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Strange Forest / Bio

During a hiatus of the metal outfit Civil Definition, The Ryan Birchwood Project was born. Two recordings were made during this venture that consisted of Michael Portner on acoustic guitar and Jayson Hughes handling vocals. Civil Definition was soon reborn and the project would be put to the side. Two years later Civil Definition fell apart indefinitely which led to Michael and Jayson coming back together in an acoustic project dubbed Before The Ends Meet. The duo wrote three songs together which started to incorporate Michael utilizing his feet to play drums while playing the acoustic guitar and Jayson adding keyboard parts to the songs. After a year of writing together Nathan Vorwerk, the former guitar player of Civil Definition joined the band to play the bass guitar.

With all of the pieces now in place the three soon realized that a new musical direction was forming. Though they had focused on a drastically different sound, their heavy metal roots and influences tended to naturally show in the writing. Due to this the band's style and sound now encompass a wide range of diversity and emotion with dark undertones that evolve many times into uplifting moments all in a single song. The band has changed their name to Strange Forest, which the three decided fit where the project has gone musically.

The music was coming together nicely and the guys really liked the direction this was going. After about three years, the guys felt there was still something missing and discovered that the band Without Troy had recently disbanded. Knowing what they were looking for, Michael, Jayson and Nathan approached Jose Meras, the former drummer of Without Troy, to ask if he was interested in playing auxiliary percussion for Strange Forest. He was. Who knew what the future would bring...

After a year of reworking their sound with auxiliary percussion the band saw more changes arise when Dylan Smith was introduced into the fold. Michael moved on to a full drum kit and Dylan took over on the guitar. The band moved forward without auxiliary percussion which unfortunately meant without Jose. With a newly found sound once again Strange Forest keeps moving forward and looking into the future and all of its endless possibilities.

General Info

Band Members
Jayson Hughes Michael Portner Nathan Vorwerk Dylan Smith
Artist Name
Strange Forest
Home Page
Rock / Progressive Rock / Acoustic

Contact Info

Minneapolis, MN