Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Shawn Biggs
Forrest Day wonders, on his song, "Troubled," if his heart is capable of killing his brain. It's just one of a million things he's worried, more concerned about, but this idea that one very important part of him could kill the other very important part of him, is a serious concern for the Bay Area songwriter. The heart that's worried about is one that's full of such pain and even more love. It boasts quite the capacity for both and Day feels as if the unending passion for other people might just go right ahead and blind the disjointed, but observed thoughts that surface in his head. They might just blot out the sight and cause a person to lose their shit in a rage or a storm of obscenities. There's a point when we just break down and have a fit. We shout at the tops of our lungs and we don't care who hears. It's just a matter of finally getting it all heard, getting it off our chest. It would be amazing if it was actually absorbed, if it was taken in to other hearts, but just being able to unload sometimes does the trick. Day doesn't sound like a man who would be happy enough with just saying his piece and letting it fall on deaf ears. He's socially conscious and about as livid about inequalities and common displays of cruelty and insensitivity toward our fellow man and woman. He sees the dismissal and the persecution of other people over silly little things such as sexuality, race, etc., and it burns him up as if someone had just poured an inferno down his throat or stuffed his luggage full of manure. He thinks, "How can it be?" and it makes him want to write. The music that he and his band make could be characterized as reggae balladry, pushing at times into chill territories, but always maintaining the vibe of being in an uproar, disgusted by the ways that people treat other people. His general feelings must be what's leading the Occupy Wall Street movements currently taking over the United States, in a way - the sense that too many people are getting shafted and there's no reason for it. There's unspeakable bullying causing kids to take their own lives. There's unspeakable avoidance of empathizing with anyone not like ourselves. Without thinking about it, it happens and it makes us want to wash it off us as soon as we recognize we've done it. We feel like terrible people for sitting at the stoplight of a highway off-ramp, with a panhandler, someone holding a sign that reads, "Pregnant and homeless," waiting there, hoping for a little money to make it through the day, and trying not to make eye contact, either because we don't have any money or now's not the right time. It always feels horrible and yet, most of the time, we never roll down the window and shove a few crumpled bills their way. We're all often guilty of lacking compassion, but Day's words and music are important urgings to try to change that. We're stupid if we don't.