Jamie Lenman's new single is the sound of a man who's done with being polite

A press shot of Jamie Lenman
(Image credit: Scott Chalmers)

'If you're a dick when you're drunk, you're a dick all the time.'

Opening statements don't come much more direct than that. But with Jamie Lenman's new single, I Don't Wanna Be Your Friend, it's a line that sets the tone for the bruising, razor-sharp onslaught that follows.

The second single to be released from Lenman's upcoming mini-album King Of Clubs, I Don't Wanna Be Your Friend is noisy, heavy, angry and it narrows its eyes on those making excuses for their shitty behaviour without making any attempts to rectify it. It is, he says, a line in the sand in terms of what's acceptable and what's not. All in all, it's quite possibly the summer anthem we all need in 2020.

"After my last originals album Devolver was a quite a contemplative, inward-looking record, I started looking outwards for King Of Clubs and obviously I got pretty angry pretty quickly about the state of the world," Lenman tells Louder. "The first single, Summer Of Discontent, was all about feeling helpless in the face of corrupt governments, and now this new single is about calling out unacceptable behaviour amongst your own peers.

"I'm fed up of all the excuses people use to explain away things like bullying or racism and it felt good to finally say something about it publicly. I feel like there are a lot of lines being drawn in the sand at this time and hopefully here's one more."

The video, produced during lockdown, features appearances from a host of familiar faces, including members of Black Peaks, Wargasm, Ithaca, Palm Reader and many more. "I thought about putting lots of different people on the track itself, all singing together, but it wasn't practical, so when it came to make the video I knew I had to do it visually somehow," says Lenman. "It was always my intention to reach out to some of the excellent bands and artists in the UK scene and ask for remote contributions, and then when lockdown happened it was the only thing we could do anyway! 

"Some of these people I've known for decades, some of them I've only met once, some of them were total strangers but I was overjoyed by their committal to the project and I'm very proud to present this message as part of an artistic community."

King Of Clubs is out on September 25 via Big Scary Monsters and is available to preorder now. Check out the video for I Don't Wanna Be Your Friend below.

Lenman will be playing a 'pay-what-you-want' live show on September 27 for Vans For Bands, which you can catch on their Facebook page.

Briony Edwards

Briony is the Editor in Chief of Louder and is in charge of sorting out who and what you see covered on the site. She started working with Metal Hammer, Classic Rock and Prog magazines back in 2015 and has been writing about music and entertainment in many guises since 2009. She is a big fan of cats, Husker Du and pizza.