What are your names?
Sam Christmas (Vocals & Guitar), Ben Sapsford (Guitar), Christian Kally-Gallimore (Bass), Liam Washford Bent (Drums)
What is the bands name?
Best of Enemies
How did you come up with the band’s names?
Honestly, we all came up with a list of names and this was the least awful.
What is your genre of music?
We just say rock/alternative – there’s so many subgenres out there but we just like to think of ourselves as a straight up rock band with some folky elements.
Give us a little bio about you.
Best of Enemies are Sam Christmas, Ben Sapsford, Christian Kally-Gallimore & Liam Washford Bent. Formed through a mutual love for honest songs, Best of Enemies quickly got to writing their debut Stay Young, Trust Me. Whilst still finding their sound one thing was apparent; the songs meant something to someone. In 2016, Sorry State was released. A polished 4 track EP produced by Jason Wilson at Stakeout Studios, this release took the band over the UK, The Netherlands and Germany. The EP garnered the interest of Kerrang! Radio’s Alex Baker as well as BBC Introducing. Their BBC Live Lounge was chosen as one of BBC Introducing’s ‘Top Picks of 2016’. At the end of 2018 the band signed to Undead Collective Records. Following this, the long awaited 3rd EP A Fear That Comes Around was released on April 24th 2019.
What made you go into music?
My friends at school played guitar & piano and I remember sitting in the music room on a rainy lunch day and picked up my mates flying V guitar and thought “I could do this.” I couldn’t. I was dreadful. Nevertheless, my dad bought me my first guitar at 13 and after learning all the songs on ‘American Idiot’ by Green Day – I was hooked.
Are you a signed?
Yeah, we signed recently to Undead Collective Records who have some great bands on their roster including Bright light City, Seasonal, Spring. Fall. Sea, Merrick’s Tusk & JSA. All great bands everyone should check out whilst reading this!
You set to release your new single ‘Bad News’, tell us more about the single.
So, we pretty much wrote ‘Bad News’ straight after releasing our last EP. We left it so long between releases and we didn’t want to let that happen again. It’s a politically charged track that builds from a mellow vibe into an emotional crescendo – ending with a unified chant to bring everyone together.
What is the meaning behind the single?
So the song was directly inspired by all the face palm moments and horrendous headlines we’ve seen over the last few years in response to Brexit. We didn’t want to get too political with it, but with the mess that it’s been it’s hard to ignore and hard to not be inspired by.
Describe the track in two words.
What was the writing process like?
It all flowed fairly easily to be honest, but some of the lyrics weren’t finalised until the last hour in the studio. I had the chord progression written and demo’d on my iPad for ages and I showed it to the rest of the band, and we knew we had to use it.
What was the recording process like?
It was great! We decided to go back to our roots and went with Michael Charman who produced our first EP ‘Stay Young, Trust Me’ back in 2014. He’s really great to work with, has some phenomenal ideas and we’ll definitely be recording with him again and we highly recommend him to anyone reading this!
Who did you work with on the single?
So we mentioned Mike above, but we also collaborated with our friend Alan (Bellevue Days/JSA) who we’d previously worked with on our track ‘Shake the Feeling’. Some of our lyrics for the track were a bit too direct but Alan helped keep us grounded and really made the song 10x better. He also chucked in some backing vocals which was awfully nice of him. We got this track mastered by Pete Maher who not only mastered our last EP but has worked with The 1975, U2, Jack White and loads of other big names. The artwork was by our friend Naomi Kvedaras, she really understood what we wanted and invested a lot of time in the design!
Will we see a music video for of the tracks?
We’ll probably be chucking out some sort of visual to go along with it but probably not a full music video. Our main priority now is to write and record more music.
Will we see an EP or Album this year, if so what can we expect?
We’ll be releasing ‘Bad News’ on the 24th and keeping it as that for the time being. We are however constantly writing and our next big step as a band is… to piece together our debut album. Although the industry is changing and a lot of people are opting for the singles route, we’d all really like to release one album in our lifetimes. That’s a big milestone for us, so we’ll be making sure the songs we’re putting towards it are our best yet. BofE album 1 in 2020 maybe? We’ll see.
