Funeral For A Friend – Interview

Sunday 14th November 2010
Sub 91, Leicester

My first question was going to be ‘How’s the tour going so far’, but you guys are only doing 3 dates in the UK and then you’re heading over to Sweden. Are you just playing a few dates to get back in to it all before the new album?

Gavin: Yeah pretty much because we’ve been recording and writing for the best part of the year so it’s kind of getting back in to the live process, plus I use to play bass and now I play guitar, and now Rich is bass so it’s getting our feet back in to the water. We did Reading on Friday, which was really good, and then Swansea last night, which was awesome so tonight should be just as good I think because it’s all sold out. We’re then heading to Sweden hence the outfits; we’re all in preparation because it’s absolutely freezing over there.

This is then current look is it?

Rich: Ryan (Manager) actually has one as well but he wasn’t brave enough.

Ryan: I’m keeping it for best.

My next question is to do with the album. I’m just wondering if you could explain the situation to me because from what I’ve read on the Internet the album was available to download in September but it’s not actually physically out until next year?

Gavin: Basically, what we’ve been doing is we’ve been working with an online company called Pledge, where you basically pledge money from CDs to live acoustic shows in peoples houses, so we go in and record the CD and they get it afterwards. So we did that with an EP and then we’re going to do with the album as well, but that hasn’t actually started yet.

Bryan: It’s two different releases the EP and the album next year, two different things all together.

How did you come about finding Pledge and why them and not someone else?

Gavin: They approached us I think. It’s a new thing that’s really in its first kind of infant stages, but it’s been successful for other people that have done it. We’ve always been on the edge and doing different things where people can get involved, so we think it’s a really good thing; because you’re more apart of something where as you’d normally go to HMV and buy a record. You’re apart of the process for the album because we were doing video updates and things like that.

When your previous album was released, which was a collection of all your singles so far; Zane Lowe credited you as being one of the best British bands of the decade. How did you feel when he said that to you?

Gavin: I didn’t know. Thank you Zane!

Rich: Cheers bud!

Gavin: He’s probably right.

Do you do your own Twitter? The reason why I ask is because we were interviewing Brian Marshall of Alter Bridge and all his fans were asking why are you doing Alter Bridge and not Creed, and he kind of backed away from it. So A) Do you do your own Twitter and B) Do you find some of the personal questions too much and do you shy away from it?

Gavin: No I think it’s a great thing. I personally am only just getting in to it but Bryan does that side of things, and we’re in total control of our Twitter account, our Facebook account, MySpace and everything, and we try and interact with our fans as much as we can because in the last few years it has become a mainstream thing that everyone uses, and it’s a good way of communicating and keeping people posted on what we’re up to.

So you try to ignore the Internet trolls?

Rich: Haha, Internet trolls.

Gavin: There are a few Internet trolls; I know what you mean by them that are on there but there you go.

In the past there has been 5/6 former members. How do you think that has affected the band in a good way?

Gavin: Well good for me because I wasn’t an original member, and good for you (looks at Rich).

Rich: Yeah. The band is kind of like one big family because Brian was actually the original drummer of our old band, and me and Gavin played in it as well so its come together like an old family really.

Gavin: When the band started off there were members that dropped out but the man core of the band has still stayed strong. Bryan, Chris and Matt were the driving creative process behind Funeral For A Friend so we haven’t really lost anything, and hopefully me and Rich have brought an outside edge that we didn’t really have before.

New line up, new writing process; how is that different? I think you mentioned that you get together in a room…?

Gavin: Yeah pretty much. Everyone writes in the band so we all bring ideas that are roughly demoed, and then we all sit together in a room and Bryan has a little set up in his house where he has an electric drum kit, and we can plug our guitars in to the computer, so kind of demo from there and everyone adds their bits on. Then Matt comes in last and does his lovely singing over it.

Geek question. Is that “Guitar Rig” you use on the computer?

Gavin: I have used “Guitar Rig”, but I’ve got a little Pod XT Life and I plug that in to an interface and use that.

Aside from the new album release, what’s next for the band?

Gavin: Well we’re off to Sweden with Bullet For My Valentine, and Belgium and Germany so that’s going to be for the next 3 weeks. Then we’re back for a couple of days before we head off to Brazil, which is going to be amazing, because we’ve never been there before.

You might not want to use those (looks at their outfits)

Rich: Yeah it might be a bit hot.

Gavin: Maybe camo Speedos?

The video for Serpents, I watched it and I was like “Wow, that’s pretty sublime”. Who came up with the idea for that?

Rich: Ben Reed who is our producer.

Gavin: He’s been a good friend of mine for ages and I’ve seen his videos and they’re really interesting. He’s got a really creative mind. We’ve wanted to work with him for ages and it just so happened that we could pin him down. It just so happened that he came up with this weird, black sort of comedy idea.

Did you just go with it, or did you get involved and sort of say “Can we have this”?

Gavin: We just let him so what he wanted to do. He sent us over the treatment so we just let him do it. We just had to play dead for 2 days, which was the easiest thing ever, although not for those that had to hold us up.

It was quite convincing.

Gavin: Hollyoaks are going to be phoning me up soon.

You have a history of working with local people. You went with Romesh. What kind of drew you to his kind of work?

Gavin: He’s based in Cardiff and with a lot of the boys having family it’s easier to kind of get there rather than go off to America and do and album for a few months. We enjoyed working with him, he’s a really good producer and with sounds.

You’re doing really well, produce good music and have a hell of a fan base and yet the fame hasn’t really gone to your head. What’s your take on fame and how do you deal with it?

Gavin: I don’t think I feel famous at all. I’d be happy if I wore a mask every night I would.

Rich: Slipknot had the best idea I think.

Gavin: To be honest, most of us slip beneath the radar; it’s Matt who usually gets the attention when out in Tesco with his wife and kids going “Ahh it’s Matt”.

How does he deal with it?

Gavin: I don’t think he was totally comfortable with it when it first happened when the band first started but you kind of just have to deal with it. He loves what he’s doing so it’s not really a chor to have people come up to you and congratulate you.

What’s the best bit of advice you’ve ever been given?

Gavin: Wear a condom!

Rich: Don’t sh*t on the bus.

Not just musically but who has had the biggest influence on you personally?

Gavin: It’s really hard to pin down who you were influenced by but I’m more influenced by my friends and what they listen to. It’s the people you associate with, not specific bands.