Funeral For A Friend formed in Bridgend, Wales in 2001, exploding onto the scene and later reaching critical acclaim after the release of their debut album Casually Dressed and Deep In Conversation in 2003. Their second album Hours was equally successful, and over the next ten years they have consistently broken the boundaries when it comes to creating an original rock sound. Last year they announced their impending break-up (to no doubt audible cries of fans’ hearts breaking!) but not until after one more tour – our ‘Last Chance To Dance’.
Split between two shows, they are returning to their roots and will play Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation on one night, and Hours on the other, giving the fans a chance to hear the music that introduced them, one last time. Just off the European leg, the band hit the UK this week (full tour dates here)
Frontman Matthew kindly took some time out for us to answer some questions:
Outcast Magazine: So….. what will you do now?
Matthew Davies-Kreye: Hard to say, I guess work would be the easiest answer along with getting to spend a decent amount of time with our families now. I think we all have different ideas of what we want to do musically so I have no doubt some new projects will be popping up in the near future.
O.M: We can’t wait to find out what they are! For “Last Chance To Dance”, what made you want to play Casually Dressed and Hours in full at these farewell shows?
M.D: I guess the nostalgia and the fact that both of those records have been staples for our fans since we first started. It just made the most sense. Hours is my favourite album out of our entire catalogue so I’m pretty happy to be going out playing that and Casually Dressed.
O.M: You are often described as “post-hardcore”, yet “emo” has always been associated with your music – would you describe yourselves as any particular genre?
M.D: We’ve never made it easy on ourselves with genres but I guess post hardcore is more the tag I’d lean to. I don’t see us as an emo band (not in terms of what I grew up with in the 90s) and we’ve never been good at keeping a pedestrian title like “a rock band”. So yeah, post hardcore suits me.
O.M: You’ve changed band members a few times over the past decade; how do you think you’ve kept the essence of Funeral For A Friend?
M.D: I think it’s predominantly down to Kris and myself. Between us we wrote most of the songs on the first two EP’s and albums anyway so I guess having that constant hasn’t really hurt us over the years.
O.M: How is the tour going so far?
M.D: So far so good, it’s been pretty emotional since we started out on the final tour back in Feb and now that the actual end is getting nearer the reality has started to sink in.
O.M: What is your favourite song to play at gigs?
M.D: It depends, it always changes. At the moment I’m really getting a kick out of playing “Alvarez” and “Drive”.
O.M: What was the most memorable performance you’ve had to date?
M.D: For me, the show we played last night [Sat April 2nd] in Cologne. The shows on this last tour have out shined most of what I can remember from the shows we’ve done over the years.
O.M: If you could have jammed with anyone in history, who would it have been with?
M.D: I’m not really good at jamming but if I could have had a chance to jam with Quicksand that would have been insane.
O.M: We have a few quick questions from our readers too:
Anthony says: Your songs are the poetry of entire generations of teenagers and adolescent idealism. What are some bands and songs that you listened to as teenagers that provided that same poetry for you?
M.D: As a teenage it was mostly punk and hardcore bands. Bands like Bad Religion, As Friends Rust, Quicksand, Snapcase, Boysetsfire, The Promise Ring, Shai Hulud etc. “My Life In The Knife Trade” by Boysetsfire always makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.
Sarah says: How have you found the music industry has changed now from when you started?
M.D: Well, it seems to be harder to have a “career” as a musician these days. The financial backing isn’t there and with how people digest music the revenues aren’t the same anymore. It’s becoming a more selective industry (especially in rock) but more and more bands are doing it on their own, self releasing their own records or teaming up with great indie labels to get the music out there.
O.M: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions, and our readers. Hope the rest of the tour is awesome.