Pop-punk powerhouses Real Friends have basked in the well-deserved success of their most recent album, ‘Composure,’ for a little over a month now. Indisputably, there was no better time than now to have a chat to frontman Dan Lambton about this new release, as well as his own personal mental health journey, which heavily influenced the production of ‘Composure.’

‘Composure’ comes after the unofficial hiatus of the band, where Lambton took time off to focus on his mental health and his diagnosis of bipolar disorder. The turning point that led to the connection of his personal life with a form of art that he could publicly deliver to the world comes from a particular mindset that he was able to draw more creative energy from, he explains. “It just so happens that when I am all sorts of f*cked up and not sure what’s going on around me, that’s when I feel the most creative and able to attempt to process what’s going on around me. In particular, this time around I’d been dealing with a lot of things that I had no idea what was going on with me, I was experiencing a lot of mania, a lot of mood swings, things that I couldn’t necessarily explain or account for, and I feel like that definitely made its way into the music.”

The title of the album stems from an included track of the same name, and in Lambton’s words, “Dave really wanted it. I had another idea and Dave threw a little hissy fit.”

All jokes aside, there is a reason why Composure was chosen to represent the album in its entirety. “Dave had suggested the title, and I think it’s generally able to take into account a lot of other aspects of the album in that we take what’s handed to us and we let it affect us in ways that people can obviously see. In our composure, in our posture, how we carry ourselves outwardly to other people and how we’re able to keep it together or not keep it together behind closed doors. I think that has a lot to do with the name of the album, those are some things that we covered in it.”

In relation to Lambton’s title idea, he happily disclosed what ‘Composure’ could have been called had the title track not been chosen. “I wanted to call it ‘Caught Up,’ as like a double meaning in that you can be caught up with something or you can be caught up to something or someone. I personally prefer ‘Composure’ now though, I’m glad we went with that one.”

Delving into a more personal topic, Lambton shares his experience with the show cancellations and hiatus he took to seek help for himself. “I feel like after the first initial postponement of a year and a half ago, more should have been done for me to be able to collect myself and figure out what the hell was going on. Certain things led to me not feeling comfortable seeking treatment for an extended amount of time which then led to blow up in my face with substance use, and not being on medication, and not necessarily taking any events seriously anymore. Just taking it one day at a time and not being equipped or prepared for it. This time around it’s nice to at least have some sort of bearing and know more of what’s going on. It’s still trial and error, figuring things out, I’m still playing around with medication and figuring out which ones are right. It’s still very much a work in progress but it’s nice to know having done Warped Tour that I’m still capable of doing it and moving forward to make up for the tours we had to cancel and have a good time while doing it.”

Lambton’s position as the frontman of a world-renowned band has allowed him to share his experience with fans around the globe, granting him the chance to use his platform to reach others who may benefit from his openness.  “As far as interactions go that we’ve had with fans, a lot of people have expressed sympathy, empathy and gratitude for the openness. It’s definitely opened up a lot more dialogue about people being able to share experiences or how they’ve related to the music. It’s been very humbling to hear that with the help of me and other people in my position opening up about our experience, people have been able to seek and open themselves up to treatment options of their own and to be able to tackle their own personal demons. It’s really cool to be able to see that my experiences have been able to lead to some sort of positive light.”

To anyone struggling with their mental health, Lambton would like to share some words of advice.  “I know that it’s a lot at first to seek out professional help, it’s a lot to take in at first, but it’s definitely worth it to have an outside, unbiased opinion be able to help you and have their only objective be your best interest, to be able to make sense of what’s going on and to have progress be the only goal.”

Get your copy of ‘Composure’ HERE now!

Real Friends - Composure