On a sunny afternoon we could think of nothing better to do than catch up with Funeral For A Friend bassist Gareth Davies for all the latest goss from the FFAF camp.

R13: You have a new album coming out 'Tales Don't Tell Themselves' what can you tell us about it?
Gareth: It's our attempt at a concept record I suppose, using the word as loosely as possible. We don't like the term concept record because it usually makes peoples spines shiver. It's our attempt at adapting our music to a story, which is completely new to us and something that gave us inspiration while writing the record. We'd written a bunch of material prior to the concept idea, which seemed like we were walking over old territory. We felt stagnant doing it. When Matt bought the concept forward, songs just seemed to flow a lot quicker, writing seemed more invocative and before we knew it we had them all written. It excited us for the first time in about four years.

R13: What inspired the new album?
G: Usually just the environments we're in. I think you'll be able to tell that when you listen to this record in comparison to the other two. I think you'll be able to tell that the other two were written in the back of a bus. For this record we had time, we had space. We'd been at home and got to see our families for a little bit, it just made us happier and that comes through on the record. It's so much more focused than anything we've every done before.

R13 Did you feel pressure to make this album better than previous albums?
G: Absolutely, yeah. In hindsight now looking back on 'Hours' the second record, it didn't move the way we wanted it to, or sound the way we initially had it in our heads. It was something that we were quite disappointed with, so when we sat down and started the writing process it was about getting the excitement back into it. I don't think we've been this excited about being Funeral For A Friend for since just before the release of the second EP. We were about to sign a major deal and do all this touring and that was really exciting for us. Somewhere along the road we lost the enthusiasm for it. When the first group of songs didn't match up to what we were hoping that was a pressure point for us. Once we got the concept idea everything came along a lot more naturally, we started enjoying ourselves again which was the most important part for us really.

R13: When you've lost inspiration how do you push yourself to get back into it?
G: I don't know, inspiration is a weird thing and anything can trigger it. It wasn't something we had plan we didn't tell Matt to bring a concept forward to see how it makes us feel. It didn't work like that, it just came along at the time.

R13: Why did you decide to release Into Oblivion as the first single from the album?
G: It just seemed to sum up the whole vibe of the record. We were firm believers of going a little bit Pulp Fiction with it and started the record with the end of the story. Everyone knows the end of the story straight from the off and it was the most direct song of the record. It is blatantly Funeral For A Friend.

R13: Do you enjoy the recording process?
G: I love the recording process. This was so relaxed, we knew what we were doing when we walked in. We knew how the record was going to sound. When we did the pre production, which was another new thing for us, we cut all the chaff away and made the songs better then they were previously. There were elements we'd take out and elements we put in. When we went into the studio everyone knew the sound. That was something we'd never had before, we were always writing songs in the studio. We just used to wing ideas and would work on them until our fingers bled. These songs we'd do to a certain point, go away do something else and come back to it. So in a weird way each song drew inspiration from itself.

R13: There have been a few line up changes, has this made your music stronger?
Nothings changed in the past five years, since we've been releasing as FFAF nothing has changed, we've been pretty solid. At this point the changes are pretty irrelevant. But we didn't have the chance to sit down and grow as a band like a lot of bands do with their first and second records. I mean we're still trying to find our feet, when we released the first EP they were the first four songs written by Funeral For A Friend, I didn't write any of them. I wasn't in Funeral For A Friend Then. I came in as a fan of the music, so to sit down and write as a group, as easy as it seemed, I don't think we knew where we wanted to go with it. The last four years have been a learning curve for us and I think we've finally found our feet as Funeral For A Friend for once.

R13: You've got a headlining tour starting next month, you must be excited about that.
G: Oh absolutely, especially after being away for 10 months. We did a few warm up shows with My Chemical Romance in Europe, and three small pub shows in Cornwall. That gave us a sense of getting back to sleeping in a moving vehicle, which is weird and took three or for days to adjust to that. We're excited to get back out on tour in the UK, we're very proud of this album and are looking forward to playing as much of it as we can really.

R13: Do you prefer playing new material?
G: I suppose towards the end of each record I'm eager to start writing new stuff. I get tired of playing the same stuff, it's like "I've been playing this for four fucking years now!" I don't think we've ever played a set where 'Juneau' hasn't been played. There's something about it where I'd like to leave it out just for one night to see the reaction it would get. I do enjoy playing new material, it's always exciting to get out and play new stuff.

