Friends With The Enemy are five melodic punk rockers hailing from the superficial Gold Coast in Australia but there is nothing fake about these guys despite of where they come from. The band released the EP, “New World Disorder” this year and has been busy touring the world off the back of the release. The band pull off extremely fast, extremely technical riffs then overlay these catchy-as-sin melodies and the final result is no-bullshit punk rock, just the way it should be.
Front woman, Chelsie Gardiner, and guitarist, Stu Petrie, talked to Dying Scene about their new EP, touring the United States, having a front woman, line-up changes, their love of Four Lokos and shooting guns. You can read the full interview here.
Many DS readers won’t be familiar with FWTE, what’s the background behind the band?
We’re 5 kids that love fast melodic skate punk, and decided we should attempted giving it a go.
How has the reception been to the new EP , “New World Disorder”?
Yeah, pretty good. Better than we thought. We have sold quite a few copies to a bunch of people around the world, particularly in Japan, which is pretty cool. We released the EP while on tour in America earlier this year, so we got some good exposure while we were over there, which has helped.
Where did you record the tracks and who with?
We had the honour of Heath Rowley from Wiseheimer record us. Im a huge fan of Wiseheimer, so to have Heath record us was pretty awesome. We recorded the EP here at our house. Stu and I have a recording studio/rehearsal space we built in our garage, so we flew Heath up to the Gold Coast to come record us.
How do your songs come about?
Songs come together pretty quickly. Stu and I live together, so as soon as he writes a song, I can put a melody and lyrics to it. Matt picks up on the songs fast and knows the exact style of the song as soon as he hears it, so it makes the writing process quite quick and easy.
You’ve recently encountered some line-up changes. For some, this can really disrupt the natural order of things. How has the transition been with the new members?
Very painless. We didn’t get to play a show together as the new lineup before he headed overseas, so we wernt too sure what to expect from the new kids. But they are still in the band, so they must have done something good.
FWTE manages to pull off technical punk rock with ease. Is this something you set out to do?
With us all having the same love of punk rock, and also a bit of metal, the songs result in the way they do. It’s the music we love, so we want to write music that we would listen to if we wernt in the band.
Writing songs in that manner, does that constantly challenge you?
Not at all. Makes it easier really, because we like the same shit, so agreeing on songs is easy for us.
You guys toured the States back in September. Not many local bands get that chance, how was the tour?
It was awesome. The whole tour didn’t go as planned, with some shows being cancelled, and some miscommunications along the way….but we know what not to do next time. Getting to play with Guttermouth was pretty amazing. They were one of the first punk bands I saw live when I was 14, so to be able to play with them 10 years later, was pretty cool. We also got to experience the magic of ‘Four Loko’ while we were there, so there were quite a few crazy nights. We also got to shoot a bunch of different guns out in the desert in Reno which made the trip pretty awesome.
Any particular stand out shows?
The two Guttermouth shows were fun shows and a good turn out. The show in Vegas seems to stand out. It was so shit hot there, and we had parked the RV in the Hardrock Hotel carpark in the sun, and cramming 10 people in there to sleep was not fun. So it was a pretty sweaty 3 days. But the venue ‘Wasted Space’ was really cool, and it was awesome to play with Versus The World.
The US can be really fickle, how was the reception to FWTE over there?
It was actually really good. I was a little worried going over, as no-one knows who we are, so we had no idea what to expect. We were lucky enough to support some awesome bands, so that helped bring people to shows, and they seemed to like what we were doing.
Having a female singer isn’t unheard of in punk rock but is something definitely outside the norm, do you get much opposition with a female singer?
I don’t really look into it. I fucking love skatepunk. I couldn’t care if we were playing to 2 people, or 200 people. I love playing in our band, and much prefer to play with bands the same style as us.
How does it feel to be instantly lumped into a group with the likes of Paramore purely because FWTE is fronted by a woman?
Haha, yeah Ive heard it a couple of times. Doesn’t bother me, because I know we are a complete different style to Paramore. I like my music hard and fast. (that’s what she said)
What is next for FWTE?
Well now we have settled in with our new band members, we’ll be writing new songs so we can get recording again. We want to look into a tour to Japan, but I guess we’ll see what the new year brings.
What are 3 things the world should know about Friends With The Enemy?
• Stu has 3 kidneys
• Andy had a guest appearance on Jersey Shore as ‘The Big Deal’
• FWTE accept Four Lokos as payment for shows, merch, etc.
How many punks does it take to change a lightbulb?
None..…mum already changed it.
If you aren’t familar with the band, head over to their MySpace page to give them a spin.