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"What makes this group so much better than the slew of other pop rock acts is the way in which they implement atmospheric soundscapes into their music. Rather than playing standard piano driven rock, Friend Slash Lover uses a mixture of guitar and keyboard/piano to create gorgeous, textured arrangements that really grab you and keep you interested until the song has come to an end."

With a fresh, creative approach to indie rock, as heard on their first EP As American as Ones and Zeros, and now even more so on their first full length album Mugged On Memory Lane, FRIEND SLASH LOVER is ready to share their vision with the world.

Friend Slash Lover is the brainchild of an LA-based visual artist and musician, the vocalist and songwriter for the group. Through frequent collaborations with musicians and producers, FSL has managed to create a catalog of music ranging from sad, acoustic and introspective songs, to epic, rockin full band productions with touches of electronic, and even a pop dance tune or two. FSL took to music early in life, playing fife in a drum corps marching band since the age of 8. He’s proud to say he was a band geek way before it was cool. It was his interest in visual arts, however, that would take him to Rhode Island School of Design some years later, where he studied art history and filmmaking. At school, he continued to pursue his natural inclination toward musical composition, synthesizing his two passions by compiling dozens of electronic songs recorded on an old Mac and a four-track, “releasing” them as albums to friends, and even getting airplay through the local radio station. “That was pretty amazing, considering it was basically noise,” he says.

Flash forward a few years later to Los Angeles – FSL has turned his interest in visuals into a full-fledged career, working as a creative director in Hollywood, getting his work into local galleries, but he remains creatively restless. He calls upon a musician friend to teach him guitar. The friend tunes his guitar to an unusual open tuning – but once he leaves, FSL quickly writes four songs, deciding not to tune the guitar back to standard. “I still barely know how to play normal chords,” he confesses. But it would inform his entire approach to music as one who wasn’t interested in playing by the rules. “I like to approach music (and everything really) completely intuitively” he says. “The important thing is, how does the song sound? You can write a song on anything.”

With this off-kilter musical background in place, FSL turned to his own word-based art for inspiration. Strumming droning, chordal patterns in his room, he turned to the mirrors on which he had etched sarcastic, playful catchphrases: “I brake for guilty consciences,” “Where have I been all my life?,” “As American as ones and zeros” – and began to flesh them out into full-fledged songs, eventually building an impressive catalog of material that was inspired in equal parts by Sigur Ros, Nirvana and post-modern sensibility. 

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