Written by Your Favorite Enemies. Posted in Uncategorized

New York has always been a fascinating living entity for me. More than just an iconic name to hang onto, it is like a world revolving on its own, almost a fictional concept of sorts… It’s as if time never had any kind of authority on its evolving motion tides. It feels like the center of everywhere you may try to look at; the past, the present, the future. Blissful joy and apathetic misery. Everything we’re trying to leave behind and all we’ve ever wished for. Addiction and freedom. Community and self-reliance. It’s a symbolistic imagery of liberty and an implacable opulent stronghold. A pornographic indigence and a sanctified ambition. 

Like a mirror reflecting its vision of the world it creates and destroys, it’s a romantic illusion for everlasting love devotees. A refuge for those in need of a new beginning. A theater for anyone longing for a brighter light to shine. A hideout for strangers. A noisy crowd for those fleeing their own silence. An ongoing picture of past nostalgia and future envisioning. It’s a busy street for an anonymous writer, a mystical fire, a mysterious desire to kneel for, an elevation of our own contractions. It’s the beauty of all creations and the chaotic natural disaster that comes with it. It’s what it tastes like to be God in your own rights, and what it means to truly be human.

I grew up in a storm, ever too old to believe and too young to really care. Most live to say goodbye, some die to feel alive. And as close as it might be from home, reality always seems to be the furthest of all places to reach out to, as if the distance between a dream and its incarnation remains the greatest one to overcome. And on that foggy and rainy night of March 1, 2016, walking on Broadway, drinking wine surrounded by loved ones’ laughter and amazement… That moment wasn’t New York City. It was resolutely greater than any of its dazzling lights and its vibrant skyline. It was family… As magnificently simple as it is. As inspiringly empowering as it is. Family… and its unique ability to allow its own to be, between a dream and its incarnation, whatever they are or might be. 

New York City… “Most Live To Say Goodbye – Some Die To Feel Alive”

– Alex

A Sky Chart For You and I

Written by Your Favorite Enemies. Posted in Uncategorized

There was so much excitement surrounding this special concert at the Pianos in New York City! Just think about it: there was a bus full of 50 people, fans and friends of the band from all over the world, coming all the way to NYC from Quebec to attend this concert! Not only that, but for some of them, it was the first time they were going to NYC, the first time they were leaving their country! It was really exciting!

I come from a place where we didn’t talk about doing crazy stuff like this, let alone think about it… Sharing about dreams, taking risks, getting out of the comfort zone… There was nothing like this. When I started getting to know Alex and became friends with him, it was something really special and unknown to me to hear about dreams, making everything possible, giving life to what you envision, not being afraid of what people may think about you or what you do, being so passionate that people around you will desire to be a part of your journey! The word “impossible” was not part of his vocabulary! I remember, a long time ago, when Alex shared with me the idea of playing music for a concert. I thought it was about me playing acoustic guitar and Alex singing… But no! He was freakin’ excited telling me we needed to find a drummer, a bass player, that he knew someone who could do backing vocals… Dude…! A full band!!! This specific moment reflects exactly what I was living and the way I envisioned my life. “Don’t think too big, think twice before you act.” When I think about the concert at the Pianos, it reminds me of all this. It could have been only the band going to NYC for a concert. But no! Why not bring our people in this crazy trip?! Let’s have them spend the day in NYC, attend the concert, and let’s share a toast on Times Square afterwards!

So there I was, in New York City, with my best pals, to play music and share it with amazing people who have decided to give us an access to their life. You know, sometimes, it’s important to stop and think about what surrounds you… When I’m in the midst of something, I tend to forget what’s around me and most of all, how much of a blessed man I am. When we were all on Times Square, after the concert, simply watching all the people walking and running everywhere, all the smiles we could see, the laughter we could hear… It was such a precious moment! The light shining in people’s eyes was much brighter than all the thousand lights of Times Square! I believe it was the same kind of light that was shining in Alex’s eyes when he talked to me about having a band so many years ago! At this moment, I felt like I was walking in a new environment, embraced by something I had never experienced before… I just told myself: “Yes, it’s possible”! For me, the trip to NYC was about that… there’s nothing too crazy to live!

