Last updated: 05 July 2010
As Funeral For A Friend - now in a new line-up - prepare for the limited release of their new EP, The Young And Defenceless, we caught up with singer Matt Davies.
Tell us about the four songs on The Young And Defenceless EP - what can your fans expect? Well, the four songs we chose for the EP reflect and condense the overall direction of the band at this time. We've got some fresh new fuel in the engine and we've opened our eyes to what we truly love about our bands music for the first time in a while. I think we have to thank Gavin and Rich for that in some ways as they have really brought a new dynamic and passion to the table. I think our fans can expect a tour de force and that's just on the EP! When the album drops like a nuke next year it's gonna blow people away.
You've said before that the title reflects the way the world is going; can you expand on that?
There seems this casual attitude to the way our world is going both in terms of violence, politics and our environment. I mean, I see things being implemented and discussed by politicans and the like, telling the world how it is and that we have to change but it just isn't good enough. It's a kind-of back-handed hypocrisy and it's taken something like the recent oil spill to really shake people up and even then that probably wont be enough. I truly think that more needs to be done and looked at rather then living in comfort, safe in the knowledge that we're recycling our tin cans and plastic bottles and doing our bit. I feel we all need to be a lot more pro-active with the way things are being done; I think that's the force of real change but I fear it's all too little too late.
Where does the anger and passion in the record stem from?
Frankly man, I'm pissed at people, i'm pissed [off[ at laziness and i'm sick of people talking about how things should be done and then not following through not just in the music industry but in all walks of life and business. Everything is changing, it's the way of the world. It's evolution both on a social level and on an industrial level and we need to decide how to make it positive rather than it be the continuation of our downward spiral. There lies my passion and my anger.
How do you look back on the last eight years or so of being a band?
I think the whole world is changing on a social level and the way we communicate now is a lot different to what it was even eight years ago. I think that changes peoples' attitudes to things, even music. It's so readily available now and digested in different ways it's in danger of losing its power. I'm thankful that there are still people out there that support the bands that make the art and enjoy it, it's a pleasure to make music and know there are people out there that still have the right attitude to it and treat it with respect. Music is so special and effects us in so many ways and people should be made more aware of that.
Does it feel like the end of an era now that your guitarist, Darran Smith, is leaving?
Yeah it kind of does. Darran has been such a huge part of the band's life and its mechanics. It's gonna be weird seeing him ride off into the sunset but I feel we need to step up at take this band to a new level and Darran is fully behind it too. I think he's still gonna be apart of Funeral in some ways, he's not just gonna dissapear off of the face of the planet!
What's the story behind using Pledgemusic? Do you see it both as a way of closely interacting with fans as well as opening up a revenue stream?
I think it's important to understand the value of the people who are out there supporting you every day, the ones who love your music and what you do and feel connected to it. I think fans are a valuable resource for all bands; what would we do if we had no one to play too? No-one to share our thoughts with and no one to communicate too? Pledge has allowed us to be more in touch with the our fans than ever before and is allowing us and them the opportunity to share much more than just the music.
They get a unique insight into the workings of their favourite band and we get to experience what they feel about what we do. I think it's the way forward and is something we are embracing. It's also a new twist on an old theme that I've come across before in the hardcore scenes where bands would play shows and then accept pre-orders for their yet-to-be-recorded album; the money would go to pressing the record and then the person would get it once it was done. I think it's a cool idea and it's definitely making people think outside of the box when it comes to how bands can survive and continue to make music.
How can people get the Young And Defenceless?
People can get The Young And Defenceless and a tonne of exclusive incentives only if they get involved and Pledge for it (www.pledgemusic.com/projects/funeralforafriend/). It's a limited release in that regard and only the folks who get involved will recieve it.
And lastly, what next for you?
Well, we've got two amazing shows on 22 and 23 of July in Cardiff and London where we will be performing all of Casually Dressed for the last time in its entirety with Darran as well as headlining the last.fm stage at Sonisphere. Then we 're heading into the studio after the summer to record our fifth full length album and then touring with our friends in Bullet For My Valentine across mainland Europe in the winter. 2011 will be the year of the FFAF so you all better be prepared for it! Haha!