Funeral for a Friend


Funeral for a Friend
Funeral for a Friend

Funeral for a Friend performing in Detroit, Michigan in 2009.
Background information
Origin Bridgend, Wales, UK
Genres Post-hardcore, melodic hardcore, emo
Years active 2001–present
Labels Mighty Atom, Infectious, Atlantic, Ferret, Join Us, Roadrunner, Distiller Records, Good Fight Music
Associated acts Hondo Maclean, Ghostlines, The Secret Show, January Thirst, Desecration, Moments in Grace, Attack! Attack!, Everfade, This Is Menace, Struck a Nerve
Website www.funeralforafriend.com
Members
Matthew Davies-Kreye
Kris Coombs-Roberts
Ryan Richards
Gavin Burrough
Richard Boucher
Past members
Matthew Evans
Johnny Phillips
Andi Morris
Kerry Roberts
Darran Smith
Gareth Ellis-Davies

Funeral for a Friend are a Welsh post-hardcore band, from Bridgend. Formed 2001, they have released five studio albums, five EPs, sixteen singles, one DVD, and one compilation album.

Contents

History

Formation and Early Years(2001–2003)

When Michael Davies, one of January Thirst's original vocalists, quit in December 2001, Matthew Evans (vocals) and Johnny Phillips (drums) invited Matt Davies (later Davies-Kreye) to try out for the vacated singer position. Soon afterward the band reformed as Funeral for a Friend, the name is derived from a song by Planes Mistaken for Stars, on of Davies favrioute bands at the time.[1]

During the start of the New Year they parted ways with second guitarist Kerry Roberts (Kris Coombs-Roberts's brother) and found a suitable replacement in Darran Smith (ex-Tripcage). The band recorded four tracks at Mighty Atom Studios for a proposed self financed EP with another Welsh band From This Moment On. Upon hearing the tracks, Mighty Atom Records approached the band and offered a two album deal, resulting in their debut EP, Between Order and Model (2002). Before the EP's release, Andi Morris (bass) quit, with Phillips and Evans also leaving. The band then recruited Gareth Davies (later Ellis-Davies) on bass and Ryan Richards on drums. Matt Davies became the band's only primary vocalist, with Gareth Davies performing backing melodies and Richards taking over Evans' screaming role.

In 2003, Funeral for a Friend recorded their second EP, Four Ways to Scream Your Name, produced and mixed by Colin Richardson. In mid-2003, the band secured their first Kerrang! award, winning the award for "Best UK Newcomer", beating The Darkness, who won in all other nominated categories. Funeral for a Friend's win was largely attributed to their fervent fan base, as the awards winner was decided by public vote online at the official Kerrang! Web site. In August 2003, Funeral for a Friend opened the Concrete Jungle stage at the Reading and Leeds Festivals.

Signing to a major record label and mainstream breakthrough (2003–2006)

On 20 October 2003, after recording for the duration of the summer, Funeral for a Friend's full-length debut album was released. Casually Dressed & Deep in Conversation, produced and mixed by Colin Richardson, was released to critical acclaim in the UK. The album did not see a concurrent release in the US (eventually released there on 13 July 2004); instead, a seven-track "mini-album", entitled Seven Ways to Scream Your Name, was released, and featured songs from the band's Between Order & Model and Four Ways to Scream Your Name EPs. In the United Kingdom the album received a Gold certification a year after its release on 29 October 2004,[2] which was achieved with a sales figure of over 100,000.[1]

Casually Dressed & Deep in Conversation saw three top-twenty singles including "Juneau" (#19), "She Drove Me to Daytime Television" (#20) and "Escape Artists Never Die" (#19).[3] Funeral for a Friend toured feverishly to promote Casually Dressed & Deep in Conversation, including a series of European dates in which they opened for their idols, Iron Maiden. This was met with a mixed reception, as their style and fan base bore little resemblance to the heavy metal background of Iron Maiden.[1] In 2004, the band headlined the second stage of the Reading and Leeds Festivals.

On 14 June 2005, the band released their second album Hours through Atlantic Records. The album was produced by Terry Date and was recorded in two Seattle studios owned by the grunge band Pearl Jam. The album featured unusual methods of recording, for example Matt Davies' vocals were recorded whilst in a moving car and on a crowded Seattle street, for the song "Drive". In August of the same year, the band won a Kerrang! Award for "Best British Band".

