Interview with Funeral For A Friend: Entering A New Chapter

Funeral For A FriendWelsh fivesome Funeral For A Friend has been around for nearly eight years, was signed to Atlantic Records, and was one of the first bands to sport that emo hair swoop across their foreheads. Now the band has just released their fourth album, Memory And Humanity, on their own record label in the U.K. and through Victory in the U.S., and mostly chopped off their swoops. Singer Matthew Davies discusses the upcoming tour, the new record, and why his band likes to make people cry.

What does your set list look like for this tour?

Everything, really. As much as you’d kind of want to play more new stuff, you have to be democratic and diplomatic and realize there are people there to see who might not necessarily have seen you before or had the opportunity to see the old stuff live. So we try to mix it up as much as we can.

Are there any old songs you just don’t want to play anymore?

It depends. We revolve a lot from tour to tour so we pull out and play different ones all the time. We mix it up to make it more interesting for us as well as the audience. I think there are some that we’ve never not played, but fortunately for us when you have an audience getting into the songs and knowing the words and singing them back to you all your bad feelings get wiped off the face of the Earth and you think it’s the best moment ever. It doesn’t matter really.

Have you found that making records has gotten
easier or harder over the years?

It depends what mood we’re in I think. Sometimes the influences around you make it difficult. We felt that with our third album. The whole too many cooks things. We had the involvements of management and the record label quite heavily on the third record and we felt like we were getting lost in the translation somewhere. The new record was definitely a lot easier compared to that record. It is getting a little easier because we know where we are as a band, where we are as writers, as people. We’re very comfortable with ourselves as people, with our situations, our environments. We’re very settled on a personal level. I think that makes it easier on the creative level.

At what point when making the new album did you sign with Victory?

Right towards the end, really. We have our own record label that we set up in the U.K. and we released the record here ourselves. So we own the record. We were looking at labels around the world to license the record to. Labels we felt strongly would work for the record and believe in the record strongly and believe in the band. Being fans of the old Victory bands like Snapcase and Boysetsfire and all the obscure ones in between that people who are into Victory these days might not even know about, it was a cool idea to have Victory put it out in the States. They’ve been a big part of our musical education, in a way, over the years, so it was kind of nice. Now we’ve been a big part of the U.S. independent scene—we were on Ferret and now we’re on Victory.

Does that mean you had a lot of control over this record while making it?

We had 100 percent control. Not to say we didn’t get that in the past, we’ve always been a very stubborn band to the point where people at our record label were always crying. We made people at a major record label cry.