Funeral For A Friend Interview

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After releasing their sixth album this year, BBM spoke to Welsh post-hardcore rockers Funeral For A Friend. The group are now embarking on their Australian tour. Formed in 2001, the group blew up in 2003 with their debut album Casually Dressed & Deep in Conversation. They have announced their biggest run of Aussie tour dates yet, and their ten-show tour kicks off in Brisbane on the 8th May 2013.

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The new album ‘Conduit’ came out earlier this year, what’s the reception been like to it?
It’s been really positive, a lot of the new songs we’ve been playing on tour have been received really well.

What was the inspiration behind the title of the new album?
Conduit is about being a channel for communication, whether that’s words, emotions, music etc it’s quite vague but that’s the reasons behind it.

‘Conduit’ is described as “a post-hardcore record that is not afraid to drop into some hardcore for good measure” was that a deliberate choice or just how the songs came out?
I think it was a little of both. We’ve always loved aggressive music and we ended up writing songs that were heavily influenced by the bands that we love because that’s what really made us happy. I’m stoked with how it came out and how in your face is it compared to our previous records.

What message did you want to put across with the album?
I don’t think that there’s a direct message as such but there is a theme of unity, of not settling and making the most of your life while you can. All in all it’s pretty positive.

You’ve released it in almost every format possible, but how do you listen to your music personally; vinyl, cd or digital?
Right now it’s vinyl and digital. Vinyl for when I’m home and digital when I’m travelling.

You’re six albums in now, has the way you write songs and albums changed much in that time or do you have a certain way of doing things?
When we started out it was mostly myself and Kris. He would come up with a lot of the song structures and then I’d do the lyrics and contribute an idea or two. Now we all come up with ideas, Kris also contributed lyrics to Conduit.

Do you prefer recording new material or playing live and touring?
All aspects as they pretty much go hand in hand. They all have their positives.

You’re going to be touring pretty extensively over the summer, plus 10 gigs in Australia, which is your biggest tour Down Under, why now?
Haha, we’re making up for lost time. We never fully understood the reasons why we haven’t done extensive touring in other countries for a long time either. We just thought that it was all part of some plan that we didn’t know about, in the end it was a bunch of people not really doing their jobs and now we’ve changed all that and trying to make up the difference!

Which places do you most enjoy touring? Has anything crazy/funny happened in an unusual location before whilst on tour?
Anywhere really, we just did some shows in Russia, Finland, Estonia and Latvia which were great experiences for us. We met this Russian magician backstage at the show in St. Petersburg and he showed us some tricks, it blew our minds!!

Are there any venues or cities you’ve always wanted to perform in, but never quite made it to?
I’ve always wanted to play in Iceland but we’ve never really made it up there. I’ve heard that it’s good fun.

Over the years your line up has changed a bit, how do new faces change the dynamic of the band?
Well, we all get a long better. The musicianship is definitely better than it was before and the chemistry is better. All in all I feel that this is the best version of Funeral.

What have been the highlights of the last 12 years for the band?
Touring and seeing the world, getting to meet a ton of awesome people and experiencing how incredible it is when an audience of people whose first language isn’t English, sing your words back at you with the same level of passion as you sing to them. It’s amazing.

Have you met any of your musical heroes along the way? If so who, and what was it like?
A few. For the most part they’ve all been amazing people that are friends still to this day.

Your last album ‘Welcome Home Armageddon’ came out in 2011, what have you guys been up to for the past couple of years?
Writing for the most part as well as recording and spending time with our families.

Electronic Music is very much in vogue, for those of us who still crave a bit of guitar are there any new bands you guys have bumped into on your musical travels you think we should check out?
Yeah, you should check out: Goodtime Boys, Such Gold, Major League, Vales and Landscapes.

Are you guys still based in and around Wales? (if not, how often you go back?)
Gavin, Rich and myself still live in South Wales. Kris and Pat live in London.

Where did you watch the rugby last weekend?
Sadly I didn’t as I’m not a huge sports fan. I decided to spend my time being more pro-active killing necromorphs in Dead Space 3 on the Playstation 3.

Whilst your not performing on your Australian tour, what do you hope to get up to? Any adventures planned?
We intend on eating at Lord of the Fries as much as possible and tracking down killer vinyl by some awesome Australian hardcore bands! That and enjoying the vibes!

Thanks so much for your time, and all the best for the tour!

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