We decided to immortalize this moment all together on Times Square with a toast! We had chosen a special wine for the occasion; “Celeste”. On the bottle, there’s the drawing of a sky with many shining stars. You know, when you look up to the sky, you cannot see the limits of it. It’s not measurable. It’s beyond yourself and the understanding you have of it. I believe it’s the same thing for the dream we share and live all together… And this moment in NYC was the expression of it!

– Sef

More Lights on Times Square

Written by Your Favorite Enemies. Posted in Uncategorized

New York City, a hopeful hideout
I wish I could show you the imageries that the time we spent together in New York City created in my mind, the imprint they left in my heart and how redemptive they were. Some might picture a secret hideout as a house by the lake, a quiet living room, a book, a great album listened to in a headset, a café where they like to hang out with their best friends… For me, New York City is all about our toasts by the river at the Bushwick Inlet Park, the times we had playing at the CMJ, the walks we had in Manhattan, in Williamsburg, our traditional dinners at Eataly, Coney Island beach, Jeff and me on a road trip 10 years ago, The Ramones, Sonic Youth, the artistic scene that inspired us so much… We even at one point considered moving to NYC to write and record what would become ”Between Illness And Migration”. I could go on like that, and on, and on, and on… What we shared in New York City made it a place where I’ve seen hope many times. You too can probably think of a place or an event that was very meaningful, which made it special to invite people in. It’s exactly what this road trip all together represents to me; an invitation to this world with us.

A piece of eternity
A year after, why am I writing about it? Some people named places and days to remember people or events that made a difference for them, that touched them. But beyond remembering, it makes no doubt that the richness of what we lived is still present today and that I at least wanted to share about it with you. Some said that peace and acceptance were filling their hearts. Some made the trip even though they knew it was impossible for them to get in the venue, simply wanting to be with everyone. Others felt the urge to say that they found through this trip a standpoint for their life. My dear brothers and sisters, this is you. This is what you allowed me to witness and be a part of.

This concert was the first time we’d play the whole band together the new version of ”A View From Within” and ”Empire of Sorrows” that were freshly crafted out of ”Tokyo Sessions’’, which would be released two months later. On our way to the venue and even once arrived at the venue, I remember facing this complete blackout for the last section of ”Empire of Sorrows” and I was scorching my mind to get it back before hopping on stage. We took a moment the band together before the concert and it all came back. This moment was too important, those songs were meant to be played there. There’s a whole lot of emotions that crossed my mind while playing, but suddenly, I just declined anything that wasn’t the moment, I focused on how awesome it was to see you all there. I remember The Pianos’ manager saying ”What?! There’s a complete bus from Canada coming to the show tonight?!” It was bigger than nature… It was about giving a chance to an idea, to the will of sharing something that no one would ever be able to take away from any of us. Thank you, my dear brothers and sisters, we have to keep encouraging each other since life resides in being, in embracing the now.

– Moose

A Leap of Faith Into Life

Written by Your Favorite Enemies. Posted in Uncategorized

I’m very excited to go back to that moment and rethink about how crazy it has been! It was such a fabulous time we had over there, more than I could have ever expected. As I recall, our trip to go there was such a blast! Imagine for a second; I got to do a 7-hour drive with our new live sound engineer Bob, who is not only a fabulous sound engineer but also such a great and generous guy.

We talked about music, sound, and gear… Sorry, it’s an addiction for me! Especially studio gear! He shared with us different experiences he had on the road with bands like Voivod, and how music has impacted his life in a way that this is what he wanted to do with his life. As I was listening to him and was stunned by how powerful music is, I just thought about my life for a second, and I realized it was the same thing. Music was definitely a language of the heart I wanted to speak and share with people. To connect, to touch, to live…

For me, it first started as a scream for help… to be loved, to be ignited… But it turned into a communion with brothers and sisters and into something way more powerful than what I ever expected. The concert in NYC was a great testimony of that. We always like to break the barriers of what an artist should or shouldn’t do, to break the separation (or the illusion of separation) caused by differences between the people performing and the people living it. For us, it’s always been a big gathering where we could let go all together, allowing what’s deep inside to get out and live it as one!

