John Van Duesen of the Anacortes, WA based The Lonely Forest is an astonishing musician, lyricist, and community figure. His work speaks wonders to the people who know him and his charizma shines bright both on stage and when you happen to run into him in downtown Anacortes looking for records. But whether that is true or not is beside the point.
I had a moment to virtually sit down with John and asked him the following questions provided by myself, a local teacher, and a gamer in South Cali.
1. What is your current mood?
2. What is your favorite color in the room right now?
The color of the ocean in a painting of a Finnish fishing village on my wall.
3. Can you give us a humble brag about something unrelated to the field of music?
I felt really embarrassed and awkward when Tyler The Creator told me I had beautiful eyes. Is that a humble brag? That's as disingenuously humble as I can get, I think. Wait, was that also a humble brag?
4. When did you just totally suck at making music?
When I was A) Really drunk or B) When I was in highschool.
5. How much time did you spend experimenting with sounds before you landed on your wave?
I still haven't found my wave... but I guess it probably took from 2002-2008 before my music stopped being awkward.
6. Is there a song you haven't finished yet? If so, please tell us about it (If you want.).
Yes, many. I'm writing one called 'It's Time To Let America Die' and I keep re-writing the lyrics because I don't want to confuse people to the extent that they label me a dangerous anarchist and cancel me.
7. How does it feel to be famous? (In my eyes you are famous so don't try and pretend you're not, lol)
I don't feel famous but I do feel respected by certain groups of people and I'd say that's way better than fame.
8. How many licks does it take to get to the middle of a tootsie pop?
I don't know but in middle school I bought my girlfriend a vintage t-shirt that had that slogan printed on it and she didn't like it. I thought it was cool; she was just confused.
9. Anna would like to know what you are doing to stay inspired during this difficult time.
Spending time with my son. Reading books. Looking at paintings. Watching movies. Writing songs. Consuming art that I like.
10. Do you have any rituals, or mood setting tasks, that you do before you start to create?
I usually create in the morning, so coffee and prayer are important pieces to my creative method.
11. What things not directly related to music help you create?
Reading/listening to others discuss creating.
12. Is music your only career? If not, how hard is it to balance music with the so-called, "office job."
This is going to sound cheesy but I mean it sincerely: writing and releasing music is a way of life for me; it's a calling. It's not my career because it doesn't really make me any money. I do have a hard time balancing work and creative endeavors. When the creative energy strikes it is very difficult for me to ignore it.
13. What achievements in your life surprised you the most?
Writing songs I actually like listening to has surprised me. Being able to tour Europe with my wife was a pleasant surprise.