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Interview – Gav Burroughs, Funeral for a Friend – May 2013

| 27 June 2013 | Reply

By Shane Pinnegar

Gav Burrough F4AF 01

Originally published in Xpress Magazine’s 15th May 2013 issue:

FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND

Funeral For A Friend guitarist Gav Burroughs is enjoying a day wandering around Brisbane when he calls SHANE PINNEGAR to talk about their shows at Amplifier in Perth on Friday 17th May and Bunbury’s Prince Of Wales Saturday 18th May, and says he’s glad the band have returned to their hardcore roots on their sixth studio record Conduit.

“Well I think we sort of went back to our old albums,” said the guitarist, “and all the hardcore bands we grew up listening to and that influenced the way the album sounded. It’s more aggressive than our most recent albums. I think it’s because we just wanted to reignite that passion for the sort of music we grew up listening to. “

Funeral For A Friend have been a band for over ten years now, with Burroughs joining on bass in 2008, before switching to guitar in 2010. He says it strange playing bass at all to start with.

“It was weird for me to play bass at the start because I never really played bass that much. The boys kind of just knew me as a friend and thought I’d fit in with the band as a person, so I kind of just winged it really with the bass, and when I came to play guitar I felt a lot more comfortable.

“Was there any getting the bass and guitar parts mixed up live? No, none of that – that would be weird!” he laughs.

Burroughs says West Aussie audiences can expect high energy shows this weekend.

“We just like to kind of get as much crammed into our show as possible and have a good time, and hopefully everyone else can have a good time in the process.”

Conduit features a striking piece of cover art created by Welsh artist Snowskull, aka Matthew Evans, a former singer from the band’s early days.

“We’re all friends,” explains Burroughs, “he’s doing pretty well with his artwork and it just came up in conversation like, ‘why don’t you do something for the album artwork’. I think it’s really [cool] having something very unique and it’s like almost organic coming from somebody who’s actually [been] in the band and associated with it, and with us going back to those roots musically too.“

The album – tour – album – tour slog is well underway for the band, with the European festival circuit on the calendar after their Australian tour, a smaller venue UK tour early next year, followed by a possible visit to Japan and then launching into the next album. So is all this running round and round on the treadmill a chore?

“Yeah, [it’s a] never ending cycle!” laughs Burroughs. “[But] It’s just a process. For me being in a band isn’t a chore, it’s the dream. I think we all really appreciate it. I think there are different aspects that can be negative, it’s not all positive. Touring and stuff, you miss people back home, your wife or girlfriend and your family and stuff, but there are definitely more positives than there are negatives. Personally I enjoy all aspects of touring and recording, everything.”

Just as well, as it looks like Funeral For A Friend are going to stay busy for the foreseeable future!

Gav Burrough F4AF 02

And here’s the full transcript of the interview:
100% ROCK: So you’ve got a day off today then?

Gav: No, we’ve got a show later on the Gold Coast, so we’re just off to get some sun.

100% ROCK: Cool, cool, so we’re looking forward to you getting over to West Australia mate, what can we expect from your shows here?

Gav: Just live, energetic shows here. We just like to kind of as much crammed into our show as possible and have a good time, and hopefully everyone else can have a good time in the process.

100% ROCK: Absolutely. So you’ve got a new album out, Conduit, how were the recording sessions for that?

Gav: Yeah, it was good. We’ve done the last couple of albums [together] so we all know how to work with each other now and its really easy so it’s kind of laid back, we just kind of get in there and it just came together pretty quickly.

100% ROCK: What sort of inspiration did the band draw from for this album?

Gav: Well I think we sort of went back to our old albums and all the kind of hardcore bands we grew up listening to and I think that kind of influenced the way the album sounded, its more aggressive than our most recent albums – well, all our albums. I think it’s because we just wanted to do something a little bit different and reignite that passion for the sort of music we grew up listening to.

Funeral For A Friend 01

100% ROCK: Yeah, I’ve had a quick listen and it seems to me you’ve gone back to the essence or the roots of the band.

Gav: Yeah, definitely. We’ve been a band for over ten years now, it’s good to try different things, but I think we know now what we’re about and Conduit is just kind of a very short, sharp kind of version of that.

100% ROCK: So how do you rate the album next to the rest of the band’s catalogue?

Gav: Well, you’re only as good as your most recent work so, yeah it’s right up there! We all feel that it kind of best represents the band where we are at now, and that’s all we can ask for. The kind of albums we’ve done in the past have been received really well, some not so well, so at the moment we feel like this is where we are at as a band at the moment.