Funeral for a Friend performed several low-profile shows in Wales, including Bangor University and Bridgend Recreation Centre, prior to the release of Hours. This contrasted against their subsequent shows, which included playing alongside bands such as Atreyu, Saosin, Hawthorne Heights and Thrice on the 2005 Vans Warped Tour. The band also performed on the main stage of the Reading and Leeds Festivals, having to leave the Warped Tour early to do so. The band also played on the main stage of the Taste of Chaos tour in the US in 2006, alongside bands such as Story of the Year, Deftones and Thrice.

Funeral For a Friend closed the promotional jaunt for Hours in the Summer of 2006, with a series of UK shows rescheduled from February. Most of the original dates had been canceled because Matt Davies had suffered from a bout of laryngitis. Several other shows were scheduled in the UK to complement these rescheduled dates, and the tour culminated in a slot below headliners Guns N' Roses at the Download Festival at Donington Racetrack. The rest of 2006 was spent writing and recording the band's third album, Tales Don't Tell Themselves released in May 2007.

Tales Don't Tell Themselves (2007)

Funeral for a Friend mentioned the writing of this album during their UK shows in summer 2006 and they started writing and recording at the end of the tour. Tales Don't Tell Themselves was released on 14 May 2007 in the UK, having been leaked to the internet on 10 May 2007. The band released video diary updates of the recording on their MySpace page. On 19 March 2007, Into Oblivion (Reunion), the first single from the album, premiered on the Zane Lowe Show on Radio One. It was given a 7 May physical release, and the video can be seen and the song heard on their MySpace. It reached number 39[citation needed] in its first week of release on downloads and reached number 16 in the Official UK chart on 13 May 2007.

A selection of intimate shows to promote the album were played on 12, 13 and 14 April 2007 in intimate coastal venues in the south of England. Only 200 tickets were available for each show and these had to be applied for via an e-mail sent to members of the FFAF mailing list. Names were then picked out of a hat and the selected people were offered the opportunity to buy a pair of tickets to the gig, exclusive t-shirts were given to anyone paying using paypal mobile. On 8 May 2007 the band released Tales Don't Tell Themselves in its entirety for fans to preview via their MySpace page. This album is the first on which Matt plays guitar. On 10 May 2007 the band played another intimate gig for Kerrang! 105.2 at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall Bar, in which they played "Walk Away" for the very first time. This is one of the tracks which Matt plays guitar on live, alongside "Raise The Sail" and "The Sweetest Wave", which were debuted on the full tour in May 2007. The album was their highest charting yet, reaching Number 3 in the UK Album Charts.[citation needed]

On 16 July 2007 Walk Away, was released as the second single from Tales Don't Tell Themselves and reached number 40[citation needed] in the UK singles charts. It was announced in a newsletters that "The Great Wide Open" would be the next single and would be released as an EP. The EP, The Great Wide Open was released on 15 October 2007 through Atlantic Records, negating the release of the single itself.

Memory and Humanity and Your History Is Mine (2008–2009)

On 26 January 2008, drummer Ryan Richards made an announcement on the band's forum, stating that FFAF were to spend the first few months of the year recording, with a view of releasing a four or five track EP in March or April 2008. After writing more material than originally planned, the band decided to scrap plans for the EP and released a full-length album instead.[4] Ryan also announced that the new album would contain screaming vocals, riffs and would be closer to Casually Dressed & Deep in Conversation than any of their other albums, although would still be significantly different and more technical, citing that they want to move forward, and never back to any old style.

On 11 May 2008, it was announced via a MySpace bulletin that the band would be shooting a video for the first single from the album, "Waterfront Dance Club", on 17 May. "Waterfront Dance Club" was played exclusively for the first time on Radio 1's Rock Show[5] on 2 June 2008, where it was also announced that the single would be released as a double A-side with the track "Beneath the Burning Tree". Both singles were also released as a limited edition 7" on the same date.[6] The album's title was confirmed as Memory and Humanity by Rock Sound magazine on 30 June 2008, and that its release would take place in October 2008.[7] On 2 July 2008, the band announced the UK tour of Memory and Humanity, commencing 14 October 2008.

9 August 2008 saw the debut of the video for the single "Kicking and Screaming" on MySpace. Later that month on the 27th, it was announced that the band had licensed their new record to Victory Records for the U.S. and Canadian releases. The album was released via the label on October 28, 2008. It was also released via Roadrunner Records in the rest of the world, apart from the UK, where it was released through the band's own label, Join Us.[8] The release was followed by a tour in Britain, Ireland and northern Europe, supported by Canadian hardcore punk act Cancer Bats.

