Indie pop rock outfit The Lonely Forest emerged onto the music scene in 2010 with the release of its instantly addicting Arrows, which made waves and received a plethora of accolades from reputable outlets such as NPR, SPIN, New York Magazine, Nylon, Alternative Press, Paste, and more. With the recent release of its latest album, Adding Up the Wasted Hours, the already impressive band shows off an even more powerful, unique, and detailed sound. The new record, which will drop October 15th via, was recorded by Death Cab For Cutie guitarist Chris Walla. The Lonely Forest- John Van Deusen (vocals/guitar/keys), Tony Ruland (guitar), Braydn Krueger (drums), and Eric Sturgeon (bass)- just kicked off a headlining tour in support of the new music and will be breezing through Denver on Saturday October 12th at the Larimer Lounge. I got the opportunity to ask Van Deusen a barrage of questions, and the thoughtfully funny musician opened up about the band’s new music, feeling at home in Denver, and finding song inspiration in rusty nails.
How do you like performing in Denver? Do you notice the altitude? What's the coolest/weirdest thing about Denver?
I enjoy performing in Denver. In some ways it is very similar to Western Washington [where the band calls home], so I feel at home. As far as the altitude, it doesn't bother me, or at least I don't notice it. I've never experienced anything out of the ordinary in Denver, so I can't say what the weirdest thing about the city is. I do really hope the Avalanche are good this year. I love cheering for young teams.
Adding Up The Wasted Hours comes out on October 15th. What was your goal for this record?
Our goal for this record was to make a piece of art we actually love...and you know what? We really do love it!
What kind of conscious effort did you take to grow/depart from Arrows?
We really didn't want to make Arrows 2.0. We wanted to make an interesting record that would hold the listener's attention for every song. For Adding Up The Wasted Hours, we worked with new sounds, specifically synthesizers and new wave influenced lead guitar tones. I think the end result is a more expansive and spacey record.
Are there any songs on the album that initially you thought might not fit, or that felt uneasy at first because they pushed you into new musical territory?
At first, we felt like 'Neon Never Changes' may have been too big of a leap in a different direction. In the end, Walla convinced us it needed to make the cut. The record is deeper and more interesting with it in there.
What is the strangest thing to inspire a song?
My entire life I've only ever learned by trial and error. When I was six, I stepped on a rusty nail just to see what it would feel like. I vividly remember holding my foot inches above the nail and slowly coming to the decision to put all of my weight in to it. The nail went through my rubber boot and deep in to my foot. I recently wrote a song about that experience. It's called, "I Was Six."
What's one thing you can't do without while on the road?
I can't live without good books and video games. Touring would be a nightmare if I couldn't indulge my love of escapism.
You walk into a karaoke bar and are forced to sing one song. What's your go-to tune?
You're given a boatload of money and told to create a reality show. What is the premise and what is it called?
I'd create a show called "Hidden In Plain Sight" about people who start new lives through the witness protection program. And then I'd create a sequel called "On The Run" for when their identities are exposed and they have to go in to hiding. Then I'd go to jail.
If you could have anyone in the world as the #1 fan of your band, who would it be and why?
Bill Gates. Then he could fund our records for the rest of time.
Don’t miss The Lonely Forest at the Larimer Lounge on Saturday, October 12th. Doors for the show (ages 16+) open at 8:00pm, the show starts at 9:00pm, and tickets are $12.00 in advance or $15 at the door. Cumulus and Instant Empire will open.