Do you have any shows coming up?
By the time this goes out we may have already played some of these shows! But yes, we’ll be at the following:
25/10/2019 – Rock Classic, Brussels w/Tirade
26/10/2019 – Keep Moving Festival, Goppingen w/Tirade
01/11/2019 – Camden Assembly, London w/Maven, Ava Grace & Saltlake
What else can we expect in 2019?
After ‘Bad News’ and the shows we’ll be piecing together some more songs ready to record in the New Year. We also have our annual Best of Enemies Christmas party – where all of us, our live members and crew members go out for a dinner and drinks!
Do you have any collaborations coming up with any upcoming artists?
As previously mentioned, Alan Smith has collaborated with us a couple of times but we’re definitely up for having the other Bellevue Days lads collab with us.
Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? and who would they have to contact?
We’d definitely be up for that! All they’d have to do is drop us an email directly to firstname.lastname@example.org – and also get a million retweets for us to consider. (We joke, please work with us)
Do you play any instruments?
Other than our standard instruments, guitar, bass, drums – not really. I do own a banjo and a thing called a merlin which is like a dulcimer – I wouldn’t say I can play either particularly well!
Who are your influences?
Bands like Mallory Knox (R.I.P), Lower Than Atlantis (Also, R.I.P) and Deaf Havana (please don’t go anywhere) all inspired us to be in bands and write our own songs. We do like to look up to recent breakthroughs too. Artists like Dermot Kennedy & Sam Fender are brilliant. Really bringing guitar music back to the forefront.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
I used to just get inspiration from my personal experiences but with everything happening in the world now it’s hard not to be inspired.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
Considering we’d all be about 30, we’d like to think we’d be slightly more sensible and have our own homes and that. But hopefully we’d have album 2 out and we’ll be doing some big tours. That’s the dream! The reality is our 1st EP will be 10 years old and we’ll most likely be playing our beloved local; The Fighting Cocks in Kingston.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
Other than our day jobs – music is really my main focus. I get home and I’m either writing or scheduling social media posts for the band. It really is a full time flex and that’s quite a challenge with a 39 hour a week job too! “
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
“Don’t fuck it up.” – Matt, who’s part of the BofE team pretty much says this to us in any scenario, so we try and live by that.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Just write what you want. Probably the cheesiest advice, but just stay true to what you want to do. Back when we started, we wrote what we thought people would like and we ended up with some dodgy half pop punk, half emo rock release. It won a few people over at the time but we’re not really proud of those songs at all.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
Again, the same as above “Don’t fuck it up” – Matt Sapsford. you
Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
Would have to say Banquet Records in Kingston. If they’re not putting on Blink 182 at the local nightclub Pryzm, or bands like Dinosaur Pile up at The Fighting Cocks – they’ve got an awesome instore session on (previous attendees & performers include Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and many more…). It’s great for a browse too, if you like your vinyl records there’s some real hidden gems in there and you can find yourself losing track of time over the vast selection!
Your coming off tour;
1/ Where do you go first? After all the gear has been dropped back to the studio, we usually just head straight home.
2/ Who do you see first?
Family and/or partners. Saying that, after a week on the road with each other it’s always good to get some space and enjoy your own company for a bit.
3/What do you eat first?
We try to stay healthy after a week of fast food chains and services but you can’t beat a final supper of sorts at the local.
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Earplugs are no.1 and an absolute must. People that complain about earplugs ruining the experience aren’t buying the right ones. We recommend EarPeace, specifically designed for live music environments. They give you a handy keychain holder with a spare, as well as 3 sets of filters depending on how loud the event is you’re attending.
Secondly, a phone charger – by all means enjoy the live experience and put your phone down but if you end up losing your mates in the pit or whatever it can be difficult to find them again.
Business cards! If you’re in a band, networking is key. We have cards with our photo, all our social media links and a QR code directly to where you can stream our music.
A coat/light jacket, depending on the season. Especially if you’re one of those that queues for hours before doors. It’s damn cold out there, UK. Stay toasty.
Fifth and final tip? Stay hydrated, try and drink water in between each alcoholic beverage if you’re that way inclined. If not, it’s generally good & healthy practice to drink lots of water.