Alive and kicking: the formidable Funeral For A Friend hit Komedia
Post-hardcore rockers Funeral For A Friend burst out of Bridgend back in 2001 and went on to record some of the brightest and bombastic albums of the noughties.
From the youthful emotive rage of Casually Dressed & Deep in Conversation (2003) and Hours (2005)through to the more experimental and eclectic Tales Don't Tell Themselves (2007), Memory and Humanity (2008) and last year's Welcome Home Armageddon the band has maintained a distinct FFAF sound despite a few line-up.
With the release of their sixth full-length studio album Conduit scheduled for January, FFAF warm up for their Vans Warped Tour UK appearance at London's Alexandra Palace with a show at Bath's Komedia tomorrow.
The Guide's Dan Biggane spoke to FFAF mainstay, frontman Matt Davies, ahead of their Bath Komedia show, to find out more.
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The Guide: FFAF has had so many highlights over the years but what are your fondest memories?
Matt: The biggest highlights have been getting to tour and see the world. I don't think any of us ever thought we'd make it out of South Wales. We've seen China, South Africa, Australia, Japan, Brazil, Mexico and a whole ton of other places in between and it's amazing to see how music just transcends cultures and languages.
What are your recollections of those early years when Casually Dressed put you guys in the charts and on the front of music magazines around the world?
It's all a bit of a blur, things happened really fast during the first four years of the band. We went from recording to touring to recording and back on tour again. I think what sticks in my head is writing that record and convincing the record label that we had enough songs to make a record (which we didn't) we then had a week to get some ideas together and that ended up being Casually Dressed.
Could you try and compare the FFAF of 2001 to FFAF of 2012?
Haha, older is an obvious one. I think we've learnt some hard lessons over the years the biggest is that we should have paid a lot more attention to the actual business side of being in a band. I think in many ways that's my biggest regret.
Over the years you've had a number of line-up changes but managed to maintain the FFAF sound. How have you managed to achieve this and how would you describe your music?
Umm, that's a tough one. I would say an eclectic mix of punk/hardcore and rock with a metallic edge? I think that would kind of get close to our sound.
Everyone that has come into the band has shared a fair amount of similar musical influences. We very much wanted people that we knew could add things to this band yet still keep it what it is.
So, if you could go back to those early days, what advice would you give yourselves?
Pay more attention to every aspect of being a band not just the music and keep a tight control over everything. Hindsight is a wonderful thing haha.
For this show you hand-picked local lads Landscapes to support. What do you think of Landscapes and their album Life Gone Wrong?
I love that band, ever since I heard their EP I really connected with the music. Hardcore and punk have been a massive part of my life since I was 16 and it's the music I listen to and get inspiration from the most so I'm always seeking new bands to listen to. Life Gone Wrong is a beautiful record, really brutally honest and emotive.
It's a spectacular record that we're all huge fans of, we're extremely excited that they agreed to play the show.
How would you describe a FFAF show and do you think your audience has grown with the band?
Haha, well, we try to keep everything interesting and honest. None of us really ever liked the pomp of massive productions. Just give us a stage and an audience and we're happy. In fact the upcoming UK tour was our idea to get back into peoples faces and just get up close and personal. We're a band that thrives off direct energy so that's important to us. I'd like to think that we've dragged people around for the last ten years, I do see new and younger faces in the crowds these days which is also rewarding, knowing that what you do still connects to a new generation of people.
What are your favourite "classic" FFAF tracks and which songs do you look forward to playing live?
My favourite 'classic' song to play is probably one that isn't a classic haha. I really love playing All The Rage. I think the songs we dig change from tour to tour but right now that song is a blast to play. I don't think we could ever get bored of those songs, they're a lot of fun to play and the way the audience reacts to them is incredibly special.
Can you tell us a bit about Conduit, album number six for FFAF?
I'm super proud of it and I think Conduit is our most direct record to date, probably the record that embraces the scene which we came from all those years ago. It's raw and honest with no sugar coating.
What brings you to Bath for this one off show?
Well, we're gonna be playing the Warped Tour show in London the day after so it was a the best option to play a little warm up show before we head off to play that. We haven't played a show since early September so it will be nice to clear the cobwebs.
Is anything you'd like to say to the FFAF fans reading?
Thanks for standing by us for the past 10 years through all the ups and downs and surprises, we still love doing what we're doing and we're glad that you're still behind us!
Tickets, costing £14, can be booked at www.komedia.co.uk/bath
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