Best Fiends are Back with “Another Love Song”
Elementary rock and roll can be flippant, featherbrained, and juvenile on one cheek, while boasting a wink of sincerity, sentimentality and gusto all in the matter of a slight head turn. Like anything with a youthful temperament, the sappy insides are sometimes protected with toughened posturing, though it typically burns brightest when the guard is let down. Rock and roll is a young persons music that some people accuse of growing old. Sure, some tropes of the genre are dated and disposable. Songs about fast cars full of hyper libido innuendo have long run their course and belong in museums and scrapyards. But isn’t this sentiment a trope of its own? People have also been saying “rock and roll is dead” long before I was even born, and there always seems to be another fresh breath of life resuscitating the genre from some direction. So fuck it, man, and stop taking it so seriously. Rock and roll music doesn’t have be a boneheaded middle aged man who pays three hundred dollars to see whats left of his favourite classic rock band, and tends to share an unsettling amount of memes on facebook mocking, or threatening, pop stars like Justin Bieber. That is why when a band, or a song, comes around that invokes the unfettered spirit in an effortless, casual and uncostumed way, it is something well worth celebrating.
For the last few years, Best Fiends have been one of those bands for me. Because despite what terms you want to throw around, underneath that thick fuzz, hints of psychedelia and punk rock swagger, Best Fiends are undeniably a bluesy rock and roll band that can write a solid pop song. This band champs at the rock and roll bit, and continuously proves that there is still flavour to be found in the bubblegum rock song, it just depends on how you chew it.
We spoke with Best Fiends last year on the heels of their 8 song self-titled release, and it might have been one of our most played albums of 2015. That is why when we heard what they had up next, we wanted to be first on the scene to profess our adoration for it, and share it with you fine folks.
“Another Love Song” comes from Best Fiends as not only a new musical offering, but it enjoys the accompaniment of a point-and-shoot home video collage full of spontaneous snippets of autumn excursions, as well as footage of the Fiends recording and generally goofing around with guitars.
We jumped in with vocalist and guitarist Keith McFadden to talk residency, romance and keeping rock n’ roll fun, as well as what we can expect from Best Fiends in the future.
It has been over a year since we last caught up with you folks, and it seems that Best Fiends have recently fallen on a little hiatus. When did things initially quiet down? And was it intentional, or was it more so due to force of circumstance?
Keith: Well, I was touring out west with my other band Astral Gunk and then spent a couple months recording and mixing songs for said band as well as a few other little projects I’m working on. We decided that when I got back we would get back to the days of just writing songs together and having fun spending time without putting pressure on any band politics. We’re having fun just recording ideas and working on new material.
Best Fiends have roots in Sackville, NB, came into fruition during your time in Ontario, and then became a full-fledged live band in Halifax, NS:
Where are the Fiends currently residing?
Complicated question! We’re currently limbo trying to find the perfect spot to hang our plants.
Do you feel a particular musical connection to any one place? Is there somewhere Best Fiends consider home?
We’ll always have a soft spot for Sackville. Who knows, maybe we’ll end up back in Halifax?
Do you feel like location or residency influences the songwriting in Best Fiends?
Maybe a little bit, I never actually thought about it. Sackville is where I discovered the nuggets compilation and met Liz so that sparked a lot of ideas. Halifax was fun because we had a whole house to experiment in and make as much noise as we wanted.
“Another Love Song” seems like an appropriate title for the comeback track from you folks, especially considering the project was spawned from three songs that you told us in the past were written for Liz, and recorded “basically to impress her”:
What is the importance of love songs to the musical identity of Best Fiends? Obviously it is present within the lyrical content, but do you think the project would be the same without the romance within the band?
We didn’t intend to have that the main focus of the band but it’s inevitably a huge part of it. The band wouldn’t exist if we didn’t fall for each other, so I suppose it wouldn’t.
Tell us about the process of the new song, especially the video. It seems like it was shot pretty candidly with you and Liz.
I recorded the guitar and drums with Justin on my four-track in Halifax. Liz and I spent a weekend doing up the rest of the tracks in my little makeshift studio. We like spending time by the water, so we just decided why not bring a camera along on one of our many trips and compile some footage to go with the song. I threw it together pretty quickly.
How much more new material can we look forward to? Is there a new album in the works?
We’re plucking away and having fun, hashing out ideas and laying them down. It’s pretty organic and much like the last “album”, the songs will compile over time and we’ll put it out!
Any other big plans or ideas for the Fiends in the near or distant future?
When we do decide to hop back on stage we will most likely have a couple other fiends up there with us to make it that much more fun.
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