Dan and Kyle talk 'The Home Inside My Head'.
Real Friends announced their second album 'The Home Inside My Head' this week, so we chatted to frontman Dan Lambton and bassist Kyle Fasel about lyrics, the album's sound and working with a producer for the first time ever.
ALBUM TWO IS COMING. HOW DOES IT SOUND?
Dan Lambton (vocals): "We went in with Steve Evetts and he was talking to us about wanting to create a better, more realised version of Real Friends. He didn’t want to make us anything that we shouldn’t be. He just wanted us to be the best version of ourselves that we could possibly be, and I think that the sound is a lot more realised and we’re finally starting to have a signature Real Friends sound. A lot of it – especially with the choruses – is a lot more poppy."
Kyle Fasel (bass): "It’s definitely a progression. I think everything we’ve done has been a progression and this is just more progression towards that with maybe taking a little bit more influences than the last record. We kind of blended it into something that makes sense. I don’t think it’s a curveball or anything like that. It’s a good progression for Real Friends."
SO YOU’RE GETTING CLOSER TO THE VERSION OF REAL FRIENDS YOU HAVE INSIDE YOUR HEADS?
Kyle: "I really think that this defines us the most. This record, when you listen to it it takes in everyone’s influences more than our previous material and I think that rwally blends everything together with taking everyone’s influences and really defining the band. Really falling into our own unique sound."
WERE YOU FEELING THE PRESSURE AFTER ‘MAYBE THIS PLACE…’ DID SO WELL?
Kyle: "I think there’s always the pressure if eyes and ears are on you. A full-length record is something that’s a definition of the band, so it’s important. There was a lot of pressure, but at the same time you have to step away from that and try to create something that you really enjoy. I think we accomplished that."
Dan: "It’s never really up to us how well the album does. We can create this album that we think is perfect and is this bold, artistic statement, but it’s really up to the people that support us. You can never really be 100% sure that it’s a great record, because it’s all subjective."
HOW DID THE WHOLE PROCESS GO? WAS IT STRESSFUL?
Kyle: "As far as the recording went, it was stressful. It was our first time in with a producer, so it was a little stressful but at the same time we gave ourselves a good amount of time. We recorded the record in five weeks, so there was definitely enough time. There’s always that pressure, but you’ve just got to push through and give it your best. I think we definitely accomplished that."
Listen to new song 'Colder Quicker' here.
IT MUST HAVE BEEN DAUNTING GOING FROM NEVER WORKING WIHTH A PRODUCER BEFORE TO WORKING WITH STEVE EVETTS, WHO’S WORKED WITH BANDS LIKE THE WONDER YEARS, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN?
Dan: "We did pre-production for the first time for this record. Everything that would be ‘pre-production’ before would be just us demoing, but this time we went into the rehearsal space, got in a room with Steve and just played the songs over and over and over again. That was the pure mystery behind what would happen. It was a little daunting at first, but after we’d play the songs we’d see Steve bobbing his head up and down and kind of getting into it and being a lot more easygoing and laid back. That was when we felt we’d found someone who could help us make the record the best we possibly could."
HOW WAS CO-WRITING WITH MIKE GREEN (ALL TIME LOW, 5 SECONDS OF SUMMER)?
Kyle: "We did three songs with Mike Green, which was really, really cool. We’d never really co-written any songs with anyone before, and it was a really cool experience. Those songs do have a little bit different feel to the other ones, so it was cool to sprinkle those in there. Mike is a really cool, talented guy. He’s a very, very good songwriter and it was kind of cool to open up and hear an outside perspective. I think we’ve always held all of our songs very close to us."
IT MUST HAVE BEEN WEIRD OPENING UP TO SOMEBODY OUTSIDE THE BAND FOR THE FIRST TIME…
Kyle: "You would think that whole thing would be hard, but I actually found it really easy to listen to that other perspective, be that Mike Green or Steve Evetts. I don’t know if it was maybe because they have this reputation – they have these other bands they’ve worked with that have done well – they’re both really great people. It just make it that much easier. I don’t think there was ever a point where we were like, ‘This person’s trying to take over what we do!'"
WHAT’S THIS ALBUM ABOUT? WHERE DID THE TITLE COME FROM?
Dan: "It’s more relating to the idea of our expectations for what things are going to be like. Growing up, you have this clear path that you want to follow, and just realising that your expectations might not always meet the reality of what your situation is."
Kyle: "The theme of it is that things turn out to be different to what you expected when you were younger. You realise that everyone around you is just a human. There’s situations and people that turned out to be a little different to what you expect."
YOU’VE BOTH WRITTEN LYRICS FOR THIS ALBUM TOO, RIGHT?
Kyle: "I thought that was a really cool dynamic for the album, that the lyrics were pretty much split up half and half in the writing process, which was cool beause it took some pressure off me and it also took a lot of the songs to a different place and a different perspective. It just makes the album that much more dynamic and even more of a progression."
HOW DID THAT CONVERSATION ARISE IN THE FIRST PLACE? WAS IT DAN SAYING ‘DO YOU MIND IF I TRY?’
Dan: "That was basically the gist of it. There’ve been one or two songs before that I’ve written lyrics for, but I hit this creative spree and started writing lyrics. I brought it up to Kyle and was just like, ‘Yo, do you mind if I help out with the lyrics on the album?’ and Kyle was all for it."
Kyle: "That conversation actually came up really shortly after we released the first full-length. It was really cool for me because it left me take a lot of songs that I wrote and delete the ones that I didn’t think were good enough, instead of having to contribute 14 songs, only contributing 7 or 8 was a lot easier for me to pick my best and I’m sure it was the same with Dan’s as well. I think having it a lot more equal brought out a lot better lyrics from both of us."
AND NOW YOU PLAY THE WAITING GAME UNTIL IT’S OUT!
Dan: "It’s nice to have the opportunity that we have to keep putting out music, to be able to slowly but surely put it out to everybody. Hopefully they like it and it builds the excitement and everything and hopefully it goes over well!"
'The Home Inside My Head' is out on May 27 via Fearless Records.