Artist Spotlight: Get To Know Best Of Friends
My dear pals John Keefe and Morgan Dorr from the band Boys Like Girls have started a fun new side project called Best Of Friends. They came together to write a song for their friends wedding, where they then realized their love for the project it led to the formation of the Americana quintet. I got a chance to ask drummer John Keefe some questions on the band and whats to come.
Dani Vitale: How did you gentleman get started together?
John Keefe: Best of Friends started as a song that was written for Kevin’s wedding, the song “Coming Home” we enjoyed doing it so much that we decided to keep writing and eventually developing a band around it.
DV: They style of your sound is very unique how did that come about? Who influences you?
JK: The style is about fun, family, and friends. We are trying to create songs that are special to us and that the listener can relate to. Everyone comes from different music backgrounds which makes our sound very unique, we believe that everyone has a special voice and we try and showcase that in our songs.
DV: Is it difficult to stray away from the sound of BLG? Which style is more of a challenge for you?
JK: I don’t think its difficult to stray away from the sound of BLG, the songs are written completely different, its different people with different influences all across the board. Its very far separated from BLG, we don’t really see the point in creating the same music or band twice. So we are doing our thing.
DV: What have you learned from being apart of BLG that you’ve brought to the table with this project?
JK: We are all a little bit older, and on different paths, its not as glossy. I think Morgan and myself bring a lot of experience having been in bands all our lives and it comes across in the music and imagery, no stone is unturned and we are just having a lot of fun with it when BLG is off the road. It’s about he journey with Best Of Friends, we try and not take ourselves to seriously although we do cover some serious topics in the music from time to time.
DV: John and Morgan, I know that you guys live in LA, is it difficult not being all together on one coast?
JK: We are new residents to LA but we are back and forth a lot, and we are constantly on email, and in touch with the other guys working together as a team, creating new songs, ideas and content.
DV: Where did most of the writing process happen?
JK: The writing process has been all over the place, everyone contributes, whether is a simple voice note of a melody or cool lyric, inspiration comes from everywhere.
DV: I have a list above of what your roles are in the band, do you guys dabble in any other talents on the album?
JK: Kevin is really good at playing the spoons, and Jamel is an incredible french horn player, I know some times he sits in with the Boston Pops, I have yet to see it but I will give him the benefit of the doubt.
DV: Who’s idea was it for the album cover?
JK: Kevin took that photo.
DV: How did “Best of Friends” come about? Because I know John and Morgan, we are best friends. Is it about your friendship?
JK: The name came about because everyone is very good buds, we felt it was appropriate and had a good ring to it!
DV: My favorite song is ‘How Lonely Is You’, what was your favorite song to write and produce?
JK: Every song brings new inspiration, and they all are fun in the own little ways, i really enjoy when we do group vocals with everyone in the room hootin’ and hollerin’
DV: Any funny writing/recording stories?
JK: The whole idea is just kinda funny, the fact we have a 55 year old man who happens to be Morgan’s Dad playing an upright bass might be one of the funniest/coolest things ever. Its non conventional approach. We aren’t 3 dudes with greaser hair and beards, with a cute blonde girl in a sundress with fake glasses, walking around with American flags and banjos bought from trading in there Mesa Boogie full stacks at there local Guitar Center. Not that theres anything wrong with that! I love The Lumineers, but they already have that going on.
DV: Do you guys plan to hit the road soon? Who do you wish to be on the road with playing shows with every night?
JK: I think we plan on it eventually if the right opportunity comes along, we have been doing some charity work just recently we played to raise money for The Franciscan Hospital for Children in Boston at Neiman Marcus in Natick MA. It was a great event and we helped raise a bunch of money for the hospital. We love giving back and playing our songs for people who enjoy music. Giving back and helping our community is so important to all of us.
DV: If you could have anyone do a feature on the album or co write, who would it be?
JK: It would be awesome to have someone like Bob Dylan or Jay Z but that seems pretty unlikely as of now maybe Paul and Martin from BLG, cause thats always fun and they are my bros for life.
DV: What was the most difficult process of getting the album finished?
JK: The songs are writing themselves, it’s a little time consuming recording the songs, but we like to have a fun work environment, and keep it pretty lite. As soon as its not fun, and its “work” I QUIT!!!, actually I am quitting after this next question.
DV: Do you think Boys Like Girls fans will enjoy this side project?
JK: I hope they do, it would be nice, we will be sure to share it with them, as they are some of the most loyal and cool fans ever. I think this is a project anyone can enjoy though. Its a good group of people, with fun songs. It’s about family and being Best Of Friends.
Are you a fan of the side project?