OCTOBER 28, 2013 1:26 PM
At 8:15pm on the 21st of October, Your Favorite Enemies performed at The Water Rats in Kings Cross, London. The show started with originality when Jeff, the guitarist kicked it off by using a violin bow to play his guitar, you knew then that this band was unique. Alex was then seen to stand on the equipment and on the drums whilst singing away, this was a man who didn’t fall short of enthusiasm and passion for his music.
The closely knitted band performed fantastically with their rock and roll sound, you wouldn’t think that back in 2006 when they all met, they were in completely different bands but it was music that fused them together. Even though, the band members have their own musical influences; Jeff’s being Nirvana and Alex’s being Minor Threat, everyone shared an interest and aspired Sonic Youth. Alex said that Sonic Youth had “The coolest vibe” which has helped them to gel as a band.
Despite the band’s performance undoubtedly showing their rock style, from Alex’s musical shouting and vocals plus the work of the guitarists, there were also elements of electronic sounds from Miss Isabel on the keyboard. The gig didn’t fall short of catchy vocals, fast guitar riffs (melodic sounding ones too) and the epic guitar solos, Alex found it difficult to underpin what genre the band fits into. He described the band to be an infusion of punk, rock, noise, rock and soul. This was clearly evident in their performance at The Water Rats, showing a reckless image, connoting the punk genre and fast drumming plus the guitar riffs for rock and noise rock.
Despite the band receiving the best reception from performing Open Your Eyes, with the audience jumping up and down and head banging too, showing their support and enjoyment for their music, this song wasn’t actually their favourite song to play. Alex and Jeff both claimed that their favourite song to play was From The City To The Ocean. This song is usually played for 12 minutes but for special shows it will be played for 25 minutes. From The City To The Ocean is such a lengthy piece as it allows the band to go completely wild and feel the music whilst being able to capture the moment, It isn’t surprising then, that they left this song to be the final piece of their performance at The Water Rats. so they could fully interact with the audience and leave them with a long lasting impression.
Your Favorite Enemies are so impressive that they are the first rock band to be able to perform in a Japanese temple, resulting in it being their favourite venue to play, it was a crazy and unique experience for them; “even the monk was jumping”- Alex Foster.
Their passion for music has even meant getting recognised by Kerrang Magazine and even having a photo shoot. This led to one of the band members having to go topless, rip his shirt making a headband and crosses across his chest with it and having tape across his mouth. “It was very crazy and cool” said Alex. This also reinforced the unity, togetherness and family feeling within the band. The family feeling and unity within the band is also shown when they perform through how supportive they are on stage, which is particularly evident when Alex puts his arm around Jeff and starts swaying along with the music on stage with him.
Your Favorite Enemies are also bringing out their new album Between Illness And Migration in February 2014 (already released in the USA and Japan) and are following the new release with a UK performance in March 2014. Alex and Jeff have said that their album is all about capturing the moment of making music together, having fun and getting back to what they started, whilst rehearsing their material in their own church studio.
For anyone wanting to start their own band, here is some advice from Alex: Remain who you are since you started, stay committed to music and each other, allow mistakes to happen, take chances and appreciate other bands, Also remember that it’s all about the art and sharing who you are through music. This is everything that Your Favorite Enemies stand for.
(DRUMMONDVILLE) The Drummondville band Your Favorite Enemies is getting ready for a tour that will bring them to Japan, Australia and Europe. While they are multiplying radio successes, notably in England, the rock band, singing in English, is however given the cold shoulder by the commercial radio in Quebec.
“There’s a common saying that no man is a prophet in his own country, says Jeff Beaulieu, politely. I don’t know what it will take for people here to finally discover us, but it’s sure that the CRTC is not helping us (with its quotas).”
Your Favorite Enemies have obtained a few rare occasions to get themselves known in the last few years, such as sharing the stage with Papa Roach. Those concerts allowed them to get a lot of fans amongst the underground culture.
In order to make new friends, the members of the band have decided to sell their albums one house at the time. They have recently decided to do door-to-door in the region of Sherbrooke. “We have adopted the DIY philosophy. We produce our own albums, and we’ve even bought our own equipment so we could print our own merch,” added the guitarist.
Founded in 2006, Your Favorite Enemies consist of Sef (guitar), Miss Isabel (keyboards and vocals), Alex Foster (vocals), Ben Lemelin (bass), Charles Allicie (drums) and Jeff Beaulieu (guitar). The band was formed in the area of Montreal, and their first HQ was established in Varennes before being kicked out in 2009. It’s at that time that the Drummondville adventure began.
“We had our studio in Varennes, but police officers kept visiting us. We discovered an old church in Drummondville, in the parish of Saint-Simon. It was the perfect place for us. It’s a very quiet place, so it allows us to really focus on what we do” explained Beaulieu.
The band finds their inspiration mostly from the grunge current, with Pearl Jam and Nirvana, and have a more “noise” sound, reminiscent of Sonic Youth.
120,000 albums sold
After creating the label Hopeful Tragedy Records in April 2007, Your Favorite Enemies released a few months later a first EP of 5 songs, dedicated to their first fans. A year later, the band released their first album, “Love Is A Promise Whispering Goodbye”. Their success on other continents brings the band to work with Japanese video games composer Takeharu Ishimoto to arrange, write the lyrics and interpret 3 songs on the original soundtrack of Dissidia: Final Fantasy.
After a few silent years in studio, the band returned in their upper room in 2012 to produce “Vague Souvenir”. This album has the particularity of containing the first French songs of the band.
With the years, Your Favorite Enemies have sold 120,000 albums throughout the world. Strong of this success, they will release their 4th album, titled “Between Illness And Migration”, due out next spring in Canada.
Now based in Drummondville, Your Favorite Enemies are getting ready to hit Japan, Australia and Europe.
What was the inspiration behind the cover?
It’s New York in January. As much as it could have been Tokyo, Paris, London, Shanghai, Sao Polo or Cairo. We were in the final stage of the mixing process of our album and I was walking on what used to be an unusually freezing night. As the cold was trying to get its grip on me, that scene (that ultimately became the “Youthful Dreams Of An Old Empire” EP cover) really struck me. It felt like the city, more than the cold itself, was trying to get a firm grip on me, in a strange static kind of motion, neon lights and other fake colors trying to simulate life in a globally acknowledged way, obscene surrender to a collective soul. We’re all faceless and identical in regard of what we used to dream of and of what ultimately owns us now, as if we had lost ourselves somewhere in the process of our everlasting desire to emancipate our souls rather than being transformed. We became the building’s reflection, perfectly aligned and organized to create the illusion of creative chaos, sad irony of our make-believes and other attempts to drain our untameable nature out of its vivid and imperfect embodiment for any kind of self-preservation type of false security.
As if life, the most defining incarnation of what art is truly about, became the plastic personification of who we are, the collective mirage of what used to lead us to define and redefine the colors of the invisible, of what our now tame nature considers the colors of a defying way to envision a proscribed dream.
The very dominant nature of every empire remains its resilience to impose itself to our intrinsic desire for freedom and its opposition to our willingness to take a chance at living beyond boundaries. When we let go of our fundamental fears of failing, we all start dreaming again, dreaming it all over again. And new morning shades arise before our very own eyes. We might have been blinded by neon lights, but every empire falls down, for we do not need to open our eyes to see. That’s what I saw. And the time I took to contemplate that scenery, musing about the illusions of holding on and about the let go necessary in order to take a chance at living, explains the major frost bites I had when I was back in the studio that night. The guys are still convinced I stopped by the apartment of a very good friend of mine on the way to the studio… well, everyone feeds the nature of his illusions and make-believes, right 😉