R13: What can we expect to see on the tour?
G: Just the usually honest from Funeral For A Friend and making sure everyone is enjoying themselves as much as possible, I don't think that will ever change. Our shows wont ever become a self indulgent rant, you know, we wont do anything just to please ourselves. We always do what we feel is entertaining; if it keeps us happy hopefully it will keep everyone else happy.

R13: What crazy antics do you get up to on the road?
G: None at all, we're all old men now, it's crap actually. There's one or two, I suppose...there's nothing particularly crazy that's the thing, everyone expects this industry to be so rock 'n' roll, but we're probably the most un-rock 'n' roll band on the planet. We all have wives and children and we'd rather have a cup of tea. (Laughs).

R13: Am I right in thinking you guys are going out on the Warped tour again this year?
G: We are indeed, seven weeks of nothing but dust balls, I can't wait!
R13: I'd love to go out to Warped
G: It is a great, great laugh, it's such a good time but it does get really tough. I mean, for people that come and see it just for a day it's great, but after a month or so it becomes hard work. You do 15, 16 shows back to back, no showers, dealing with 110 degrees ever day, it gets old kind of quickly but it's fun. A lot of bands we know are on it this year as well so it's gonna be like meeting up with old friends.
R13: It must be flattering to be asked back as well.
G: Absolutely yeah, as a British band it's always nice to be asked back because Warped is predominately for American bands. The Gallows are on it this year too so that should make for some interesting stuff.

R13: Are you playing any UK festivals over the summer?
G: Yeah we're doing Reading and Leeds on the day of Smashing Pumpkins, that's a dream come true, to be on the same bill as them.
R13: How does Reading and Leeds compare to Warped?
G: It's a lot more organised. Warped tour you get drawn out of a hat every morning as to what time you're playing. You get woke up at like 9:30 and you might be on at ten to 11 in the morning or ten to 11 at night. There's something a little bit more rushed about Warped tour which makes it more interesting to an extent, but at Reading and Leeds it's nice to sit down and know your set time and how long you've got to play. There's perks and disadvantages to both.

R13: You've just pulled out of the Bamboozled tour, why was that?
G: We did yeah, our schedule was just looking to hectic really. We need to be in the UK for various press and building the record here, that's one of our priorities right now. Just before Warped tour we're going out and doing headlining shows so we'll hit all the territories we were going to hit on Bamboozled. For us we get to play longer and give more to our fan base. People in the UK haven't seen us for 10 months but people in America haven't seen us in nearly a year and a half. It's nice to go out there and play as much as we can really.

R13: Do you get sick of being labelled Emo?
G: I don't get sick of it, I just don't understand it, it puzzles me a little. The whole term Emo is something that baffles me beyond belief, the term Emo doesn't mean the same now as it did back in the nineties. Bands I consider Emo from that era, the pioneers of Emo as such, I don't think we sound like at all. We've always maintained the fact that we are a rock band and that's the way we like it to be, we like to think we're a little more diverse than a one genre band. I like to think we can move into different realms of rock and we can move into metal if we want, we can move into fucking power pop ballads. We have the ability to do those things, so the term Emo confuses me a little.
R13: I guess people just need to label music as something.
Absolutely, I understand the need to label things because the term Rock is just so diverse, what ever happened to Hard Rock? But then nobody wants to be labelled as Soft Rock either (chuckles) I don't know if I'd rather be called Soft Rock or Emo. There's a question for you, "would you rather be called Soft Rock or Emo?"

R13: I'll have to jot it down! What's all this I hear about you being on Fun House as a kid?
Oh yeah, many moon ago, it was something I'd rather keep in my past to be honest. I'm sure my mother has got a video of it somewhere that will appear on YouTube, until then I'm going to look for it so I can burn it, it's a horrible, horrible thing!
R13: Why? It's a good thing, I wish I'd gone on it!
You wish you were on it? Pat Sharp is a slimey fucker you don't want to go any where near him! (Laughs)
R13: What did he do to you?
Oh no nothing! The mullet was bad enough.
R13: Did you get to go on the little go-karts?
No I didn't, I was the flag collector, my team mate got to ride on the go-karts, damn her!
R13: Rubbish!

