I hope one day I’m fucking cool enough for California // I hope one day I’m able to say I made it in the Golden State.

From the first time I listened to Friends W/O Benefits, I couldn’t help instantly relating to their songs. I found myself transported back to the days of youth, angst, and mosh pits. Their music is real and tangible – unafraid to stand its ground and be its own. It is the ultimate middle finger to a scene that continues to get caught up in its own bullshit.

White Trash Ninja and Cadet Edac are the fictional character duo that make up the band, both interchangeably playing guitar and drums. The first time I saw Friends W/O Benefits perform live was when I fully realized what this band has to offer the San Francisco / Bay Area music scene. These guys know how to put on one hell of a show! I can’t remember the last time a performance has made me jump in and physically engage in a show- can you? I dare anyone to catch these guys live and not be (physically) moved.

Despite the masks, and behind the characters, Friends W/O Benefits is one of the more authentic bands I have come across. They are genuine guys that deeply care about putting on a real show. Best of all, White Trash Ninja and Cadet Edac aren’t afraid to speak their minds and tell it like it is. Now this… this is real!

Travis Hayes Busse is a local singer/songwriter and talent buyer at Neck of the Woods.