Get To Know Me: Don Forgetti
Ahead of their Chop Suey set with Delta Sleep and Floral, we sat down with Miiko Valkonen of Don Forgetti to see what makes him tick, what makes Don Forgetti different and where they're headed together. Expect to hear songs off their new album With/Out Think at the show and check out the playlist Valkonen made showcasing their biggest influences and most favorite songs below.
DMM: How did you come up with your band?
Miiko Valkonen (MV): A little over two years ago, I moved here to Seattle with my best friend Aaron and his brother with no real plan. He and I had known each other for several years before that and had not really ever played music together. We were pretty lonely not knowing anyone here at first, so we bought the cheapest gear we could find at a pawn shop and a whole buncha music fell outta our heads pretty quickly.
DMM: How did you come up with your name?
MV: Honestly, we were just walking down the street together and it popped in my head. We had been pitching names for weeks and been spending a lot of time thinking about it and coming up with stuff that didn't click, so it felt kinda right to just have one that sorta happened on its own.
DMM: Who are all of your influences?
MV: The playlist covers a lot of ground with that. I'm honestly a sucker for anything with odd rhythms. Krill and Dismemberment Plan probably are the bands we most directly try to sound like, though we wish we sounded like Palm. I also can't deny that spending middle school listening to nothing but Primus didn't shape things.
DMM: When did you all start playing music?
MV: We've all been playing together as a unit for a year and a half. I fiddled with instruments on and off for a large chunk of my life but only started writing it late in college. Aaron's a similar story to that, but Benja's been playing pretty regularly since 5th grade.
DMM: Did you always want to be in a band?
MV: I'd always been a performer in some way or another, but music kind of came as a surprise. Freshman year of college a buddy asked me to fill in temporarily for drums in a short-lived project of his and since then I've sorta been unable to stop being in a band.
DMM: When people listen to you what do you hope their take away is?
MV: I just want people who listen to have a heck of a lot of fun, and maybe get a bit confused on the way.
DMM: Hopes for your band?
MV: We hope we get to play more shows as awesome as our next one tonight at Chop Suey! All while writing plenty of new material.
DMM: What do you think sets Don Forgetti apart from other Seattle bands?
MV: We approach rhythm in a pretty different way from most bands. Usually song ideas stem from rhythmic progressions, we think of rather than chord progressions.
DMM: What genre would you described Don Forgetti's sound?
MV: Math rock has been the easiest way of categorizing our sound, though when I think of math rock I usually picture tappy, twinkly kinda music like Chon or American Football that we don't quite sound like. I like to call us "goof rock" but the rest of the band doesn't like it.
DMM: Do you think that the next record and the past one are different in anyway? If so, how?
MV: We've only just started writing songs for what's coming next but we hope to reach more extremes as far as covering new ground. Some of the songs will be our catchiest, poppiest stuff yet while others will be really tricky and noisy.
DMM: If you could collab with one Seattle band who would it be? And why?
MV: I would love to collab with Medium Weekend. Jack already recorded all of our albums and I love working with him; I'd love for more of his and Spike's creative input in the songwriting process.
DMM: Favorite venue?
MV: There's so many great houses in the U-District at the moment, I love that neighborhood scene as a whole. The Mirage Garage is probably my favorite as far has how good the sound is and how wild the parties are.
DMM: Anything you'd like to say to your fans?
MV: I get really tired right after shows so I end up not making a whole lotta sense, but come say hi!
Pregame for tonight's show at Chop Suey with the DMM x Donforgetti playlist! If you have any trouble loading the playlist click here, and find Don Forgetti's music on Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp and most streaming services.