FUCK FAKE FRIENDS!!!
That’s the general vibe of ‘Pseudo’, the convulsive new pop-punk rager from the Adelaidian legends in Agapanther. It’s an unapologetically vicious, no-holds-barred “fuck you” to all the liars, fakes, gaslighters and flakes out there – the people that swear they’ve got your back, then stab you in it the moment you turn around.
The track was undoubtedly written for Agapanther’s live show, wielding a mammoth hook that’s impossible not to chant along with, belting riffs and beats so fierce they could shatter steel beams like glass. The band cite the likes of Drug Church and Heart Attack Man as influences, which makes perfect sense – that big, boisterous punk energy is there in spades, so fans of them will find themselves right at home with Agapanther.
Take a look at the clip below, then read on for our exclusive chat with the band!
This song hits close to home for me, and I think it will for pretty much everyone out there. Was this track inspired by any particular experiences you’d had?
Harry Mason (drums): I think that all four of us have experienced a degree of people putting on a fake smile and giving the illusion that they support you, when in actual fact they’re nowhere to be found when you need them. Bonus points if they’ll give you hugs in person, but then go running their mouths to anyone who’ll listen.
Kyle Kenworthy (vocals and guitar): That’s certainly what we were going for with this track – most people have a story of a “friend” who actually reveals themselves as unreliable and unsupportive, so we know a lot of people will be able to engage with the anger conveyed through ‘Pseudo’.
And to extend on what Harry said, it was definitely inspired by a few separate instances of fake support towards the band from one old friend in particular. We don’t mind if people can’t make it to shows and can only catch a few sets, but when someone goes out of their way to personally message you, tell you the latest release is great, promise they’ll be at the next show – with follow up messages in the coming weeks leading up to the show, confirming they’ll be there – and then doesn’t turn up, it’s a bit disappointing. Like I said, sometimes things come up, but that person had done it on so many occasions that we were past the point of caring anymore. Your true friends start to show when you need support, and now we have a great community of loyal friends, family and fans in Adelaide – props to those legends!
Dylan Kenworthy (bass): I’ve been pretty lucky with having mates that aren’t fake, but the one thing that always gets me are the ones who say how much they froth your music and rave on about how much they support you, then when it comes to a show, they’re nowhere to be seen, saying they can’t afford it… But then you see them out and about later in the night.
What are some of the telltale signs that someone is a fake friend?
Coen Miller (lead guitar): I think empty promises are a big one particularly in the music scene, people who don’t show up to any events to support you when you know you’d do the same. But hey, it’s not all bad when it shows who the real homies are!
Dylan: The people who talk up the friendship but aren’t actually there, that’s a huge red flag.
Kyle: Excuses – especially bullshit, long-winded excuses. They get tiring and are generally an ongoing thing with someone who’s fake.
After realising that someone you considered to be a close friend is actually a total shitcunt, how do you reckon with that? Especially when they’ve become a huge part of your personal life.
Kyle: Luckily, most of the people that this song would be about aren’t actively present in our lives or social groups, otherwise they’d more than likely still be considered friends. However, I’ve found the best thing you can do is come to terms with the fact that as you grow up, you’ll simply outgrow some people. It doesn’t by any means make you a better person than them, this isn’t about hierarchy, but if people aren’t bringing any positivity to your life, the best thing to do is just smile and keep moving. Work on yourself, know who your real friends are, and don’t drag the dead weight of a dead-end friendship.
Harry: I feel like it can be hard to come to terms with, especially if you’ve held them in high regard at some stage in your life. Weeding out the bad apples is definitely a huge part of shaping your future – if they’re not giving you the time of day, then you shouldn’t either.
Dylan: When you work out that someone is a dog, just don’t ever put the effort in again, and slowly but surely you will be rid of them.
I already know this track is going to end up popping right the fuck off in the live set. Did you have the stage in mind when you were bringing it to life?
Coen: Since we first practiced the song about a year ago, I think we all had the idea that it was going to be a pretty energetic one, when even we have so much fun jamming it in a small garage.
Kyle: It’s a song fuelled by anger, so we knew we’d want people losing their shit to it. We knew we wanted to do a live shot for this music video as we’d never done one before, but had so much footage stored from previous shows by our best friend Tom Drizners. Once we made that decision, we wanted some footage of people specifically going off to ‘Pseudo’ live. So we brainstormed how it could work to get everyone involved in a song they’ve never really heard before. I’m a massive Slipknot fan, and I remember one of my greatest experiences in a crowd was during ‘Spit It Out’ at Soundwave 2012, when Corey Taylor got thousands of people to sit on the floor during the bridge, then on his command everyone jumped up and went mental. We essentially just did that, got Tom to get into position with his dad-cam and he captured it all, and I still can’t believe how successful it was.
Dylan: I would absolutely love to rip this one at any outdoor festival in the heart of summer, beer and moshing everywhere.
You’ve let it be known that ‘Pseudo’ was inspired by the likes of Drug Church and Heart Attack Man. What is it about those bands that you wanted to channel with this track?
Coen: Massive riffs and modulated guitars are huge parts of those bands, so whenever Ky pitches ideas like that, I’m always more than keen.
Dylan: The angst of druggy boiz!
Kyle: Coen and Dylan make great points, the sound was definitely inspired by those two bands – however, lyrically I think the notion of ‘Pseudo’ doesn’t stray too far from the sort of attitude Drug Church and Heart Attack Man have when approaching their songs. They seem to have a confident level of arrogance regarding their vocals, which I often get the feeling is brought on by being pushed to the brink. It’s justified, and that’s exactly how I approached the lyrics to ‘Pseudo’, with complete honesty.
In the press release, you call the track “a massive middle finger to the people who are constantly spewing lies.” What’s the most outlandish lie someone’s ever tried to pull on you?
Kyle: There’s probably something better than this, but this is the best I’ve got off of the top of my head: we once played a show where there was a small “backstage” section just off to the side of the stage, with a door leading to outside. Once our set was finished, one of the members from another band on the bill was like, “Dude, that was a sick set,” yet I’d just watched them walk in from the side door and didn’t see them in the crowd for the entire duration. It’s pretty rude to not only miss a supporting band’s set at a local show, but to lie about it too?