Real Friends are back with a bang
→ Kicking off 2023 with an EP that punches hard in the emotional feels, ‘There’s Nothing Worse Than Too Late’ sees Real Friends getting deep and personal in the hope that fans will feel a little less alone. Kyle Fasel (bass, lyrics) tells us more.
Hi Kyle, how’s it going? Have you had a good 2023 so far?
It’s going very good so far. We just finished up a writing trip in Nashville, and I’m flying back from that.
Tell us about your new EP – when did you start work on it? What prompted its inception?
We started working on it about a year and a half ago. It’s a collection of songs that touch on grief, depression, self-isolation and heartbreak.
Its title ‘There’s Nothing Worse Than Too Late’ suggests you’ve been contemplating regrets?
We noticed a lot of the lyrics, specifically in the song ‘Six Feet’, mention the regret of being too late to be honest with somebody you love. I think that’s a very real thing. I’ve dealt with that in my life recently. I’ve had loved ones pass away without being able to tell them things I needed to, and sometimes it feels like there’s nothing worse than that pain.
Do you have a favourite song on the EP?
My answer to this is typically changing pretty frequently. Right now, I’d have to say the song ‘I’m Not Ready’ is one that I really want people to listen to. It’s basically our ode to our biggest influence, a band called The Starting Line.
Did you hit upon any unexpected challenges while pulling it together?
The biggest challenges came after we wrote and recorded it, really. We had a hard time landing on a concept for the artwork that we all felt strongly about. But we are all super stoked on it now. It’s actually my favourite artwork we’ve ever had on an album. All of the text is handwritten, there are lots of drawings all over the art, and the colours really match the sombre mood of the lyrics. It’s the most personal art Real Friends has ever had.
Is there anything about the EP that might surprise fans?
We were supposed to release the EP in November of last year. We had a lot of things happening behind the scenes that prevented that, though. But! One big benefit of it actually getting pushed back to February is that we will have vinyl on release day. So the fans won’t have to wait six months to get the vinyl in the mail. I think some people may actually even get the vinyl before the EP has dropped online. Pretty stoked on that!
What are you hoping listeners will take away from the release?
This answer has never changed for us over the years. We want our fans to hear these songs and feel less alone from them. If someone can put on this record and forget about their problems for a little bit, then it’s a success in our eyes.
This is one of your first releases with vocalist Cody Murano, how’s that going?
It’s going awesome. It’s been really humbling to see our fans be so accepting of such a big change to the band. It makes me even more grateful to have the open-minded and loving fans that we do. With every release, I think we are honing closer and closer to where we want to be with Cody as our vocalist.
What else are you guys working on at the moment? You’re touring soon, right?
We have been super busy writing for a new record. I don’t think it will be long until you hear even more new music from us. And yes, we have a co-headline US tour with our pals in Knuckle Puck coming up.
How do you prepare for long stints on the road? It must be pretty exhausting.
The longer we do it, I think having alone time on the road is really important. When we were really young, it didn’t matter as much. But as long as we all get our space now, we are pretty good on the road.
Is there anything else we should know?
That we are forever grateful to all of our fans. The ones that have stuck by us for the last decade and the ones that just heard of us – we wouldn’t be here without you. Thank you for being a bigger part of this than you will ever know. ■
Taken from the March 2023 edition of Upset. Order a copy below. Real Friends’ EP ‘There’s Nothing Worse Than Too Late’ is out now.