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Exclusive Interview with An Old Friend

An Old Friend “Native Gardens” (alternative/rock)

Like the waves crashing on the shores of their stomping grounds out on Long Island, experimental indie rock band An Old Friend never fails to reverberate refreshing ripples through their listeners’ ears. Composed of high school friends Cody Kohler (lead vocals and guitar), Eddy Barrera (guitar and vocals), Cory Brown (bass), and Frank Facompre (drums), the group exhibits a stunning attunement to one another at this early stage of their careers. Together, they endlessly experiment across genres, moodily mixing emo and punk themes with psychedelic elements, dramatic vocals, and ethereal lyrics. Each release from An Old Friend is a kaleidoscope of emotional intensity and experimental sound. Reach out to An Old Friend anytime you’re looking to add something new to your soundtrack for self-transformation.

“Native Gardens,” the latest single from An Old Friend, is a deep dive into the sublime. Firing off of the powerful riffs and pounding drums at the opening of the song, Kohler launches into his ecstatic existential contemplation. His lyrics churn up a cauldron of self-reflection on dreams come and gone and a yearning to restore a natural internal peace. Meanwhile, Barrera, Brown, and Facompre construct mountains of sound driven by dramatic drums, soaring guitars, and a wandering bass line. Close your eyes and completely immerse yourself in “Native Gardens.”

But wait—open them once more; you don’t want to miss out on the beauty and thrill of the music video for this spirited song. Opening with mystical flashes of fire and time-pieces, the video immediately takes on a dreamy, searching tone. Throughout the video, we follow a lone sojourner through forests, cities, mountains, and more as he searches for an identity lost to time. The stunning natural elements are punctuated with symbolic motifs, such as masks, mirrors, and clocks that represent false identities assumed along the way. Take a moment to breathe in the visuals, and let An Old Friend help you rediscover your sense of self.

“Call my name in the silence, beckons me to find a way to live” is such a powerful line, how do you think this line can help your fans?

Great question. Our lyrics are open to interpretation; however the listener relates to them is fine by us. We feel people relate to songs in different ways, but if our music can make someone feel something or think in a different light, then our job is done.

What does “native gardens” mean in terms of the message?

There’s no distinct message we are trying to convey with the song name, yet feel it unanimously attributes to the lyrics. For short, “Native Gardens” can be viewed in a sense of finding familiarity through the unfamiliar. We all come from our roots and no matter which paths we walk, we always find a way back.

What is the main takeaway you want your fans to get from “Native Gardens”?

We feel “Native Gardens” will resonate with everyone differently; the takeaway lies in the listener.

Why did you choose a mask, a clock, and mirrors as your visual motifs?

Our cinematographer Donni Irawan did a great job incorporating these themes. The mask is a small homage to one of our past videos for “Nesting”, but also portrays some form of conflict the individual is facing. the clock reappearing can be viewed as one losing sense of time yet reminded that they can never chase it, as it never stops. The mirrors poise a sense of symbolism, a threshold between the conscious and unconscious mind…. But again, everything is broadly used and all open for interpretation!

What was the creative process like for “Native Gardens”?

During the writing process of “Native Gardens” we carefully combed through the song until we all felt it was at its peak. We had about three different versions of this song before it came to be what it is now.

What was the inspiration for “Native Gardens”?

Some inspiration was drawn from different aspects of life, different experiences we have all been through, hardships we face, yet find a way to relate.

How can you connect with your fans through this song?

We’re hoping “Native Gardens” reintroduces us to our fans in a way in which our familiar sound is still there, but in a different color.

Is there anything in the works that your fans can look forward to?

We have so much music in the works, that we are cherry picking through to compile into a large release, fingers crossed.

About Michael Stover

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