Friends

Written by Rikard.

 

There are some bands, some bands that just are incredibly fortunate. Not only that, but they're also quite cheesy. And rare. And perhaps quite slick.

It's the kind of band that some wish for, some don't.

Enough clues? It's the 'friends' band. You know some of them. Perhaps you've been in one. Or are in one. It's the kind of band that is often formed when the members are about 14-15. Often they've known each other since they were toddlers. And if they succeed and makes it for a 25-year career, often makes at least two quotes per interview for a "We've been together, all five of us, since the start, man. We're the closest of friends. The closest, man!".

And never a lineup change. Ever.

Friendship and band - and metal - is almost always closely connected to one another. Usually, it's with your friends you start your first band. Luckily, you're roughly on the same musical level at that point, and if there's one lad that, to put it plainly, sucks, well, his big brother drives a Harley, he offers kebab on the Saturday jam sessions, so it's fine. And from thereon, the band drags you through all the clichés. Not the sleepover in the tour bus, but the unsteady first shows, the occasional Göteborg-groupies, but also the rudimentary words to describe it afterwards: That nothing tests friendship like having a band, that you get to know each other down to the core of the core. That you create strong bonds that will last forever.

And for someone driving that race for 10+ years now, it's as true as it is. But only for the ones actually *in* the band. If you leave - you leave. You're out. Of course, this has a logistic perspective - One of the reasons that all that talk rings kind of true - that you form deep bonds, you get to know each other - is that, well, it's half-hard NOT TO when you see each other three times a week, spend countless late nights with your instruments, figuring out as how to steal the latest Acacia Strain breakdown without anyone noticing and perhaps has a testosterone-infused fight over that Göteborg-chick. You just grow close. Not only that, you learn to accept and respect one another as individuals, despite your difference in whatever Iron Maiden drummer makes the funniest face while introing 'Where Eagles Dare'.

But when you're younger, more emotional and perhaps more pretentious, a break up just hits you hard. And it's followed by another abundance of clichés - "how could you?", "We've known each other since we were toddlers!", "I thought we were friends! You've ruined everything! Who are we going to find now".

And when you grow older, it almost becomes too much on the other side: "That's fine, man!", "If you feel that way, I guess, there's nothing else we can do.." "It's cool. I respect that you follow your heart. We'll find someone new!".

But it's interesting how a break-up, sometimes, just seem to render that night when you promised one another that "We'll stay this way forever, man!" a black and white joke. There's logistics here, too - It's HARD to maintain contact with someone who rehearses, records, writes and runs a business like there' s no tomorrow. (There isn't.) But no matter if it's the teenage break, with shattered feelings and an angst-filled doorbell tour throughout Hökarängen, or the mature one, with hearty handshakes and a happy Bandfinder ad the day later, it's interesting to note how radically the leavers, sometimes, seem to fall out of line with those so-called bonds. And how the new guy just becomes the Best Friend Ever with a friendship depository of 10 seconds, not 10 years. It really makes both the leaver and the newcomer wonder: Are we friends? Or colleagues? And what is the difference?

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