You could say Real Friends’ second full-length album, The Home Inside My Head [Fearless Records], is a coming-of-age story. It’s about the common realization that things won’t be the same as they were during childhood, and that’s okay. It’s a timeless tale we’ve seen everywhere from Catcher in the Rye to Dazed and Confused, but it’s something everybody goes through.
These ideas are part of the reason that this summer on the Vans Warped Tour 2016 was so special. Real Friends has attended the annual touring festival many times, as fans and also as a band, but never as a headliner on the main stage. Read on as they describe their experiences and reflect on shooting the tour with the Lomo’Instant Wide.
How did Real Friends get started as a band?
We are a product of the local Chicago music scene. We all grew up playing in local bands and met through that. It’s refreshing to all come from the same place. We all came up playing the same venues and with the same bands. We really didn’t expect anything to happen when we started playing together in 2010. Every step we have taken has been very natural.
What are you inspired by?
Musically we are inspired by so many different bands, artists and genres. Generally coming from early 2000’s pop punk and emo music. The Starting Line, The Promise Ring, Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, American Football, and Saves The Day are huge influences to us.
Aesthetically we are inspired by where we are from. We come from the suburbs of Chicago. If you take a look at our album covers, social media, and just branding overall you can see our home area influence. I have always took a liking to the more washed out/ vintage vibe when it comes to band’s art direction. For our new album, The Home Inside My Head, we used real Polaroid pictures for all the art. It added the perfect touch for what we wanted. It gave it a nice nostalgic touch.
What was it like playing the main stage at Warped Tour this summer?
This summer was amazing. We all grew up going to Warped Tour. We have also played it several other times, but never on the main stage. So it was incredible to experience that. It was a different level of touring that we had never experienced before. Truly a dream come true.
Did having the Lomo’Instant Wide change the way you guys saw/ experienced touring?
Yeah totally! It was exciting all summer long to be shooting that style of photos. Most of them turned out great. Of course we had to wait a bit to see how they would turn out, but when they did it was rewarding.
Any memorable shots you can tell us about?
It’s hard to pick one. I really enjoyed the Live Photos. We had never had Live Photos of us in that style. So it was really cool to see that. Just such a different vibe than most photos of us. Really was fitting to our aesthetic.
Photos by Eric Teti.
You can also The Home Inside My Head here from iTunes.