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Interview with Dylan Forshner
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I got in to music first as an avid concert goer. During a leave from work I started to try to teach myself guitar and I fell in love. 4 years later I’m now writing, recording and performing my own music. If I hadn’t gotten in to music from a creative standpoint I would still be seeing shows as a fan.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
When I’m not playing music one of the things I enjoy is yoga and meditation. I think this has been helpful with my song writing and creativity as it gives me some time to slow down and be aware of how I’m feeling and what I’m thinking. This self awareness helps me translate feeling and emotions in to a creative outlet through songwriting.
How long have you been making music?
I started writing my own music in May of this year so coming up on 6 months now.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I’m based out of Toronto. This has been a major influence on my music as there is a tonne of local talent that I started going to watch frequently that inspired me to try writing myself. Most major acts will come through Toronto as well so I’m able to see my major influences live which I always find live music creates a different feeling than listening on Spotify.
Tell me about your most memorable shows, if you haven’t played live what is your vision for a live show?
My most memorable show was the single release party for What Am I Doing back in July at TO. Lounge. This was the first show that I put together the bill and organized everything myself. I played along side some fellow musicians for what has now become my band The Shuttlecocks. This was my first time playing with a four piece band. Having a second guitar allowed me to perform more and split the playing responsibilities. Two of my bandmates went shirtless and I had a couple songs where I just did lead vocal with no guitar and I was able to head bang and fling my hair around like I do when I’m a fan watching bands. It was an absolute blast.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
My favourite venue to play at is TO. Lounge but it’s a short list to chose from as I’ve only performed there and The Old Sod. A venue I hope to play is Horseshoe Tavern. I always enjoy shows there and there’s a rich history of talented bands that have played there.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
I would love to play on a bill with some of my favourite Toronto bands; The Young Scones, Gone Out and Full Deck.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into making music and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Advice I can give to people just starting out is to go to open mics. Open mics have been integral in my development as an artist via the opportunity to perform and exposure to other talented musicians. Toronto has a great scene of musicians who are always willing to support one another and I’ve gotten tonnes of support and advice that has helped me achieve different things I never thought possible.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
The song of mine that means the most to me is ‘Under Control’. This is the first song I ever wrote and the only song I have written so far that has a proper bridge. Lyrically it reads like a journal of how I was feeling at that time and it feels like therapy every time I play it.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
My favourite song to play is an original song “Stuck On You”. This was the first original song that I feel has come together with the perks of the four piece band. There is a guitar solo from my bandmate Kia Koudhani that I think totally transformed and completed the song. My most requested song is “Under Control”. I always seem to get good feedback on this one and it’s the next song I plan on recording.
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
My creative process typically starts with the lyrics. It usually starts when I’m unable to sleep and I’ll have some thought that I think might make a good lyric. I’ll make a note in my phone and try to expand on it. From there I will make a voice note to try to figure out the melody. Once I have at least a verse and a potential chorus I’ll pick up my acoustic guitar and play around with different chords until something sounds/feels right. I can usually get the bulk of something to work with from this process which I then will test out at open mic and the more and more I perform it I’ll tweak things and bring it to band practice where my bandmates can help me transform it further. Inspiration often comes from emotion for me. I use songwriting as a way to express how I’m feeling whether that is sad, confused, falling in love etc.
Do you have messages that you like to get across in your music, if so please tell me about them?
The main message in my music is having hope to get through difficult times. I write a lot about depression and heartbreak but there is always a feeling of trying to overcome the difficult time and having optimism for the future.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
The plans for the future is to keep writing music and to perform with The Shuttlecocks. We don’t have any gigs booked at the moment as I was taking a bit of a break after the single release show but we will be back at it soon. I also am planning to start the recording process of ‘Under Control’ in the coming weeks.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
The best spot to stay up to date with me is via my Instagram. I’m also active on TikTok and YouTube but Instagram gets the most diversity of content and all updates on shows and everything else is there. All my social media and everything music related can be accessed via my linktree; https://linktr.ee/dylsguitarvidz