Friends – ‘We’re All About Getting Loose And Letting The Energy Flow’

Fruit and live music are normally not a good mix.

However, instead of getting things thrown at them, Brooklyn band Friends are considering turning the tables and hurling some of our local produce out to the crowd when they tour Australia next month. Bass player Matthew Molar said the band could be tempted to emulate one of their most memorable gigs Down Under – and make punters jump for something other than guitar picks or drumsticks.

“When we played in London people were so excited to see us…it was crazy to see so many people away from home”, he said. “We brought blueberries on stage and threw them into the crowd, and there were people catching them with their mouths. So we might have to get some Australian fruits ordered backstage and throw them into the crowd when we’re playing.”

Friends will make their first visit to Australia next month when they play Splendour in the Grass in Byron Bay and a handful of sideshows in East Coast cities as well. Molar said the trip was somewhat of a dream come true.

“It’s great, it’s so far away and I’ve been hearing for a while that people from triple j have been really supportive of us, so we’re all pumped to come down,” he said. “I never thought I’d go there in my life, let alone for my music.”

“I dated an exchange student from Australia in year 8…and half the time she was talking with her sister in slang and I couldn’t understand what she was saying.”

The band’s live shows have been described as ‘DIY Parties’ – and Molar says it’s a pretty apt description as it ties in with their early days as a band.

“We started out playing DIY punk basement house shows, underground stuff, that was kinda how we learned to be awesome and be who we are”, he said. “When we play these other environments we try to bring that crazy, underground New York City party atmosphere to the shows. We’re definitely all about getting loose and letting the energy flow…our shows are what we take the most pride in and what we take the most seriously.”

Bottling that energy was the focus of Friends’ debut album Manifest – and Molar said the group was relieved to have it on display for the world to see.

“It feels great; it’s like a weight has been lifted off our shoulders”, he said. “People have heard one or two singles from us and reckon we’re a bit of a buzz band – so it’s nice to show people what we’re all about now and mark a chapter in who we are. With this record we wanted to show what we’re like live and how we come on stage…we definitely tried to do the best we could of being who we are.”

Friends have been widely tipped by some critics to be one of the biggest new acts in 2012 – but Molar said the band are keeping a lid on things.

“It’s exciting in a way because it’s opened doors and given us opportunities we never thought we’d get so early on…like touring Europe for six weeks”, he said. “When we were working on the album, it did make us a bit stressed out because there were people wanting to hear it because they liked what we’ve shown them already. But we got through it and here we are.”

Mainfest is out now. Friends will be in Australia in late July to play at Splendour in the Grass in Byron Bay (sold out) and sideshows at the Northcote Social Club in Melbourne on July 25 and The Standard in Sydney on July 26.

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