On 4 September 2008, it was announced via a MySpace blog post that Gareth Davies had left the band, to be replaced by Gavin Burrough (Hondo Maclean, Ghostlines, The Future). "As some of you may know, Gareth has been living in America for the past couple of years, and recently got married. Ultimately, the strain of travelling between continents has taken its toll and Gareth made the decision that it would be in the best interests of himself, his family and Funeral to leave the band. We totally respect and understand his choice, wish him all the best in his future and we thank him for being part of our lives for the past 6 years."[9] The first interview to surface with Burrough in the band appeared on the Rocklouder webzine in the week of the Memory and Humanity release.[10] In the 24 January 2009 issue of Kerrang! magazine, it was stated that the band were currently filming the video for the third single off the album, Rules and Games. The single was released on 23 March 2009. They will also be going on tour with We Are the Ocean supporting to coincide with its release.

It was initially revealed in Kerrang! magazine on 24 June 2009 that the band were to release a greatest hits album, entitled Your History Is Mine: 2002-2009 on 28 September 2009. the Compilation album was released by Atlantic records because the record deal between the band and the label allowed the Atlantic records to release a compilation CD at any point in the bands career. the band then decided to record four brand new tracks in order to give the greatest hits value to fans.[11] On 21 July 2009, Funeral For A Friend debuted one of the four new songs from the greatest hits album titled Your History Is Mine: 2002-2009. The song was called "Wrench" and premiered on Radio One's Rock Show with Dan Carter. Zane Lowe credited them as "one of the best British bands of the last decade" upon the release of Your History Is Mine.

Break from Atlantic records and Welcome Home Armageddon (2009–present)

On 23 April 2010, Funeral for a Friend announced on Facebook that guitarist Darran Smith would be leaving the band, but not before playing his final shows. He wrote a farewell message on the band's website.[12] On 26 April 2010, Funeral for a Friend wrote on their forum about their lineup change, paying homage to the departure of their friend Darran Smith, but also announcing the new member. Gavin Burrough changed instrument from bass to guitar, taking over Darran's place as guitarist, and the new bassist of Funeral for a Friend will be Richard Boucher (Hondo Maclean, Hurricane-Joe, Ghostlines). The band noted: "He's SO good on bass that we let someone with blonde hair join our band. That ought to be an indication of how great he is." The band stated that they are excited for the new material being made and can't wait to show the fans what they have: "The creative well, is well and truly overflowing. Exciting times. Stay tuned, and be ready."[13]

On 3 May 2010 the band announced that they will be releasing a special new EP to fans who "pledged" through website pledgemusic.com, the "pledge" options include the EP, a signed EP and even an acoustic performance by the band at a fan's residence.[14] On 1 July 2010 the band revealed that the EP will titled The Young and Defenceless and also revealed the cover art.[15] It was also announced via Kerrang! that the newly recorded EP would be released on 1 September 2010; however, in actuality, the downloadable version was released on 6 September 2010 with the physical copies being planned on being released sometime in the third week of October. On 9 November, Funeral For a Friend released a music video for the track Serpents in Solitude.[16] Towards the end of October 2010 they finished a session of recording for a new album for which a name and date were yet to be announced. On 2 November, they played two new songs, confirmed to be on this album (which was announced as due for release in March 2011), called "Man Alive" and "Front Row Seats to the End of the World". Another song title was confirmed as "Spinning Over the Island".[17]

On 10 January 2011, the band released the official video for the album's leading single "Front Row Seats to the End of the World" and announced their fifth studio album would be called Welcome Home Armageddon.[18] On 17 January, they released the album's artwork and track list[19] On 24 January, it was announced that the album was to be released by Good Fight Music, a move that would reconnect the band with the original label team that released Seven Ways to Scream Your Name and Casually Dressed & Deep in Conversation.[20] On February 9, the band released the video for their newest single, "Sixteen". On 5 March 2011, the band played their first ever show in South Africa, at the RAMFest in Worcester, outside of Cape Town alongside Alkaline Trio and Die Antwoord. They concluded their South African tour by playing in Durban and Johannesburg on the 9th and 12 March 2011 respectively.[21]

Welcome Home Armageddon was released 14 March 2011 in the UK and March 15 in the US. It was announced as a nomination for a inaugural Welsh Music Prize[22] however lost to Gruff Rhys' Hotel Shampoo.[23]

