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Funeral For A Friend, Post-Hardcore And Reissuing 'Between Order And Model'

Tuesday, 12 November 2013 Written by Alec Chillingworth

Since their inception in 2001, Funeral For A Friend’s career has had its share of twists and turns. Releasing a genre-defining classic, ‘Casually Dressed And Deep In Conversation’, as their debut album was always going to be a bit of a grumble to follow, but with their latest record, 'Conduit', they have recaptured former glories.

The band will reissue their 2002 EP, 'Between Order And Model’, on November 18 and in April will take post-hardcore legends Boysetsfire out on the road for a short run of shows, during which they’ll play ‘Hours’, their second album, in full. Stereoboard recently caught up with frontman Matt Davies-Kreye to discuss the balance between old and new, the development of their sound and the state of modern hardcore.

It's been 11 years since you first dropped 'Between Order And Model' EP. Why are you re-releasing it now?

I don't think there's ever really a right or wrong time for anything. I just think that nothing has been done with that release in a long time and I was just curious. I wanted to have it on vinyl. I got in touch with Mighty Atom [record label] and they'd already had a go at remixing and remastering it. The songs sounded great, so I really got involved in that. Then I got talking to a mate of mine about it. He runs the Boysetsfire record label in Europe, and he was just like: “I'll have a word with the guys!”. They're releasing it over there. It just feels right to do it now.

The EP is rough around the edges, yet still sounds relevant today. What is it that gives it that timeless quality?

It's not contrived. A lot of the problem I have with music today is that it's always people just trying to copy something. Our band at the time, none of us liked the same things, musically. Kris [Coombs-Roberts, guitar] and I had a few hardcore bands that we were both into, but otherwise the whole thing had a bit of a metal edge. It came off the back of a band they were all in called January First, and so they were incorporating melody into these technical-sounding riffs. It was just all we knew.

I just came in and started singing and they just played and it all made sense. It just all comes from a place where there's no bullshit, you know? It's a pure place, and in terms of lyrics and content, it's all very open and universal. It's not trying to be what it is, it's all just very natural. I think that's always been something we've been able to carry on with our band for 12 years really. We don't really try to be anyone but ourselves. That's what I like about the record.

Pat Lundy, formerly the drummer for Rise To Remain, now plays for you. Has his playing style influenced your most recent album, 'Conduit'?

Not really. The songs were written before Pat joined the band, so he just played on them. It's definitely the most straight-up hardcore record we've done. There have always been metal influences in the playing style of what we do, it's always been there. But musically, the touchstones we relate to as a band are bands like Snapcase and Boysetsfire and stuff like that.

I'm not really much of a metal guy, but Kris likes a lot of Swedish death metal and all that. It's just kinda worked its way in. 'Conduit' is a really angry record, we were all really pissed off which is why it sounds quite direct, and I think it's really fun to play. The new stuff we're writing now is the first time Pat's been involved in the writing process, and I think people are going to be surprised with how un-metal it sounds. It's still really aggressive though.

Certain post-hardcore bands, like letlive., have been getting quite a lot of press recently. What are your opinions on artists like that?

I like the kind of bands who want to do something artistic. To me, music is art. It's an expression of everything you are, internally and externally, and it shouldn't be something that's too laboured over. So I like bands who are very natural and just go out there, wearing their hearts on their sleeves and doing what they do because they want to. Some of my favourite bands are Touché Amoré and Self Defense Family - I like bands that are straight-up. What you see is what you get.

That's what I really like about our band and it's something I really respect about our band. We don't dress up in costumes or have massive light shows or crazy pyro or stuff, it's just the songs that matter. I like letlive. and bands who are doing the scatty-hardcore thing. Glassjaw did it incredibly well for a number of years and I've got a lot of time for bands who play to their fans like it's the last thing they'll ever do. It makes sense.

Back in 2006, you sub-headlined Download Festival before Guns N' Roses. Obviously you don't play slots like that anymore. Do you miss it?

Honestly, I prefer playing the smaller shows. Intimacy lends itself to the feel of the band and I think that our music works better when it's condensed. The act of presenting the idea of a song is much more beautiful in a small space than it is on a big stage, playing to 10,000 people, half of which don't even know who you are. I'd rather play to people who care about what we do and feel the same way about our band that I do.

It makes the experience of a show so much more than just punter and band, it makes it like a family. I can't help the size of the shows or how many people buy the records, that stuff's all out of our hands. We always try to bring that sense of intimacy to every show we do. It's still the same band playing the same songs with the same intent. There's no sugar-coating it or presenting it in an artificial way. That's not what being in a band is about for us. For me.

Funeral For A Friend UK & Ireland Tour Dates are as follows

Fri April 25th 2014 - LONDON O2 Academy Islington
Sat April 26th 2014 - LEEDS The Cockpit
Sun April 27th 2014 - CARDIFF Cardiff University Students Union

Click Here to Compare & Buy Funeral For A Friend Tickets at Stereoboard.com.



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