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Don Fornis

// vocals // guitar

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Key Dragon

// keyboards, backing vox


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From a sleepy gold rush era mining town in the Sierra Nevada foothills halfway
between Sacramento, CA and Reno, NV, FORNIS is an enigmatically progressive 3
piece early punk inspired band with elements of power pop, doowop, oldies, and new
wave. The “hometown heroes” of their local area, the quiotical trio are veritable big fish
in a small pond who stand out on any billing they’re tacked onto while still managing to
effortlessly complement the ever changing Bay Area live music scene with their fresh
approach to throwback music.
In 2009 vocalist/guitarist Don Fornis (The Duodenums, Pruno) and local solo artist
KeyDragon first collaborated after the duo worked remarkably well together in an Elvis
cover band. Both lovers of all genres of punk rock and oldies, the duo met at work and
enlisted an additional musician/colleague to complete the project that played many
successful events locally around the Auburn, CA area.
The project thrived for the next half decade, but Don Fornis was itching to circle back
around to his old Pruno material and all the lingering potential that still loomed, a
potential that began to haunt him as the years went on. Much like the gold flakes that
shimmered downstream and away from so many miners’ pans, the band's opportunities
were eroding over time; as if its fate had somehow been squandered. Five years went
by at a lightning speed and as one year quickly turned into the next and he feverishly
wrote new material - material that had no soft place to land.
Flash forward to 2014 when Don and KeyDragon enlisted the skills of friends Johnny
Trapper Herzog, James McEntire, and ROLO on drums, bass, and backline sound/tech
support, respectively. With the combination of revamped Pruno tunes plus all of the
actualized new songs, the quintet was reborn as “Fornis”, and the freshly rechristened
band feverishly began gigging out all over the greater Northern California area.
Fornis version 1.0 released their first album, a self titled venture in 2016 before a lineup
change the following year stationed KeyDragon on “bass”, taking over his half of the
percussive duties on synth and keyboards. This was one of the first of many defining
steps the band took to pioneer the current unique sound setup they maintain to this
day - a combination of punk rock sensibilities and new wave technology with an
overarching oldies-rock n’ roll vibe. Full of jam bands, pop country and classic rock
cover acts, the small yet faithful music scene of the Sierra Nevada foothills immediately
latched on, creating enough demand for them to release two more singles that same
year before pivoting to working on their second full length album in 2018.
The release of Endless Night in late 2018 is a encapsulation of Fornis’ expansion into
more experimentally progressive music: darker, edgier, and extra conceptual, the
sophomore album got immediate play on college and independent radio stations

throughout the nation, with east coast listeners taking a special interest in the
enigmatic quartet from a small town on the way to a ski resort in Northern California.
The following year found Fornis with a new drummer, local stick man Rob Bingham
formerly of Don’s old band Pruno. Rob’s “high and tight” technical drumming style fit
right in with the new material the band was recording for their 2020 release, Plastic
Face which also housed a handful of re-recorded older tracks, all of which they
continued to play throughout the Bay Area, Sacramento, Reno, and beyond.
2021 saw two more singles for Fornis, “Wake Up” and “Showing You How” and as the
year turned the corner into 2002 the band was met with the departure of Bingham, his
replacement being a Alesis SR16 drum machine manned by ROLO live. With catchy,
twangy, bouncy tunes that are lilted with glam rock and marbled with Jerry Lee Lewis
style rock n’ roll, “power punk” is the way they prefer to describe their sound in 2022,
coining the eponymous hashtag during the pandemic for the release of single “Don’t
Mean Mug Me”.
Fornis is currently in studio recording material for their next EP out in early 2023, and
booking shows around Auburn, Sacramento, Reno, and beyond.

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// backing vox,

electronics, production