On 28 September 2011, Funeral for a Friend announced the release of a new extended play to be released in Novermber. The EP is titled "See You All In Hell" and it will feature only one brand new track while the remainder of the tracks are acoustic, live session recordings and remixes of tracks from Welcome Home Armageddon as well as a cover of Strife.[24] The band has expressed an eagerness to return to the studio and write the follow up to ‘Welcome Home Armageddon’ and they describe ‘High Castles’ as being a "good indication of where we’ll be taking things on the next record."[24] The release of the EP is accompanied by a UK tour by the band in October with support from Escape The Fate, The Amity Affliction, The Bunny The Bear and Straight Lines.[25] On 13 October 2011, Funeral For A Friend released a new digital single from the EP titled "High Castles", the only original track from the EP. See You All In Hell is to be released on 7 November.[22]

Musical style and influence

Funeral for a Friend have shown a progression and maturity with each record. Although their music has developed around post-hardcore[26][27] and melodic hardcore.[28] Their musical style has also been cited as alternative rock, emo[27][29] and screamo[27][28] as well as being seen as a fusion of metal, rock and emo.[26] Deftones, Iron Maiden and The Get Up Kids has been said to be their primary influences.[30]

Their earlier EPs and their debut album Casually Dressed & Deep in Conversation are considered their heaviest work, they have been categorised as post-hardcore, emo[31] and even screamo.[32] Their second album Hours is seen as being apart of the new wave of emo that occurred during the mid 2000's.[33]

While their next two albums followed a different musical direction. With Tales Don't Tell Themselves they use a more pop-rock and post-hardcore style with classic rock,[34] alternative country[35] and 80's heartland rock[32] influences. The album uses choral elements for tracks like "Into Oblivion (Reunion)". Their 4th album, Memory and Humanity returned to a more post-hardcore sound however adopted a more alternative rock influence.

The Young & Defenceless and their fifth album Welcome Home Armageddon saw them returning to a more aggressive elements of post-hardcore, combinding melodic hardcore styles.[34] However, it has also been noted that Welcome Home Armageddon incorperates more pop-rock inspired hooks and melodies.[28] The band and critics alike have said that because they released the two on indie labels they had more creative freedom from when they were signed to Atlantic Records. When Welcome Home Armageddon came out, critics were quick to compare and contrast it to Casually Dressed & Deep in Conversation.

Legacy

They have been said to be a prominent influence on the British post-hardcore scene, primarily with their debut album Casually Dressed & Deep in Conversation. James Ding of AbsolutePunk stated that: "...the album still stands tall atop of many recent releases due to the quality of the music on offer, and even though FFAF may have strayed from the style that started their career, this is still a landmark album in modern British rock music".[31] It has influenced acts like: Fightstar, The Blackout, Kids In Glass Houses, We Are The Ocean and Asking Alexandria.[36]

In the April 2011 edition of RockSound magazine, Funeral for a Friend were inducted in the Rocksound's Hall Of Fame, proving that they are living legends in the Rock/Metal scene.[36]

Members

Current members
  • Matthew Davies-Kreye – lead vocals
  • Kris Coombs-Roberts – guitar, backing vocals
  • Gavin Burrough – guitar, backing vocals (previously bass)
  • Ryan Richards – drums, unclean vocals
  • Richard Boucher – bass
Former members
  • Kerry Roberts – guitar
  • Matthew Evans – vocals
  • Andi Morris – bass
  • Johnny Phillips – drums
  • Gareth Davies – bass, backing vocals
  • Darran Smith – guitar

