It’s rare that I ever hear something and want to listen to it again immediately. Especially when it comes to the arena of rock music. Somehow Funeral Attire has stayed so in touch with themselves and their influences, it’s impossible not to respect their craft.
It’s also not possible to only listen to their new EP, Joy, once. It’s the kind of record that has to be replayed immediately. There’s no lack of raw emotion and power in their music and I spoke with the band to find out where that comes from:
N: Your music makes me feel such a way that I have to immediately draw comparisons to Touche Amore. How much influence has that band had on your music?
FA: “Some of us really like that band but I would say they’ve had little to no influence on our sound. We love the idea of sort of mixing hardcore intensity with the more soft and elegant instrumentation of modern emo, so I can see how the result would be compared, but honestly, not a whole lot of the music we write is derived from listening to Touche.”
N: Obviously a ton of emotion goes into your music, how do you bring yourself to that place when recording?
FA: “We’ve recorded everything to date at our good friend John’s studio, and since the vibe there is so relaxed and comfortable, I feel like we find it really easy to sort of be expressive and let the vulnerable parts of us show when we’re recording. We never want to try to wring emotion out of a vocal part or anything, so if it’s feeling bland or contrived the day we’re down there, we’ll just wrap for the day and come back. Also, Jameson Irish Whiskey has played a large part in at least the vocal performances.”
N: Do you have any crazy stories from playing shows?
FA: “Honestly, most of the shows we’ve played have been pretty tame, but I would say the last show we played in New Jersey has some wild circumstances surrounding it. So first of all, we blew a tire on the van while driving on the Garden State Parkway, and I lost control of the van for a minute and it was fishtailing in the most violent and terrifying way. Thankfully, I was able to get over to the shoulder, but not without nearly having a heart attack. The van we had was rented and we didn’t think we had a jack to change the tire, so we called AAA, who don’t service vehicles broken down on the parkway. So we had to wait for a state mandated tow truck driver to arrive, have him jack it up with a hydraulic jack and change the tire, then we showed up to the show with like 30 seconds to spare.”
N: If you could play with any bands in the world, who would they be?
FA: “Probably The Used or My Chemical Romance. Maybe The 1975.”
N: Is there a story or recurring theme in Joy?
FA: “Not a specific story, but if I had to pick a theme, I’d say the record is mostly about mental health, and the way failing mental health can sort of destroy relationships and one’s self worth.”
N: How did the feature from Brendan Murphy come about?
FA: “Brendan is a good friend of ours and has actually been helping out the band in a sort of managerial role since Joy came out. He happened to be in the studio working on his new project, End, with Will Putney, (who just released a song called “Usurper” that you need to check out), while we were wrapping vocals for the two song split we did, so I texted him and asked him about it, sent him the lyrics, he did the vocals with Will, and sent them right over.”
N: Where do you record and what is your process like?
FA: “We’ve done everything so far at Bridge East Studios with our friend John Dello Iacono whom I mentioned earlier. We usually do all the pre-production at my house, send John the demos we record for every song, then Frankie usually goes down and does all his drums in a day or two. We usually go down and do guitar and bass over the course of a few days; John is very good about getting the perfect take with the perfect tuning, so it can take a while sometimes. Then, we’ll go down and book a day per two songs for vocals, and finish up.”
N: You made a 25 minute EP and I actually find myself wanting more after it’s over. Any plans to record new material?
FA: “First, thanks so much for saying that! It means a lot that you’ve listened to the record and you enjoy it. We do also have the 2 songs we put out on the split with I Dreamt the Sea in February, but right now we’ve been popping into the studio here and there as we have time to work on our new release. I’d like to say it would be out by the end of the year, but we might be looking at early 2018.”
N: Do you have any shows coming up?
FA: “We actually have a tour coming up next week with our friends in With Sails Ahead, here are the dates!”
8.12 Asbury Park, NJ – APMF
8.13 Oakdale, NY – Shaker’s Pub
8.14 Nazareth, PA – Stehly’s Bakery
8.15 Philadelphia PA – Barbary
8.17 Brooklyn, NY – Muchmore’s
8.18 Manchester, NH – Bungalow
8.19 Cambridge, MA – OOTB Gallery
8.20 Attleboro, MA – Patterson Creations
N: Any advice for someone wanting to start a band of their own?
FA: “Start it with people who you find it easy to work with, have one main creative visionary, one songwriter, one lyricist, and one person who’s good at handling the business end of things – this way nobody bumps heads. Allocate your budget effectively by recording a really well produced single and put it out with a visual, like a music video, instead of going to record a full length with a tiny budget and no content to drop with it. That’s what I think I would have us do if we were to start over.”
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Don’t miss Funeral Attire and With Sails Ahead live! Dates below:
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