Breeding their own type of rock music, Old Friends is South Jersey’s answer to Queens of the Stone Age and Radiohead. Together frontman Nick Noto, drummer Anthony Keller and producer Victor Sabatino are engaging with audiences across the globe. We speak with them about their new EP Coming of Age, future plans and online collaboration.
OSR: What drew you to music?
Old Friends: We both had family members in bands while we were growing up, but it wasn’t until after high school that we started playing together. We’d been friends for years, since late middle school, and had absolutely no idea each other played an instrument until a friend of ours mentioned it.
OSR: What can you tell us about your EP Coming of Age?
Old Friends: It’s an insanely personal EP. There are a bunch of references to friends and family, a lot of them being about growing up. Some are about taking responsibility. It was super fun to make and see it come to life. We feel like it’s a real step in the right direction for the band’s development. This is our coming of age musically. We’re extremely proud of how this turned out and everyone involved in this project exceeded all expectations.
OSR: Did you face any challenges when creating Coming of Age?
Old Friends: Yeah, so the biggest challenge was navigating through the pandemic. All of this EP was recorded in the summer of 2020 at the height of the pandemic. It was a wild experience, but we ended up recording a lot of it super fast. Our producer Vic was amazing and kept everything clean and safe at his studio in Philly, Little Brother Audio.
OSR: If you could change anything about the EP what would it be?
Old Friends: Other than wishing it was like four hours long, we’re both super happy with how it turned out.
OSR: Which is your favourite single on the EP?
Old Friends: ‘Jon Stewart’ is by far our favourite.
OSR: What about your least favourite?
Old Friends: We love all of our children equally.
OSR: Does the album hold any significance for you?
Old Friends: This is our first album we did with our label Free Dive Records. It’s pretty much the first one we had recorded professionally with people who were already somewhat established. We sat down with the demos we had, worked through each song individually and it gave us a great perspective on the work that goes into doing a release the right way. It was an invaluable experience that we’ll never forget.
OSR: What are your thoughts on online collaboration between artists?
Old Friends: Online collabs are so awesome. The internet is great when it’s used right. I mean, you have local indie artists like Alex G collaborating with Frank Ocean – it doesn’t get much better than that.
OSR: What type of music do you enjoy listening to?
Old Friends: We’re all over the place, but a lot of rock/hard rock is the main music we listen to. Ant likes The Kills, The White Stripes, Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal and I (Nick Noto) am more into Ovlov, Slow Mass, Horse Jumper of Love, Yuck and Pile.
OSR: Do you have any future plans?
Old Friends: We’re doing a live session of a couple of songs from the album later this month and a couple of merch releases later in the year. We just can’t wait until it’s safe to play shows again and we can go on tour!