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21/01/2024 : 2 FORKS - Interview With Daniel C of 2 Forks

2 FORKS

Interview With Daniel C of 2 Forks


21/01/2024, William ZIMMERMAN


Daniel C (aka "Danny 2 Forks") is the drummer for the legendary goth rock band, The Wake. 'Quanticode' is the new album released under his own project, 2 Forks. It paints a fascinating story about the hunt for a seriel killer. We're grateful for Daniel's time in talking about the album and as well as other things going on in the world of 2 Forks.

Thanks for taking time out today and we hope for a great 2024 for you. What has 2 Forks got planned?

I’m still getting the word out about the 2 Forks project and the album ‘Quanticode’ I’m working to get more eyeballs on the 3 videos that have been released. 2 Forks is currently filming another video, our 4th ‘studio’ video and recording tracks for a new audio release. Singles will release in the spring and there will be additional follow-up live shows on the heels of a fun debut show this past November.

You’ve also worked for a number of years for The Wake. How do you balance your time between them and 2 Forks since they’ve become more active in recent years?

The Wake is my true calling and passion and my ‘main’ gig. The Wake works extremely deliberately and plots and plans masterfully like a championship chess player. 2 Forks is more of a white water rafting ride. Fast, rough and bumpy and you’re never sure which end is up. That said, I work very cleanly and people are usually surprised by that. The Wake is a part of my personality. 2 Forks is a part of my personality. It is no wonder that I wrote an album that has a multiple personality serial killer in it, right?

In reality, The Wake and 2 Forks do not play many live shows. They are fairly exclusive events so there is not really much chance for conflict, at present. I am blessed to be able to work on art, whether it be music, video, digital imagery or lighting just about every day. So for me the balance is pretty easy. I’m just doing music every single day. With The Wake, I get to focus on drums only. It’s a focus on my body, on my strength and stamina. Very tribal. With 2 Forks, I play ‘everything’ and write lyrics and sing – so it is a totally different release. I’m more of a thinker and get total control over the mixing and production, which is something I really love to do. It’s the most fun of the entire songwriting process, for me. As Danny 2 Forks, I’m able to bounce around between playing drums, playing keyboards and singing. So I feel like I’ve found a really good balance.

‘Quanticode’ is the name of the new album and it’s noted that it thematically has to do with hunting a serial killer. Is that correct? Does this stem from a true crime interest or was there any special research done prior to you starting on the album?

Thematically, many of the songs go into what the serial killer might be thinking or is thinking when I take on that persona in the song. But not just thinking but also feeling too. I tried to make the story-telling more real and get into the mindset. I’ve been interested in the subject since I was a very young person, having read Vincent Bugliosi’s ‘Helter Skelter’ when I was about 10 years old. When I was growing up, I found newspaper clippings of the announcements from when I was born. And the front page of that newspaper was all about the Manson Family murders. I was looking for my birth announcement my parents placed but all I could focus on were all the headlines about these murders. And it started a curiosity that lasted. To get into the mind of the protagonist serial killer in my songs, I read several papers by an esteemed professor on the topic.

The music is written first. The lyrics are thematically fit to the felling of the music. And the words become the next chapter in the story that is ‘Quanticode’. And the story is a story – but also a fly on the wall snapshot of a total psychotic killer in the midst of a mental breakdown so severe that multiple personalities, hallucinations, and fugue states are the daily grind. I think because I do have a true crime interest, I did more research than normal including interviewing active members of law enforcement, retired agents and academics.

Did you have any tracks written during this album cycle that perhaps didn’t make the cut for whatever reason? If so, why not?

There were a few things that got started and never finished and a few things that didn’t seem to have room for vocals. But there was not much that we produced that got scrapped. I work collaboratively and spontaneously. It is supposed to be fun. And for me, it is. I think if something doesn’t make the cut it is because I don’t like the beat or I just cannot pick out a melody I want to sing over it. There’s not too much music that moves past the initial poking around phase if I’m not immediately grooving to it. I refuse to ‘fix’ or ‘force’ things. It is so obvious to me when it’s on.

Do you think the next album will be a continuation of Quanticode or have you thought about any themes you want to cover?

“Quanticode” is a true concept album. As a new lyricist, I used the theme as a crutch. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I have a creative writing background and it was easier for me to approach the album the same way I would approach a short story. After a few months, I had an outline. The songs are ‘chapters’ in a greater story. The serial killer has multiple personalities, which allowed me the freedom to explore telling the story and relating the feelings of the subject matter from different perspectives. That’s why there are some songs that are more dance oriented, while others have a more dance ‘rock’ feeling. They are told from a different character’s perspective. The “Quanticode” subject got a good look – I’ve moved on. The story was a good one and the videos to back it up are really fun – and there are more videos to come. So I don’t think the next album will be a continuation of ‘Quanticode’. The future release pattern will be singles and remixes. I’m not sure that there will be a cohesive theme for the next release but the songs have a more cohesive feel. No split personalities, you see? The music and my process have been refined over the past few years as Danny 2 Forks and I think I really have a ‘sound’ that is recognizable as 2 Forks.

There is one line in the song, “Take It” that really sticks out.. "You are never getting back, the light you’ll never see." What is this referring to? The double negative in that line is very interesting.

So that line is sung from the killer’s perspective. The killer is taunting. By this part in the story, the victim is in really bad shape, time has gone by, and the killer is toying with their prey. And the killer wants the victim to be 100% certain that they understand that they will never get back to the life they once had. They are likely going to die, but if by some chance they don’t die, if they survive by some stroke of fate, the victim’s life is forever altered and ‘you are never getting back’ to the life you had. So either you won’t get back because you are murdered or because the world as you know it is so changed you can’t get back. As far as ‘the light you’ll never see’, that’s a reference to an actual real historical killer that literally blindfolded his captives for years and hung them on the wall of his house like trophy taxidermy. He fed them, kept them alive and did things that scary movies are made about. It was wrong, really wrong. And he kept them in the dark all the time. And this really happened, right here in Cleveland. But in the end, those captives did escape and saw the light both literally and figuratively. They never did ‘go back’ however. They are forever changed by the experience. So that line came from me trying to ‘think’ about what a killer might ‘feel’ and what that killer might ‘say’ to their prey. There are a lot of facets to the lyrics and it’s just a silly rock beat song.

What is a musical influence for you that perhaps many people in the goth / industrial community might find most surprising?

Well, really, I think it is hard to surprise the goth / industrial crowd. I liked things you could dance to. While I was an early ‘new wave’, punk, goth and industrial adopter, I also liked disco and other more traditional dance club music from ethnic dance music to EDM. As a drummer, I’m always so into the beat. I refuse to be a wallflower and paint myself into a corner. But I’m born and bred on 80s Industrial and goth.

Let’s say many years from now, someone finds a 2 Forks album in the attic of an old home and something to play it on. What would you want this person to know about your legacy after listening to your record?

I think many years from now, people will be surprised we, as a society, were capable enough of murder and despicable acts of depravity that an entire album could be written about how it makes one feel. Like when one sees images of ancient hieroglyphic drawings now, and you wonder, what were these gods and what was all this stuff about the afterlife? It seems so fantastic. I’m presuming in the future that serial killing will be viewed as fantastic and unbelievable as pulling our brains out through our noses and mummifying our bodies for use in the afterlife.

William ZIMMERMAN
21/01/2024


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