INTERVIEW: My Best Fiend
We recently caught up with NYC five-piece MY BEST FIEND, they have a brand new album out now through Inertia titled ‘In Ghostlike Fading’ and have just wrapped up a trip to SXSW to perform for Warp Records alongside acts like MNDR and Hudson Mohawke. The guys have also just announced plans for a massive European tour, they’ll be leaving no country unturned when they head there for shows throughout March and April.
Purple Sneakers: How long have you guys been around for?
MBF: The band grew incrementally through the years, but I think Kris and I started playing together about seven years ago.
What kinds of stuff do you draw influence from? I’m hearing a bit of Wilco and a bit of Spiritualized – would you say that’s accurate?
I am a fan of both of those bands, but I feel like we draw inspiration from so many artists that it is hard for me to narrow down. At the time we were making In Ghostlike Fading, I was personally listening to a lot of gospel music, The Staple Singers and Sinners’ Crossroads stuff, as well as some folkies like Fred Neil. But there are also so many other albums that we draw inspiration from, it’s too long to list, but specifically On the Beach by Neil Young and No Man’s Land by Terry Riley.
You’ve got a new record out in Australia, how long has your debut record taken you to make? Where was it recorded?
Yea we are very excited the record is out in Australia. The album took about a month or so to make. But as with any early album, the process of making it really began years ago when we started organising our sound, in a way that we were comfortable with, and as a reflection of what we enjoy from the music that we like.
Do you feel like the sound of the album reflects where it was recorded?
We recorded in Brooklyn at Vacation Island Studio. It was engineered by Mat Boynton. I feel like the sound of any album should be, in part, a reflection of where it was recorded. It was easy for us, being close friends with the engineer, to go into the studio and feel comfortable enough for us to do our thing. Outside of the quality of sound from a studio, the most important thing is that you feel relaxed and focused on what you are doing. For us, we thought of the album as more of a documentation of a live performance, so that the vibe and sentiment were articulated in the initial recording.
Tell us about where you’re from, have you guys always lived in Brooklyn and can you attribute any local influences to the music you’re making at the moment?
I grew up outside of Philadelphia, with our Bass player Damian, and moved to Brooklyn in ’98. I guess I consider Brooklyn my home but honestly I don’t think about it very much. We all live on Brooklyn because of it’s immediacy with Manhattan. I don’t necessarily feel any kinship to what people refer to as a ‘Brooklyn scene’. Besides being with friends, living in Brooklyn is just a ‘proximity infatuation’ with New York City.
What has each members music history been like, have you guys played involved with other projects before?
We have all been involved with different projects through the years. Damian and I both come from more of a punk rock background. Kris and Joe and Paul have also worked with other bands in the past.
What do the next 3 months entail for you guys? Do you have any tours planned? Recording? Down Time?
The next couple of months we will be on the road. We are all looking forward to getting out and playing live music. SXSW and then we are headed to Europe for 5 weeks. We are still solidifying our plans for after that, but we do have some studio time pencilled in this summer. We have lots of new material we are excited to get out. Hopefully our travel schedule will bring us to Australia, but we are still working out the details.
Finally we would love to hear your Top 5 tracks from 2012 so far?
Easy question. It’s
‘St. Luis Elegy’ on Mark Lanegan’s Blues Funeral
‘Amen’ on Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas
‘The Blame’ on Gonjasufi’s Mu.ZZ.Le
‘Sinful Nature’ on Bear in Heaven’s I Love you, It’s Cool
“No Future/No Past’ on Cloud Nothing’s Attack On Memory
We featured MY BEST FIEND‘s single ‘Cracking Eggs’ a couple of months ago, have a listen HERE.
Grab your digital copy of ‘In Ghostlike Fading’ HERE via iTunes.
MY BEST FIEND EUROPEAN TOUR 2012
April 25 – Sterolux Nantes, France
April 26 – Printempes de Bourges, Bourges, France
April 27 – Kaserne Basel, Basel, CH
April 29 – Coffee Pot, Roma, IT
April 30 – Spazio 211, Turin, IT
May 02 – Kraftfeld, Winterthur, CH
May 04 – b72, Vienna, Austria
May 05 – Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture, Ljubliana, Slovenia
May 07 – AB Club, Brussels, Belgium
May 09 – Rockhal, Luxembourg
May 10 – Walk the Line Festival, Den Haag, Holland
May 11 – The Great Escape, Brighton, UK
May 12 – Camden Crawl, Dublin, Eire
May 13 – Soup Kitchen, Manchester, UK
May 14 – The Lexington, London, UK
May 18 – Hafenklang, Hamburg, Germany
May 19 – Privatclub, Berlin, Germany
May 21 – Ponyhof, Frankfurt, Germany
May 23 – Grand Mix, Tourcoing, France
May 24 – Laiterie, Strasbourg, France
May 25 – Abordage, Evreux, France
May 26 – Point Ephemere, Paris, France