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Funeral For A Friend

Matt Davies - Vocals
Kris Roberts - Guitars
Darran Smith - Guitars
Gareth Davies - Bass
Ryan Richards - Drums



“Casually Dressed & Deep In Conversation”
1.  Rookie of the Year
2.  Bullet Theory MP3
3.  Juneau MP3
4.  Bend Your Arms to Look Like Wings
5.  Escape Artists Never Die
6.  Storytelling
7.  Momemnts Forever Faded
8.  She Drove Me to Daytime Television
9.  Red Is The New Black
10.  Your Revolution Is A Joke
11.  Waking Up

Title Details
Catalog #: F048
Release Date: 2004-07-13
Format(s): CD

Hailed by NME as ?the sort of band that demand nothing less than complete and utter devotion,? FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND has already emerged as a phenomenon in their native Britain, drawing rave reviews and a rabid fanbase for their striking whirlpool of sound. ?CASUALLY DRESSED & DEEP IN CONVERSATION,? the quintet?s extraordinary Ferret Records full length debut, is loaded with remarkable raw power, informed by the full-gale force of hardcore punk and metal, yet infused with a poignant, provocative melodic sensibility. Tracks such as the anthemic ?Escape Artists Never Die? and the muscular ?Moments Forever Faded? flaunt a raging, revolutionary spirit that evades easy classification, which is exactly as the band intended.

?The rude word when we write a song is ?too,?? guitarist Kris Roberts says. ?We never say ?It?s too metal? or ?It?s too poppy? or ?It?s too rock.? We try not to limit ourselves, because we never want to do the same thing over and over and over again.?

Funeral For A Friend began life in the South Wales town of Bridgend. In early 2002, Matt Davies was invited to serve as second vocalist in a local combo known as January Thirst. The lifelong hardcore punk fan brought a more diverse range to the band, whose sound up to that point was one of pure, unadulterated speed metal aggression.

?I?d always wanted to be in a band that could play a lot of different kinds of music,? Roberts says, ?but I could never find anybody who could sing. They?re very few and far between in South Wales. So when we started working with Matt, it was inspiring. We were able to start writing tracks with melodies.?

?It just came together quite naturally,? Davies says. ?We had no ambition or idea of what musical style we wanted to fall into. We just seemed to write music.?

The change in sound warranted a change in moniker. Contrary to popular belief, the name Funeral For A Friend comes not from the epic Elton John classic rock radio staple, but from a song by Denver-based post-hardcore combo Planes Mistaken For Stars.

Along with the changing sonic approach, the line-up also was in flux, with Roberts? guitarist brother Kerry taking his leave, and the addition of guitarist Darran Smith. In March ? less than two weeks after Smith joined the fold ? FFAF entered Mighty Atom Studios in Swansea, where they spent three days recording tracks. Incredibly, the band had yet to play a single gig.

?We knew we were making some sort of noise in time with each other,? Roberts says, ?but we wanted to figure out what it actually sounded like, what worked and what didn?t.?

Upon wrapping up the sessions, the folks at Mighty Atom told the band that they wanted to release the tracks on their independent label. ?We were blown away by that,? Davies says. ?We knew we were making some sort of noise, but not a noise worthy enough to be released.?

Having found their feet, FFAF also began playing gigs at a furious pace, with both local shows and support slots with bands such as Sparta. In August, Mighty Atom released the ?BETWEEN ORDER AND MODEL? EP to near universal acclaim.

?There weren?t that many bands doing what we were doing,? Davies says. The only other band I could think of was Lostprophets, who had a similar sense of melody in their songs. But they came at it from a different end. We come from more of a proper metal, proper hardcore background.?

With the EP drawing raves from such publications as Kerrang!, FFAF set out on UK tours with bands such as Finch, Boysetsfire, and the Juliana Theory. In October, their Welsh brethren Lostprophets gave FFAF the opportunity to play their first major-league gig, supporting their Newport homecoming gig.

?That was our first big show,? Davies recalls, ?and I was fuckin? ill! I was so down with a cold, I thought, ?This is fuckin? not fair. I?ve got to go up on stage and sing, and I?m sick!? But we did it and it was amazing. I don?t think anybody knew who the fuck we were, but I looked out there and it was 2,500 kids just bouncing up and down. That show was a big, motivating factor for us. We were like, ?Come on, we?ve got to get going now.??

Thus inspired, FFAF booked their first full-scale UK tour, traveling across the country in classic DIY fashion ? beat-up van, no hotel rooms, crashing in freezing basements. They played anywhere and everywhere that would have them, thrilling the kids with their ferocious sonic fusion and exhilaratingly exuberant stage presence.

