An Old Friend is more than just a reference to a forgotten flame. Raw around the edges, this well-crafted alternative band subverts traditional conventions. The members of An Old Friend – Cody Kohler on lead vocals and guitar, Eddy Barrera on guitar and vocals, Cory Brown on bass and finally Frank Facompre on the drums – write their songs as a collective. Unafraid to switch up their musical musings, they add mixed elements of rock to produce the ultimate indie/progressive emo band.
Painting with a color palette of various influences, they reject the primary as they reinvent different sensations to the ear- thus reflecting promising light. Formed after their high school days, they all have experienced hardships in their own singular emotional bubble that has come together to pop.
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Eddy Barrera - Guitar/Vocals
Frank Facompre - Drums
Cory Brown - Bass
Cody Kohler - Vocals/Guitar
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to An Old Friend? How long has the band been around?
Well for Cody, Eddy and Frank this was pretty much our first head on band, we all played in some side smaller projects in our younger years but nothing that was ever put together as a full band, for Cory he played in a few bands growing up but the most recent bands were The Atlantic & Eye and Sea Of trees. An Old Friend has been playing out consistently as a band since 2012.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
The origin of the name goes back to the the earlier years, where Cody, Eddy & Frank were jamming in a garage loft, trying to find the bands sound at the time. We basically created the name on a whim as we needed a name to start playing the local scene, we came up with An Old Friend by ad libbing words off one another (as cliche as that may seem) but ended up with the name and stuck with it since. The name does now hold a deeper meaning to us though, especially going through all the growth that we did.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
We write the songs as a collective, as free flowing as we possibly can; whether it’s feeding off a particular riff, groove, or melody that either of us come up with, then build off of that until it starts making sense & then we’ll refine it into a song. The themes differ & probably always will as life throws many motions and chapters. Themes for us thus far are anywhere from interpersonal struggle, reflecting on oneself, love, love lost, or just about anything we are going through life wise that we wish to convey through music.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
(Cody): I grew up listening to a lot of emo/pop punk as well as Alt/Post Hardcore bands if you will; Taking Back Sunday, Brand New, Emarosa & Circa Survive, all influenced me on a large level forsure, however, recently I have been drawn to a lot of softer artists such as Ryx, Daughter & Ben Howard for examples. I appreciate how powerful yet subtle their songs are. I’ve also been jamming to the band Delta Sleep from Brighton England, love how they make odd time signatures so groovy.
(Cory): I grew up listening to a lot of Minus The Bear which heavily influenced my playing style as of lately Ive been into Covet, Via Luna and Balance And Composure.
(Eddy): I have to say I am heavily influenced by the bands from our area (Long Island) and hearing all them consistently writing cool music. There’s so much music talent here.
(Frank): I've always had an ecliptic taste; lately I'm stuck on Explosions in the Sky, but i can span from Bob Marley, Tool, and Between the Buried and Me.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
(Eddy):Bands that got me into playing were Underoath, From First To Last, System Of A Down. One of the first riffs I learned and was able to play on guitar was ATWA off of Toxicity.
(Cody): Not in particular, I was just always heavily influenced by music, and the fact that it can change ones emotions, as music is a voice for emotion. That led me to wanting to do the same, being able to influence others and provide that emotional outlet and connection through music.
(Cory): My first show definitely made me want to start playing music, it was Fear Before The March Of Flames and Norma Jean.
(Frank): My older cousin wanted to start a band, he was my biggest inspiration to play live, but I always enjoyed being on stage and was apart of a marching band during concert band in school.
What do you do to prepare for a show?
(Cody): I honestly have no set pre show ritual other than lightly sing throughout the day so the voice is primed, try and stay super hydrated and keep in a clear headspace.
(Cory): I try to imagine the setlist and run it through mentally to the point where i feel comfortable. Breathing exercises are pretty great too.
(Frank): I have a secret ritual I do before shows; including deep breathing and listening to a lot of music, Aesop Rock usually puts me in the right mood for a show
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
We've had a bunch of big pushes, releasing "I Am, I Was" is probably the biggest. Also one of our favorite things to look back on is when we played in a competition that was aired on VH1.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
(Cody): I would love to tour with Circa Survive, they seem like extremely humble dudes for how big they are and could imagine it being a fun yet learning experience in the process.
(Cory): I would love to tour with Covet. They seem like such a fun group to hang with!
(Frank): Touring with La Dispute or Mewithoutyou would be awesome. System Of A Down for-sure would be top it for me.
(Eddy): I would love to tour with Tides Of Man & or Delta Sleep.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
We just want to give a big thank you to anyone who has supported us thus far through this journey, any one who has bought a CD, came to a show, or even streamed us on Spotify, it means a lot and we hope the new music we have been crafting lately can further that.