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Interview: Funeral For A Friend


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TNS caught up with Funeral For A Friend's Gavin Burrough (Guitar) and Richard Boucher (Bass).

Funeral For A FriendWelcome Home Armageddon’s sound has been described as the band returning to Hours or Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation. Was this a conscious effort departing from the sounds that the band has progressed to in other albums?

 Gavin: Yes basically. With the last two albums, there were elements of the band which we removed, maybe not on purpose, but we realised that there were things we missed about the band. It was a conscious effort to reconnect with the aggression and urgency of the first two records, but at the same time moving forwards which I feel we’ve been able to do.

 Rich: In the past, we’ve done a tour and played a show where people would be falling for the old material. What we wanted to do with the latest album was to make songs like those on the first two albums. We wanted them to have the same energy and be better so they were the songs that people wanted to come and hear and I think that’s happening now. The response is great and we’ve been getting messages from fans asking to play newer material. Mission accomplished.

The title of Armageddon reflects your own outlook on political issues in the world right now. Do you see yourself as a protest band, influencing your listeners to take action and do things?

Gavin: The music and the lyrics are quite separated. Matt has his idea and he writes all the lyrics, puts it all over the top and he’s quite a sheltered person who doesn’t tell people what the lyrics are about. He likes people to make up their own minds. There’s themes in the record, Welcome Home Armageddon says it all, but I don’t think it’s a call to arms as it were. It’s just a social narrative.

Rich: When Matt writes lyrics, it’s more about what he feels rather than telling you what you should feel and I think that’s enough for him and us to be artistically satisfied. We don’t need people to think the same, just to enjoy listening.

Gavin: I think the whole point is that people can take different things from it and I think if you tell people this is the message, it kind of spoils the fun for the listeners. It spoils it for me if it gets rammed down my throat.

The title’s quite existential too, being influenced by a friend’s view on life. What are you own ideas of life?

Gavin: Have fun, be nice to other people.

Rich: Can’t really argue with that. R.E.S.P.E.C.T. 

How do you think the departure of Darran has effect the band?

Gavin: He’s been with the band for eight years. There’s a big hole left there really and he was a great guy, but you’ve just got to move on and we never thought that we were going to stop. We assessed where we were and went forward with the members we’ve got now. We’ll always miss Darran but having him leave hasn’t halted our process.

Rich: We never wanted to replace Darran, we just wanted to get someone who would bring something different. We didn’t want to recreate anything, it’s just moving forward.

Romesh Dodangoda is the only producer you’ve stuck with, now recording two albums with him. How has it been working with him?

Rich: He’s like a friend because we’ve known him for so long. It helps because he’s grown up with us and he’s seen what the bands been through and he’s been close to that, not as a fan but as a person too. I think he understood what we were looking for really and what we were missing. We needed someone who understood that. We didn’t want someone who’d take us off the path, more like someone to walk along it with us.

Has he added anything that wouldn’t have been in the bands sound otherwise?

Gavin: In the respect of producing the record, he was in charge of making everything sound right. It wasn’t the way the songs were written. We had total control over it. He manipulated the sound and the record sounds great so we’re happy with that.

You’re in Liverpool tonight. What has been the best show of the tour so far?

Gavin: We had a little bowling competition, me Ryan and Richard. I came from behind and that’s how I normally do it. It’s just enjoyable of writing and recording, you’re always thinking of playing them live. It’s just good to see people’s reactions to the songs.

Who would you say is the best at bowling in the band?

Rich: We’ve not seen Chris and Matt.

Gavin: I can imagine Matt being quite bad. No disrespect to him but he’s not the sportiest of people. Anything involving cats, he’s very good at but there’s not many games involving cats. I’d say me.

Rich: I was getting my swing at the end of the game. At the end I was coming in at the rear.

Do you guys do many sports?

Gavin: Not really Running, is that a sport? I run but that’s kind of an individual sport. I run to go to the gym.

Rich: I swim.

Any personal records?

Gavin: I can run for like 34 minutes round my block.

Rich: I’ve got my thousand metre badge sewn into my trunks.

Who do you think has the best beard in music?

Gavin: Not me. I attempted to grow a moustache and it was a travesty. Zakk Wylde’s got a really good beard hasn’t he? With beards, big is beard. Platting it is a bit over the top.

Rich: Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top. He’s got a good beard.

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