What is “Between Illness And Migration” to you?

Last week, I sent a email to the 6 members of the band, in which I asked them what was Between Illness And Migration to them. Nothing very hard, you will say, as this album is a journey that we’ve lived to the fullest, and still continue to live at this very moment. But here’s the tricky part: it had to be 110 characters long, so I could tweet it along with a picture of them. By doing this, I wanted to capture the very essence of what the album was for them, no sparks, no additional words. As bare and as raw as it came to them. After struggling a bit, they managed to all send me their short but powerful answer… with that one exception that confirms the rule!

What has this album become for you? Please let us know in the comments below!

– Stephanie

This album is an ode to faith in the invisible! It’s about challenging your deepest hope for the unexpected to be revealed! 
– Jeff

I started the album afraid to lose myself. So glad I did! Losing my little ME, I found freedom, I found US!
– Miss Isabel

Fears and doubts keep you in a box… Faith by letting go makes you walk into something eternal…
– Sef

When we started writing the record, we were 6 individuals trying to survive in all sorts of discordant make-believes and different kind of dissonant realities. But through the whole process, we found ourselves being so completely stripped down of everything we thought was personally ours to hold on to that it’s only when we entirely let go of our deepest illusions and all of their shadows that we found the courage to die to our self-preservating sorrows and self-alienating despairs… and the colors of a brand new dawn arose, leading us to believe once again in the collective light we had denied for so long. Only then, when we decided to die to ourselves, did we find our way back to each other. The record unveiled its unique nature thereafter, only for us to embrace its journey and to discover its true essence…    
– Alex

It’s a journey of honesty like we’ve never experienced before, beyond our own nature and doubts. A true rebirth.
– Ben

Between Illness And Migration is the truth that comes with assuming who I am, who we are together. It’s an ongoing walk.
– Moose

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Between Illness And Migration: Already a year ago!

At the very same date last year, Your Favorite Enemies were flying to New York City, where their album would get mixed by John Agnello! The whole recording process was like nothing they had ever done before, as they pushed the limits and boundaries of what they thought was “possible”. A journey to the end of their very own night… a pilgrimage of a big city vertigo looking for the ocean’s peaceful rebirth, a twisted sonic, uplifting spiritual journey of its own…

It is unreal to think it’s already a year ago that everything happened… It seems so close to each and every one of us… This album has become a part of our story together, as we’ve shared its songs together, as we’ve shared its emotions, as we’ve welcomed it in our discussions…

Thank you for being a part of this journey, much more than you would ever know it!

– Stephanie

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About the song: Muets Aux Temps Des Amours

Intrinsically linked to the somehow austere and mournful “Obsession Is A Gun” by its pluralistic nature and its dualistic essence, “Muets Aux Temps Des Amours” is a lucid admission of the ephemera of life (Impermanence), but yet a hopeful vision of changing times (Tempora Mutantur).  It’s a quiet but resolute moment of contemplation expressed through the noise of existence, expressed in a magnificently written poem by Foster and vibrantly incarnated in Japanese by Momoka Tobari through the waving feedbacks of the band’s stirring guitars. You cannot deny the introspective dimension of the moment, as the journey of “Between Illness And Migration” slowly comes to a transitionary atmosphere and a brighter tone.

Therefore, “Muets Aux Temps Des Amours” delivers its pure hopeful defining intent as Foster acknowledges the sorrowful state of his heart while confessing his determination to embrace the resolution to let go of all abstract bounding memories, to welcome down pouring lights over his lost soul, comparing love to an everlasting sakura tree, faithful to its blooming promises. It could be about the home Foster found in Japan, about the love he allowed himself to live or about a renewed relationship with a god he left behind a long time ago. Regardless of the vulnerable nature of his lack of answers to the numerous questions he has at the crossroad of his journey, he nonetheless believes in the redemptive nature of a new lit morning dawn… for whatever it means.

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The link between a storm and a peaceful sun…

Every song hides a different story, and “Muets Aux Temps Des Amours” is one that is very special for Alex. Discover more about the song in this new blog about the album “Between Illness And Migration”

“This is the song I am the proudest to have stick to my initial gut feeling… It might have been only fucked up, but it’s real, true and honest… and fucked up as well… “ – Alex

This picture was taken during the creation process of the song “Muets Aux Temps Des Amours”.
Notice the different title, chosen before the lyrics have been fully written.
A single letter now makes a world of difference.

