With recent album ‘Hours’ selling more than 60,000 copies in its first two weeks of release and a headlining slot on one of this year’s biggest events, it seems like life couldn’t get any better for this red-hot band. Impact spends some quality time with Funeral For A Friend.
They finally crash-land on home territory and mark the end of an amazing year with the full-scale, soul bearing ‘Taste of Chaos’ tour that has, literally, rocked all over the world. Speaking to Impact about headlining such a groundbreaking event in the UK, guitarist Kris Coombs-Roberts states, “It’s amazing to be on a bill with so many great bands, it’s unbelievable. The Used are fantastic, Story of the Year, Killswitch Engage, Rise Against…It just blows my mind.”
2005 has clearly been mind-blowing and career defining, a year that has helped Funeral For A Friend to put behind them the turbulence of a life-threatening illness that struck down vocalist Matt Davies. It seems that they have emerged bearing the scars of the past, which are displayed on the new record, and are now a stronger, more unified force. A force that’s ready to take on the world. ‘Hours’ is loaded with confidence and is seemingly a true representation of them and where their hearts now are. Kris adds, “Obviously there’s some kind of pressures after the kind of success we had with [debut album] ‘Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation’, but we just focused on making a record that we wanted to make. I mean, that’s what we always do with everything.”
The record makes a risky yet distinct departure from the safe-sounding, emo-esque qualities of yesteryear to a heavier fusion of hardcore, punk and metal laced together with poignant melodies. Kris speaks positively about the evolution of their sound as unforced, saying “I hate it when bands come up with a formula for songs and just fucking repeat it over and over and over again…it just gets boring and I never want us to be one of those bands.” He adds, “I’d like to be able to do this for as long as we possibly can and not cater to a genre. And I think as a result of doing that we’ve possibly lost a portion of our audience, but gained a portion.”
There is little indication of such a dwindling audience given the reception that they are receiving on tour. Playing to sell-out crowds nightly, it seems like Funeral For A Friend have made the right decision. Working with Terry Date who has produced records for the likes of Deftones, Pantera and Linkin Park certainly seems to have affected the band positively: “It was immense, he’s the coolest guy on earth…I wanted to work with Terry Date because Pantera are my favourite band ever and he did like the first four Pantera records,” Kris asserts. “It makes me laugh though when we read reviews about our record and they say ‘the overproduced, clinical production’, if they actually saw how we recorded the record then it’s absolutely laughable…Everything is as live as you can get.”
The latest single taken from the record, ‘History’, exemplifies the professionalism of production and demonstrates the wide-ranging qualities of a band usually noted for their raw and rugged sound. With a much more low-beat vibe, it demonstrates Funeral For A Friend to be more than one-trick-ponies. Showing their softer, more sentimental side in a poignant video depicting the 1980s miners’ strikes in Wales, Kris explains, “I think it’s just something that is close to everyone in Wales, as I’m sure it’s close to people of England…And you know, even though the song wasn’t specifically about it, the whole idea was about triumph over adversity…You know generally we do have videos and I think ‘Wow! That looks amazing, but I don’t get it!’ so its nice to do something that we felt strongly about.”
Funeral For A Friend are visibly head over heels with the success that’s flowing in their direction and with the ability not just to make music, but music that really means something to them, something which isn’t as easy for bands of today trying to break into the genre. Kris sums it all up nicely by claiming, “It was easier for us because we were at the forefront and we were the first wave of everything. I think now it’s harder for bands because I think it’s such a fucking oversaturated genre of music. There are so many bands, some are amazing and some are fucking terrible.” If the success of 2005 is anything to go by, Funeral For A Friend undoubtedly fall in to the former camp.
Interviewed by Amy Dyson