February 2010: After releasing two full-lengths and one EP, Anacortes pop-rock band the Lonely Forest announce they've signed to Trans Records, a new major label imprint created by Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla. Walla created the imprint so he could both work with the band as a producer and release their records.
March 2010: The Lonely Forest leave on their first national tour, playing shows with We Were Promised Jetpacks and Bear Hands. Singer/pianist John Van Deusen and guitarist Tony Ruland got in a fight while onstage at a show in Columbus, Ohio. "[John] tripped over my pedal board and unplugged everything after I specifically told him to stay away from my pedals, so I went up and unplugged his main power cable in the middle of the song 'Tunnels,'" says Ruland. The sound guy later told the band that the fit was the greatest rock-and-roll moment he's ever experienced.
April 2010: Chris Walla meets the band in their hometown of Anacortes, and they begin preproduction for their third full-length (and Trans debut), Arrows. Soon after, they go to Los Angeles to record the album at Sound City Studios, where Nirvana's Nevermind and Weezer's Pinkerton were recorded.
July 31, 2010: John Van Deusen marries his girlfriend, Annababe.
September 2010: The Lonely Forest leave for another national tour, this time with Margot and the Nuclear So and So's. After a two-week break, they spend another 20 days on the road with Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. No onstage fights, but the band nearly crash their van in a snowstorm while trying to make it home in time for Thanksgiving.
March 22, 2011: The Lonely Forest release Arrows. NPR calls their first single, "Turn Off This Song and Go Outside," "a catchy call to arms, not to mention one of the best and most honest slices of pop music around."
June 2011: The band's van explodes days before they're supposed to leave on tour with Death Cab for Cutie. The one-ton Dodge Ram, which they called "Vic," was the only van the band ever owned—"It was like a fifth member of the Lonely Forest," says Ruland. He plans to commemorate the automobile with a tattoo of its license plate number, 744-VIC.
June 14, 2011: NPR continues to love the Lonely Forest by including the song "We Sing in Time" on their list of "The Year's Best Music (So Far)." Adele, Radiohead, Wye Oak, and Bright Eyes are also on the list.
July 22, 2011: Tony Ruland marries his girlfriend Kelly. Luke Burbank (host of the Too Beautiful to Live podcast) performs the ceremony.
August 2011: The band starts demoing songs for their follow-up to Arrows.
August 2, 2011: After their original appearance is bumped by Lady Gaga, the Lonely Forest finally make their national television debut, playing their song "We Sing in Time" on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Lady Gaga is in the building when the Lonely Forest perform. "I couldn't believe how short she is," says Ruland.
August 13, 2011: The band's drummer, Bradyn Krueger, marries his girlfriend Jenny.
September 4, 2011: Two years after filling the EMP Sky Church to maximum capacity, the Lonely Forest return to Bumbershoot for the third time, where they'll perform in the 16,000-plus-capacity KeyArena. "That still hasn't sunk in yet," says Ruland. "I... I don't even know how to process that, really."