This week we are going to be talking about a pop punk band that I only recently got into, Real Friends. Real Friends is a pop punk band from Tinley Park, IL that formed in 2010.
It was formed after Kyle Fasel decided he wasn't happy with the music he was making on his own, and decided to start over. He got together with what is now the band's guitarist, Dave Knox, and soon they began talking about their musical goals. Supposedly, Kyle didn't really expect it to go anywhere, but soon they started forming a project that is still growing today.
Dave Knox called a friend of his, Dan Lambton who soon became the vocalist for the band, and not long after that came their drummer, Aaron Schluck.
Together, these four recorded their debut EP, This Is Honesty and released it on April 2011. Just after releasing the EP, they began playing shows all around the Midwest, but soon realized it didn't feel right playing the songs they had. They said it sort of felt like they were forcing themselves into a sound.
So, they all got together and decided to start over, and they in the process made some changes. During this time, both Dave Knox and Kyle Fasel were playing in a band called The Fastest Kid Alive, and they also brought in a new drummer, Brian Blake.
Oddly, they didn't actually have a second guitarist, but called on friends to come fill in. This is where Eric Haines soon joined the band as an additional guitarist.
They pretty soon got themselves in a groove that they liked and began working on another EP, which got them quite a bit more attention. This EP was the Everyone That Dragged You Here EP, and it was soon followed by another one called, Put Yourself Back Together.
That one actually got reviewed by Rock Sound magazine, and they said that they wouldn't be surprised if they were 'mixing it with the big boys in a year's time."
Rock Sound certainly called that because then in December 2013, the band was signed to Fearless Records. Apparently, at first they were a little hesitant to join any label but Fearless helped and made it feel like a family. They were hesitant because they still wanted full control, and we all know labels do sometimes take that away somewhat. However, fearless really just was there to help with the distribution and marketing aspects, which is something they really liked.
This lead them to the studio in February, which is where they began recording their debut album. They finally were able to make their debut on July 22, 2014, and titled it Maybe This Place Is The Same And We're Just Changing. It actually did really well on US charts, reaching number three on the Billboard top Vinyl Albums and Independent Albums charts, five on the Alternative charts, six on the Top Rock Albums and 24 on the Billboard 200. It also sold over 10,000 copies, which isn't a ton but it definitely was a fantastic start.
The album had three singles, all of which were released prior to the album. It started with "Loose Ends", which came out on May 20, 2014, and then was followed by "Sixteen" and "I Don't Love You Anymore" on June 10, and July 1 consecutively.
The album was said to include more 'emo' aspects, and crossed a few different patterns. Sometimes it was more aggressive, sometimes it was slower, and it was just over all different. Kyle said he was more nervous to hear reactions from fans over this, but clearly it went very well.
After the release of the album, they got to go perform on the 2014 Vans Warped tour, and the album got nominated for the Album of The Year at the Alternative Press Music Awards. They followed the album by releasing an EP of Acoustic Songs called More Acoustic Songs EP and released it for Record Store Day in April 2015.
One of the tracks actually was an acoustic version of "Late Nights In My Car' and features This Wild Life's Kevin Jordan.
This brings us to the most recent Real Friends activity. The band made hints on and off all year of a possible new album On December 22, 2015, Fearless Records announced that Real Friends would have a new record out in 2016.
They actually released the album on May 27, 2016 and it was called The Home Inside My Head. By the time the album was announced, they had already begun playing what became the album's only single to date, which is "Colder Quicker."
The album title was finally announced on April 1 of this year and then when it was finally released, it didn't reach a ton of charts, or anything like that. However, it did still reach 53 on the Billboard 200, and its still fairly new so who knows what all it could reach later! Maybe not charts, but it could go platinum or something at some point!
Now a days, you can catch Real Friends on the Vans Warped tour, which ends on August 13 and then they get a little bit of down time. Maybe more dates will be announced, but as it stands right now, they're clear until December 1 when they set out on tour with Knuckle Puck and With Confidence! The tour goes through December 17, and you can find full tour dates on their official website!
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