“Muets Aux Temps Des Amours” is a song about the acknowledgement of one’s sorrowful state of heart, the confession of one’s determination to embrace the resolution to let go of all abstract bounding memories, to welcome down pouring lights over his lost soul. The song compares love to an eternal sakura tree. Unconventional in its form and sound, “Muets Aux Temps Des Amours” was born from the spark of a feeling that followed the creation of the song “Obsession Is A Gun”. Intrinsically linked together, “Muets Aux Temps Des Amours” evokes feelings that are completely contrary to those we feel in “Obsession Is A Gun”… It is that necessary transition that links a storm to a peaceful sun, a severe hurt to a profound healing, illness and migration.

– Stephanie

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Japanese Lyrics: The Studio Experience

Have you noticed the Japanese lyrics in the songs “A View From Within”, “Obsession Is A Gun” and “Muets Aux Temps Des Amours”? They have been sung by Momoka, and even though they are a mystery to each and every one of us, those lyrics and words are also an important part of the songs in which they appear.

Translating Alex’s words isn’t always easy, nor is embodying them. So in this blog, I invited Momoka to share about her experience.

– Stephanie

– How is it to translate Alex’s lyrics in Japanese?

To translate Alex’ lyrics in Japanese was the highest honor and also the most fearful adventure for me. Alex has a tendency to write in a poetic way even in his usual texts. I was worried and excited at the same time about what kind of unknown world I would see through his lyrics. When I translated the lyrics in Japanese, I didn’t even know the melody of the songs. It was really the world of the words and me. Every time I received new lyrics, I felt excited as if I could unfold a brand new story that nobody had read yet.

But I was always afraid as well. I knew how much he put his soul and he chooses the meaning for every single word, so that’s why I was afraid of translating it in Japanese. But when you start thinking about anxiety, it never ends. Nobody tells me what’s right nor what’s good when I translate. Then, all I can do is to believe myself and to give everything I have. This is how I did translate the lyrics. All the words are memorable for me and as much as I hate to read them (because I look for my fault with the texts), I want to cherish those words. So hopefully, you’ll take time to read those lyrics. And that, just like the songs you would listen to many times, I want you to read the lyrics many times too. For those who will have it in a future, I hope you will immerse yourself not only in the sounds but also in the world of words too!

– We can hear your voice on 3 songs, “A View From Within”, “Obsession Is A Gun” and “Muets Aux Temps Des Amours”. How was your experience in studio?

I will never forget the fear I had when I first stood in front of the microphone in the studio. I tried to have fun before. It’s such a rare experience, why don’t I enjoy it!? But once I stood in front of the microphone, I was panicked. I was nervous, afraid and feeling that I didn’t want to disappoint them. In my head, I was like “Alex is shy? No way!!!” lol

But at this moment, I really realized something. The band members often talk about how important it is to expose yourself and to trust each others. And I really understood why it’s that important. You speak in front of everybody. It’s just like that. But when you think about being judged, the fear comes to you immediately. What if they think that I’m falling short of their expectations? What if they think I’m different from what they thought? What if they laugh at me? Having those little doubts made me afraid so much. But I needed to go beyond all that and trust them. It’s ok, they know where I am at now. They’ve been through those steps as well… I told myself “it’s ok” many times. And I did feel that they cared about me and tried to make me relax. I was so thankful for their warm heart and I promised myself that I would give everything I have. It’s really my honor to be part of this album. It’s still unreal actually, but It was such a precious experience in which I was able to learn about “trust”.

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I Just Want You To Know: The Impressions

It’s been a month already since the release of the video clip for the song I Just Want You To Know. From the conception of it, to recording it, to watching it from the very first time, the band members went through different emotions… Here are their impressions of the video!

From a song that initially seemed to be an intimate call-up for me to let go and a personal stand point for me to take another chance at life, to a song that’s now defined by its communal redemptive shout out and its collective celebration of freedom… Here are my images to such a wonderful journey of absolution and mercy…

You are all invited to define and add colors through your own ascent home… yes, we’re all so much more than noise… and freedom is so much more than any type of resolution to define gravity, as letting go allows us to fly…

The first time I watched the I Just Want You To Know video, it reminded me how every thing really is possible… That we have to redefine this powerful word living deep inside of us called impossible. That we, as individuals, have the capability to create, to love, to shine, and to always push our own limitations regarding failures, commitment and faith in who we are, and who we can become as well as what we want to achieve!

After watching the video of I Just Want You To Know, the first words that come to my mind are “the emergency to live”. You see the band getting their guts out, the skateboarders jumping all around but keeping this cohesion between each other, the fire raging around the dancers but always with this grace that supports all of their movements. It’s breathing life, passion. It’s the privilege I had to witness during the filming of the video on the top of the building. Meeting the producer, the video crew, the skateboarders, some brothers and sisters who came was so refreshing! The desire of excellence, while always always keeping this simplicity and this joy of sharing all together.

