Camden Rocks preview: Funeral For A Friend

Camden Rocks takes place on May 30 at over 20 venues around Camden.

This year’s line-up features headliners Bullet For My Valentine, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, Ginger Wildheart, Glen Matlock, The Dictators NYC, Heavens Basement, Black Spiders, Dinosaur Pile-Up, Turbowolf, Feed The Rhino and more. Funeral For A Friend vocalist Matt Davies-Kreye looks ahead to the festival, where his band will be playing three sets throughout the day…

**Last year’s ‘Chapter and Verse’ album garnered some of the best reviews of your career, and served as emphatic proof that FFAF are very much still a force to be reckoned with: what drives the band forward in 2015? **Matt: “I think fun is the main aspect of the band right now which is driving us forward. We’re getting a big kick in playing these songs both old and new.”

**It’s been 13 years since FFAF released their first EP, ‘Between Order and Model’: what do you remember of the band’s earliest days? **“It’s kind of a blur, I remember some of our first tours so vividly and other things not so much. It was an exciting time and it felt like we were on the crest of something pretty cool but in no way did we ever anticipate where the band would go and what we would go on to achieve.”

**A lot of bands have come and gone since you first started appearing on festival bills: what do you make of the state of the UK guitar music scene in 2015? **“I think it’s very much alive and kicking and working hard on its own terms. There are so many phenomenal bands out there that may not court the mainstream but they do what they do and do it fucking amazingly well.”

**Funeral have played countless shows in Camden over the years: for you personally Matt, what was the most memorable of these? **“One of my personal favourites was when we played both of our EPs back to back in the Barfly. It was such a great vibe with so much energy and those songs are still fucking rad to play.”

**Your forthcoming live package ‘Hours – Live At Islington Academy’ is a document of very special dates you played last year to mark the 10th anniversary of that seminal album: when you were putting the album (and DVD) together, what memories came flooding back? **“For me the biggest memories were of when we made the record and how special that time was. Working with Terry Date, being in Seattle and just immersing yourself in a scene of great music was so inspiring. I never wanted that feeling to end and I wish we made all the record we’ve made since there.”

**What’s the game plan for FFAF in the months following Camden Rocks? **“Tour, tour and tour. That’s all there is and all there will be.”

Describe your band’s current mind-set in five words. “Have fun fun fun fun.”

Funeral For A Friend play The Black Heart (4pm), the Barfly (7.15pm) and Dingwalls (10.30pm). For Camden Rocks stage times, visit the festival’s official website.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.