They may have the most emo band name going but Los Angeles-based band All My Friends Hate Me offer up an engaging garage rock meets garage punk style.
The quartet, formed of members from across the US and an English guitarist (can we claim them as another awesome British band?), describe themselves as “the self deprecating lovechild of punk riffs and a lifetime of bad relationships.”
And the band name comes from the first song that founding members Bobby Banister (vocals and rhythm guitar) and Beau McCarthy (lead guitar) wrote together LA Changed Me.
The track opens up with guitars that continue laid-back vocals “I moved out to the West coast, Thinking it was the best coast, I don’t know how the rest goes, ‘Cause I haven’t been there yet.” Backing vocals join in as it continues “Started dating a model, She couldn’t put down the bottle, My friends said she was awful, I didn’t listen to them.”
The guitars drop into a looping lick for a pre-chorus that dives into a big shoutalong chorus of “LA changed me and all my friends hate me.” The second verse continues in a more upbeat vein with the line “I’ve got so many problems, I don’t know how to solve ’em, I got shit-tonnes of drama, I’m not alright” then builds up to another catchy chorus.
The pace suddenly drops down with light guitars and the line “I’m not here for a long time, But I’m here for a good time, Yeah I know I stole that line but that shit’s still true,” which dives into another chorus which increases in heaviness with crashing cymbals and a little guitar lick, then ends with some extra spoken vocals… Check it out below:
The track is taken from last year’s debut album Metal Butterflies, as is most recent single release I Need A Life. The track is a little more punky in style, with fun singalong vocals and a cool little guitar lick. Check it out in the video below:
While Stay Up, also from their debut album, is an absolute banger. Light guitars open up and continue under vocals “It’s been a long fucking year, I’m staying sober now, I can’t deal with the stress I get from going out, Then you call on my phone you ant a night out, I wanna say no but you;re outside my house.”
The vocals suddenly intensify with “You always get me there, I can’t say no to you, I’ll always take a dare, ‘Cause I can’t take the truth, This is all your faulr but I’m not blaming you, I’m way too fucking gone, I need you to be cool.” Then big cries of “Stay up with me” through the chorus. Check it out below:
The album is packed with punk rocky goodness led by Bobby’s engaging vocals and plenty of delicious riffing and, as the band admit, a fair amount of bitterness. This is personified by its excellent final track Not My Problem, which features the line “I don’t need you I’ve got brand new friends, All you have is somebody’s girlfriend.” Check it out below:
The band were due to play at SXSW this year but, now that the Coronavirus has struck, they’ve taken it upon themselves to organise a virtual showcase for other bands in the same boat (read on for more on that below), which we think is pretty cool.
We had a chat with guitarist Beau McCarthy to find out more. Read on below…
GR: Who are All My Friends Hate Me?
BM: “All My Friends Hate Me is Bobby Banister (Singer/Rhythm Guitar), Beau McCarthy (Lead Guitar), Xander Burmer (Bass) and Justin Kroger (Drums).
“We’re all from different walks of life; Beau’s from London in the UK, Bobby and Justin are from Arkansas and Xander is from Washington state. It started with Bobby being at a private release party for Amine and I managed to gatecrash the party completely uninvited while in LA on vacation.
“Bobby and I bonded over some drinks and I promised to be back in LA to write music together. Six months later it actually happened and we instantly found that writing together came extremely naturally. After writing a handful of songs we decided to formally start a band.
“The band name comes from the chorus of the first song we wrote together; LA Changed Me. We had a few iterations of the lineup and with Xander and Justin we have found the perfect dudes to do this with us.”
GR: You sent us LA Changed Me. What should people be expecting from the song?
BM: “LA Changed Me was, like I said, the first song we wrote together and it’s, in my eyes, everything this band is about. It’s a very raw, sarcastic, self-deprecating look at Bobby’s move to LA and all the trials and tribulations that come with a big move like that.
“I think it definitely applies as a narrative to a lot of people that move out here; your friends expect you to turn into this ghastly cliche and I think we play on those cliches and look at how you can get swept up in the stereotypical LA bullshit drama, if you’re not careful. Most of our songs are inspired by our lives or stories that we want to tell. So to write a song about being a transplant, which is a part of our daily lives, was great fun.”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
BM: “I think our sound is best described as that happy hangover you get when you’re still a little buzzed and everything is funny, you feel slightly reckless and life doesn’t seem as serious. Is that a thing or just me? Anyway, it’s fun, fast and raucous and hopefully when you listen to it you’ll instantly want to come to a show and get sweaty with us.”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
BM: “We get influence from many different places, like hearing other artists’ music, or just naturally occurring shitstorms in life. I definitely get influenced by seeing other bands play live, even if it’s watching their set on YouTube, it makes me want to write a song with the same energy that the band/performer just bounced off that crowd.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
BM: “Our influences are definitely broad but the main ones would be PUP, FIDLAR, Wavves, Blink 182, Green Day, NOFX etc… We love those bands so much and everytime we hear their music we aspire to be a better band.”
GR: What have you got coming up in 2020?
BM: “2020 man it’s already a tricky one. We’re getting a lot of writing done in this quarantine, which helps our aim of putting out a new song every 5-6 weeks. So we have our next single Blood coming out on 17 April, which we’re very excited about.
“Also if you reach out on social media, we’ll send you a secret song so blow our DMs up! We were meant to play an official showcase at SXSW but now that that’s not a thing we’re planning a virtual festival for bands from LA that were meant to play but couldn’t, so be on the lookout for that. We were meant to do a tour over to SXSW so when all this is lifted we’re planning on going through with that.
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
BM: “I guess one thing I’d like people to know about our music is it’s honest and it’s our personality in song form. I think it’s important in times like these to take a load off your mind and have a good time (as long as it’s at home with the people you’re quarantined with) and I think our songs have the ability to do that.
“When I discovered bands like FIDLAR and PUP they became the soundtrack to my nights out and the songs I’d scream along to in a car with my friends so if we achieve 10% of that feeling I’ll be happy.”