100% ROCK: And Pat Lundy on drums now, how has he fit in with the sound of the band, has he helped you take it back to that rawer sort of a sound?

Gav: Yeah I think with Pat’s kind of drumming style just lends itself to our sort of short, sharp, aggressive kind of sound and it’s great having him on the album.

100% ROCK: So now, getting back to Conduit, the cover art is pretty radical. What does the artwork mean to you and the band?

Gav: It’s actually done by a guy called Matthew Evans who is a singer from the band’s early days.

100% ROCK: Yeah I saw that.

Gav Burrough F4AF 03

Gav: And er… we’re all kind of friends and stuff, he’s doing pretty well with his artwork and stuff [Evans creates art under the name Snowskull], and just saw one of his paintings being drawn and it just come up in conversation like, why don’t you do something for the album artwork. I think it’s really sort of… all our album artwork has been a bit generic, [so] having something very unique and it’s like almost organic coming from somebody who’s actually [been] in the band and associated with it, and with us going back to those roots musically too… Yeah, there’s a lot of different things you can read into the artwork, and I think it looks cool.

100% ROCK: Yeah it’s definitely striking, very cool. You joined the band in 2008 on bass and then you switched over to guitar in 2010, was it weird playing some songs on guitar that you used to play on the bass?

Gav: Not really. It was weird for me to play bass at the start because I never really played bass that much. The boys kind of just needed me as a friend and thought I’d fit in with the band as a person, so I kind of just winged it really with the bass, and when I came to play guitar I felt a lot more comfortable.

100% ROCK: So there was no awkward moments when you were playing live on stage and you start a bass riff instead of a guitar riff or anything like that?

Gav: No, none of that. [laughs]

100% ROCK: That would be weird.

Gav: Yeah it would be!

Funeral For A Friend 03

100% ROCK: After touring for Conduit, I think you’ve got a bunch of US dates you’re off to next?

Gav: No, we’re doing a lot of festivals in Europe and in the UK, so that’s all we’re concentrating on after we get back from Australia.

100% ROCK: And after that round of the summer festivals over in Europe, what’s next for Funeral for a Friend? Is it just album – tour – album – tour?

Gav: Yeah, well we start a smaller tour in the UK early next year, we’re going to go back and do the bigger shows and stuff and get back out to Europe to do smaller venues early on next year, and I think maybe go back to Japan and then we’ll be writing a new record then afterwards, early next year. Hopefully back to Australia soon.

100% ROCK: So it’s just round and round on the treadmill?

Gav: Yeah, never ending cycle!

100% ROCK: When you’re touring for months on end and then its back to the studio, write and record, and then back out touring again, is it a bit of a chore, or is it a big party, or is it just an opportunity to explore the world?

Gav: It’s just a process, for me being in a band isn’t a chore, it’s the dream. I think we all really appreciate it. I think there are different aspects that can be negative, it’s not all positive. Touring and stuff, you miss people back home, your wife or girlfriend and your family and stuff, but there are definitely more positives than there are negatives. Personally I enjoy all aspects of touring and recording, everything.

100% ROCK: Excellent, now you put a lot of effort into your video clips, the clip for Nails was great, but I’d imagine that wasn’t a lot of fun standing around getting paint thrown at you all day long?

Gav: Oh mate, it was horrendous. You can’t tell on the video but it was absolutely freezing. It was about three or four degrees that day and we were shivering with no heating in there whatsoever and we were just standing there getting freezing cold paint thrown at us. It was character building, that’s for sure.

100% ROCK: You’re suffering for your art.

Gav: Yeah.

100% ROCK: Well the end result makes it kind of worthwhile really, it’s really very striking. So, if you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording of any one album in history, which would you choose?

Gav: Guns n’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction.

100% ROCK: Nice one. What does that record mean to you?

Gav: It’s the record that got me into rock music and live music and bands and stuff, when I was growing up. I used to play in my front room with a tennis racket pretending I was Slash. You never forget those sorts of albums. You imagine it was yesterday.

100% ROCK: What does music mean in your life?

Gav: Well I suppose it’s everything to me. When I wake up that’s what I think about, first & last, and as well as being interested in music in general, different bands and different genres, I suppose without music I wouldn’t be the person I am today, no way.

100% ROCK: Excellent, well look thanks very much for your time mate, and good luck with the rest of the tour.

Gav: Nice one.

100% ROCK: Have a good day in Brizzy.

Gav: Tarah!

 

Shane

Category: Interviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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