LISTED Interview with Funeral For A Friend

Ok, I promised you some of the interviews that I’ve done, and this was my first professional interview that ended up being published on the Listed website. Here, I’m interviewing Darran Smith from the Welsh post-hardcore band Funeral For A Friend before their 2008 UK tour last October and the release of their fourth album. Enjoy!

You’re gearing up to release your 4th studio album [Memory And Humanity] on the 5 year anniversary of your debut album Casually Dressed & Deep In Conversation. What’s the atmosphere like now?

Darran Smith (guitars): Really excited! We’re really looking forward to the new record coming out and people hearing it.

On the new album, you focus on issues such as Rock and Emo music being targeted for teen suicides. How have you answered to these wild accusations?

Smith: Matt (Davies-Kreye, Vocalist) really approached it lyrically with how we don’t agree with people looking for scapegoats or something to blame it on. Ozzy Osborne, Judas Priest, even Elvis, all these bands have been met with accusations of their music being evil. It’s gone on for a long time when in actual fact music can be such a saviour to a lot of people. Music isn’t “evil”. Music doesn’t make people do things. People make people do things.

Gareth (Ellis-Davies, bassist) recently left the band to be with his family in America. How are you dealing with the departure of such a long term member of the band?

Smith: It’s pretty sad, we were all surprised but we understood his reasons. We’ve all been together for 6 years, and it’s been 6 really great, fun years! He’s still a great friend, and we’re still in touch, but we just have to look to the future.

Do you think your new bassist, Gavin (Borrough, ex-Hondo McLean), is going to have a tough time filling his shoes?

Smith: We had auditions originally, and we’ve rehearsed quite a bit since then. He isn’t Gareth, but then no two people are exactly the same! It’s the next step for us, you know? We’re just looking forward to carrying on from where we left off.

So, on the upcoming tour you have a very varied support line-up. What prompted such varied choices from your own style?

Smith: We’ve always been of the opinion of nobody really wants to watch a whole night of bands that sound exactly the same. We always like to have varied line-ups. It makes for an all-round more interesting show. Attack! Attack! are a great new Welsh band that we’re friends with, and Cancer Bats are kind of aggressive metal, hardcore band and their latest record is amazing! And In Case Of Fire are a new Irish band, who are about to break through fairly soon. They have a post-hardcore, At The Drive-In angst with a Muse edge. That kind of variation makes for an exciting bill.

Do you have anything different or special lined up for the upcoming tour?

Smith: There’s obviously going to be songs off the new record, but we’ll be digging into the Funeral vaults for some old songs that we haven’t played since the Casually Dressed days, so there could be a couple of those gems there as well.

What are the plans for the future after this big tour?

Smith: After the UK, we’ll do some shows in Europe, and we’ve got a bunch of Welsh shows in December. It’s pretty much work, work, work really! We want to promote the new album, and get as many people as possible listening to it and hopefully enjoying it. We’re proud of it, and confident that it will deliver the goods!

If you had to pick a song as your favourite to perform live, which would it be?

Smith: Probably Escape Artists Never Die (from Casually Dressed…). It’s a song we’ve been playing from day one, and I think it encapsulates everything that we do. I’ve always, and still do, love playing that song!

What song would you most like to perform as a cover?

Smith: ANY song? That’s quite a tough one! I’d really love to do Photograph by Def Leppard, but Matt has always shied away from it because the vocals in it are so high! But who knows? Matt might decide one day to say “Hell, I’ll give it a shot”!

As Pubslished on


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