this state I get to call home. It is during these times spent in the outdoors that my creative inspiration takes place and I get the opportunity of humbly calling myself a writer, photographer and music composer.
Warlock Asylum: How did you get involved in music?
Forest Robots: Music became a big part of my identity from an early age. Growing up, my maternal grandfather used to own a radio station where my mother worked as a Disc Jockey. I remember spending long hours at the station by myself browsing the station’s vast library of records while my mom worked. This was my first and biggest introduction to music; browsing vinyl without any sense of prejudice for genre, or artist, just the concept of the record artwork and the music. I grew up on a solid foundation of music from all over the world but it was electronic music that caught my attention the most. The genre’s focus on technology, the dual attempt to both humanize and accentuate the robotic quality of the music and the process of experimentation through this medium became concepts that really fascinated me and ultimately spurred my interest in exploring electronic music and synthesizers as a means of composing music.
Warlock Asylum: I had the honor of listening to your upcoming release titled Supermoon Moonlight Part One. This is absolutely one of the most amazing albums that I’ve ever heard. The music and concept behind the project seems so transcendent. Can you share a little with us how his album came about?
Forest Robots: Thank you so much for listening to the album. I really appreciate it. It’s my honor to be able to share this music. As I mentioned before, I spend a lot of time hiking and mountaineering in the outdoors. One of the my favorite mountain ranges here in California is the legendary Sierra Nevada-a 400 mile (640km) range that is part of the American Cordillera, a chain of mountain ranges that consists of an almost continuous sequence of ranges that form the western “backbone” of North America, Central America, South America and Antarctica. The range is most notable for Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States at 14,505 feet (4,421m) and Yosemite Valley, which is sculpted by glaciers from one-hundred-million-year-old granite. I have explored this range going on 8 years now. At first, I used to visit the range to take in the unbelievable sights one can experience atop the mountain summits, but soon, pictures started to pile up on my hard drive and with them, great mountaineering stories as well. However, it wasn’t until my daughter was born that these narratives began to weave into a cohesive story and the opportunity presented itself to use these pictures and stories to teach her about the wonders of nature, the importance of spending time in the outdoors and how vital it is to help in the conservation of public lands. Around that same time, I also decided that music would be the starting off point for this message. But while putting the album together, the idea also occurred to me that sharing this message with others could also have a positive impact as well. Especially in this day and age where poor mental health is prevalent and environmental protections are constantly being threatened.
Warlock Asylum: Supermoon Moonlight Part One has a very organic sound. It seems as if some nature sounds were used in some of the compositions. Can you share with us some details about the album’s production?
Forest Robots: The musical goal for the way I approach most music composition is to find the right amount of interpolation between nature and technology by attempting to push organic and non organic sounds away from their point of origin. In essence, make organic and electronic sounds – sound more like one another until there is an aural coherence between the two types of sounds. The production tenets from albums like David Bowie’s “Low”, Kraftwerk’s “Trans-Europe Express”, Cluster’s “Sowiesoso” and Brian Eno’s “Another Green World” and “Ambient One: Music For Airports” were starting points on how to go about achieving those goals.
Warlock Asylum: How would you classify an album of such magnitude?
Forest Robots: Partial. I know it sounds unusual saying this but as the title implies, this is only part one. A lot of the ideas for this album came about from impressions of a certain period of time that I was exploring the outdoors. When I was putting the album together I realized it’d be impossible to put every idea into one album, so there is still a lot of music from this period that I’d like to share. Part two of these ideas is in the works.
Warlock Asylum: What were some of the challenges that you had to overcome, if any, in order to make this album possible?
Forest Robots: Two years ago, I had big health scare that almost made my wife a widow and my daughter fatherless. It derailed me for quite some time from having any sort of normalcy in my life and at one point I wasn’t even sure if I’d have enough good health to complete this project for my daughter. It’s been a slow road to recovery but I’ve managed to pull through and finally see this project successfully launched.
Warlock Asylum: Are you working on any other projects?
Forest Robots: As I stated before, Supermoon Moonlight Part Two is in the works and I already have another follow-up collection to release as well between Part One and Two. Once the cycle for promoting this album ends I hope to release it next.
Warlock Asylum: What would you like to see your music travel to in life?
Forest Robots: One of the goals for this project is that listeners feel inspired to connect with the outdoors. This music was conceived out there in the forest and in the mountains, so having listeners take the album with them and listen to it while connecting with the outdoors would certainly make the music come full circle in the best way possible.
*Thanks once again for your time and insights. On behalf of Warlock Asylum International News we wish you all the best in your musical endeavors.