Get to know...The Forum
by Alec Kissoondyal
The Forum, an indie-rock band from Gainesville, Florida, has certainly proven that perseverance and a love of creating music is reason enough to continue to follow their passion, despite other responsibilities that arise throughout life.
"I work at a hospital here in Gainesville, and I'm actually still pursuing my Bachelors as well, so I've been pretty busy lately," The Forum's guitarist, Nick Wheeler, says.
"It's been a lot of planning much further in advance," Michael Higgins, The Forum's vocalist adds. "We set out the boundaries that we need for each of our jobs and personal lives so we know what's available and we just book around everything else. Basically any time that we have available, we try to fill it with stuff we can do with the band, whether that means recording, meeting up on a weekend like this where we're writing new material, or even booking shows. We adapt to everyone's schedules. Filling in the rest comes with being patient."
Despite their packed schedules, The Forum has still managed to find time to do a fair bit of touring.
"We've been as far north as Nashville. We've done two tours of the southeast, and we've basically gone through Orlando, North Florida, Atlanta, and Nashville, and hitting smaller cities along the way, such as Chattanooga, or Macon," Jacob Farrell, the bassist, mentions. "Generally though, we tend to stay in state, or at least Regional. We usually play shows in Gainesville, Jacksonville, Tampa, or Tallahassee."
A notable indicator of The Forum's appeal is their propensity for songs that boast impressive, insightful, and poetic lyrics. Higgins expands on his personal writing process, stating that, "If I go through things I'm not quiet about it. I usually confide in other people, and then I get a lot of people's stories and I realize that a lot of people go through the same kinds of things. When I hear about some of the things that my friends or family members are dealing with, I take more inspiration from that. You never know what other people are going through, and we can be self-centered thinking that we're the only ones going through something whether it's positive or negative. But you can look at a random person on the street and there may be so much in their life that they may be masking. I'm intrigued by that, and the more people I meet, especially throughout college and since we've had the band, the more I've realized that. It's kind of impossible to start writing about everything without thinking of everyone's side of it. It's not really intentional. It's just how I write."
"Of the stuff coming out, 'Comet' is one I'm really proud of. Of the older ones, 'Blue Jay' is introspective and kind of heavy, so that one comes to mind. And then 'My Chest is your Dance Floor' is one of my favorite lyrical compositions."
With the members of the band being busy with their jobs, classes, or both, striking a solid balance can often be challenging, but it is a challenge that they readily accept and find ways to work with.
"I'm actually the newest member of the band, and I got started off with a bang," Ethan Klohr, the Forum's drummer mentions. "As soon as we played our first show at the end of January, six straight weeks of shows, I was definitely getting a whole new perspective on being in a band, traveling across the state, and still having to balance taking classes at the same time and my personal life. There was a lot going on, but I got to do what I've always wanted to do, and I'd love to do it as a professional career one day, but I want to make sure I at least get that degree first. That's the perception I have. For now, keeping it a hobby, keeping it fun, hanging out with the guys, touring around, and doing what I love but making sure I keep that 'real world' perspective."
Wheeler expands on The Forum's passion for their craft and the motivation to move forward and keep doing what they love. "I've recently taken on a job that has taken a lot of my attention. It can be exhausting. But at the end of the day, it's always about how much we love what we do. We started the band because we wanted to play music, write songs, and play at shows. Ever since we started doing that, it's so hard to stop. So even on days when we're exhausted, we keep showing up because we love what we do and we're going to try to keep doing it as long as we can."