MUSIC INTERVIEW: Real Friends
Real Friends are in the UK! It’s one of those rare sunny days in English Spring (call it pathetic fallacy) because we are off to meet the pop punk champs to and we’re pretty happy about it!
We caught up with the quintet in the calm before the storm ahead of their Slam Dunk Festival appearance, before they continued into a European tour. With their new album, The Home Inside My Head recently released and paired with a launch gig at the Hippodrome, we wanted to pick the band’s brains to see what’s inside their heads this far away from home. We talked midnight walks, shitting in your pants and what to expect from their new material…
Hey Guys! To start off for those of our readers that haven’t heard of Real Friends, how would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Dan (vocals): Fucking awful music [laughter]
Wow ok well we would disagree! So your new album launches tomorrow, how are you feeling about it?
Dan: Pretty excited! It’s been a long time coming we’ve been working on it since end of 2014 so yeah, very stoked!
It’s called The Home Inside My Head, if you had to describe the metaphorical home inside your head what would it look like?
Dan: I’d have a TV, PlayStation and a bed.
Kyle (bass): That’s it? Nothing on the walls?
Dan: Yeah man, a studio apartment that’s it. Maybe a stove and a fridge.
K: I think that’s what it’s supposed to look like after you do cool stuff like this [all laugh].
You guys are always very good with words so here’s a challenge, describe your album in one word?
K: Why are we using so few words?
Just as a bit of fun!
K: [pause] I would say for someone who does know who we are I would say progression.
Brian (drums): I was gonna say progressive!
Dave (guitar): Majestic
Dan: Progressive, Majestia [all laugh].
We like it! How would you say this new record differed from your earlier material?
K: I think we just figured out more who we are and what we want to do. It does take time, I don’t think a band can write just one album as who they really are, as you grow into other influences and go through different things in life. You wanna push yourself. With this one we had some goals of wanting to write songs that have more dynamic. From a songwriting standpoint we did a better job on this one! How they flow all together make lot more sense.
Dan: We had a lot more time, we went into it with a clearer idea to make it more cohesive to produce a better end product.
So you mentioned influences change, who would you say are your modern influences now?
K: We’ve always had the main influences, bands like Starting Line, Jimmy Eat World has been a song structure influence, Taking Back Sunday, a lot of bands that you’d expect. But with this album, we had that influence but we didn’t dig too deep into it, because we know what we want to do on our own now. It’s like a relationship or a friendship you get to know that flow and that’s how it is with us and our sound. We realise what Real Friends is now.
Do you guys have any guilty musical pleasures that would shock your fans?
Dan: I don’t like calling it guilty pleasures because if you like something you shouldn’t be ashamed because of the thoughts and ideals of other people. I genuinely don’t think we listen to anything that would shock anybody.
K: Maybe Dave?
Dave: What does that mean? [all laugh]
K: [points to Dave and Brian] they might be shocked you listen to metalcore?
B: In the band we’ve been known to blast things we grew up with, Erasure, Tears For Fears and like Limp Biscuit, that’s the biggest one for me.
Dan: System Of A Down but that’s not guilty at all!
B: Oh I have one! Lana Del Ray.
Eric (guitar): I love the new Ellie Goulding CD!
Dave: Taylor Swift and Katy Perry!
Very eclectic mix there boys! Do you guys favour vinyl or downloads?
Dan: I buy records.
Rest of the band: Spotify.
What was the last track you listened to?
Dan: I listened to the new Foxing record when I took a walk last night looking for a store to grab a snack.
When you guys tour are there any home comforts you have to bring?
K: Cliff bars, like a power bar [pulls one out] I will take a bite for everyone! [all laugh]
Dave: On the opposite end of that question when I come to the UK I eat tons of Galaxy bars!
So you’re on the first leg of the tour, what’s been the funniest moment so far?
Dan: Probably when Dave shit his pants [all hysterically laugh]
Dave: We were in Germany, we were on stage with 3 songs left and I thought I just had to fart, but it was shit [all laugh] not a lot but I had to leave the stage.
Dan: We had to cut a song from the set!
