Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Interview: Funeral For A Friend

As if one UK Tour in 2011 wasn’t enough – and it wasn’t! - Funeral For A Friend are about to set off on another. I spoke to guitar turned bass player Gavin Burrough about tour, the latest album and legendary crooner Tom Jones…

How has the touring been this year?

Great! The new album has been really well received, we have been playing a lot of new material live and it seems to be working well alongside the older ones. Earlier in the year we completed a mega tour of the UK, it was great to play some places we had previously never been like Saltash and Penrith.

Do you have a favourite stop on tour?

Anywhere that’s hot, has a beach, and waterproof money, ha that would be Australia then!

How do you cope with touring these days?

Im not sure the word “cope” really applies to touring for me. It’s never a chore to travel around the world meeting different people in different situations. It’s probably the most enjoyable aspect of what we do. 

Which tracks do you most enjoy playing on tour?

I suppose it depends really. There are certain old tracks that are always a staple of the set like ‘Juneau’, ‘Roses For The Dead’ and ‘Escape Artists Never Die’, they are always super fun to play. I probably just as enjoy the new tracks though, they can be more unpredictable because you are not sure how people will react to them. 

Funeral For A Friend have had quite a few line-up changes throughout the years, do you think this has had an effect on the music?

Well seeing as I am a newer member I’d probably have to say yes. The other guys have been doing this for over 10 years now, it’s not as though they had lost interest just maybe a little perspective. I suppose seeing how excited me and Rich were about the band kind of reinvigorated them and gave them that perspective. Both me and Rich had our part to play in the writing process, with different members brings a different dynamic. 

The latest album Welcome Home Armageddon has been labelled by some as 'Casually Dress & Deep In Conversation: Part Two'. Do you think there’s any truth in that?

Nah not really, it’s true that we were focused on bringing back a heavier, more intense sound that was represented in the earlier stuff. But we are not in the game to rehash versions of old songs. I think ‘Welcome Home Armageddon’ stands testament to this, having a clear defined sound of its own.

How was the recording process for ‘Welcome Home Armageddon’?

The album was recorded over the space of a month with our good friend and producer Romesh Dodangoda. We have worked with Romesh a number of times before, namely Memory and Humanity our fourth studio album, it was pretty seamless, picking up where we had left off before. It was nice to work in an environment where everybody was on the same page.

Funeral For A Friend have been around for a while now, what has been the highlight of the last 10 years?

For me it would have to be joining the band just over 3 years ago. It’s been an absolute whirlwind that which I could never have anticipated; the best years of my life. 

Have you had any regrets?

Nope, not a single one

You played Download Festival this summer, which bands on the line up did you check out?

We were pretty busy that day so didn’t really get to see that many bands; I think I caught a bit of letlive, they were awesome and I remember I was being interviewed, I could hear Down playing Walk – Pantera …I almost weed myself!

What do you guys do when you’re not making music and touring?

The band keeps us pretty busy, but for me, Ryan and Rich we have another band called Ghostlines which we work on. It’s very mellow and chilled out, the antithesis of FFAF I guess.

Wales has produced a lot of good musicians over the years, who are your favourites at the moment? 

Tom Jones … got to love that fella! Some great bands in Wales though at the moment Tiger PleaseStraight Lines, The Dead Wretched. I could go on forever! 

Do you think Funeral For A Friend will still be around in another 10 years? And what do you think you will you be doing in 2021? 

As long as we have limbs and mouths to make music we will still be here, barring some freak boating accident! 

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