We caught up with Friend Roulette earlier this year upon the release of I'm Sorry You Hit Your Head, and quickly fell in love with a band that bonded together in supportive unison as member Matthew Meade recuperated after being struck by a vehicle. The single and video for “On Her Own Tonight” further captured our attention and interests into the friendly worlds of Matt, Julia Tepper, John Stanesco, Tlacael Esparza, Kyle Olson, and Nate Allen; and with word of their upcoming Grow Younger EP and a new album also in the works, they presented to us the premiere of their holiday gift, “You Drank All the Egg Nog”.
Like a group of hip Brooklyn Christmas carolers, Matt, Julia, John, Tlacael, Kyle, and Nate proudly bring their musical frankincense and myrrh to your front steps with tales of holidays gone wild that we can all relate to in one way or another. With jangling sleigh bells and echoing guitar, the hymn begins with the seasonal invitation of, “When your thoughts are lost and gone, all your fingers feeling numb, it's time, it's Christmas time”. And just as the minor keys and indie baroque arrangement alludes, escapist holiday plans to get away from the relatives begin with a good idea that goes wrong with, “sneaking away to smoke alone, there's no one home, you're on your own”. The title of “You Drank All the Egg Nog” is referenced with “later after, the egg nog is gone, you're not at home”, that brings the synth-spiked swirl of, “dizzy spells will get you down”, as the note progressions from “Sleigh Ride” rings out like an overture. As you compile your shopping list and holiday mixtapes, let Friend Roulette bring some cheer and humanist humor to you and your family's own winter wonderland.
In the spirit of the festive seasons, we caught up again with Matt Meade to talk about the trick to writing a great holiday song, and got a behind the scenes look at their forthcoming Grow Younger EP for Goodnight Records, talk about the new full-length album, upcoming shows, and more holiday anecdotes.
“You Drank All the Egg Nog” has a real flight of fancy with a sense of heady, holiday euphoria. Was this based on a holiday party gone awry?
The song was inspired by a Christmas eve party a few years back . . . it's very easy to get blackout at a Christmas party & make poor decisions, like sneaking away to smoke a spliff on the mayors front lawn with your drunk uncle. Its just about the darker aspects & debauchery associated with the holidays. Whether being alone & hammered on Christmas is a good thing or a bad thing is up to the listener . . . I think its chill.
What is the challenge and triumph in making the perfect Xmas song?
Aww, so glad you think this is the perfect xmas song! We just wanted to write a song about the dark side of Christmas. When you are so full with holiday cheer that you make a total ass out of yourself, end up in a pit of rotting egg nog & your entire family is watching . . . or joining.
Alright, so you all got to give us the scoop on your upcoming EP. Tell us what proofs, blood, sweat and tears went into the figgy pudding.
First off, this song is not on the next EP but rather a full length we are working on with Julian and Carlos of Gravesend Recordings & Paul Hogan who produced our last LP. The next EP is probably the fanciest 4 or 5 songs we've ever made. More synth stuff than string stuff. It was produced, recorded and mixed by Jason Finkle…the trickiest part for us was being in a fancy studio. We're used to a more gritty setting.
Walk us by the hand through the Goodnight Records EP, what should we expect?
The EP is called “Grow Younger”. Its definitely the most hifi, crisp & catchy set of music we've made. One song has the 'F' word in it 19 times. It's going to be released on February 4 and we're celebrating it with a show at Baby's All Right that night.
What is the Friend Roulette gang doing for the holidays?
Probably living out the lyrics of this song…I'm going to try to be good though…and then we're back on January 2 to do a lil' headlining ding dang at Glasslands.
Friend Roulette play the following NYC dates:
02 Glasslands with Life Size Maps, Slavve, IYEZ
05 Baby's All Right – EP release show with Celestial Shore and Zula
22 Radio Bushwick
Friend Roulette's Grow Younger EP will be available February 4 from Goodnight Records.