Dave: Well we cut one of our songs and covered Raining Blood by Slayer whilst I was wiping the shit our my pants.
Slayer and shitting your pants! Are you sure you guys aren’t a hardcore band!? Apparently that’s good luck for bands, a sign of a good show maybe?
Dan: Maybe I’m not playing a good enough show. If I shit myself at Slam Dunk, I will know I’ve done well enough! [all laugh]
You guys must be stoked for that at the weekend?
Dan: It will be stoked, what? [laughs] we are stoked.
Who are you guys most looking forward to seeing?
Dan: We’re really excited to see Set Your Goals, haven’t seen them in years, besides The Starting Line that’s the band I want to see most.
Dave: I’m getting in the crowd for that. I’m too old for the crowd but I’d consider it or I might shit my pants! [all laugh]
B: It’s going to be pretty hard to top 2 years ago when we played, see what happens!
If you could create your own festival and bring someone back to play from the dead who would it be?
B: Pantera, I never got a chance to see them play and shred it up.
E: Peter Steele for some Type O Negative.
Dave: I don’t really know whose dead.
Dan: Get George Harrison back in the game.
Dave: I have one! I’d never listened to The Eagles before but about 2 weeks ago I watched a documentary on Netflix got attached to the members and found out Glenn Frey died recently so I’d bring them back as I’m bummed out I wont see them play. RIP
Kyle: Ozzy Osbourne.
B: Dude he’s alive!
K: Is he!? [all hysterically laugh]
B: I mean he’s alive in the sense he’s breathing!
Aw we love Ozzy! Back to festivals of the living, are there any differences between UK and US ones?
K: Someone just asked us this, not really shows in the UK are typically smaller and the kids are more excited because they don’t get to see US bands as often. We were out here with All Time Low last year, we never toured with them in the US, but I mean all their fans out here were open to us. The fact we were supporting the, was enough for their fans to give us attention and if we said “hey jump,” you’d jump.
We guess we are an obedient bunch and we love a queue!
Dan: I think in the US you can see a band 5 times a year, here it’s rare.
B: Yeah it’s not like “hey man I’m tired I will catch them next time,” in the UK it’s a special thing.
Dave: One weird thing here is that kids will sing along to guitar parts.
B: That’s awesome!
Dave: The encore is always “one more tune” not song – it took us a whole to figure out what that was!
Dan: We got really confused like that the fuck are they saying? [laughs]
Well we can’t wait to hear the new record live! What would you say you really want your fans to take away from it? What’s the message?
Dan: If we’re to get one thing through its that it’s ok if things don’t turn out exactly how you planned. Shit happens and if you’re able to get to where you want to be it will be that much more rewarding when you weigh both the obstacles and all the work you put in to it. If things come to easy where’s the worth? You won’t know how much you appreciate it if you don’t fight for it, work for it or don’t really give a shit about it. That’s the main message of the album.
Rest of the band: Totally!
K: As always we just want people to relate and connect with it.
We love that and we wish you luck with it! You guys are crazy busy with the record launch tomorrow and tour, what future Real Friends plans are you most looking forward to?
K: I’m most stoked to get the record out and for people to know the songs for it to become a normal part of the band. It’s cool that it’s new but when things surface and people begin to like certain songs, it’s exciting and everything falls into place.
B: That freshness! We’ve been playing a lot of these songs for a year and half it will be cool to see like ‘oh people like this new one!’ Or even if it’s the opposite and people don’t like what we thought they’d be into and to perform what they like more live. It’s starting a whole new chapter in our band and it’s really exciting.
What are you most excited to play tomorrow?
B: Favourite older song, Late Nights In My Car. Newer stuff, Colder Quicker.
K: I like Scared To Be Alone. It’s funny because when we first played the song it was rough and now it has a groove and it’s a little different to everything else, so that’s nice for variety.
Well we can’t wait to hear your set tomorrow and hear what the new album brings to the pop punk table! Take care guys!
If you’re not lucky enough to see these guys live this festival season, their new record The Home Inside My Head is out now so make sure you check it out – we anticipate it will be one to watch!
Interview by: Charly Phillips