And for sure Jeff, found a good friend in the producer who was taking a bite every time he had a little break! I was also really touched by the story of the three skateboarders; the oldest guys were taking under their wings the younger one, who’s a real prodigy according to them. They invest everything in him without this fear of being outshone! Love is beyond the selfishness of being ambitious, but it inspires to be in communion with the people and live, through this communion, something eternal! I believe this was the spirit living during this special day!!!!

Miss Isabel
In each and every one of the filming locations, I was really impressed by the beauty of the art that was being performed, be it from the fire dancers or from the skateboarders who perform a corporal art that is so vivid and complex. I was however wondering how those 2 type of arts, so different from one another, would combine together and represent the song. When I watched the video clip for the very first time, I have not only understood, but I have felt the power behind the meaning of each and every image that gives the song a new depth for me. The skateboarders’ jumps defying gravity, taking risks every time, pushing their limits, not fearing the fall… “Don’t you wish for wings to fly”… And the artists dancing with such an ardent fire, images of this illusory world where shadows seems more alive, but also images of a dimension where everything is possible.

I also remember having a pure, child-like pleasure during the shootings, amazed in front of the fire, impressed in front of the skateboarders’ jumps. And just like every child, I have also wanted to play with fire (I have actually tried with light balls for my first time… less risks for myself… and for the others… lol). And I have also wanted to try skateboarding (Well, I did try it… yes… as long as moving on a few meters in a straight line on a skateboard can be called skateboarding)

Going back to the video…
The black and white surprised me at the beginning. Strangely, I quickly forgot that there was no color. I really like the intimacy of the scenes where Alex is walking, where we can almost touch a fragility of his that surrounds a determined desire to make one more step forward.

This video makes me very proud, because each and every one of us needed to dare and invest the best of ourselves into it. And the result is breathtaking.

It’s hard to describe all the emotions that this video made me go through. It’s such a powerful song to me and it’s a scream that I long wanted to let out. It reminded me when I wrote the first draft of that song, how miserable I felt, how isolated I was, going through depression and loneliness cycles. I was thinking about all the times when I trampled my integrity for just a little cheap love. When Alex wrote those amazing lyrics, I was so touched because it could then become a voice that so many needed to hear. It was gathering… ”yes, we are all f**ked up… and we all need that hand on our shoulder sometimes.” 

The video was able to get all those element so right. The first time I watched the final version, I was like “what just happened……?” It’s filled with so much passion, from the band’s intensity, the intimacy, the mystery and blurriness with Alex, the raging and intense fire. I really felt it was speaking to my heart so much, and for the first time I had a hard time trying to explain what I felt, and I didn’t want to ruin it all by trying to analyze and humanize everything I felt. But the message was even clearer in my heart… and it made the song speak even louder to me. 

Starting with the fact that we had the opportunity and the privilege to shoot a music video in different parts of the world was already a mind blowing reality and a vivid testimony of what this family can do together. So I was floored and I had faith in what would come out of the different elements that came up to express the explosive and introspective character of “I Just Want You To Know”. The fire dancers, the skateboarders, the band performing and the closeness with Alex leading in a more personal journey. What I couldn’t figure is how it finally came together to really translate what’s in this 5:37 min. burst of life.

The video could have probably evolved only around the band performing, only the fire artists or only Alex but since the song is personal yet gathering at the same time, I was glad we could integrate different angles to it. What touches me is that the video brings the personal quest and the out reach side of the song together in some kind of a scream that I often wanted to express but didn’t really knew how or simply let it out in all sorts of clumsy ways. I feel great when I look at the video, I get sucked in and I feel like breathing, it brings me back to the core of what music have always been to me. Those wings to fly… “Don’t you wish for wings to fly…” I have countless memories of when music have been those wings for me, moments where I dreamed or felt like I could suddenly just be myself, where I was free…

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Between Illness And Migration, a vision

Every album has its own soul, its own spirit, and I can say without a doubt that “Between Illness And Migration” is no exception to this. As they were recording the album, the band members had several discussions about what they wanted to infuse the album with, what the album was to them… Here are some of them, explained.

This album is one that will cost us everything we didn’t even know we had.
This album is a war. Not against each other. But us together, against the songs.
This album is a death of every moment. But if it is true, we will be reborn.

All the illusions, all the comfort zones, all what we thought we were… It’s when we crafted this album that we realized we had a lot more living inside of us. Dark sides, and bright ones. We needed to embrace them before we saw them all leave us. They left us as we crafted the songs, one after the other, spitting our guts out, crying our soul out. We discovered who we were, for ourselves, and we also discovered the others. We had to be true to ourselves, and true to one another, in order for the music to be true. We knew there was no other way for us. We had to give it our all. We had to die. And be reborn again. Every day, we had to die to ourselves, take this leap of faith, and believe that whatever happened, we would be reborn, every single time we died. And as much as some day hurts, it’s a leap of faith we did every day with a great joy. And this is what makes the album so true. It really represents every step of our journey between illness and migration… a journey that is still ongoing.