?We would go absolutely crazy on stage,? Roberts says. ?We would just throw ourselves around, having fun, and the kids would be like stunned, thinking, ?This band are really getting into it. They?re not just standing there and playing.? I think the live aspect of it really appealed to a lot of kids. We were bringing that kind of hardcore family vibe to small shows in the UK, where it wasn?t so common at that point. That?s what I really always wanted want to do, communicate with the crowd, make everybody feel like they?re a part of our family.?

FFAF kicked off 2003 by recording their second EP, dubbed ?FOUR WAYS TO SCREAM YOUR NAME? (in October 2003, a compilation of the two EPs was released in the US on Ferret Records as ?SEVEN WAYS TO SCREAM YOUR NAME?). In March, the band entered Chapel Studio in Lincolnshire to begin work on their full-length debut. The small town environment proved an ideal situation for the five musicians, allowing them to truly concentrate on the job at hand.

?We probably were at our most focused there,? Davies says, ?because there?s nothing else to do but focus on the music. The only thing to do there was the pub, a postbox, ten houses and a church. And that was it, really.?

The band spent much of the long hot summer of 2003 on the road, with headline gigs and triumphant appearances at some of Britain?s biggest festivals (including Download, T In The Park, and Carling Reading and Leeds). When they weren?t out playing to the kids, they were hard at work at a pair of London recording facilities, Miloco Recording Studios and the world-renowned RAK Recording Studios. Producer Colin Richardson ? known for his work with Fear Factory, Cannibal Corpse and Napalm Death ? led the band through three months of painstaking sessions, helping them craft the intricately textured chaos of ?CASUALLY DRESSED & DEEP IN CONVERSATION.?

?Colin is meticulous,? Davies says. ?He takes a lot of time over things. So when it wasn?t your time to do things, you?d be up and about, forgetting you?re recording a record.?

?At the same time,? Roberts says, ?we could understand where he was coming from. Because we wanted the same thing as him. We wanted the record to sound as good as it could possibly sound. But because Colin takes a lot of time doing things, when it came to the end, we were running out of time.?

Because of Richardson?s thorough approach, the sessions wound to a close without Davies laying down a single vocal track. The singer?s first turn behind the mike was literally on the band?s last scheduled day in the studio.

?It was ridiculous,? he recalls. ?I had about ten songs to actually vocal. It ended up taking six days, working from 10 till about 2 o?clock in the morning, with an hour break for lunch every day. Singing, singing, singing, singing. I became really anal about it. I was worse than Colin. He would say, ?That take?s amazing!? and I was like, ?No, I could do better.? I really put myself through the ringer. By the end, I had made myself physically ill. I exhausted myself, I caught glandular fever developed an abscess in my bloody throat, because of straining my voice. I ended up in hospital for about a week and a half. I almost croaked!?

The resulting ?CASUALLY DRESSED & DEEP IN CONVERSATION? proved to be worth the effort and then some. The album reverberates with passionate intensity, in both sonic strength and emotional resonance. Songs such as ?Juneau? and ?She Drove Me To Daytime Television? seethe with an uncompromising abandon, while also evincing a sense of uncommonly melodic songcraft. Much of the music?s power comes from Davies? throat-wrenching vocals and darkly affecting lyrics, which he describes as being about ?everything and nothing, all at the same time?

?It?s all about growing up,? the singer says. ?About seeing beyond the boundaries. When I was younger, the world didn?t exist outside of my town. Then as you get older, your boundaries get further and further and further, and you see things and you explore things that affect you as a person. It works its way into your head, you know??

Rather than simply playing to their faithful, the band followed the release of ?CASUALLY DRESSED & DEEP IN CONVERSATION? by making a concentrated effort to win over new fans. In September 2003, they set out on their first US trek, which they followed by traveling across Europe as support on Iron Maiden?s 2003 ?Dance Of Death? Tour. 2004 was kicked off in high style, headlining the annual NME Awards Tour roadshow alongside such disparate artists as Franz Ferdinand, the Rapture, and the Von Bondies.

?What?s the point of preaching to the converted?? asks Roberts. ?I don?t think there?s any band on the face of the planet who everybody likes. There?s always going to be some people who like what you do, and some people who don?t. For those who do like it, it?s fantastic and we look forward to playing to them. The ones who don?t, we don?t really give a fuck, but we look forward to playing to them as well.?

Now the time has come for Funeral For A Friend to confront American audiences with the sharp shock of their unbridled energy and idiosyncratic rock n? roll noise. Ambitious, aggressive and altogether awe-inspiring, ?CASUALLY DRESSED & DEEP IN CONVERSATION? is the sound of a pragmatic, progressive young band that proudly exists between the extremes.

?I want to challenge people,? Davies says, ?I want us to shake things up. I want us to prove that we are able and capable of doing so much. We are fucking good at what we do.?


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