Chapter And Verse From Funeral For A Friend - Kris Coombs-Roberts Interview

Fourteen years after their formation in Bridgend, Welsh rockers Funeral for a Friend release their latest album Chapter and Verse on January 19. Known for packing punch and purpose into their recordings, the theme promises to continue with their latest release but on a new level.

 “Its sonically different to a lot of records you hear at the moment,” reveals guitarist Kris Coombs-Roberts, “ We wanted to go for a very live production and something that feels human and real as opposed to something that is been constructed in a laboratory by a computer.”

The band finished touring with their last album, Conduit, in October 2013; it was then a process of looking towards their next project.  “ We all play guitar everyday and we’d all collected ideas over a year,” says Kris, “ When we finished touring we all sat down and tried to work out what we wanted to do with them. We put them into a Dropbox as we had 20 odd ideas. We chose what we thought were the best out of them then spent two weeks hammering them out into songs and went down to Southampton in January and recorded them in two weeks with Lewis Johns.”

Melding gruff attitude with melodic choruses, Kris says the band wanted a live feel for their new album “Pretty much what you’re hearing is a live performance., no guitar overdubs or click tracks, we wanted to get the feel and the emotion of the songs as opposed to sonically perfect. I’m bored of hearing records that are flawless they don’t sound like they are been played by human beings. Back in the day when everything was going on tape it was about performing and playing well and getting the feel  for the songs right and that’s something we definetely wanted to capture.”

Kris is also keen that Chapter and Verse is recognised as an album in the true sense of the word, “It works as a body of songs, a complete piece of work, there’s some styles on there we haven’t done for a while. Slow-burners I guess, not balladesque songs but slightly slower and longer and more expansive, it’s something that I feel quite happy to have back in our sound. With Conduit we were all in a different place and wanted to make a very aggressive fast record. We wanted something a little bit more experimental and tangible.”

Prior to Chapter and Verse’s release the band will begin a spring tour with a date at Bristol’s Fleece on January 15, Kris emphasises that the bands relationship with their fans at gigs is important to them.  “Its important to go everywhere and play,” says Kris, “ As a musician the thing you enjoy more than anything else is writing music, but then its going out and playing to people who appreciate your music and then you showing your appreciation to them for buying your records.”
  • For more details about Funeral for a Friend’s New album and tour visit their official website
  • A version of this interview by Andy Howells appeared in The South Wales Argus entertainment supplement The Guide on January 9, 2015

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