Welsh hardcore-rock band Funeral for a Friend, now veterans of the British Hardcore scene, this January released their latest studio album Chapter and Verse. Recorded over a brief 2 week period with Gnarwolves’ Lewis Johns at the helm, Chapter and Verse holds true to the personality of Funeral for a Friend, whilst also stretching the bands sonic capabilities so as to not come across as ‘just another record’.
Approaching the band’s UK dates in January, I was fortunate enough to speak to guitarist Kris Coombs-Roberts about the latest release and upcoming tour.
The song The 1%, a hard hitting offering that FFAF incorporated into their Spring UK shows in 2014 was released 16 Nov 2014. On the single, Kris felt that it had been received well by the fans, adding that
‘Whenever we release something new there's always going to be divided opinion, I think the rawness of the production has surprised a few people but I think it's good to challenge people’
The 1% comes with a similarly raw and emotional video, playing on the subject of uniqueness in the song. Kris mentioned that the video was a collaboration between Matt Davies, FFAF vocalist, and director Ryan Mackfall who together came up with a visual representation of what they felt the song addresses. Check out the video below:
The brief recording period for this release seems to have been something the band chose to do, with Kris commenting that,
‘We wanted a stripped down production, to make a record away from what I guess is considered the norm.’
This method of recording provides what can be seen as a more authentic sound, a sound that represents the band in a far more honest way than a record that is long slaved over. Kris said that this was one of the key differences in the process of recording from the previous albums, showing the band’s willingness to push themselves and progress. On the subject of over-aching themes of the record, Kris summarised that
‘Thematically it goes from political views to personal experiences. Anything Matt feels passionate enough about to turn into lyrics.’
Kris went on to joke of the difference between Chapter and Verse and previous albums was that ‘it's got different songs, which is always a good start’. Overall FFAF have here set out to make an exceptionally honest album, with an alternative feel to anything they have released before.
When touring was mentioned, Kris seemed excited at the prospect of getting the album out to an eager crowd. With the success of the January dates this seems to have certainly been received well, as the late January dates in Germany largely sold out! FFAF will be returning to the UK in March for a string of smaller shows, including New Slang at McCluskys, Kingston. Tickets for this show are now available, as well as the chance to pick up both a ticket and a copy of Chapter and Verse for £13! Visit Banquet records for details and tickets.
Over the course of the January dates, Casey McHale has been performing as FFAF’s drummer in place of Pat Lundy, who left the band in late 2014. Kris however presented a entirely positive perspective on this, commenting that the band had not really changed with Pat’s departure. He also added,
‘We all love Pat and loved having him in the band, but he's moved on and we're all happy for him as I know he is for us.’
On a final note, with the a new year ahead I asked Kris to reflect on what his favourite release of 2014 was. He of course made an excellent choice in Gnarwolves’ self-titled album, which is an excellent record from a relentlessly energetic band.
Chapter and Verse is now on sale worldwide, and is a great listen for anyone who has followed FFAF or enjoys a varied, raw, and thought provoking album.