Fight For Your Friends

I had the pleasure of getting to talk to New Jersey’s acoustic powerhouse, Fight For Your Friends, the name George Brudermann has given himself. If you’re a Frank Turner fan then you’re in luck because FFYF has that very aggressive acoustic folk-punk sound and style that epitomizes Turner. However, FFYF has their own unique sound and an equally unique outlook on music, which you will read below. Please get involved.


Me:Have you always been a solo act or do you sometimes perform with a group?

FFYF: It started as just a solo gig but as of recently I have been practicing with a band and things have just meshed in the best way possible! It’s a really great blend of musicians coming together and I’m really excited to start playing shows with them.

Me: Where the name ‘Fight for your Friends’ come from?

FFYF: Fight For Your Friends that came from this moment of just pure, ridiculously irrelevant drama when I was in high school. Basically, an argument broke out amongst the members of my mediocre band we all are in when were in school and I tried to not get involved in it. In avoiding the conflict and not saying anything I made the situation worse and learned that sometimes fence-sitting gets you in even deeper. From that, I came up with this idea that you should always stick up for those who you care about and since that band broke up, Fight For Your Friends came to be… And the name would sound so cool if I ever started playing Pop Punk!

Me: Under the influence section on your facebook profile, you have mainly musicians but you also have author J.D. Salinger listed. I’m assuming he’s your favorite author…?

FFYF: Yeah, I am a huge Salinger Fan. I read “Catcher in the Rye” when I was younger and it had a huge influence on me. I just think Salinger is someone who wrote these amazing pieces of fiction but still puts so much of his own life into each story and creates a relatable experience. I kind of try to do that in my live show, bridge that gap between musician and fan, it’s why I don’t like using microphones or stages at small gigs. If I wasn’t playing I’d be standing right were they are, why stand above them? Also I hate heights… We were talking about Salinger, right?

Me: I like the idea of not utilizing a stage or microphone in small gigs, but what happens when you play larger venues where those items are necessary? How do you bridge that gap between performer and fan to make them one the same level?
FFYF: The couple times i’ve played bigger venues and had to use a mic, people still seemed into it and focused. You’re always going to have kids who come to the show to glare at the openers with their arms crossed until their band comes on, but I think the best way to get that undivided attention is to just be yourself. Cockyness is so transparent and when you act like yourself and not the ‘big shot’, you find you can really make that connection as human beings through music and not through the perimeters of some social hierarchy.

Me: You’ve branded yourself as “medio-core.” Can you explain a little as to what that means?

FFYF: “Medio-Core” came from a joke I made with my friend Nick from Forever Gold Clothing. We were hanging out and started talking about how pop punk bands make up their own vanity genres (i.e. Four Year Strong has Beard-Core, New Found Glory has Easy-Core), and I just came up with my own sort of cynical genre. I can be sickeningly pun-y.

Me: You seem to take a few jabs at Pop-punk as a genre. I take it you’re not much of a fan. How come?
FFYF: Oh no, don’t get me wrong I love pop punk! I wouldn’t be playing music without that genre, in fact I distinctly remember Mxpx’s Life In General being the first CD I ever bought. I mean I ripped off the Man Overboard ‘Defend’ logo for my merch (I have little pins that say ‘Defend Folk Punk’ with a little guitar in the middle). I’m only taking jabs at pop punk because i’ve been in that scene before and you sort of give ribbings to the things you love. However, today there seems to be a lot of bands popping up using a recycled template on “How to be Pop Punk”. I think The Swellers put it best when they posted on Intsagram recently, “Dear Pop Punk, I like pizza because it is good. Friends aren’t your family. Your town isn’t that bad.”

Me: You recently released you EP “F4YF.” How has the response been form some of your fans?

FFYF: Yeah! Fans who have reached out to me have said nothing but rad things! It’s great to hear such positive feedback from something with such a short run-time of just 3 songs. One person said I sounded like an ‘American Frank Turner’ and I was like “Well, time to stop making music, I’ll never get something that nice said about me again!”

Me: Any tours booked?

FFYF: Actually right now I’m trying to get something together for the Spring with some weekend tours tossed in in the mean time. It’s tough scheduling big tours when I’m finishing out my senior year at college, but I’d say expect local dates and weekend tours around New England and the Northeast and late March I might be heading out around the Midwest for a few shows.

Me: What would you say is the message behind your music?

FFYF: I think, all in all, I never write with a meaning in mind, I just sort of write what I’m feeling and if that connects with someone who’s feeling those same emotions or ideas, I’m beyond thrilled. Music can be this communal experience and I think, if anything, I write so maybe someone will hear a song of mine and think “Hey, I can totally get that”. Maybe I’m writing for my own validation, I don’t know, haha.

Me: Are you by chance a Frank Turner fan?
FFYF: Frank Turner is BY FAR one of the hardest working musicians in punk music today. I mean the man just broke 1500 shows! His work ethic is unprecedented and his records are amazing! Sorry, I just fan girl’d so hard, yes i’m a big fan of Frank Turner. I’m seeing him in Philadelphia the day after Thanksgiving.
Luke Helker

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