Interview: Funeral for a Friend

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You’re about to release your 7th album, Chapter and Verse – how has that process been for you?

It was great – stressful but great. We collected a bunch of ideas throughout the summer and winter last year and typically for us, we spent 3 weeks before we headed into the studio getting them into shape which turned out to be incredibly rewarding.

How long does recording take for you guys? You must be pretty efficient now.

Well, Chapter and Verse took us a little under two weeks to record. Pretty much everything was recorded live with very few guitar overdubs and such. It was quite a liberating experience and very organic.

You’ve worked with Lewis Johns on this album rather than Romesh Dodangoda, who produced your last three albums. What inspired the change?

We aren’t afraid of change. I think we noticed the energy of the band was different once we started touring Conduit so the seed to find a new producer was planted pretty early on in the year. I’ve know Lewis for a while through Goodtime Boys and The Long Haul and was a huge fan of his production. I played my guys the last Sharks record and they really liked it so we decided to give Lewis a shot at making a record with us.

Has having Johns on board affected the process?

Definitely, he comes from the same scene of music as us and likes a lot of the same bands as me which is pretty invaluable in terms of sounds and vocal performance. He really wanted to capture the live, energetic rawness of our band which has always been something we’ve been chasing with our records.

Your records consistently take on their own sound and each is very individual. What can we expect from Chapter and Verse?

It’s a very raw, organic sounding record. Free from the overdone recording techniques. It’s the sound of a band in the studio playing without many constraints and having fun. I think some people might struggle with that a little but for me it’s my favourite Funeral record alongside Hours.

Your influences must change with every album as each is so different; who in particular has inspired you while making Chapter and Verse?

I don’t think the influences changed I think it’s the people affecting them that’s changed. I’ve always been into hardcore punk and the old school screamo stuff so that’s always what I’ve brought to the table. I also think the current line up leans more towards that energy than previously so that’s defiantly had an effect. We don’t want to rehash the same record over and over again so I think if you take out out third and fourth records everything else we’ve done is pretty concise and relatable.

Any thoughts on the recent U2 debate? Would you ever consider giving an album away for free?

Never, giving away something you’ve spent days, weeks, months, years toiling over is complete bollocks.

You’ve often been described as one of the best British bands of the last decade; who would you guys say is up there with you?

No one really, we’re pretty awesome….haha. Take That maybe?

Looking back on your career, what was the point that you knew you’d made it?

I’ve never really thought of making it, we’re self-employed so getting to pay the bills every month from what you love doing is a rare, if not stressful accomplishment.

What advice would you give to anyone starting out in the industry?

Don’t start out in the industry. Make music for yourself and make it because it’s fun and because it’s the only outlet you have for what you’re feeling inside. Then work incredibly hard at being good at it and if it’s meant to be, then good for you.

Chapter and Verse is available on January 19th. 

Ellie Vowles

Deeply unfashionable and chronically unable to take things seriously. A lover of travel, music, food and anyone who will listen to me talk about things.

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