Interview with Tom Dutton (vocals/guitar) of Forgive Durden, conducted on 10.27.04
Scott Weber: So you just released your debut EP "When You're Alone, You're Not Alone". How long did it take you to write and record the CD?
Tom Dutton: Well, we actually recorded the EP in two different sessions. So to me, it almost feels like two different albums mashed together. And for a while, I was really worried about that coming across to everyone else, but everyone was able to convince me that all the songs flow together pretty well. To answer your question, though, each session was a week of recording, so... carry the seven... that's two weeks.
Scott: haha, excellent. How was working with Casey Bates? He's been making quite a name for himself (Gatsby's American Dream, This Providence) - was he as cool to work with as everyone else has said he is?
Tom: Casey Bates is absolutely amazing. Our first session of recording was actually done before he had ever recorded Gatsby's or This Providence. We were the second band to record with him after Surrounded By Lions. Casey is so far ahead of his time. He's using techniques that engineers/producers who have been in the business for ten years are using - and he's only been doing it a couple years. For the quality and production we got from him, we should owe him thousands of dollars. He's helped out so many bands in the Seattle area by giving the best prices for the best quality. And to go along with his outstanding work, he's the nicest guy in the world. The nicest x-box-addicted guy in the world.
Scott: So it must have taken a lot of cash out of your pockets to self-press and produce that EP. Have you gotten any label attention? The CD is awesome, and with all the buzz Seattle bands have been generating recently you'd think...
Tom: Getting this EP out did put quite the dent on our checkbook. We've received some attention from pretty small labels, but most of the offers wouldn't be worth our while. Since we've already released the EP, what we were/are really looking for is tour support and more promotion, and those small labels weren't willing to help us out with touring, so for now we're still waiting. With such a great scene here in the Seattle area, though, we've been fortunate enough to develop a steady fan base. Jesse (bassist) and I are currently attending the University of Washington, which has created some commitment problems for the band, so next quarter we're taking some time off from school to really put everything we have into the band. Tour more. Promote more. Everything. So hopefully we'll catch a break and a label will give us a shot. Until then, we'll just keep chugging along like we've been doing.
Scott: So if you were to say, get signed by a label like Rocketstar or Rise Records, (northwest indie labels) would you guys drop out of school for the time being and pursue the band full time?
Tom: In a heart beat. To be blunt, I hate school. I need to be in the music industry. It's the only thing I can ever see myself doing, whether it be leading a band, or making websites for bands, something in my blood has an insatiable desire for music. It's all I am. The only way I really see myself coming back to school after this upcoming break is if the band really just doesn't make it.
Scott: I'd lose all faith in the music industry if you guys kept working hard and putting out music like you already have and didn't get signed. So you're taking some time off school to focus on the band. What kind of tour are you looking to do? Do you have any plans of bands to tour with?
Tom: So far, we've been talking about doing about a three-week tour in January, covering the west coast and hopefully some of the Midwest. That tour would probably be just us. We would just be playing the shows with big local bands in their respective areas. We've already started talking about summer tour plans with local bands like Elite Stranger, Roundabout and Blane. If all goes well, we'll just keep saving up for tours and keep climbing up the ladder. Get to know more bands. Get to know more towns. Our goal is to expand our geographical fan base each time we go out.
Scott: How would you define your sound to our readers who haven't heard you before?
Tom: Every band hates this question because they hate to categorize themselves. They hate to limit themselves to the boundaries of a label. But oh well, we're a very lyrically-driven pop rock.
Scott: 3 more outs and the curse will be broken. You a red sox fan?
Tom: Hell yeah! I kind of wish they would have won the World Series in the same exciting fashion as the ALCS, but I guess sweeping the NLCS Champion Cards is still quite the feat. GO BOSTON!
Scott: Alright dude, that's it. Thanks for your time and we're all looking forward to more great things from you.
Tom: Thank you, Scott. Keep up the great work. Also, our entire EP is now up on Purevolume - www.purevolume.com/forgivedurden for streaming so everyone should go check it out!