We caught up with lead vocalist and guitarist Tristan Wilson of Almost Famous Friends ahead of the release of their debut album, I’m Not Who I Want To Be, out May 20th, and he opened up about the history of the band and gave all of the details you need to know about their new album.
For those that might not know, how did you all come together and form?
Aris was met through a Craigslist post I saw in January of 2015. When we first came together to jam, we played some covers together like Taking Back Sunday in order to establish our influences and style. Hunter and Marlon have been my friends for a while and after losing our original bassist and guitarist, I asked them to join the band with me. After playing a few shows with the band and seeing the great support and love we have from the local Austin scene, they were hooked. I was extremely excited for them to join because it’s always been my dream to be in a band with my best friends and now that’s finally true! The guys are truly a group of supportive and motivating musicians who I’m glad to call my friends.
Your debut full-length is due out at the end of the month. What was the writing and recording process like and what do you want listeners to take away from it?
The writing process, for me personally, was a very intense one. The songs pull from a lot of emotional experiences in my life, and the process of translating those emotions into words and melodies is not an easy one. It can often take an emotional toll on my mind, but in the end, it’s a relieving experience that brings joy to my life. In the studio, we were really pushed to our limits by our producer Joseph Milligan. Every step of the way he pushed us to improve ourselves and never settled for a riff or part that was only OK. Something we really want listeners to take away from our debut LP is that they are not alone in their struggles. Many songs are about dealing with loss and learning to accept and learn from negative experiences in life, and we hope that listeners will be able to relate. “The past is done and I feel fine.”
Being from Austin, Texas, does your hometown/local music scene influence Almost Famous Friends’ music at all?
Yes, a lot. The Austin pop-punk/alternative scene is extremely supportive and motivating. Everyone is truly a family of musicians and willing to help others. Steve from Nominee, a band local to Austin, was one of the first people to give us our first shot at some big local shows at venues like Holy Mountain. These shows were our first real experiences with some bands in the scene like Burning Years and Lions and Tigers, and really helped establish our place in Austin pop-punk/alternative music.
What made you pick “All I Can Do” as the single off of the new album?
“All I Can Do” is one of the more hard hitting songs on the record, and is a good representation of our style as a band. As the first song on the album, it gives a good strong start and sets the tone for the rest of the album.
You guys are a very active band on social media. Why is it important to you to have such an active presence on the web?
Social media is very important to us! Not only do I personally enjoy being able to remotely connect to our fans, but it helps us extended our reach through the help of other people who enjoy our music. I believe this is important because our fans truly are the reason we are able to continue with what we love, and being able to give them content such as photos and videos as often as we can is our way of thanking them for all their love and support.
Interview by Rachael Dowd