Saturday, October 24, 2009

Interview: FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND - Their Funeral, His Trial

Matt Davies, frontman for Funeral For A Friend, is a man able to summon up a musical howl of anger within seconds of a soundcheck, while also being responsible for penning words that are seeing his band become a household name in their native Wales. That their latest album Tales Don't Tell Themselves debuted at number three in the UK signifies that their are well on their way. Davies describes their current UK tour as being "so far, so good", but gets very excited about the bands impending return here; "We're all itching to get back to Australia because we had such a great response when we were there last time. The kids were amazing, everybody was really supportive. It's one of the places we've played really, really great shows."

It seems Davies and co. are in the part of the record/release/promote cycle which sees them in the early stages of a daunting schedule, one that (for the third time) takes in the mega-huge Vans Warped tour. "The Warped tour is fun. Basically it's the opportunity for us to play for 30 minutes every day and to have a little bit of a summer vacation; the weather is a definite plus." Understandable given that they recorded the album in their rainy homeland of Wales.

"When we played it back in the studio for the first time there was a little worry in the back of my head: 'Jesus Christ how can we top this record?' But in the two years it takes to tour this album into the ground I think we'll have more ammunition to take into the studio next time that will trounce this."

Must be nerve-wracking releasing a new album with so many listening, especially one which is seeing them move from straight out post-hardcore guitar riffage to prominently using an orchestra and eschewing subject matter of a typically emo nature. "We were aware of the people waiting for this record, and at the end of the day we ignored it and decided to make the record we wanted to make. It was a strictly Funeral For A Friend wanting to be Funeral For A Friend."

The creation of their new album was presaged by several months of scrapped recording that resulted in the band "running into songs we'd already done before". "I think it was a brave move for us to make a record like this. We were feeling that we were going to possibly hit a brick wall and make an album where we weren't being totally true to ourselves. We had to figure out where we were as a band and that we just had to go for it really, and write with all our influences on the table and mix it all up and see where it went. Tales was the album that came out of that."

"The themes of the album for me were more an exploration of peoples fears and rationalisations and how for some strange reason we stress over and go crazy about the smallest, most insignificant things and ignore the more important problems in the world. Putting these ideas into a narrative really allowed me to explore characterisation, and the flow of narrative within musical structures was really interesting to concentrate on. That meant that I could focus on the emotion in the music and utalise the lyrical content against that to make the music a lot stronger."

And the future? "We might get more experimental or crazy with orchestra and shit. I've been listening to the soundtrack to the film The Fountain - it really touched me, and I really got into the musical element of that movie - I love the classical element mixed with the post-rock vibe. I'm really interested in seeing where we can develop and take those influences that are ever growing, into the next Funeral album." That, and some no doubt storming Australian gigs.

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