Friko Announce ‘Where we’ve been Where we go from here’
Friko announces their debut album, Where we’ve been, Where we go from here, out February 16th, 2024 on ATO Records, and presents lead single/video “Crashing Through.” The accompanying video — directed by Alec Basse — is a transportive encapsulation of Friko’s music. Filmed in Chicago and featuring appearances from the band’s sprawling network of friends and fellow artists, it exudes a sense of community that is inherent to Friko. Recorded within their friend group on a shoe-string budget paid out of the band’s own pocket, Where we’ve been, Where we go from here is a testament to Chicago’s storied DIY ethos.
The new album is the powerful emotional connection Friko’s members have cultivated since childhood. As kids growing up in the Chicago suburbs, Kapetan and former bassist / founding member Luke Stamos became friends in kindergarten, and eventually crossed paths with Minzenberger in high school. Raised in a musical family — their dad is a jazz/classical guitarist, their older sister is a singer — Minzenberger began playing drums at age 10 and later took up guitar, bass, and piano. Noting that “music was always going to be my only option,” Kapetan also got his start as a drummer and, like Minzenberger, played in bands all throughout high school. “My dad loved music and played guitar when he was younger but ended up getting into the restaurant business,” he says. “He owned a few homestyle diners and when I was growing up a lot of musicians would come in and I’d get to talk to them, which definitely had an effect on me.”
Formed in 2019, Friko soon began taking the stage at legendary Chicago venues like the Metro, Empty Bottle and Schubas Tavern, self-releasing their acclaimed debut EP Whenever Forever in 2022 and making their festival debut at Bonnaroo the following spring. Mainly recorded live at Tallarida’s studio Trigger Chicago, Where we’ve been, Where we go from here was a DIY endeavor completed before Friko’s signing to ATO, enlisting the talents of friends like Eli Schmitt (creator of the album artwork), video director Alice Avery, and tour manager Stas Slyvka. “So much of this record happened because of friends helping us out, like Scott letting us use his studio,” says Kapetan. “It’s also an event space, so there’d be times when Scott, Jack, and I would be working on mixing the record with a town-hall meeting going on in the next room.” In every step of the process, that self-reliance allowed for an unfettered freedom that often led to moments of transcendence.
Where we’ve been, Where we go from here merges elements of post-punk and chamber-pop and experimental rock, magnifying Friko’s exhilarating power with a steady barrage of spirited gang vocals. Poetic, explosive, and sublimely raw in feeling, the album brings an equally visceral intensity to brutally heavy anthems and heart-on-sleeve ballads alike, creating an immediate outlet for the most unwieldy emotions. Mastered by Heba Kadry (Björk, Big Thief) and engineered by Henry and Tallarida, Where we’ve been, Where we go from here embodies a sonic complexity befitting of a band that names Romantic-era classical music and the more primal edges of art-rock among their inspirations. “Chopin is one of my favorite composers, and the feeling I get from listening to his nocturnes is the same sort of deep, loving sorrow that I get from playing music with Niko,” says Minzenberger. “I wish I could understand why listening to solo piano music and playing really heavy rock songs can create the same very palpable feeling—but at the same time, I don’t want to understand it.”
Where we’ve been, Where we go from here
1. Where We’ve Been
2. Crimson to Chrome
3. Crashing Through
4. For Ella
7. Until I’m With You Again
8. Get Numb To It!
Friko Tour Dates
Mon. Nov. 27 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
Wed. Nov. 29 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
Thu. Nov. 30 – Washington, DC @ DC9
Sat. Dec. 9 – Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club
Sun. Dec. 10 – Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon
Pre-order Where we’ve been, Where we go from here by Friko HERE
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