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Forgive Durden Update

Forgive Durdan's Thomas Dutton has posted an update, which can be read by clicking read more.

"So it’s about time I put together an update for you all. My life, my whereabouts, my music, my musical. Despite my presumed inactivity, I’ve been a busy bee.

In October of last year, I moved from my hermit shell home in Bellevue, WA to the East Village in the big, bad, scary New York City. The cross-country move was made bearable, and rather enjoyable, by the accompaniment of my wonderful girlfriend Lonnie. One of the biggest reasons we wanted to leave rainy Seattle for rainier (look it up) New York was to continue the development of Razia’s Shadow into a staged musical (Lonnie is Razia’s librettist). Since September 2009 we’ve been working with a great theatre who, for now, will have to remain nameless, on bringing the story of Razia’s to life. We’ve been lucky enough to find pairing with a wonderful team of people so far and I don’t know that I’ve ever been so excited. We’re wading through the process in what we believe is the correct way; the way that gives Razia’s the best chance at finding real life on the stage. We’ve returned to the core of the story, making many rewrites and skeletal plot changes for the better. With full humility, I can proudly write that this New Razia’s (“2.0” as we’ve been calling it) is really fucking great. But when altering something that many people are already in love with (books becoming movies, movies becoming television, alternative indie rock opera albums becoming, hopefully, Broadway musicals), there’s a seemingly unavoidable backlash of disappointment in the necessary changes the source material endures. I can’t help but imagine this may be the case when New Razia’s sees the light of day. In addition to changing the plot a bit to work for the stage, we’ve also had to make characters more consistent throughout the story. You can’t have a (staged) musical where the majority of your characters are only on stage for one song (well I suppose you could, but I, for one, wouldn’t enjoy it). So we’ve condensed, cut, added, etc. But you have to trust me that it’s for the better. The much better. For those who don’t know (and until recently, this included me), the making of a musical is a very long process. We’re going to work and work and push and push and write and write and oneday/someday/soon, Razia’s will be playing alongside Phantom, Wicked, and of course, Rock Of Ages.

Now, for those who weren’t fans of Razia’s, for those who still ask me when another Wonderland is coming, let’s take a few steps back. At the end of 2007, Forgive Durden, as it existed, had a band meeting (as they’re seemingly called) and Jesse our bassist announced he’d be leaving the band. Over the next month, the other two members exited as well (note: admittedly, it still feels weird to sum up in two sentences what was a difficult journey by four best friends who loved the music they were playing and writing, that is, at least most of the time). We had recorded the first demo for Razia’s in Baltimore, backstage, while on tour with Saosin in August of 2006 and even when faced with my band dissolving, I never had any intention of abandoning this new baby growing in my belly. One of the very first things I discussed with my manager and label was whether or not we should drop the name Forgive Durden. I imagine many bands that lose core members have this discussion. I didn’t want to alienate fans or lose any momentum that we had worked so hard for but at the same time, this was no longer Forgive Durden. It was my brother and me at Casey’s studio for months and months. So we came up with ‘Forgive Durden Presents’ as a subtle (yet possibly ineffective) balance between the two polar truths.

So, back to now. I’ve always written the music that naturally comes bursting out of me. In 2005, that music turned out to be Wonderland. In 2007, it reared its head as Razia’s. And, as you may guess, the notes and words and beats and chords that come out now are resulting in a vastly new sound. Like you and everyone you know, I’m inspired by different things today than I was five years ago, and I can’t help but write music from a place of pure inspiration. I change and grow every day, with new (and old) records, films, books, peoples, places, spaces influencing me, pulling at my strings, imbuing me with affect. Kanye, Spoon, Robyn, Phoenix, Santogold, Eminem, Ratatat, Marina, Daft Punk, Arcade Fire, Yeasayer, Drake, La Roux — this is the music that touches me now. And there is part of me in all of them. Dramatic, dark, starry-eyed, melodic, clever, twisted, searing, lonely. All these new noises and alterations pouring out of me still come from the same place. They all have the same feeling behind them. Me. And as cliche as it sounds, I can’t wait to show all of you. The whos, whats, whens, wheres, and hows are all still juggling balls (or flaming machetes!) hurling through the air, but gravity is unrelenting, so they will be decidedly at rest soon enough. And you will be the first to know."

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