Funeral ForA Friend are veterans in the heavy music scene, something hard to find nowadays drowned out by the wails of Ariana Grande or Biebs – it’s truly refreshing to see genuinely nice guys leading the way 15 years later.
Tip your hat, bow or curtsey for this chat with the guy behind the vocals and jolly Welsh-man, matt davies.
How’s it going?
‘It’s great! I’m just at home in South Wales which, contrary to popular belief, is very nice and sunny today.
Other than that I’m just on with some DIY bits, which I’m not terribly good at but I’m upping my game!’
What’s going on for you guys right now?
‘Our new record came out in January so we’ve toured throughout Europe and the UK in support of that so now we’re taking some time out. My wife and I spend our spare time fostering stray cats so we currently have about 10, 4 of which are ours anyway, the rest just tag along. Band-life has been quite full on, it’s been a very consistent workload the last few months so it’s nice to have a break – it’s giving us chance to balance our home-lives and not allowing the band to become a consuming monster.’
You have a tour coming up, how’re you feeling?
The mind-set of the band nowadays is just to have fun, I’m not saying we don’t try to impress people anymore, it’s more a case of not worrying as much, people know who we are and what we’re about. We can just rock up and goof around which is how it should be, we haven’t become too jaded which is good. We’re lucky to have the incredible following that we’ve rallied, people actually still give a shit! We aren’t in the public eye as much as we used to be, yet we’re finding a lot of kids are discovering us.’
Your gigs tend to be quite heavy, what do you love to see in an audience?
‘I love to see people letting go of their inhibitions, it sounds hypocritical cause whenever I go to a gig I’m the guy stood at the back but seeing kids between the ages of 16-18 rocking up and loving it is amazing.
When I was that age I’d go to gigs and let go of whatever had built up that day, week or month – it’s about letting the demons loose. It isn’t always about the madness, we’ve had surreal moments like couples making out in the front row to some of the heavier songs, whatever works for them! They must have their reasons.
We’ve dragged people on stage before now and had them make out to the heaviest material we have, I’ve split up a few couples that way.’
You’ve been going for 15 years, how do you keep things fresh?
‘There is no easy answer to this, I think it’s simply a case of us enjoying making music together, it inspires us. We always agreed that when it stops being fun is when we stop doing it, there was a time a couple of years ago where it got a bit close to the bone for that and there could’ve been an end in sight, it was a time we all questioned what we wanted out of the band… The last couple of years have been great, a real rediscovery for us, we showcased a lot of the lesser known bands on our music scene and it’s helped us a lot.’
What, in your opinion, is the best moment you’ve had as a band?
‘When our first record came out, we did a tour off the back of it and played the London Astoria which is sadly no longer there, it’s a 2000 venue which was totally sold out and we have a song called ‘Juno’ in which the middle is me singing alone; just before I started, I jumped into the crowd and was greeted by the entire place singing the words louder than I ever could; it was a beautiful moment, I teared up!’
What was the first gig you ever went to?
‘I think my parents took me to see the Bootleg Beatles when I was about 7/8, we went to see the Hollies too. I grew up surrounded by a wealth of music from my dad’s era. The first heavy-ish gig I went to see was the Manic Street Preachers, I’ve always had a soft spot for them.’
If you could play a gig with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
‘Technically we’ve played with some members, but I think it has to be a band called Far; they’re a band from the States who had records out in the 90’s which were so inspirational for us all.
Their lead singer had a solo project and toured with us but to play with them as a band would be incredible.’
If you weren’t a musician, what would you be and why?
‘I would work in a Record Store, I already do it part time and I did it before the band so it’d be nice to fully embrace that again’
What is your favourite song of yours and why?
‘It’d have to be a song called ‘Donny’ from the new record, it’s an autobiographical song about the summer I spent at home with my friends and my brother just cutting loose and exploring. It was the first song we wrote for the new record so it gave us inspiration to keep going and writing. It’s really wide-eyed and optimistic.’
See Matt and the other boys from Funeral for a Friend get Corp making out on the 3rd of June.
By Ellie Greenfield