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We caught up with Real Friends after their in-store performance at our Chicago store in Wicker Park. We asked them about their new album, their hometown of Chicago, and what their listening to right now.  
For those who aren’t familiar with Real Friends, how would you describe your sound?
I would say we are a blend of pop punk and emo. We take influence from both genres. We are heavily influenced by stuff we grew up on. Bands like The Starting Line, Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, and Jimmy Eat World come to mind. 

Real Friends Band Group
Real Friends in their Dr.Martens before playing an acoustic set at our Chicago Wicker Park store.
You just finished your “The $5 Tour” where you played small, non-traditional venues and only charged $5 per ticket. What made you want to do a tour like this? And can you describe what it feels like playing a show at a VFW versus playing the amphitheater at Warped Tour?
We wanted to do a tour like this to give our fans a different experience. There are so many bands these days that fans see multiple times a year in the same venues. After awhile those shows may blend together for the fans. We wanted to create that unique experience that they would never forget. Seeing a band play a small, sweaty room is fun. And those are the kinds of shows that we grew up going to. So we felt very at home on that tour. Playing those smaller rooms are much more satisfying to us than an ampitheater. Both have their perks, but we prefer the small setting. 
You have some time off between tours. What are you going to do with it?
It’s weird for us, because when we are home we are really on vacation. It’s the opposite of everyone else. We all spend a good amount of time with family and friends. I personally enjoy getting in a routine when I am home. I wake up, get coffee, go for a walk and really enjoy the setting of home. Being on the road a lot over the years really makes us appreciate where we are from even more. 
What’s your favorite thing about your hometown of Chicago?
We are all from the suburbs of Chicago. I love that we are able to live the suburban life but are so close to a big city. Chicago is the greatest city in the world. I have been to a lot of cities all over the world, so I know what I’m talking about. It’s a fact. Chicago is number one. 
Can you talk us through the inspiration behind your song Mess?
It’s about finding the light even in the darkest of rooms. The lyrical content has many moments of looking back and knowing that things get better. I find myself to be a person that thinks back more than most. As I get older, I find myself looking back in a more positive way. When I was younger, I was always looking back and missing what I once had. Now, I realize that the way I was, or the things I had, shaped me into who I am today. 
If you had to choose, what’s been the highlight of Real Friends’ career?
It’s really hard to pinpoint this one. When we started the band, we honestly never expected it to be what it is today. We never even expected to go on a tour. So the fact that we are able to do this as a living is such a highlight. We are very lucky. 
What three tracks are you listening to right now:
I have been listening to a ton of new stuff lately. I have also been going back and listening to songs I used to love from high school. Getting nostalgic is pretty okay.
Brand New- Jude Law and A Semester Abroad
Manchester Orchestra- I Can Feel A Hot One
Relient K- Sadie Hawkins Dance 
What do you stand for?
We stand for giving our fans something to lean on during hard times. Something to relate to when they feel alone. That is our main goal out of all of this. Helping people through our music is what we want to do. 
Find out more about Real Friends on their website, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter