Kill Your Friends

Synopsis: An A&R man working at the height of the Britpop music craze goes to extremes in order to find his next hit.
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Music
Director(s): Owen Harris
Production: Altitude Film Entertainment
  1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
103 min

A couple of words of advice for all

you hopefuls out there in unsigned bands.

F*ck off.

Seriously, your parents are right.

You may as well spend

your guitar-string money on lottery tickets.

Your chances will be much the same.

You see, there's one thing you have

to understand about the music industry.

We have no obligation to make art.

We have no obligation

to make political statements.

We have no obligation to make good records.

We have an obligation to make money.

I mean, do these look like the shoes of someone

who gives a f*ck Velvet Underground?

Now, in order to make money,

we may sometimes have to make art.

We may sometimes have

to make political statements.

Sometimes we may even have

to make good records.

Our record company receives half

a million demos a year.

We sign just ten of them.

And who makes these choices?

Who is responsible

for dividing the wheat from the chaff

and providing the soundtrack

to your short life on this planet?

Us, the elite, the chosen few,

the best of the best.

The A&R men.

Roger, why do you have a copy

of the fucking Menswear album?

I looked into signing them a couple of years ago.

There's some good tunes on that.

It's four o'clock in the morning.

My colleague Roger and

I are brainstorming producer ideas.

How about Mike Hedges?

No. I find some of his mixes a bit middly.

- Middly?

- You know, too much...

Not enough top or, you know, bottom end.

What about the guy who produced

London Calling? What's his name?

- Guy Stevens?

- Yeah.

He'd be great.

There is a problem, however.

What? Is he a wanker?

I don't know. He died in 1981.

What's happening with the Rage album?

F*ck knows.

It's all gone Colonel Kurtz.

The crazy bastard's up river, beyond the law.

Been in a residential studio for six months

now at a thousand quid a day

and David hasn't heard a fucking note yet.

- David worried?

- He wants to be.

What's he done this past year?

Signed a proper load of fucking turkeys.

This new Rage album wants

to make ABBA's Greatest Hits

sound like Sonic fucking Youth

or he's finished.

Fucking nasty.

If he goes, they might offer you his job.

What, Head of A&R?

They might offer it to you.

No. No, you've got... know, seniority.

Right, I'll get the drinks in.

Last year, 1996,

the turnover of the British music industry

passed the billion-pound mark for the first time.


Boom times.

But there's always competition.

Imagine you're standing on wafer-thin ice.

Beneath your feet you can see sharks circling,

terrible sharks

with hypodermic syringes for teeth.

These are your colleagues, your friends.

Roger and I both have to live

with an uncomfortable statistic:

at some point in the coming year,

one of us will probably be fired.

I have no intention of it being me.

I'm a bear!

I'm a dancing bear!

Hey, bear, bear. Bear, eat CDs!

What you got, bear?

What you got? Seal?

Bear eat Seal. Yeah.

Bear. Bear.

Bear tired. Bear tired. Oh, bear.

So here's what I do.

I listen to music, bands, singers, songwriters,

and decide which ones have

a good chance of commercial success.

I then arrange for them

to be recorded in a sympathetic manner

and then we, the record company,

sell them to you, the general public.

That's A&R, artiste and repertoire.

Simple, eh?

Get fucked.

You wouldn't last ten minutes.

'In every age, men are born who,

in their hearts,

in the black of their blood, are warriors,

but for most of us,

there are no longer wars to fight.'


'What must they do, these men?'

- Steven Stelfox's office.

- Steven there?

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John Niven

John Niven is a Scottish author and screenwriter. His books include Kill Your Friends, The Amateurs, and The Second Coming. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Kill Your Friends" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 24 Oct. 2020. <>.

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