Forum picks up steam with release of new album 

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When Oklahoma City post-rock band Forum convened for its second album, Take Yourself Too Seriously, the group wanted to create kinetically powerful songs that would instantly put crowds into motion. Guitarist Tyler Evans said he hopes fans who see Forum’s album release show 8 p.m. April 8 at Anthem Brewery, 908 SW Fourth St., will feel the difference.

“With this, we tried a little more, from the onset of every song to just have something that moves a lot better,” said guitarist Tyler Evans. “It has a lot more changes in dynamics, like Clay would say, from song to song. It’s just quicker and more fun for people at live performances to move to.”

Before debuting with a self-titled album in 2014, Forum’s wall of glorious noise came as the result of a 20 percent loss of personnel in the quartet’s previous band, Map the Sea. When singer Joe Hopkins parted ways with Map the Sea, Evans, bassist Joe Rigazzi, drummer Clay Vaughan and guitarist Alex Fatkin decided to move forward with 100 percent fewer words.

“We just decided, ‘Let’s get it going again,’ so we decided to do all-new songs, no singer this time, change up the name and restart as a brand-new project,” Evans said.

While the sense of drama and dynamism remains from the first album, most songs on Take Yourself Too Seriously clock a little shorter and move through more changes than their predecessors. But while Forum made a concerted effort to punch up its new material for the sake of great live shows, the creative process remained largely unchanged.

“We talk songs out before we do them a lot of times,” Fatkin said. “We’ll have one basic idea that I did by myself that is about a minute long, and then we’ll jam that out and talk among ourselves about where we want to go from there.”

Evans said this often involves long stretches where the rhythm section and the guitarists go their separate ways in order to get parts nailed down.

“We go back and forth until something lands, and then the other guys will come back in and we’ll try it out,” he said.

The band treats Forum and Take Yourself Too Seriously as calling cards or enticements to see it perform live, and while the group will have discs available for purchase at the Anthem Brewery release party, album sales are not a priority. Forum does sell copies and occasionally receives donations through NoiseTrade, but Vaughan compared the band’s philosophy to that of Radiohead circa In Rainbows, when Thom Yorke and company offered their 2007 album on a “pay what you like” basis.

“We just want people to hear it. People might be more inclined to download it and share it with their friends if they don’t have to pay for it,” Evans said.

Fatkin said that fits in with the band’s origins.

“Forum definitely started at a place where we just wanted to play for our friends in bars,” Fatkin said. “That was a lot of the thought process when we started. Everything past that point, with picking up listeners who don’t know us and people who want to pay for our record, that’s just the cherry on top.”

Print headline: Significant sound, OKC’s Forum picks up the pace on its second album.

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