Your Enemies Friends

by Stephen Rafael Jan 12, 2003

Even though they call themselves Your Enemies Friends, singer-guitarist Ronnie Washburn and the rest of his band moved from Orange County to Seattle because they wanted to find a place where they would fit in.  “We wanted to get out of California,” Washburn explains, “and certain events happened that opened the door for our moving to Seattle.  I’ve noticed the main difference is that everything in Seattle is very concentrated – the city is surrounded by hills – and all the bands and clubs exist in this little area.  So I would say that the music community in Seattle is a bit more closely knit and friendlier.  In California it’s way more competitive between bands, and we think competition between bands is just fucking stupid.  The change away from that feeling has been good for us.”

One audience the members of Your Enemies Friends found to be surprisingly supportive belonged to the Donnas, who they recently toured with.  “The crowds the Donnas drew were really receptive to what we do,” Washburn insists.  “The shows were amazing.  We were hounded for autographs every night and gave away our drumsticks – it was that type of scene.  A lot of people that I talk to think the Donnas draw an immature sort of crowd, who are like this light-hearted bunch.  But for those people who haven’t seen the Donnas live, they should know that the Donnas make kind of this raucous noise and their crowd is into that sort of thing.  So it also works when we do what we do.”

Despite the bleak and rather downbeat feel of their Buddyhead Records release, THE WIRETAP EP, Your Enemies Friends and Washburn in particular, perform with an enviable combination of over-the-top confidence and heroic recklessness.  “THE WIRETAP EP was recorded really early on,” Washburn says, “and we didn’t have a chemistry per se as a live band yet.  Now we’re all such good friends – we’re literally just out to have fun onstage.  When you see us onstage, that’s probably really similar to how it is in the van.  I think it reflects our chemistry or how we work together as people.  But the music is totally serious.  We sort of have like a split personality.  What we do musically is really serious to us, but when we play live, it’s just for fun.”

This interview first appeared in Mean Street Magazine.  Please check out www.meanstreet.com.

Interview date: Oct 1, 2002

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