With a mammoth tour of the UK’s dives approaching and a brand new album (their fifth!), Funeral For A Friend are taking this year by the scruff of its neck. It was only reasonable to ask drummer Ryan Richards some stuff about it all
19 dates? That’s surely one of the longest UK tours you’ve done for a while?
It’s a hefty one alright. We’ve been talking about adding a few more dates as well so it may just end up extending even further – possibly into the longest UK tour we’ve ever done. With the new lineup and new album – it feels like the perfect time to do it.
Also, they’re smaller shows than you’re used to playing. Why have you decided to do this?
Just so we can get the more intimate vibe to really get across the renewed energy of the new record and the new lineup, and also the life breathed back into some of the older material too. There’s nothing quite like a room packed full of sweaty fans hanging from the rafters to get the adrenalin going.
You’re taking the resolutely metal youngsters, Rise To Remain on tour with you. Are you planning on out-metalling or out-partying them?
We’ve just actually come back from sharing a bus with them for a month on tour in Europe with Bullet For My Valentine. To be honest the craziest nights involved Swiss chocolate and episodes of The Apprentice from back home. They’re a pretty chilled out band off stage, but they definitely bring it onstage and will definitely keep us on our toes which is great for us, and the fans.
Tell us about the PledgeMusic stuff that you did earlier this year.
In a nutshell – we tried to make the EP we did (The Young and Defenceless) as interactive as possible, to the point where fans actually came along to sing backing vocals on the CD itself and a bunch had their name in the thanks list of the CD. It’s just about making it a group effort really between us and the fans, involving them as much as we can, and rewarding them with a great set of songs and making purchasing music exciting and viable again.
How’s the new album come along?
Completely done and dusted. I was actually sitting listening to it this morning, feeling very smug and pleased with myself. It’s the record that I believe every FFAF fan wants to hear from us, and has been waiting to hear from us for a long time.
What’s it called [they’ve told us it’s called Welcome Home Armageddon now] and what’s it about?
We’re not able to let that slip just yet as we want to reveal it with the artwork and everything else around it, but it’s kinda got a theme to it. Don’t worry, it’s not another one about fishermen though!
How have the new boys from Hondo Maclean fitted in?
It’s been really easy and naturally for me personally as I was the original drummer in Hondo Maclean and for the fact that I’ve also been writing music with Rich and Gav for the last few years in Ghostlines. We’ve all grown up as friends, all of us in the band, so it’s been a very easy transition and they’ve both brought a fresh vision and excitement to the band.
Do you find it weird that rock journalists are still referencing Elton John in FFAF articles, almost a decade after they (we) first started doing it?
We love it. Elton is a god. Much rather reference him than some band I’ve never heard in my life, like the references we got when we first started.
Funeral For A Friend release their new album Welcome Home Armageddon on 14 March 2011 and give away the song in that video up there, ‘Front Row Seats To The End of The World’ on 24 January 2011. That’s today if you’re reading this in a timely fashion. Then they’re going on tour. Awesome.
Funeral For A Friend March/April 2011 tourdates (w/ Rise To Remain)
16 Aberystwyth Arts Centre
17 Buckley Tivoli
18 Penrith Leisure Centre
19 Edinburgh Bongo Club
20 Glasgow King Tuts
22 Bury St Edmonds Apex
23 Birmingham Academy 2
24 Manchester Academy 3
25 London Relentless Garage
27 Liverpool 02 Academy
28 Stoke Sugarmill
29 Wakefield Black Flag
30 Durham Live Lounge
01 Poole Chords
02 Saltash Livewire
03 Wycombe Academy
05 Brighton Concorde 2
06 Coventry Kasbah
07 Gloucester Guildhall