Q&A with The Lonely Forest; Playing Black Cat, October 1 and The Drunken Unicorn, October 9

By Alec Wooden

It’s one thing for a band to get picked up by a label.  It’s quite another, however, to be that label’s first band. The Lonely Forest, an indie-rock quartet from Anacortes, Wash., has that distinct honor when picked up by Trans, the new imprint label headed by Death Cab For Cutie guitarist Chris Walla. Their debut release for the label, The Lonely Forest EP, is a sneak peek at the full length (Aarows) due in early 2011. Gearing up for long fall tour runs with Margot & The Nuclear So & So’s and Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, the band chats about Aarows‘ progress, being on the new label and where they find inspiration for their writing.

Give us an update on how Aarows is coming along.

Tony Ruland: Arrows is in the final mixing stages and soon to be mastered.

A lot of indie bands are scared off by labels these days – but you guys seem to be on quite an artist friendly one. Is it somewhat consoling to know that your label is run by a musician, and a successful one, at that?

TR: Absolutely!  We love and trust Chris fully. We’re very lucky to be on such a unique label.

Take stock of the music industry right now. As young artists, what’s exciting about the industry right now?

TR: It’s scary to think buying records is a rarity these days. As a teen, it’s all I thought about.

KEXP’s “Song of the Day” is a pretty big honor, but it must be especially nice being from the Pacific Northwest. How much confidence did that give you moving forward?

TR: It feels good to have the support of a local station we’ve always admired.

Who are some artists that have always inspired you or who you’ve looked up to?

TR: Sunny Day Real Estate, Radiohead, Nirvana

What about in terms of writing? Where do you guys find inspiration?

TR: The Northwest. Growing up. Life.

How much of your writing is autobiographical? Is it easier to stay within yourself when you write, or step outside?

JOHN VAN DEUSEN: In the past it was easier to be autobiographical, but recently its been the opposite.

Is there a song that, every time you hear it, you wish you’d written?

TR: Definitely Radiohead’s “Airbag.”

Outside of your home region, do you have a favorite U.S. region to tour?

TR: We honestly love all of it! The Midwest is a fave, thanks to the abundance of Jimmy Johns.

What are you guys like as a band on the road?

TR: We’re responsible. Boring, generally speaking.

What’s the biggest difference between The Lonely Forest of 2006 and the band in 2010? Where have you grown the most?

TR: We’re just plain more grown up in every way imaginable.

The Lonely Forest plays Black Cat on October 1…

… and The Drunken Unicorn with Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s on October 9.

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