It’s been about two years since Illinois pop-punk band Real Friends have been in Australia. They arrive this week for their tour across the country.
I had a chat with vocalist, Dan Lambton about what shows mean to him and what’s planned while they’re in Aus.
“I just want people to have a good time. Shows are a getaway for most people.” Being able to provide that escape of people being stuck in their head, and come together for music is something important to Dan.
Dan has struggled with mental health and has been open about this with fans when rescheduling a tour at the end of last year.
“Personally, I need help and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I don’t have to get better for anyone other than myself, and I am finding the self worth to admit that.”
“I think it’s weird that people don’t look at me or the band as regular people. They will see us as a fantasy or unrealistic idol sometimes. I think it’s important to break down that wall between fan and band, and let them know that we struggle just as much as they do.” Dan told Rock Sound earlier this year.
Their album Home Inside My Head was released in 2016 and the band have been touring the US since it’s release. The album is a coming of age story and deals with things not turning out the way you had planned. This is something I feel we can all relate to in some way. When we were 10, did we picture our life to be how it is right now? I know mine definitely isn’t what I expected. Not that this is a bad thing.
“We’ve had a couple of months off after touring the US and have been working on some new stuff since we’ve been back home.” This will be the beginning of their next album.
When creating the music, Dan explains that the music and lyrics are written independently. Dave and Eric (the guitarists) and Kyle (bass) compile the music and then Kyle or Dan write lyrics to accompany the lyrics. “Nothing really comes before the other. Sometimes lyrics are written before hand. Sometimes the music is written before hand, and then lyrics are written in to suit to the music.”
Whilst in Australia, the guys will be touring in a van through the capital cities (except Perth, that drive is just way too long). Dan said that it’s kind of cool how Aus has underage and 18+ shows because it “gives them a little time to hang in the cities.”
The band hasn’t been in the country since they toured with Soundwave (RIP) in 2014. Dan’s favourite Aussie spot is Perth and he’s keen to see some of the beautiful beaches we have to offer on his road trip for the shows.
“When you’re touring, you often get to miss out on seeing a lot of the bands you love because you tour at the same time”. Dan’s most memorable act he has seen live is City and Colour. “They are just super awesome. I’m overdue… City and Colour is incredible!”
After the Australian shows, Real Friends will be playing in Hawaii and then have Riotfest later in the year. This is when they’ll get the opportunity to see some other bands that are playing.
When asked what his go-to song was when needing to chill, Dan said it was “Person L’s song Ok”. Dan also likes to play video games and Netflix in his down time. “I like being able to follow something…” The Office and Parks and Recreation are his favs.
We all know how important it is, that we put our mental health first. However, we often let our ‘busy-ness’ get in the way. Dan is a strong believer in providing a good time at shows and giving us a chance to escape. It’s awesome we are able to come together for live music and put these issues aside, even if it’s only for a moment.
After my chat with Dan, I’m even more keen to see these guys live!
Real Friends tour kicks off this Thursday with Columbus and Harbours!
REAL FRIENDS AUSTRALIA 2017 | TOUR DATES
July 27th – The Brightside, Brisbane, QLD | 18+ only
July 28th – Ahepa Hall, Brisbane | All Ages
July 29th – The Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW | All Ages
July 31st – YMCA HQ, Perth, WA** | All Ages
August 1st – Rosemount Hotel, Perth, WA** | 18+ only
August 2nd – Fowler’s Live, Adelaide, SA | All Ages
August 3rd – The Evelyn Hotel, Melbourne, VIC | 18+ only
August 4th – Arrow On Swanston, Melbourne, VIC | All Ages
** Columbus not appearing