When we had this idea of creating the magic of bringing the YFE family with us, I was really touched. At the same time, I was thinking “If a band I truly loved would have done that for me, it could have really changed my life and helped me build bridges with people”. So I was already super excited about this!

I had the chance to meet with one of our partners in crime from Tech21 just before the show; it was the first time we were meeting in person and it was already massive hugs and display of love. I was deeply touched, and I realized even more that it is what we are cultivating in the band and with the people surrounding us that makes it all so powerful.

The concert itself was filled with so much energy, I wanted to explode! To see all the faces letting go to the sound of the music was such a blessing for me. I didn’t want this moment to end, and when it did, I had the impression we had only played for 10 minutes.

What I thought was just too crazy is when I entered the bus filled with people and witnessed all the amazing and beautiful smiles and the laughter. I was so empowered because it was not only about going to see a live concert; you can do that every night if you want. But all those people were thirsty to commune with others, to break all the rules and barriers there could have been. The minute they stepped in that bus, there was no introduction; you were friends with everybody. Wow! Isn’t it beautiful? Everybody took a chance and got on that adventure to taste something different than what they knew. I don’t think it’s how tall the buildings in New York City are that made an eternal mark into people’s hearts, but it’s the sense of belonging… of love… of being together. The music that connects with our hearts and souls and the desire to let this flow of life out of us.

The picture on Times Square totally immortalized the spirit and the essence of this moment. Everybody together, no game, no role, just us, all together, living this crazy journey and knowing that without the person on your left and on your right… it’s pointless. Love still has the power to change, transform and heal, no matter the era we live in.

The only thing that made me sad is that I couldn’t go back home in the same car as Bob because he had left earlier… I felt my thirst of talking about studio gear was not quenched!

Love you guys,

– Ben

Electricity was in the air

Written by Your Favorite Enemies. Posted in Uncategorized

I was excited (and yes, nervous!) for the Pianos show, as it was an important showcase for the band, and it had been a while since I performed with Your Favorite Enemies. My excitement only grew bigger when I heard that so many people got on a big bus to cross the American borders to come to the show! Some of them got a passport for the first time only to be able to join, some other had to beg their boss to take a day off (or to lie… depends! lol!) and most of them, if not everyone, embarked on that bus with total strangers for a journey that was sure to be unique and unexpected. 

I remember waiting for the venue to open, in the van with the gear. I was watching the buzzing life of the New York streets, and I thought “Maybe we are creating history?”. Just like Patti Smith or Kim Gordon walked this street at some point, sipping on a coffee or wandering the Madison Park (my favorite NYC park) for inspiration, maybe this show meant a lot more than what I could see or understand. I think New York stimulates dreams because so many people who were considered in their time as rejects were afterward known as pioneers, trendsetters and artistic world changers.

And then I had a doubt… “Who am I to think we can make history?” I am so full of contradictions, sometimes… One minute I believe we can change the world, the next minute I feel scared to live my life. Juggling with my courage and doubts, I still took this picture whispering through my lack of faith “One day this picture will be a testimony of what happened here.” 

That night, I have been touched by all the openness, and inspiring moments we lived during the show and afterward, when most of the crowd attending the concert walked with us on Times Square, sharing a glass of wine and words of passion and community.

It was a year ago, and I can say “Yes, we made history” because that day marked all of us. We all witnessed the buzzing life of New York, but what we remember even more vividly is how our hearts got enlivened by what we offered each other that day and what we still carry with us that creates a desire for more. More music, more passion, more heart bond, more life.

– Miss Isabel