Shazam Meets… Funeral Party
Funeral Party may be from California, but their music definitely has a global appeal. From their early days playing raucous parties in neighbour’s back yards to their current swathe of international tours, the band continue to go from strength to strength. A packed live schedule has seen the group play shows at most European festivals, a US tour with come-back kings Panic! At The Disco and a jaunt down-under to satisfy the appetite of their Australian fans. With a packed schedule on the horizon for the summer there seems to be no letting up for the band, at least till they hit the studio to record the very important second album.
We caught up with Funeral Party to talk about their debut album, ‘The Golden Age Of Knowhere’, and what life is like on the road.
You’ve toured the UK a lot lately.
Yes, we toured here from late January for about a month on our own headline tour in support of the new album (‘The Golden Age Of Knowhere’). This time we’re doing the same amount of shows, but in slightly bigger venues.
You released ‘The Golden Age Of Knowhere’ in the UK and Australia first. Why was that?
Better market and response I guess. We’ve played more sold out shows over in the UK than we have in America. America is kind of a different market to tap into. With Australia Triple J has been playing our stuff which is really good. It’s even spread over to New Zealand now due to Triple J, so people over there are asking us to come over and play shows. We have a tour coming up in August in Australia doing about 6 dates.
You then went onto tour the US to support the album launch over there, mostly opening up for The Deftones and The Dillinger Escape Plan. How was that?
It was a different market, I think when you’re a band like The Deftones you already have a pretty stable fan base and it’s very hard to get them to be into any kind of new music. The audience was actually very polite, I mean it’s like anything. You play for a Kiss concert and they’re going to bleed you ‘cause you’re not Kiss you know.
The live show is one of the main things that Funeral Party are known for isn’t it?
It’s a freeing experience. I mean, for a while that’s all we’ve really had. It’s been so long since we’ve been in the studio. Live performance is pretty much what we’ve been used to for two years now.
You started off doing shows in backyards and parties, are you still going to do those shows?
Yeah, we want to keep doing those shows but that scene doesn’t really exist anymore. We definitely want to throw one. We would have to kind of go back to kind of create the scene again ‘cause it doesn’t really exist any more…But we’ve been talking about it.
What’s happened to that scene?
The kids grew up and got jobs. It’s like anything, those few years that it happened was like the real point where people were either not going to go to college or deciding what they were going to do, so there was kind of that free time to do it. Now it’s like everyone is married or has full-time jobs. From where we live (Whittier, California) you kind of only have a couple of options, which sounds a little sad and depressing. But to do that kind of show (again) would be really cool. I think we would just have to do it ourselves, because what happened was there used to be separate groups of people that would throw these parties and now they’ve stopped or disbanded and aren’t doing that sort of thing. Either that or they’ve gone on to promote for real venues. But man, we would love to do another one.
If you threw one now it would get a bit full on wouldn’t it? The police would be all over it!
Yeah it would just be like nonsense madness. It would be fun but the poor person’s house it would (be in) would just be torn down.
You guys swapped record labels didn’t you? Did the first one mess you around a bit?
Yeah, at the very beginning we were on a different label. There were differences in the way we wanted the band to be seen and how they were going to market it and categorise us. They were going for this pop-punk act, you know we’re not Blink-182. We’re not Green Day.
After all this touring you’ve got lined up what do you have on the cards?
The next record: new music. I think after touring for a while and playing shows like we have for so long you kind of look forward to getting in the studio again. And with the next record we really want to try out a lot of stuff, ‘cause for the first time there’s people who are going to want it (the record). There’s a demand for it so we’re going to go in there with a different mindset and try a bunch of stuff.
Have you written anything new while on the road? What’s the vibe on the new tracks?
Yeah we have three new songs which we’ll probably be playing on this tour. I’ve been told there’s a lot more space (on the new tracks). You can definitely sense the maturity in these new tracks compared to the old songs. We’re exploring different territories in our music now and different sounds as opposed to when we started out we were still trying to learn our instruments – or trying to figure out how to be a band. Now we know what band we are.
Words: Greg Scott
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