Old Friends, a kickass new band from New York, are dropping their first EP today and if you’re a fan of Hot Water Music and The Menzingers, you’ll love their vibe! Their lyrics are real and their vocals are killer, but what really sets their music apart are the seriously catchy hooks. They sing about the tough stuff in life like trauma, depression, anxiety, and how they’ve fought through it all. We sat down with the band to give you some more details about their work and dive deep into their self-titled debut EP track by track!
Listen below and catch Old Friends at their record release show, tomorrow, February 11th, 7PM at The Henry in Nyack, NY with St. Wade Vincent and Old Currents.
Shotgunned – I wrote this one while I was sick as all hell, I went outside to get my mail, and my neighbor said “hey man, you look like shit. How do you feel?” And I responded: “I feel like I’ve been Shotgunned.” And I said to myself, “Oh shit!” And I went inside and wrote a song. It’s more or less a song about the everyman, getting knocked down by life. The record starts strong and aggressive with this one. Mentally, I’d have to say that “Shotgunned” is about an inability to cope with life’s changes. Have you ever faced something you thought would “never happen to me,” and then when it happens, you’re just sitting down, head in your hands, thinking to yourself, “I can’t go on?” Maybe you’ve been shotgunned.
Leave – This song has had quite a few iterations. It started out as a songwriting challenge, where you only get one word prompts. It took me a lot longer than other songs to write, and I think this newest version is the final. It doesn’t get better than this. The song is also about losing someone you don’t think you can get over. “Say you won’t, say you tried, say you won’t leave me, you won’t leave me again”. You’re literally begging them not to go. You begin to reason with them, tell them you won’t fail, and then anger kicks in when that won’t work. ”We sit on too many glass thrones to throw stones”. It’s the same gamut of emotions everyone feels during a breakup.
Missing – Missing is about my own insecurities. I often get overwhelmed In life, and all I really want to do is go away. Go missing. I used alcohol as an allegory for a crutch that just won’t hold you up anymore, such as a significant other being tired of your shit. It makes you want to run, want to disappear. Maybe even go missing. The track hits the gas straight from the get, which is often how anxiety feels. I don’t know about other people, but when I get an anxiety attack, I tend to get very irritable, very manic. It’s all go go go, and if you happen to be there with me, you never know what you’re going to get. This is expressed when the bridge hits, and you get that huge swell. There is a bit of uncertainty about where the song is heading. And then blammo- you happen to be back in the chorus, but it’s not the same, it’s different somehow. That’s often what happens to me when I suffer from a panic attack.
Statelines – We wrote “Statelines” about someone who gives up, and starts a new life in a new state. There’s this storyline about going out there to either be with this person, or bring them back. That’s dedication, and it’s wonderful. “Statelines” is, I think, the exact antithesis of “Missing,” in that it’s told from the perspective of the one left behind instead of the one who has gone missing. The emotions are all vaguely similar, however the motivations are different. This time, you are so enamored with your paramour that you intend to bring them back, no matter what it takes. Maybe even cross state lines?
Medicine – “Medicine” is our most honest song, from the way that it is played and sung, to the simplicity of it. It’s a song about mental health, and the doldrums of everyday life dragging you down. Maybe you want more out of life. Maybe you’re just overwhelmed. Anything can help, and anything can be your medicine. Sometimes I think the best things in life are around us all the time, and we just don’t recognize it. Sometimes we all just need help. Sometimes we are all just so weighed down by the bullshit spewed at us by this crazy life that we don’t stop to think, what would happen if I didn’t go into work today? What would happen if I just left everything for a little while, and focused on me? What if I played hooky, and called my friends? I’d like to play hooky and call my friends. Maybe that’s MY medicine.
Monster for You – This song is about PTSD from my time in the Military, and the way that It contributed to the downfall of my first marriage. It’s very difficult to play, every note reminds me of a misstep. When you see things and do things that affect you mentally, they often come back in dreams, memories, and sometimes in the form of flashbacks, and reactions. This song is literally every one of those things, packaged up with a neat little bow. It’s my own personal form of therapy, and every time I play it, it just gets more difficult. But that’s a good thing. Learning from the past is never something that is meant to be easy. The tribulation should be almost equal to the reward for it to feel like you’ve earned some form of peace of mind. Every night I play this song, and every night I sing the words “In this light, I won’t do. So I guess I’ll be that monster for you”. Catharsis.