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Saturday, April 13, 2024
<p>Scott Kauffmann, left, Chris Hillman, right</p>

Scott Kauffmann, left, Chris Hillman, right

Average Friend is turning local music into an outlet for millennial rage with their upcoming album, “The Never Has-Been.”

“The Never Has-Been” will be released in September, but the title single will be released Tuesday. This release signals the birth of the second incarnation of Average Friend. Where the original Average Friend was traditionally punk, this new iteration meets band founder Scott Kauffmann’s punk-esque lyrics with a rock ‘n’ roll sound.

“I wasn’t really being true to myself as a songwriter, so it felt kind of forced,” Kauffmann said. “The past year gave me the chance to reevaluate what I want to do or say musically.”

After the original Average Friend split up last year, Kauffmann took a discouraged break from music. Kauffmann is a millennial and a musician, a combination he said has made him angry in more ways than one in recent years.

Between the economic and political prospects of the day, Kauffmann said his anger pushed him into a creative state. On his own, Kauffmann wrote and recorded a full album. “The Never Has-Been” was the result.

“There’s a disappointment behind it, you know the name of the album is ‘The Never Has-Been.’ It’s pretty autobiographical,” Kauffman said. “It’s about addiction, but not toward drugs or alcohol, well that too, but it’s more an addiction to a lifestyle and to naivete. It’s easy to be consumed in a simpler time. It’s reflective, and it’s also angry.”

With the album fully recorded, Kauffmann brought in his friend Chris Hillman to master the tracks and start a band for live performances.

“Right now,” Hillman said. “Average Friend is Scott.”

Hillman reiterated Kauffmann’s sentiment on the album. In line with many artists today, Kauffmann expresses the millennial artistic feeling of failed expectations. As a generation, millennials thought they understood where things were going both personally and politically, and it just didn’t happen.

“It’s that late 20s crisis feeling,” Hillman said, “with the current political and social situation of the country just slammed on top of it and how it makes us feel. … There’s so much art about that right now.”

In the title single, “The Never Has-Been,” there’s no question that the anger is there, but that’s not all.

With lines like “You disgust me, but I need the money,” and “F--- you, who cares, you’re a nobody putting on airs,” Kauffman’s poignant lyrics are deeply personal and resonate with the feelings of inauthenticity in modern society.

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“There’s a lot of me in it, a lot of my insecurities,” Kauffmann said. “I think that’s one of the reasons I wrote that song about specific people because, it’s like, ‘I’m disappointed in you, but I see myself in you.’ It’s really a disappointment in myself.”

Apparently, disappointment is catchy. From the head-nodding beat of the drums and synth to the groovy melody, Kauffman is able to communicate his emotions in an extremely digestible way.

 

Scott Kauffmann, left, Chris Hillman, right

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