Last week was Riot Fest, and it was sick. Once bands were done performing, they remained busy, catching other artists’ sets amongst other obligations. We were lucky enough to get a chance to sit down with Kyle Fasel of Tinley Park based pop-punk band Real Friends to get up to date with the band’s recent activity.
Max Hogg: I’m Max Hogg, and I am currently with Kyle Fasel of Real Friends
Kyle Fasel: How’s it going Indiana University? Actually, before we do the interview, I gotta tell you I used to have my own radio show in high school. Fun little fact.
MH: In Tinley Park?
KF: No, but near Tinley park, in a town called Homewood. I went to Homewood-Flossmoor High School. WHFH 88.5 FM.
MH: That’s awesome! How important do you think radio is today?
KF: Yeah, I think it’s awesome. Like, its kind of transitioning to podcasts more now, too. I listen to a lot of podcasts. I like wrestling a lot, so I listen to wrestling podcasts. I feel like anything you want to listen to, there is a podcast about it. But of course regular radio is always there for anyone who wants to listen to it as well.
MH: So you guys recently were touring and had a small hiatus, but how did it feel to play Chicago again? It has been a while since you last performed here.
KF: Yeah, I mean we still consider Chicago to be our hometown shows even though we are from the suburbs. We do play sometimes in the suburbs but very rarely. So when we play in Chicago, our friends and family are there. So it was really nice. I can’t remember the last time we played Chicago, must have been The Maine tour. It was in the spring, but yeah, it was awesome to play in this setting too, outside. The weather as we played was actually nice, so I can’t complain.
MH: Yeah it’s gotten a little bad since. So you guys have played other festivals before, such as Vans Warped Tour. What about Riot Fest do you like that is unlike the other festivals?
KF: It kinda seemed to me that there was a bigger mixture of bands than a Warped Tour, which is great. I think we did have a lot of people watching us today that have never heard of us, or we had people who had heard of us but never listened to us. So yeah, it was kind of cool to have that crossover, like younger and older fans. I think it’s a variety of bands at a festival like this that puts your band in front of a demographic that wouldn’t normally go see us with three other pop-punk bands when we tour.
MH: Going back to Warped Tour, there has been a lot of controversy lately with Kevin Lyman, the founder of the tour, requiring all artists and staff be 21 or older. What’s your opinion on that?
KF: It’s kind of tough for me to say. Like, that’s really unfortunate that it has to be that way. If they do decide to do that, I guess I could understand that, but it is really unfortunate that some people in bands and people that work for bands can’t keep it all good. We’ll see. I know Warped Tour is a while away. I know people in bands and people that work for the tour that are under 21 years old, and it is really unfortunate. But if that is what has to be done, Kevin Lyman, it’s his festival. If that’s what he thinks is the best option, then I trust his opinion.
MH: Right on. So it has been a busy 2015 for you guys with constant touring, two new music videos, and a documentary. Could we expect another busy year in 2016, perhaps some new music?
KF: Yeah, we’re writing an album right now. We have been off the road now for about two weeks or so. We leave in about another month, and we’ve been writing a lot. It’s been going awesome. I think it’s safe to say that this time around is just the smoothest writing process with a lot of progression too. I think the newer stuff we’re writing is a little different. So yeah, we’ve been really busy with that. Like next year, we are definitely going to put out a record, gonna tour on it, and that whole thing.
MH: So your next tour coming up is the AP Tour alongside Mayday Parade, This Wild Life, and As It Is. How excited are you for that?
KF: Very excited! I think that’s going to be the last tour of the album cycle we are on now for “Maybe This Place Is the Same and We’re Just Changing.” I’m really excited for it. Mayday Parade is actually a band we met at Riot Fest in Toronto. We played there in 2013. We’ve been wanting to tour with them for a while. We’ve played shows together and became good friends with them, but this is the first time we are going to properly tour together. This Wild Life, we’re friends with them. As It Is, we met them at The AP Awards and they were really nice. I think it’s just going to be a great tour. It’s cool to see a band like us with Mayday Parade. Something a little different but just close enough.
MH: Dan Lambton was actually featured on the recent Mayday Parade song “One of Them Will Destroy the Other.” Is there any further interest in you guys collaborating?
KF: We haven’t really done anything. Actually with that we were on tour, and we all went to the studio. They were recording that and it was really cool! They recorded in an old church that was made into a studio. It was awesome. So Dan just did the vocals on it. Derek from Mayday Parade asked him if he wanted to be on it, and that was really it. Nothing else in the future, but if they play it on the tour, I’m sure you’ll see Dan out there doing vocals, and it’ll be really cool.
MH: I bet the crowd will love that! You also do spoken word personally and just released new material. Can you tell me about that?
KF: Yeah! I’ve been doing it since about 2011 or 2012. I think it was right when we got the band started actually. I kind of have all these writings that were too long to be songs, so I remember I took one this one time and just wrote off it, and I had these paragraphs. It was kind of cool. It’s like a release for me. Music has always really been my therapy, the thing that kept me going. It was funny, because when I finished the spoken word, the first one, and I put it online, I remember the response. I felt the exact same at that moment that I do about music. I was like, “Wow!” It was like a release, working my skill. I love doing it. I just did one recently. If anyone wants to check it out they can go to my bandcamp page. It’s kylefaselspokenword.bandcamp.com. If you search my name on youtube, they all come up as well. But yeah, I love doing it, and I don’t want to ever stop doing it.
MH: Do fans or people ever bring up your spoken word to you?
KF:Yeah, it seems like every tour probably once every couple days someone comes up to me and is like, “I love your spoken word!” Like, if you look at the views, not that is matters, it doesn’t have nearly as many views as Real Friends’ songs or anything like that. I kinda like that it’s just a side type thing. I’ve been offered to do tours and stuff with it, but to me it’s not a live thing. It’s me. Literally one day I’ve woken up and wrote an entire poem, went home, messed around on guitar, spoke over it, and I’m like, “Wow! This morning I didn’t think I was…” ya know? It’s kind of like the spark of having it be real simple. Like I love Real Friends. I love doing it. It’s great, but everything is very timelined out, thought out. It’s cool for me to have something to just do. It’s like, cool, I’m going to do this right now, and I’m going to have everybody listen to it when I’m done, right now. No release date. So it’s my more simple thing, my side project.
MH: Now that your set is out of the way, is there anyone you are looking forward to seeing?
KF: Every Time I Die. I think I missed them though. We were just on tour with them, so I saw them millions of times, so it’s not a big deal. No Doubt playing tonight! That’s pretty cool! Alkaline Trio. Bayside played. That was awesome! So yeah that’s pretty much it off the top of my head.
MH: No Ice Cube?
KF: Oh no, I don’t think so. I don’t think I’m tough enough to watch Ice Cube.
MH: Haha fair enough! Well thank you so much for your time Kyle. It’s been a pleasure. Hopefully you guys swing by Bloomington sometime soon.
KF: We played a show in Bloomington at Rachel’s Cafe! There was six people there. Six people at the beginning of 2012. So if we can go back, and those six people bring six friends, and we can play in front of twelve people, then we’ll come back!