Talking ‘Friends’ With The Birth Marks

No, they haven’t covered “Smelly Cat” or “I’ll Be There For You.” At least not yet.

Manchester boys The Birth Marks have played together since they were teens. Their music is rock ‘n’ roll with a catchy pop edge. They’re melodic and fun, yet with an intimidating vibe of too-cool-for-school all in one.

They also share a love for a little NYC-based sitcom called Friends.

BTRtoday chatted with Edwin Stevens and Dylan Hughes, guitarist and vocalists for The Birth Marks, about their music, who’s a Ross or a Rachel and their newest album Yawn/Sigh.

At 18 the pair formed Sex Hands, a project mainly dedicated songs about episodes of Friends. When the two split off to create The Birth Marks their lyrics got deeper but they never lost their love for the ‘90s sitcom.

“Basically, we don’t really focus much on the lyrics, it’s more of a last minute thing—we’ll usually write the music first.” Stevens tells BTRtoday. “However, lyrically with The Birth Marks I think there’s more substance.”

Yawn/Sigh was recorded DIY style in their practice space and hits on subjects like “ignorant Daily Mail readers” and life in the UK. Though both Hughes and Stevens have moved on from writing mostly Friends-inspired songs, they still have a lot to say about the series.

Stevens describes Hughes as a third Joey, a third Chandler and a third Monica, but Hughes disagrees. He says he thinks he’s simply half Phoebe and half Ross. He adds that the relationship between Joey and Rachel was just “too weird” and that Ross outshines everyone by “just going crazy” at the end. “I turn it off by then,” he says.

“I think Monica is the character who changes the most,” Stevens adds. “In the start she’s supposed to be the protagonist and then by the end she’s just a joke.” He also explains that Chandler is his least favorite character because he tries too hard to be funny.

Though Sex Hands was more Friends oriented and The Birth Marks takes a more serious stance on life, they both have one thing in common—their awkwardness.

Hughes explains that the one word that describes their live performances is “awkward.” “That is what we are, cringey even,” Hughes says. “With very poor banter, but some rockin’ slightly out of tune guitars.”

Though Hughes just had a baby and Stevens is studying in Glasgow they intend to keep The Birth Marks going strong. They have “loads” of songs ready to go and plan to at least release an EP by the end of the year followed by a small local tour.

Yawn/Sigh is available on their Bandcamp for free download—they encourage you to donate the money you saved to a charity.

Maybe on their next album, they will finally figure out if Ross and Rachel were on a break.