Founded and led by the expressive vocalist/songwriter/guitarist Beth Cameron, the Nashville-based Forget Cassettes specialize in alternative rock/indie rock that is angst-ridden and emotionally intense yet highly melodic. Despite having a Nashville address, Forget Cassettes have nothing whatsoever to do with country music, Americana, or roots rock; their material is alternative rock all the way, drawing on direct or indirect influences that have ranged from PJ Harvey to Tori Amos to Sleater-Kinney, Nirvana, and Hole. Forget Cassettes thrives on contrasts; a Cameron performance can be reflective (in a dark, brooding way) one minute and turn into a passionate, aggressive, cathartic outburst the next.
Forget Cassettes was formed in May 2002, when Cameron joined forces with drummer Doni Schroeder (who also plays keyboards). Forget Cassettes was not Cameron's first musical experience with Schroeder; they had spent two years playing together in a predominantly female, Nashville-based group called Fair Verona, who were originally known as Calypso and should not be confused with an all-female Dublin, Ireland-based trio of the same name (Ireland's Fair Verona was originally known as Femme Fatale and was still together in early 2007, whereas Nashville's Fair Verona broke up in 2001 -- and it should be noted that another one of Cameron's bandmates in Nashville's Fair Verona was singer/guitarist Shawna Potter, who went on to join the Baltimore-based alterna-rock combo Avec in 2003). As a duo, Cameron and Schroeder recorded Forget Cassettes' debut album, Instruments of Action, in 2002; the disc was released by the independent, Nashville-based Theory 8 label in 2003.
When Schroeder left Forget Cassettes in late 2004 to tour with an Austin, TX-based alternative rock band called ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Cameron decided to take a break from music for a few months. Some fans feared that Forget Cassettes would be discontinued permanently and go down in history as a one-album wonder, but in 2005 Cameron put together a new Forget Cassettes lineup and made the group a trio, recruiting drummer Aaron Ford (who was also an ex-member of Nashville's Fair Verona and had played with a band called the Sincerity Guild) and multi-instrumentalist Jay Leo Phillips (who had been with the band Apollo Up! and plays bass, drums, and guitar). Because Forget Cassettes were a half-male, half-female duo in 2002, 2003, and 2004, some people compared them to the White Stripes, but those White Stripes comparisons went away when Forget Cassettes became a trio.
Salt, Forget Cassettes' second album, was released by Theory 8 in 2006. After that, Schroeder rejoined Forget Cassettes on some gigs, making them a quartet at times -- and when Phillips and Ford were busy with other musical activities, Forget Cassettes reverted to the original Cameron/Schroeder lineup. But whatever the lineup, Cameron has always been the constant in Forget Cassettes; she is the person who has done the most to shape and define the group's sound. In 2007, Forget Cassettes landed a European distribution deal with the London-based One Little Indian Records/Tangled Up Recordings. ~ Alex Henderson