It’s Monday again, which of course means it’s time for another shirt from my collection. Today’s #MerchMonday choice is this lovely ringer tee is from Illinois sad boys, Real Friends.
As you can see, it features a dog which is probably why I immediately bought it. A lot of their merch is pretty playful, and like this design, it gives you a good idea of what they’re like as people. Besides creating quality emo/pop punk material over the years, one of the reasons I really enjoy Real Friends as a band is their personalities behind the music. They’re down to earth guys and try not to take themselves too seriously. As the shirt suggests too, they’re generally just all-round “good boys.” But between cuddling dogs on tour and tweeting about iced coffee and video games, it’s clear they also really enjoy making music together as friends too.
Whilst having very emotionally charged and introspective lyrics which focus on some pretty heavy and dark topics, they are always spreading positive energy. Being very open and honest about their personal struggles with mental health is central part of their song-writing too. They’ve previously had to reschedule tour dates to give their front-man Dan Lambton some time out to focus on his health, which was met with overwhelming support from their fans. They set a very good example of just how important it is to put yourself first sometimes.
As well as being advocates of talking openly about mental health, they are strong supporters of the scene generally, regularly making a point of encouraging fans to share new music and bands with each other too. So yeah, this is me doing exactly that. They’re back in the UK on tour this coming October, so if you fancy checking them out they’re great to see live. Or if you can’t wait that long, I’ve linked some playlists below to some of my favourite songs… Apple Music here, or Spotify here (I’m now on both, yay!)