An Interview With Buddie’s Dan Forrest

by Beck Macey

An Interview With Buddie’s Dan Forrest

Back in January I sat down with Buddie member Dan Forrest to talk about their latest album, what it was like to release music during the pandemic (as well as quick changes of plans) future hopes and aspirations, and band dynamics. It was a wonderful conversation with a fantastic band. Buddie is a self described power pop / rock band from Philadelphia currently working with Crafted Sounds, an awesome Indie label based out of Pittsburgh. In the summer of 2020 Buddie released their first full length album, “diving”, which received positive remarks from the likes of The Key and The Deli (two popular Philly area music blogs). You can find buddie’s music on all streaming platforms.

Beck: What’s it been like releasing your first full-length album during the pandemic?

Dan: It’s been strange, you know obviously we had a vision for it when we first started recording, you know we’d finish recording, and then have a release show, and then we’d do a tour. Which was exciting because I haven’t done too many shows outside of Philly. We did do one small tour in 2019 and that was pretty much the only time I played somewhere else. I mean I’ve played in a couple towns around the city, but it was the first time we went hours out of the way you know. So, we had a vision for that, and it just didn’t happen, so that was a little disappointing. However, we were still very fortunate to work with Crafted Sounds, Connor’s been awesome and so enthusiastic. He seems to really love what he does, and we love working with him because he was so excited to put all of our stuff out and get creative on how we put it out.

Beck: It seems like the record has received really positive reviews.

Dan: Yeah, I hope so and think so! But yeah so, we ended up doing a little virtual release show last minute through WXPN and John Vettese there is great. It was so nice of him to accommodate all of it with us and turn it into something really cool. We also got to do a shout out for this really cool organization out of Philly called Urban Creators that I think does great work. They’re truly an amazing resource in their neighborhood of North Philadelphia by providing fresh produce to the community, and I just found out about them recently, but they have been doing it for over ten years. Recently they have also been fighting to stay in their space because they had an agreement with the city to stay in their space rent free because no one was using it, but that agreement is ending sometime this year, so they are fighting to become an actual land trust before the city takes it over and builds something way less amazing.

Beck: Wow that’s incredible, I’m super interested in looking further into that. So, would you say your biggest challenge during COVID was not being able to tour or perform the album at physical shows?

Dan: Yeah, I guess so! But we’re trying to make the most of it. Fortunately, we all still have an income and homes to live in. So right now, we are all just trying to write and record and do all that as much as we can. The silver lining is we’re all getting to write more and now we’re also demo-ing more extensively for another album which is really exciting, which is probably something we wouldn’t have done if this hadn’t happened. It was definitely disappointing not to play shows for sure though. A lot of bands have recently gotten real tech savvy about streaming shows and doing their own recordings and stuff like that, and we did like one or two of those but none of us are really great with tech. We are becoming way better at recording at home and doing these demos but none of us are video experts or audio engineers, so we are trying to figure that out.

Beck: That’s super interesting! So, this question is kind of similar to your answer but do you have any new projects coming down the line?

Dan: Oh yeah! We are currently demo-ing about 15 songs right now, and we have a couple other ideas that we might start throwing in there. I don’t know exactly what’s going to come of it, maybe another album maybe a couple EP’s but we’re hoping to record within the first half of 2021 around March.

Beck: From a writing perspective, are there multiple writers in your band, or does one person mostly do the lyrics and instrumentation?

Dan: For the most part I come to the band with an idea and the structure of a song is mostly there and depending on how it goes maybe we write some lyrics or jam on it for a bit and see how it goes. But yeah, I write the lyrics and the music is a collaboration between all of us. Usually, I have a barebones idea and then David might have an idea for a transition or bridge, or Bryan writes his own bass part or has ideas for songs as well. Danielle also writes the leads and has ideas for songs as too, and from all of this we make it work.

Beck: In relation to your recent release were there any inspirations for the album? Or where do you pull the most influence from when writing?

Dan: Mostly the life I’m living every day. Sometimes it’s what I’m reading or the conversations I’m having with friends, so that comes up a lot. One thing I try to write about is environmentalism and sustainability in relation to trying to maintain our world into the future. So that winds up being woven into a lot of the lyrics. Other than that, just relationships and some introspective stuff here and there. Political things I think are important show up as well.

Beck: So, do you work in sustainable environment field?

Dan: Yeah, I’m actually a technician in a lab at Rutgers where we look at how corals might be able to adapt to climate change. Yeah, so generally speaking environmentalism, ecology, sustainability, and science are always on my mind and can influence my music.

Beck: I remember seeing the album art for the release and thinking it looked very eco-focused since there were a lot of earth tones on it. I also remember thinking the song titles were nature driven as well.

Dan: Nora Luks is the artist who drew the album cover and she is really good. It was awesome working with her, we showed her the lyrics and what we wanted it to vaguely look like and feel like and she just took it and ran with it.

Beck: My last question is moving forward what are some of your hopes for the band?

Dan: That’s a good question! Our world is filled with so much uncertainty right now especially in the band, Bryan just got into law school, Danielle teaches art and is thinking about going back to school for art education, I’m applying to grad school for ecology and environmental science, and David is taking classes and considering med school. So, we’re all thinking about our next steps in life. But we know we are going to record another EP or Album. We just don’t know where we are all going to be living or where we are all going to be. However, we still have a few things coming up with this release. There’s a music video that Connor at Crafted Sounds made that he shot on an old camcorder and we are working with another artist who has does some animation projects for some of our friends. So, we want to do at least another video with her as well. Hopefully shows come back at a time when we can play though! The band is going to keep going one way or another.