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I Just Want You To Know… A Powerful Image

Music is powerful in that way that it evokes souvenirs and memories, times spent and moments shared every time you listen to a song. And when I think of “I Just Want You To Know”, I can’t help but think of this poster we used to image what the song was all about as the band was writing it and giving it life, playing it all together in what we call the upper room, the middle of the church, looking for the subtleties that would make the song what it is today. This poster is a gift we have received from a friend.

Alex never fully explained what he meant when he showed us the poster and said “THIS is what I Just Want You To Know” is all about. I guess we all have a different explanation for it, too. This image, as much as this song, means something different for us, that will grow and evolve as we will.

“The old things have passed away. All things have become new”

Somehow, I guess this is what it’s all about. A blind faith in being born again. No matter what circumstances surround you…

– Stephanie

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“I Just Want You To Know” – About The Song

“I Just Want You To Know” is Your Favorite Enemies’ uplifting and empowering 2nd single from their awaited UK debut album, “Between Illness And Migration”, set to be released on February 26th 2014 on Hopeful Tragedy Records.

“One of the top 5 new songs melting our ears” according to Kerrang! Magazine, the video for “I Just Want You To Know” has been self-produced, accordingly to the band’s devoted “Do It Yourself” ethos, during Your Favorite Enemies’ Australian and Japanese segments of their extended “More Than Noise And Make-Believes” 2013 tour.

The video features the professional skateboarders Naohiro Abe, Ryo Sejiri & Hirotoshi Kawabuchi and the international fire artist Adam Lobbestael and the renowned avant-garde Japanese “FireBandits” troop members.

“It might be about the freedom that comes from the personal decision to let go of everything we kept on holding on… about the emotional implication of blending in if not affectively belonging… about the inner wounds of rejection as much as the invisible scars of indifference. It’s about the noisy sounds storming in our heads and the raging silence that comes with it. It’s about breaking the cycle of our deceiving self-preservation bounds and about the hopeful upraise of light that overcomes the illusionary make-believes shadowing our faith in better tomorrows. It’s about freedom and shortcoming promises. And ultimately about the resoluteness of “being”, regardless of our shameful losses and regretful disbeliefs… about taking a chance, another one…” – Alex Foster, when asked about the meaning and the context in which he wrote the song.

The term “direct approach” must be taken with a serious degree of perspective when describing one of Your Favorite Enemies song, yet “I Just Want You To Know” could be seen as such. If you are ready to consider the blend of driven, shoegaze, post rock and explorative juxtaposition of guitars, the distorted and cranky bass line, the complex display of drum insanity, the baffling keys drones and the confessing appropriation of a raging singer looking for absolution, faith and personal renaissance, then we can say direct approach… or at least a Your Favorite Enemies perverted approach to the term direct. Think Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Grinderman and Mars Volta if they were writing songs with The Pixies… that pervert way of direct approach.

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I Just Want You To Know Artwork

Don’t you wish for wings to fly
To blow yourself away from the lies
Tell me, don’t you dream for will to scream
To keep your grief from mournful colors
Your head out of the water

I just want you to know
We’re all feeding illusions,
Aren’t we all the same
Hopeless whispers sketching love
From all the shame
We’re so much more than noise
We’re so much more than noise

Don’t you wish for sounds to last
To raise your voice to reach the sky 
Tell me, don’t you crave for strength to cry
To get your light a drifting blast
A drifting blast

I know that you can’t stand those feelings anymore
It’s killing you, killing you inside, killing you inside
I know that you can’t stand those feelings anymore
It’s killing you, killing you inside, killing you inside
It’s killing you inside, it’s killing you

I just want you to know
We’re all feeding illusions,
Aren’t we all the same
Hopeless whispers sketching love
From all the shame
We’re so much more than noise
There’s way more, can’t you see

I’m wondering if there’s a place to lay down
To feel the ground within the wounds of desperation
I’ve prayed once, got through the door, to touch His crown
Faith is pretty much like pain, hard to let it go all at once
I guess comfort remains somewhere, so much higher
Until we get there, I guess we’re nothing
We’re nothing but public show, waiting somewhere
For someone else’s voice to call us home
To call us home
For someone
For someone else’s voice
A voice

I just want you to know
We’re all feeding illusions,
Aren’t we all the same
Hopeless whispers sketching love
From all the shame
We’re so much more than noise

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