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Interview – Real Friends

Posted: January 7, 2015 | the scene, tobacco | Dan Lambton, interview, maybe this place is the same and we're just changing, pop punk, real friends | 0 Comments

REAL FRIENDS INTERVIEW
11.20.14
The Broadberry
Richmond, VA

BLACKLIST: Where are you from and how did you form?
KYLE: We’re from Chicago. We formed from all being in other bands. We all knew each other from that and we all wanted to do something different and on a more serious level. So we just kind of came together through that. We’ve been a band for about 4 years now.

BLACKLIST: Where did the name “Real Friends” come from?
KYLE: The name came from a band that I used to play in. I was in this band with people I didn’t know that well. I was on tour with them and it felt weird sometimes. In this band, we all already knew each other. We have friends in common and know family members. When we’re on tour you can mention something about home and everyone understands. “Real Friends” just kind of fell into that.

BLACKLIST: Who or what inspires you?
KYLE: I find a lot of inspiration in bands from my youth. Especially as I’ve gotten older, I’ve reflected a lot on being younger and having everything lead up to this. I’m almost 26 so its like I don’t think I’d be in a band if it wasn’t for bands like The Starting Line, Brand New, Taking Back Sunday. As I get older I realize that those staple bands that made me want to play music are still the reason why I do what I do. I realize now if I didn’t start early, I don’t know if it would have panned out this way.

BLACKLIST: So your newest album, “Maybe This Place Is The Same and We’re Just Changing” was released in July. What was the inspiration behind the album?
KYLE: The title was originally a lyric in a song. Actually, almost all of our album titles have started off as lyrics. It kind of is referring to leaving home and coming back and having it be different. We’ve dealt with that a lot now. We’ve been touring for about 2 years now. We’re on the road more than we’re home. It’s really weird to reflect on and realize even though you’re far from home, everything is still moving. So it refers to that and it refers to just changing in general and growing up and turning into an adult. The album focuses a lot on growing up, changing, heartbreak; you know all the kind of typical stuff. But I feel like what sets us apart is we’re just so honest about it. When I used to write songs when I was younger, I’d try to make them rhyme and be all clever. When people get older and are in a stressful spot in life, they’re not looking for that though. They’re looking for something that they can grip onto, something that’s real. Something that someone would actually say. So lyrically, I’ve become more simple throughout the years. I think its cool. There’s a lot to say about bands that are like that. I feel like in the past couple years more stuff like that has been coming out. More honest, straight up stuff.

BLACKLIST: What do you want people to take away from this album?
KYLE: I just want them to feel connected to it. I want them to listen to it and be like “Oh, I feel something from this song. I can relate to it because it helps me.” When we were writing the album, we wanted to have a timeless sound. I know for me timeless is like Jimmy Eat World or Brand New. You know, a lot of that stuff so if we can be that record for someone, that’s amazing.

BLACKLIST: What has been the most memorable experience so far in your career?
KYLE: It’s really hard to say because when I wake up every day and actually realize what’s going on, it’s crazy, you know? I feel like its hard to step away from it sometimes because you’re in it. I have that moment every day. We played Warped Tour in Chicago and we actually played in the town we’re from (Tinley Park). I think that was the most amount of people we’ve played in front of. At the end of our set the whole crowd started chanting “REAL FRIENDS!” It was like a movie. I have a picture in my room of that. It was just a REALLY great memory.
We just came off of a break, taking time off of touring. I feel totally recharged. Its also a headlining tour so its fun to play a longer set. It’s a bit more lose like we have more time and we get to show the band’s personality more.

BLACKLIST: 3 things you’ll never leave for tour without?
KYLE: Socks, underwear, plaid shirt. That’s the real friends way.

BLACKLIST: If you could give an up-and-coming band in this genre one piece of advice, what would it be?
KYLE: keep trying and trying. I talk to a lot of younger kids and they talk about their bands and I feel like that was me, you know? I’ve been in a band since I was 13 so I remember being that kid. I always tell people you need to find the right people. I’ve been in bands with like 30 different people since I was 13. There’s times when you have to tell someone, “Hey, I quit this band” because one person can hold back your entire passionate drive. I’ve had people hold me back but when we started this band it felt like everyone was pulling in the same direction. You gotta be on the same page.

BLACKLIST: How has technology been a positive or negative factor for the band?
KYLE: I think social networking has been really cool. All the bands today are a product of social media. We were drawing kids on our very first tour because of the internet. Summer of 2012 we played in Staten Island, NY and we had never been there before but we drew like 50 kids because of Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, etc. BUT technology has hurt the music scene in a way because I remember going to shows and meeting so many people. I know everyone in this band because I met them through local music. Today, a lot of kids go to shows with like 2 kids and have their phones in front of their faces the whole time. It’s probably all of us getting old, because we didn’t always have that to resort to. I think it’s a good thing in a way but its bad for a sense of community in the local music scene. Local music is really important to us as a band.

BLACKLIST: What are your thoughts on Crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo?
KYLE: I never wanted to do it for us and I never wanted to do it. I think there’s certain situations I kinda get it but for us it was like yoo. If you’re asking for money, all of your options should be exhausted. I’ve seen some stuff that just wasn’t worth it. I’ve seen people donate $25 and all they get is a CD. That CD cost like $1 to print. Its bullshit. Everyone’s different. None of us were in school when we started the band. We all worked full time and did whatever we could. Whenever there was a band expense, we just split it 5 ways. I never wanted to ask people for money. If something is that important to you, you should put personal money into it. Its like an investment. Its just like when you start a business. I’m not totally against it but most of the things I’ve seen with it are like “really?”. I just truly believe in putting your entire life into music, if that’s really what you want to do.

BLACKLIST: Have you been involved with any charities or nonprofits?
KYLE: We’ve recently been connected with a charity called “Hope for the Day” which is suicide prevention. We’ve teamed with them for this tour. We have cards on our table and we promote it at our shows. We’ve talked to a lot of kids that have suicide issues and as we grow as a band I feel like that’s one of our messages. You have a purpose and no one should ever have to take their live or even have those thoughts.

BLACKLIST: Why you take a stand against the tobacco industry?
DAVE: I grew up with a lot of family members smoking around me. It’s also unhealthy and uncostly. The only positive thing about the tobacco industry is it makes the people in the industry rich.

BLACKLIST: What would you rather spend your money on?
DAVE: I’d rather spend my money on mac n cheese. Or just save it.