Discography

Studio albums

References

  1. ^ a b c John Harvey (8 February 2004). "Funeral for a Friend Interview 2004". leedsmusicscene. http://www.leedsmusicscene.net/article/2338/. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "BPI > Certified Awards Search". British Phonographic Industry. http://www.bpi.co.uk/certifiedawards/search.aspx. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  3. ^ "Funeral FOr A Friend Artist Official Charts". Official Charts Company. http://www.theofficialcharts.com/artist/_/funeral%20for%20a%20friend/. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "Funeral for a Friend official Site - News". http://www.ffaf.co.uk/index.php. Retrieved 24 August 2008. 
  5. ^ BBC - Radio 1 - Rock Show
  6. ^ Daily Dischord "Funeral Dance Club", June 4th
  7. ^ Funeral Reveal New Album Title: Rock Sound
  8. ^ Daily Dischord "Victory for a Friend", August 27th
  9. ^ FUNERAL VS GAV BURROUGH
  10. ^ RL!TV Funeral For A Friend
  11. ^ Lewis Abbey (2011-03-30). "Media Essentials Interview:FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND". Media Essentials. http://www.mediaessentials.co.uk/2011/03/media-essentials-interviews-funeral-for-a-friend/. Retrieved 2011-04-30. 
  12. ^ Kerrang! Funeral For A Friend to part ways with guitarist
  13. ^ View topic – A message from the band
  14. ^ Funeral For A Friend: New tunes. Get Involved | PledgeMusic
  15. ^ The Young And Defenceless
  16. ^ Funeral For A Friend - "Serpents In Solitude" Music Video
  17. ^ Warwick TV - Richard Boucher playing new Funeral for a Friend track "Spinning of the Island"
  18. ^ "Watch Funeral For A Friend's new video!". Kerrang!. 10 January 2011. http://www.kerrang.com/blog/2011/01/watch_funeral_for_a_friends_ne.html. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  19. ^ Funeral For A Friend: New album | PledgeMusic
  20. ^ Good Fight Music
  21. ^ http://www.ramfest.co.za/
  22. ^ a b Satvir Bhamra (13 October 2011). "Funeral For A Friend stream new track". Amplified.tv. http://amplified.tv/2011/10/13/funeral-for-a-friend-stream-new-track/. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  23. ^ "Gruff Rhys wins first ever Welsh Music Prize". New Musical Express. 21 October 2011. http://www.nme.com/news/gruff-rhys/59957. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  24. ^ a b "Funeral For A Friend announce new EP 'See You All In Hell'". New Music Express. 28 September 2011. http://www.nme.com/news/funeral-for-a-friend/59482. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  25. ^ Giberti, Jamie (29 September 2011). "Funeral For A Friend To Release New EP After October UK Tour". Rock Sins. http://www.rocksins.com/2011/09/funeral-for-a-friend-to-release-new-ep-after-october-uk-tour-11468/. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  26. ^ a b Aaron Burgess. "BBC - Wales - Music - Funeral For A Friend - Biography". BBC Music. http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/music/sites/funeral-for-a-friend/pages/biography.shtml. Retrieved July 4, 2011. "The band members themselves prefer not to be lumped in with emo groups, and opt instead for the simple term 'rock', though that doesn't do justice to their unique pop-tinted fusion of metal, rock and emo." 
  27. ^ a b c "Funeral For A Friend - Welcome Home Armageddon Album Review - Thrash Magazine". Thrash Magazine. 7 May 2011. http://thrashmag.com/reviews/content.aspx?id=12865. Retrieved 8 October 2011. 
  28. ^ a b c Alex Henderson. "Welcome Home Armageddon - Funeral for a Friend AllMusic". allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/album/welcome-home-armageddon-r2137372/review. Retrieved 8 October, 2011. 
  29. ^ Mike Sterry (April 30, 2007). "NME Live Reviews - Funeral for a friend". NME. http://www.nme.com/reviews/funeral-for-a-friend/8462. Retrieved July 30, 2011. 
  30. ^ "Funeral for a Friend on AllMusic". allmusic. http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:kjfrxq80ldse. Retrieved June 30, 2011. 
  31. ^ a b James Ding (6 November 2009). "Funeral for a Friend - Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation - Album review - AbsolutePunk.net". AbsolutePunk.net. http://www.absolutepunk.net/showthread.php?t=1112642. Retrieved 3 September 2011. 
  32. ^ a b Aaron Burgess (2007-06-25). "Spin magazines review of tales to tell themselves". Spin. http://www.spin.com/reviews/funeral-friend-tales-dont-tell-themselves-atlantic. Retrieved 2010-10-17. 
  33. ^ Nick Kearns (30 June 2005). "Funeral for a Friend on AllMusic". Leeds Music Scene. http://www.leedsmusicscene.net/article/4005/. Retrieved 8 October 2011. 
  34. ^ a b Raziq Rauf (2011-03-17). "Funeral for a Friend Welcome Home Armageddon Review". BBC Music. http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/vxrj. Retrieved July 30, 2011. "It seems odd to suggest that FFAF have started to sound like themselves again after the relative departure of their classic rock-oriented, Gil Norton-produced album of 2007, Tales Don't Tell Themselves. But it's close to the truth, as Memory... re-established the post-hardcore hallmarks that the south Wales clan had become famous for, and now the group has improved upon them further." 
  35. ^ Funeral For A Friend - Tales Don't Tell Themselves | album reviews | musicOMH.com
  36. ^ a b Pete Withers (11 July 2011). Darren Tayor. ed. "Hall Of Fame: Funeral For A Friend". Rock Sound (151): 44–45. 

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