Nameless Friends Act Like A Classic Protagonist

Raise a toast to the d-bags with the Ontario prog-punks and their new live video.

Nameless Friends take center stage (in more ways than one) on their new live single and video Classic Protagonist — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

Being an egotist never goes out of style. Case in point: The London, Ontario prog-punks’ hot new live take on their “terrible person” rave-up Classic Protagonist — which they’ve released due to popular demand. First aired on the band’s 2018 debut EP Mezzanine, the song is a gleeful teardown of virtue-signalling celebrities, toxic narcissists, and anybody else with a serious case of main-character syndrome. Classic Protagonist (Live) was recorded on stage during Nameless Friends’ 2023 Canadian tour, where it inspired regular singalongs among commiserating audiences:

“Tell me that I’m classic, baby
Tell history I’m great
Beg for my best behaviour
Ooh, then wait
I could lose myself in your pretty face
If we weren’t shooting for the money today
Like oh, I’m the classic protagonist, baby
Love me anyway.”

The cathartic value of that clear-eyed character study is sent sky-high by the pull of the music, which combines punked-up energy with the performing sophistication of prog. But you’d expect nothing less in the way of alchemy from a group whose first LP was a live album of Queen covers recorded live at Toronto’s Horseshoe Tavern. Other influences on Nameless Friends’ heavy, glittery rock include Pup (for the adrenaline) and Rage Against the Machine (for the activism). “We’re trying to make music about the justice we want to see in the world, that’s also really bloody fun to listen to,” they say.

To that end, their 2023 album Blasphemy took aim at everything from the religious persecution of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community (the defiant Demons) to the patriarchal suppression of reproductive and menstrual rights (7 Years of Blood). It was a rousing nine-song battle cry made all the more alluring by some slickly provocative videos. Sexy gay baptism, anyone?

The urgency of their mission makes sense when you consider the makeup of the band: Nameless Friends include female, queer and immigrant members, members of colour, and members with chronic illnesses and neurodivergence. Beyond those broad profiles, they’re content to remain anonymous, using numbers instead of names. The core ensemble is made up of Number One (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Number Three (lead guitar), Number Five (bass), and Number Seven (drums). Touring members include Number Two (bass), Number Four (drums), and Number Six (keyboard).

Watch Classic Protagonist (Live) up top, hear more from Nameless Friends below, and cozy up to them on their website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.