An Interview With Buddie’s Dan Forrest

by Beck Macey

An Interview With Buddie’s Dan Forrest

Back in January I sat down with Buddie member Dan Forrest to talk about their latest album, what it was like to release music during the pandemic (as well as quick changes of plans) future hopes and aspirations, and band dynamics. It was a wonderful conversation with a fantastic band. Buddie is a self described power pop / rock band from Philadelphia currently working with Crafted Sounds, an awesome Indie label based out of Pittsburgh. In the summer of 2020 Buddie released their first full length album, “diving”, which received positive remarks from the likes of The Key and The Deli (two popular Philly area music blogs). You can find buddie’s music on all streaming platforms.

Beck: What’s it been like releasing your first full-length album during the pandemic?

Dan: It’s been strange, you know obviously we had a vision for it when we first started recording, you know we’d finish recording, and then have a release show, and then we’d do a tour. Which was exciting because I haven’t done too many shows outside of Philly. We did do one small tour in 2019 and that was pretty much the only time I played somewhere else. I mean I’ve played in a couple towns around the city, but it was the first time we went hours out of the way you know. So, we had a vision for that, and it just didn’t happen, so that was a little disappointing. However, we were still very fortunate to work with Crafted Sounds, Connor’s been awesome and so enthusiastic. He seems to really love what he does, and we love working with him because he was so excited to put all of our stuff out and get creative on how we put it out.

Beck: It seems like the record has received really positive reviews.

Dan: Yeah, I hope so and think so! But yeah so, we ended up doing a little virtual release show last minute through WXPN and John Vettese there is great. It was so nice of him to accommodate all of it with us and turn it into something really cool. We also got to do a shout out for this really cool organization out of Philly called Urban Creators that I think does great work. They’re truly an amazing resource in their neighborhood of North Philadelphia by providing fresh produce to the community, and I just found out about them recently, but they have been doing it for over ten years. Recently they have also been fighting to stay in their space because they had an agreement with the city to stay in their space rent free because no one was using it, but that agreement is ending sometime this year, so they are fighting to become an actual land trust before the city takes it over and builds something way less amazing.

Beck: Wow that’s incredible, I’m super interested in looking further into that. So, would you say your biggest challenge during COVID was not being able to tour or perform the album at physical shows?

Dan: Yeah, I guess so! But we’re trying to make the most of it. Fortunately, we all still have an income and homes to live in. So right now, we are all just trying to write and record and do all that as much as we can. The silver lining is we’re all getting to write more and now we’re also demo-ing more extensively for another album which is really exciting, which is probably something we wouldn’t have done if this hadn’t happened. It was definitely disappointing not to play shows for sure though. A lot of bands have recently gotten real tech savvy about streaming shows and doing their own recordings and stuff like that, and we did like one or two of those but none of us are really great with tech. We are becoming way better at recording at home and doing these demos but none of us are video experts or audio engineers, so we are trying to figure that out.

Beck: That’s super interesting! So, this question is kind of similar to your answer but do you have any new projects coming down the line?

Dan: Oh yeah! We are currently demo-ing about 15 songs right now, and we have a couple other ideas that we might start throwing in there. I don’t know exactly what’s going to come of it, maybe another album maybe a couple EP’s but we’re hoping to record within the first half of 2021 around March.

Beck: From a writing perspective, are there multiple writers in your band, or does one person mostly do the lyrics and instrumentation?

Dan: For the most part I come to the band with an idea and the structure of a song is mostly there and depending on how it goes maybe we write some lyrics or jam on it for a bit and see how it goes. But yeah, I write the lyrics and the music is a collaboration between all of us. Usually, I have a barebones idea and then David might have an idea for a transition or bridge, or Bryan writes his own bass part or has ideas for songs as well. Danielle also writes the leads and has ideas for songs as too, and from all of this we make it work.

Beck: In relation to your recent release were there any inspirations for the album? Or where do you pull the most influence from when writing?

Dan: Mostly the life I’m living every day. Sometimes it’s what I’m reading or the conversations I’m having with friends, so that comes up a lot. One thing I try to write about is environmentalism and sustainability in relation to trying to maintain our world into the future. So that winds up being woven into a lot of the lyrics. Other than that, just relationships and some introspective stuff here and there. Political things I think are important show up as well.

Beck: So, do you work in sustainable environment field?

Dan: Yeah, I’m actually a technician in a lab at Rutgers where we look at how corals might be able to adapt to climate change. Yeah, so generally speaking environmentalism, ecology, sustainability, and science are always on my mind and can influence my music.

Beck: I remember seeing the album art for the release and thinking it looked very eco-focused since there were a lot of earth tones on it. I also remember thinking the song titles were nature driven as well.

Dan: Nora Luks is the artist who drew the album cover and she is really good. It was awesome working with her, we showed her the lyrics and what we wanted it to vaguely look like and feel like and she just took it and ran with it.

Beck: My last question is moving forward what are some of your hopes for the band?

Dan: That’s a good question! Our world is filled with so much uncertainty right now especially in the band, Bryan just got into law school, Danielle teaches art and is thinking about going back to school for art education, I’m applying to grad school for ecology and environmental science, and David is taking classes and considering med school. So, we’re all thinking about our next steps in life. But we know we are going to record another EP or Album. We just don’t know where we are all going to be living or where we are all going to be. However, we still have a few things coming up with this release. There’s a music video that Connor at Crafted Sounds made that he shot on an old camcorder and we are working with another artist who has does some animation projects for some of our friends. So, we want to do at least another video with her as well. Hopefully shows come back at a time when we can play though! The band is going to keep going one way or another.