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An Interview of Dan Cole from Forever Changed
By Len Nash

Forever Changed is a band from Florida. Tollbooth readers will find them easy to spot during their impressive 2004 summer tour, or perhaps they’ve already opened for a loud favorite this winter. Before hitting the road, they are going into the studio with producer James Paul Wisner (Dashboard Confessional, Further Seems Forever, Underoath) to record three brand new songs. Before those recording sessions, Dan Cole, co-founder, granted Len Nash an interview online.

Nash: What is the name of your band and who does it consist of?

Cole: Our name is Forever Changed. Ben O'rear plays lead guitar and background vocals, Tom Gustafson plays bass guitar, Nathan Lee plays the drums, and I sing and play guitar.

Nash: What is the history behind the band Forever Changed?

Cole: Wow, what a question (I'll summarize as much as I can). Ben, Nathan, and I have always played together. We started a band over 4 years ago, which might as well have been a Jimmy Eat World/Get Up Kids cover band. After several name changes, and several bass player changes, we found ourselves as a 3-piece a little over 2 years ago. 

I moved away from Tallahassee, Florida (where the 3 of us lived and started the group), and almost saw the band disappear. In Niceville, Florida (where I had moved to) I became friends with Cody Jordan, and Tom Gustafson--who were already good friends. Cody ended up joining the band as the bass player, while Tom stayed as one of my close friends, and soon to be one of Ben and Nate's close friends. Cody played with us for 2 years, while our band became more serious than we ever had been in the past. 

At the close of 2003, we all agreed that it was time for Cody to depart ways with the band and pursue other areas of his life. And a few months ago, we asked Tom to join our band as the bass player. There is much more "history" to our band than that but for me to sum everything up, I must say: it's crazy how the Lord works.

Nash: What style of music does Forever Changed play?

Cole: Good question. I have heard about 5 different opinions on this subject. Some may say "indie rock" others "emo rock." After one show, a guy told me that we were his new favorite "heavy metal" band because I think Ben did one crazy 80's solo. I guess this guy thought it was metal. All of us in the band generally answer this question saying that we play rock music.

Nash: What are some of your influences?

Cole: We all have really eclectic influences, ranging from The Eagles to Radiohead. I'll list some of our greatest influences are, at least from my perspective. 

Nathan: The Appleseed Cast, The Police, At The Drive-In, all the rappers from the West Coast Ben: The Eagles, Van Halen, Sunny Day Real Estate/The Fire Theft, Joe Satriani, and Bone Thugs n Harmony.

Tom: Thrice, Unwed Sailor, Pinback, Beloved, and all the rappers from the East Coast.

Me: Radiohead, Sunny Day/The Fire Theft, Jeff Buckley, The Police, The Fat Boys.

Nash: When is Forever Changed going to go out on tour?

Cole: We are heading out on tour at the beginning of May, 2004

Nash: Who are you going out on tour with?

Cole: We are playing several shows with our friend Corey, who plays in A Farewell To Arms. Apart from that, we are playing different shows with many different bands.

Nash: Where is this tour headed?

Cole: We are going up the East Coast, through the Carolinas, the Virginias, and Maryland is about as North as we are going. Then we are going through Ohio, and from there heading back south to Florida.

Nash: Any music festivals that Forever Changed will be playing at? 

Cole: We are playing at Cornerstone Florida, on May 8. And Cornerstone Illinois, on July 3.

Nash: Has the latest wave of member changes in the music world affected Forever Changed?

Cole: Yes, I would say so. Tom has added a sense of eagerness and energy to the band. Musically, we have been working more on playing off of grooves and different rhythms; we are trying to break it up a bit, add more excitement.

Nash: What are some of the artists that you have had the pleasure of playing with?

Cole: Anathallo, Cool Hand Luke, Kutless, Denison Marrs, The Violet Burning, Red Animal War, Twothirtyeight, etc.

Nash: Any up and coming bands that you'd recommend?

Cole: Anathallo. If you have yet to hear their music, please check them out They are an incredible band, who has incredible hearts for the Lord.

Nash: What are Forever Changed's releases and when were they released?

Cole: We released a full length in the summer of 2002 titled Drifting Into Amazing. We released 3 songs in May of 2003 for demo purposes. And we recently released 2 new songs for demo purposes as well.

Nash: When can people expect a new release to surface from Forever Changed?

Cole: We are going into the studio this June. So, depending on how quick the process is, we hope to have it by the fall, and if not that soon then definitely by the end of this year.

Nash: Why the name Forever Changed?

Cole: The Lord has done so much in our lives, and because of him we have been forever changed.

Nash: What are the basis for Forever Changed's lyrics?

Cole: Generally the lyrics are based on different life issues. The lyrics are a challenge to me and every listener to do something--maybe to repent of a sin, or to stand up for the truth, or to rejoice in what Jesus has done for us. Sometimes the lyrics may be based upon personal experience, other times they may be in a story format, but I always strive to write them in a way that people can relate to them. The words are there to provoke some type of thought or conviction, whether the listener is a Christian or not. 

Nash: What's the overall feeling from others around you?

Cole: Everyone has been supportive of our music and mission. The churches we play are always excited for us. Now, whenever we play clubs or non-Christian venues, it's never a big secret that we are Christians, and most people that we have met enjoy the music and the live show. There hasn't been that a big of a difference as far as the initial response from people to our music whether they be Christians or not. The real difference is the angle in which they approach the music, and the way in which we approach the non-believers. We hope that the feelings that we get from the non-Christians is that Forever Changed is for real, and lovers of Christ; not people who condemn them to Hell. We are simply trying to build relationships with these people, as much as we can, and through the power of God, we pray that someday they come to know who Jesus is.

Nash: Where can people find Forever Changed of the Internet? 

Cole: and 

Nash: Where does Forever Changed hail out from?

Cole: Tallahassee, Florida--originally. Now we live in Orlando.

Nash: Are there any closing remarks, shout-outs, or statements?

Cole: If you are a Christian, let your light shine wherever you are at. Never think that since you are only one person that you can't do very much, because we are a part of a greater plan than we can imagine. God is the creator of the universe, and we who are Christians are apart of His army. (Ephesians 6:10-17)


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