R13: You guys have just partnered up with Shozu.
Yeah, we do online web blogging. It's something we like to do to keep in touch with our fan base as much as possible really. To show them to some extent we are five ordinary guys who do boring, mundane shit every day. It lets people see what it is actually like and lets them see us as people, they'll understand where the music comes from a little bit more. When Shozu came to us and gave us these video phones and said you can dump anything you want straight onto the internet we were like "That is absolutely genius!" It's great fun to do it as well. We film so much we had an email from them this week saying that we're slowing their server down. Our videos link to our Funeral Tube page and there are photos that link to our Flicker page.
R13: You're the first UK artists to use it as well aren't you?
We are indeed, we are the guinea pigs. I think they're sick to the back teeth of us already because we're slowing everything down.
R13: Why did we approach them?
Yeah, yeah, why Funeral For A Friend? Why are they showing us footage of them stood on a beach eating ice cream? (Laughs) It is pretty random!
R13: It's good... but kind of scary!
When they showed us the demo, the guy had his laptop open with the Funeral page up, he took a two minute clip, sent it and it was on the computer instantly I was like "That is fucking frightening!" If they're letting this kind of technology loose now what can they do already?
R13: Yeah exactly.
It worries me a bit, I'm a bit of a conspiracy theorist deep down inside and I think there's elements of the Big Brothers watching 1984 shit I believe is out there.
R13: I just think it's weird that in theory any one can get hold of these things and put whatever they bloody like on the internet.
Yeah, that's the thing anybody can do it, all you need is the right phone and to download a programme, it's that simple. It is frightening.

R13: What do you have left to achieve?
One of my biggest priorities now to an extent is becoming a family man. I've got a three year old son and I miss him terribly, I'd like to be able to see my children grow up, that's probably my biggest goal in life. I'm not saying I've achieved everything I want to musically but I take that stuff as it comes.
R13: Does your son come out and see you?
He hasn't yet, no. We're playing at home soon, so he can come and see us. I want to bring him out on stage actually, but I have to speak to the other guys about it first because he'll lose his shit. He'll freak out. I took him to see Taking Back Sunday a couple of weeks ago in America and the band goes out on stage and he's got his ear defenders on and he sees all these hands and people cheering, he's on my shoulders and he puts his hands up and I hear him go "Fuck yeah!" I was like "You can't say that!" (Laughs) I don't know where he learnt it but it wasn't from me!

R13: Will you encourage him to start playing?
I'll encourage him with whatever he wants to do, I don't wan to be one of those parents that go "I play an instrument, so you're going to play an instrument." He does have a bit of a musical bone, he does like to sit in front of the electric piano and play along, well, bang keys really. He likes to make noise so it won't surprise me if he becomes a drummer.

R13: How did you first begin playing music?
Through a friend of mine actually. At school he played guitar and I was curious, I went over his house frequently and all of a sudden I picked it up and he showed me different things. Eventually after much blagging I convinced my parents to by me a guitar. From then I literally sat in my room playing, I'll never forget my dad shouting up to me "Can't you play something fucking different?" I was just playing the same note over and over, that hasn't changed much to be honest. I basically locked myself in my room and taught myself to play. I think I was about 16 when I joined my first band, we were a three piece really bad punk band, as old punk bands are. We were really raw, sketchy and thought we were awesome, it was unreal. I ended up playing bass for the because originally we were going to have two guitarists, a drummer and a bass player, but the other guitarist didn't work out, it was the guy that taught me how to play so I felt awful. We couldn't find a bass player so I traded my guitar for a bass and learnt how to play that instead. Thirteen years later...voila!

R13: Do you find it easier to play bass then guitar?
I still play guitar a little bit, but I'm nowhere near the standard of Chris or Darren. I wouldn't say it's easier, it's a very different instrument, it's a different world really.
I thought that, I thought bass has only got four strings, it'll be easy.
Exactly! You think it's so much easier but it's when you start getting to rhythms and then it's like I need to hit at the same time as the kick drum and keep in with the guitars. You have to start playing around with thirds and fifths, then harmony notes to make it a little bit more interesting. I think one person that does it better than anyone is Guy Berryman from Coldplay, he is the master of locking into the groove.

R13: Do you ever get annoyed that bassists and drummers get over looked in comparison to singers and guitarists?
No it doesn't bother me at all, I like the quiet life.

That's great, thanks for your time and enjoy the rest of your day.