Thomas Dutton – Forgive Durden Interview
I had a chat with Forgive Durden’s Thomas Dutton…
Hello, how are you?
I’m great, thanks!
Tell us about the band name.
The band name is a reference to the book/movie FIGHT CLUB. Without trying to ruin the story for anyone, the character Tyler Durden represents one’s inner demons. He forces the main character to drastically alter his life in order to exercise his own demons, despite what society thinks. This is an extreme measure, but I love the sentiment of the principle. To not care about what you’re ‘supposed to do’ in pursuit of what you ‘want to do.’ So, I decided to name my band after that idea. Forgive your inner demons.
How would you describe your sound?
That’s a tricky one. Our first album, Wonderland, I would describe as clever, technical, dark pop rock. Our second album, Razia’s Shadow, is a rock musical. Without guitars. Fully-orchestrated and toweringly epic.
Who or what inspires you musically?
I get easily inspired by movies and books. I’m really drawn to intertwining storylines, which can be seen in all our albums being conceptual. When I listen to music, I’m floored by seamless and subtle creativity. Thinking outside the box. Simple yet unforeseen twists.
In 2008 the band was a 4-piece, but the other 3 members left. Was it an easy decision to keep the band going alone?
It was never a question in my mind. The first thing I did after the other three guys left was called my A&R guy Johnny and started to talk about Razia’s Shadow. It was definitely different going about it on my own, but I never thought about stopping.
Are you still in touch with the others?
I see and talk to Thomas from time to time. He’s in some other great bands (Kay Kay, Wild Orchid Children), and I’ve always loved his musicianship.
Do you have an official line-up now or are you solo?
My brother Paul co-wrote Razia’s with me, so he’s the only one I consider to be in the band with me.
Tell us about Razia’s Shadow.
I’ve always loved musicals growing up, and after being re-turned onto them with movies like Moulin Rouge and Sweeney Todd, and albums like Diorama, I had the idea to make a fully-orchestrated album with prominent guest singers playing the roles of all the characters. It was a really long, interesting process, but I couldn’t be prouder with how the album turned out.
Do you have a favourite musical?
HUGE fan of musicals! Some of my favorites are Moulin Rouge, Chicago, Sweeney Todd, Spring Awakening, Next To Normal, Willy Wonka, Oliver!, Wicked.
You worked with Brendon Urie, how was that?
It was great. I met him years ago when they took our band out on tour. He’s a great guy. And an insanely talented musician. We recorded his vocals backstage at their show in Chicago. If you listen close enough, you can maybe hear Phantom Planet bleeding through his vocal takes, as they were performing on stage while we recorded.
Who has been your favourite person to collaborate with?
I love collaborating with my brother Paul. We compliment each other really well. Things that I’m not as good at it, he’s amazing at, and vice versa. We seem to balance each other creatively very well.
Your blog is really cool. You post all kinds of funny pictures and videos rather than just band news.
Thanks! I love interesting blogs that post varieties of things, so I try to make my blog like that. I think it helps fans see the kinds of things I’m interested in other than Forgive Durden. I love posting random things, so I’m glad people like it!
Do you think it’s important to engage with fans on social networks?
Definitely. I try to respond to people as much as I can. That’s what’s so great about sites like Twitter and Facebook – connecting with people you look up to. Rivers Cuomo responded to me about playing a pick-up game of soccer while Weezer was in Seattle, and I just about freaked out!
Everyone has a stance on music piracy – what’s yours?
I download music illegally. Most everyone does. It’s the way of the business now. The whole industry is still reeling and shifting in reaction to this and hopefully is able to find some traction with new sources of revenue. Obviously, if you love a band’s music, yet downloaded their music illegally, you should try your best to make it out to a show, buy a shirt, or at least tell every single one of your friends how much you love them!
What are you working on at the moment?
I’ve been producing bands out of Casey Bates studio in Seattle. I’ve produced K Sera, Tiger Tiger, and Princess Dinosaur, and I love it. I have a few more projects coming up. Other than that, I’ve been writing a ton of new songs that I’ll hopefully be releasing by the end of the year.
Any plans to gig in the UK soon?
We had an absolute blast the last time we were in the UK, so I sincerely hope I get to return soon!
Who was your favourite musician of the noughties?
Hmm very good question! Some of my favorites are Gatsbys American Dream, Eminem, The Shins. Pretty eclectic, eh?
Who is going to be big this decade?
KiD CuDi, fun., Foxy Shazam, Santogold, T&L