Real Friends is an American pop punk band from Tinley Park, Illinois, United States. To date, the band has released six EPs and two studio albums. The band is currently signed to Fearless Records. The band released their second studio album, The Home Inside My Head, on May 27, 2016.
Formation and EPs (2010–13)
In the fall of 2010 bassist Kyle Fasel "wasn't happy" with the music he was working on and wished to start over. Fasel called guitarist Dave Knox and the pair soon started talking about the goals they wished to achieve. Fasel didn't expect it to lead anywhere. Vocalist Dan Lambton, who was friends with Knox, received a call from Fasel, asking if he would like to join him and Knox. They were soon joined by drummer Aaron Schuck. The band recorded its debut EP, This Is Honesty, in the spring of 2011. Following the release of the EP, the band began playing shows around the Midwest. The group soon realized that it "didn't feel right [playing the songs they currently had]. [...] almost forc[ing] ourselves into [a] sound." They had a meeting and came to the conclusion to start over. During this period of change, Fasel and Knox were playing in The Fastest Kid Alive. Shortly afterwards, Schuck was replaced by Brian Blake. Blake had emailed the band after he found out they needed a drummer.
Real Friends didn't have a permanent second guitarist, often having their friends to substitute. Eric Haines soon joined as an additional guitarist. Until Haines joined Fasel and Knox would typically write the songs and they didn't have "another guitar[ist's] opinion", according to Fasel. Shortly after the release of the Everyone That Dragged You Here EP, the band's popularity increased and the audience at their shows also increased. The band later released the Put Yourself Back Together EP. Reviewing the EP for Rock Sound, Andy Biddulph said noted that he would not be "surprised" if the band was "mixing it with the big boys in a year's time".
Maybe This Place Is the Same and We're Just Changing (2013–15)
Fearless signed the band in December 2013. The band were initially hesitant to sign to a label but called Fearless "different. They made it feel more like a family." The group "still wanted full control of our band" while Fearless would help with marketing and distribution, according to Fasel. The band recorded their debut studio album in February with producer Seth Henderson. The band released its debut studio album, Maybe This Place Is the Same and We're Just Changing on July 22, 2014. The album sold over 10,300 copies, charting at number 24 on the Billboard 200. The band played on the 2014 Vans Warped Tour supporting the album's release, appearing on the Journey's Stage. More Acoustic Song EP was released for Record Store Day in April 2015. One of the tracks, an acoustic version of "Late Nights in My Car", features Kevin Jordan from This Wild Life.
The Home Inside My Head (2015–present)
Fearless Records announced that a new Real Friends record would be released on their label in 2016, through a post on their official Twitter account, which was made on December 22, 2015. Prior to the Fearless announcement, the band had made several references to the recording of a new album throughout 2015 on their Facebook and Twitter pages. Real Friends finished recording their second full-length album on the road, in February 2016. Prior to the album's announcement, the band began to play a new song entitled "Colder Quicker" during their live sets. On April 1, 2016, the band announced the title of their new album as being The Home Inside My Head, along with the album's release date, cover art and track listing. Additionally, on the same day the band released a music video for the first single from their upcoming album, "Colder Quicker". The album was released on May 27, 2016.
Style and influences
Real Friends has been described as pop punk and emo. Punknews reviewer said "If American Football went totally pop-punk, Real Friends would be the result." Vocalist Dan Lambton has been described as a cross between The Starting Line's Kenny Vasoli, The Wonder Years' Dan Campbell and The Dangerous Summer's AJ Perdomo. American Football, Brand New, Jimmy Eat World, The Starting Line, Saves the Day, and Taking Back Sunday have been cited as influences.
Lambton joined with Knuckle Puck members Joe Taylor and Ryan Rumchaks to form Rationale. With Rationale., Taylor plays bass and vocals, Rumchaks plays drums, and Lambton on guitar and vocals. "Hangnail" was made available for streaming on December 5, 2015, and their debut EP Confines followed four days later.
- Studio albums
- Brian Blake – drums (2011–present)
- Kyle Fasel – bass guitar (2010–present)
- Dave Knox – guitar (2010–present)
- Dan Lambton – vocals (2010–present)
- Eric Haines – guitar (2011–present)
- Aaron Schuck – drums (2010–11)