Breaking America, that old chestnut again. A lot of UK bands try it. Some come crawling back with their guitars sheepishly slung over their shoulders because it’s just too big over there (although why an extra large heart attack on a plate under the banner of breakfast should put anyone off is a mystery). Others grind out the miles, eventually getting rewards, like a spot on the Warped Tour.

When we last spoke to a member of Funeral For A friend, it was while they, along with fellow Brits Gallows, The Automatic and Biffy Clyro, were doing just that.

"It's been great so far, can't complain,” Darren Smith, who did grumble about the extreme heat said. “It's our second time around so we know what to expect, we also got moved to the main stage which is a major plus so its going well. Everyone's having a good time.”

"The fact that ourselves, the Gallows, the Automatic and Biffy Clyro are on this tour shows that there's definitely a growing interest for British music here. I think the perception of it being a rough deal is that when a band goes from headlining shows in the UK to supporting in the states or playing small clubs some people feel it's a step backwards but it's just that you have to start all over again. It's just harder because it's so much bigger.”

Read the full, ‘FFAF: Stateside and Beyond’ article

This year the band released their third album,, 'Tales Don't Tell Themselves'
reviewed here. Before it came out it was described by Gareth Davies in
this interview as "our attempt at a concept record, using the word as loosely as possible."

He elaborated by saying "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. 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 brought 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."

With first single ‘Into Oblivion’ a big radio hit, and ‘Walk Away’ about to follow, Darren Smith offered this assessment of the album’s initial success.

"It's been good so far. It's a different record for us so it's taking time for it to sink in but it's going well so I have no complaints. It was a massive deal for us when it went in at number 3 in the UK.”

By his band mate Gareth Davies’ own admission, the pressure had been on with this record, since they hadn’t been totally happy with previous release ‘Hours’.

“In hindsight now looking back on 'Hours', 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 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.”

So re-energised and fully motivated once again, FFAF took to the road for a series of small dates around the UK ahead of the album’s release. We checked them out in

They would return from Warped to headline Rip Curl Boardmasters in Newquay, and play a Main Stage slot at Reading and

When asked about the differences between Warped and UK festivals, Gareth Davies told us that over here life is a lot more organised.

“Warped tour you get drawn out of a hat every morning as to what time you're playing. You get woken 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.”

Another UK tour begins at the weekend, with an arena date in Cardiff scheduled to round off 2007. As far as next year is concerned, having been absent from the Download line up last June, they must be a virtual certainty for 2008.

Finally, we’ve been asking a few artists for a good name drop story from the past twelve months, but, if we’re honest, this one we got out of Gareth from his childhood is better than any backstage celeb tale. What’s this we hear about you going on Funhouse?

“Oh yeah, many moons 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!”

As well as not being a fan of Pat Sharp’s hair (but let’s be honest who was?) could we have unearthed a spot of bitterness about not being able to go on the Fun Cart Grand Prix?

“I was the flag collector, my team mate got to ride on the go-karts, damn her!"

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