THEAUSSIEWORD.COM catches up with international group New Friends.
How and where did it all begin for you? What drew your interest to the music industry?
I think for all of us it was very different. Stefan was always staying musical throughout his life by playing piano as a kid and then DJ’ing in college. Ayden was playing piano since he was young as well and started writing his own songs at an early age. Conrad was very similar, playing drums and guitar since he was a kid and always knew that music was the career path he wanted to take. Cole was different in a sense with how he got his itch for music. In high school he saw videos of John Mayer playing guitar and fell in love with the instrument and couldn’t stop playing. For all of us, the true interest in making it a career truly sparked when we all met in college to study the music industry and had the crazy thought, ‘hey this thing might actually work’.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?
First and foremost, each other. Having a strong and motivated group is infectious. When person is down there is always another to bring them back up. At the end of the day we are continuously grateful that we are able to play music and have anyone show up or take time out of their day to listen to one of our songs. That’s all what it really is about. Aside from each other and our team, the fans. One of the greatest parts about being an artist is getting to see the crazy ideas that came from your head translate to the lives of others. The world really feels less lonely and scary with the community we have and it always makes us want to one up ourselves and strive for better.
What are some of your biggest goals you hope to accomplish?
I think the goal is to help and inspire as many people as we can. We want to be able to show people that, although life throws a lot of curveballs and puts you in tough times, it’s all part of your story. Growing up is a non stop challenge and we want people to realize that we’re all in this crazy thing called life, together.
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?
We’re super excited to hit the road as much as we can this upcoming year, as well as the release of our new EP Camaro and the songs that follow.
Tell us a bit about your latest release and how would you best describe your music?
Waste My Time is a really exciting release for us. The song was an undeniable smash the second we first cut the original demo. The song tackles the analogy of love being a drug. Through the good and the bad, love has the ability to bypass any instincts of common sense. The song is the realization and almost surrender to the horrible relationship you’ve put yourself in.
I think the best way to describe our music is nostalgic for the songs and artists we grew up loving with the subject matter that is relevant to living and existing as a person. Heartbreak, loss, love, confessions, realizations are all things we experience as a group everyday. We always strive to be honest in our thoughts and experiences and find a way to get it out of our heads and into the only way we know how, songs.
Give us an insight into your creative process. What gets you writing songs?
The process is never coherent. Inspiration is everywhere all the time and we just allow ourselves to capture the moments when we find it. Whether it starts with an instrumental idea one of us made, lyrics, a moment or going ‘fishing’ for a song, it is always ever changing. We also love collaborating with other musicians, producers and writers.
Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?
There always is a hidden meaning within every song we make, but we always want to listener to find theirs. That’s one of the many reasons we have such a deep love for songs, it starts as ours (the artist) and it can feel personal and so isolating but once it’s out to the world it belongs to the listener. Whatever meaning the song brings to you is the right one.
Success, what is the secret to it?
First, defining what success means to you is really important. It sounds cliche but success is determined only by what you set it to be.
After that it’s consistency. Just not stopping and pushing through, keeping that dream alive in the back of your head. Hard work pays off in one way or another.
What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
It’s tough to say. We’ve already experienced so many incredible moments as a group but I think so far in 2022 our biggest highlight so far has been our first headline tour. Spending so much time locked away in our houses during the pandemic started ware at our perception of reality. Seeing comments and talking with fans kept us going and making new tunes and by the time the pandemic was coming to a close and we were able to play shows. Meeting the fans and making new memories with all of them in person was such a magical moment for us and it really just made us realize all of our hard work during the pandemic wasn’t for nothing.
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
Too many to name but currently there’s been a some what through line. Coldplay has always inspired the group collectively. Their story, message and songs have constantly put us in a state of awe. In general as much as we can be intimated, we also are inspired by every artist we come across. Watching everyone chase their dreams and doing it their way is always inspiring to us.
Are there any new projects in the pipeline?
We’re locked in right now finishing up our upcoming EP Camaro and trying to bring our live show to as many cities in the new year as possible.
The music industry is constantly changing, where do you see yourself a few years?
Still making music and touring. We don’t know how to stop in a way. It’s ingrained in us to be both in the studio and on stage. We’re always willing to adapt and you kind of always have to be in such an unpredictable industry like music. The battle is staying authentic and maintaining your voice through the changes.
What is your favourite and least favourite part about this line of work and why?
Our favourite part is our least favourite part. This career brings you the highest of highs and lowest of lows all within years, months, weeks, days, minutes and even seconds. Navigating the rollercoaster of emotions is the most challenging part of work we face but it is our favourite because it is always the most rewarding.
Name a few of your favourite Australian artists.
Oh where to begin! Jet, AC/DC, Kevin Parker, Kid Laroi, Flume, Vance Joy, Keith Urban and The Chats are on heavy rotation currently.
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in gettng your records out into the public eye?
It’s a very exciting and yet daunting time to be an up and coming artist in the music industry. The benefits are obviously that it has never been easier to build a music career. With social media and the internet as a whole, an artist is now able to release their music to the world without anyone else and they now have the exact same tools as every other major artist to build a foundation. As well with the shift in technology, you can now produce a song with little expense and on your own.
The down side is that due to the ease, there is now a lot of competition. The industry has never been more noisy. Artists are coming in and out of no where and reaching massive success in what feels like the blink of an eye. Trying to find a voice and stand out has never proven to be more difficult than now.
How will you continue appealing to the internaFonal market?
I think it is natural with the brand and the way the band functions that we will be constantly reaching beyond our home. We do not want to isolate anyone ever when making music, we feel like the things we have to say and the message we have is more to a human audience and less to a specific cultural audience. We also are addicted to travelling so when possible to meet new fans and friends across the world, we take it very graciously.
Do you collaborate with others? Who is on your wish-list?
We love collaborating, we believe it’s one of the best ways to learn and add more tools to your toolbox. There’s a lot of dream collaborations we have. To name a few, Chris Martin, Benny Blonco, Eric Valentine, Shawn Mendes.
What advice do you give for other artists wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Just don’t give ups and keep competing with yourself only. Do what feels authentic to you and don’t stop. Every artist started because they loved making music or playing shows, it turns into a business and you have to be prepared to balance both. The amount of time you take to make a song, spend 5x the amount of time building a world around it. Consistence, perseverance and belief is the key to any successful startup.
A message for your fans. How do you best interact and respond with your followers and fans?
Thank you for sticking with us and coming along for this wild journey were heading on. Without you none of this is even possible. We can’t wait to meet more new friends and we love talking to you guys! You can message us on instagram or any of our other platforms. Don’t be strangers!
Any last words?
Thank you so much for having us and chattng! We’re super grateful for your support in our band, it truly means the world. Camaro continues and we can’t wait to show you what’s next.