Tag Archives: Wales

Interview with Buffalo Summer, 07.10.14

So, only Fools and Horses, Orange Goblin, Space Raiders (of the crisp variety) and Game of Thrones … these are just some of the things that are currently powering Welsh southern-rockers Buffalo Summer around the British Isles.  The European leg of the tour may have been indefinitely postponed by headliners The Treatment, but our wonders of Wales are quite happy as long as they’ve got a TV and some potato-based snacks.  Bassist Darren King tore himself away from the google-box long enough to have a quick chat …

Buffalo Summer band pic

– You’ve had some epic shows this year with the likes of Skid Row, Buckcherry and Phil Campbell. Do any of those shows particularly stand out for you and why?

We enjoy all the shows! Madrid with Buckcherry & Skid Row was a definite highlight on that tour though. It’s the second time we’d played there and it was amazing to see Buffalo t-shirts in the crowd!

– How did it feel to be sharing a bill with the mighty Black Sabbath in Hyde Park?

There are no words to describe it! We had a blast throughout the day and got to hang out with Motörhead and Soundgarden for a bit … unreal! A big tick for the bucket list there.

– The new tour with The Treatment and Massive kicks off tomorrow, are you excited for it?

Hell yeah! We’ve been good buds with The Treatment boys for a few years, but we’ve never toured together. When the opportunity arose we jumped at the chance.

 – Any places you’re particularly looking forward to visiting?

We always look forward to places we’ve never played, which on this tour is only Northampton and Rotterdam! That being said we always look forward to Glasgow, Liverpool and Sheffield as we’ve always had an awesome reception there. The same could be said for most places though!

– What are you listening to on the road? Any new music we should check out?

The new Orange Goblin album is decimating my ears as I type! Surely got to be one the albums of the year and it only came out yesterday! The new Mastodon record has been getting pretty heavy spinnage in the van over the summer too and the States And Empires album – It’s Neil from The Phil Campbell All Starr Band’s new project!

– How do you chill out during your downtime? Is the travelling harmonious and do you all get on?

It’s about as un-rock and roll as you’d think! We usually mooch about watching films and TV shoes. We’re all really into Game of Thrones and stuff.  Can’t go wrong with a bit of Only Fools & Horses on a rainy afternoon in Hamburg though!

Because we’ve all known each other since childhood more-or-less, we all have the measure of each other and it makes being cooped up together that much easier. There’s minimal feuding going on … unless someone’s gone and polished off the last packet of Space Raiders!

Buffalo%20Summer%20album%20cover

– Who or what do you draw influence from when you’re writing new material?

Lyrically a lot of Andrew’s influence comes directly from our current circumstances. The perils and pit-falls of life on the road, with the overwhelming love of doing it. He’s also really ecologically conscious so there’s some stuff come from that angle too. Musically, we just write really organically.

In the first instance we don’t put much though into it – it just happens. Once we have a rough song floating about, then we’ll get the microscopes out and really scrutinise the parts. Everything gets refined from there.

– Is a new album in the pipeline?  If so, when might we expect it and what can we expect from it?

The new album is done! We’re in the process of getting it mix and mastered and hopefully it’ll be out at the beginning of next year!

– If you had to pick two songs to introduce a new fan to Buffalo Summer, which would you pick and why?

I would say the songs ‘Down To The River’ and ‘A Horse Called Freedom’. With ‘River’, it’s already one of our signature songs and displays our unashamed love of all things Southern. With ‘Horse, it’s one of the first songs we wrote and it has a bit more hoof to it, with a big sing-a-long chorus. Those two are fan favourites for sure.

– You are playing HRH in Wales in November which you must be looking forward to. Any festivals  in the pipeline for next year?

It’s early days yet, so we can’t say much … the new record will be out though so we should have some extra momentum!

– What’s your take on the current state of the music industry and do you feel that rock music as we know it is a dying genre?

It’s a difficult place to do business, that’s for sure. Then again – everyone and their Nana knows this. So when I see bands complaining about it I think “Did no one tell you? Did you not get the memo?” You have to have a fundamental and deep rooted love of living this life otherwise it’ll break you.  Of course, over time it becomes hard enough to break the best of them. There’s two sides to everything. Personally, I think rock is in a more diverse and vibrant place than it has been for a really long time. It’s as alive as it ever was!

– Biggest Buffalo Summer highlight so far?

Playing Download last year was indescribable. Our agent was there and he said “If there’s 200/300 people out there, I’ll be happy”. We walked out to a sea of Buffalo Summer tees and like, 2000 people. Shame I was so hung-over I can’t remember much else!  I blame Iron Maiden.

– What’s next for the band?

We’re on the road for a month now then we head back to Wales to get the album sorted and ready to roll. Also, we need to buy a new van!  Dear Santa …

You can catch Buffalo Summer on the rest of their UK tour with The Treatment and Massive, dates below: –

B Summer tour poster

October –

16th – London, Underworld

17th – Colchester, Arts Centre

19th – Norwich, Studio

20th – Southampton, Joiners

21st – Exeter, Cavern

23rd – Brighton, Audio

www.buffalosummer.net

www.facebook.com/buffalosummer

Interview with Funeral For A Friend at Voodoo Rocks Summer Ball, June 2014

Those Bridgend boys Funeral For A Friend are back with a vengeance, having just announced a headline tour next January, to coincide with the release of their new album, ‘Chapter and Verse‘.  Back in June, they had top spot at the prestigious Voodoo Rocks Summer Ball at Electrowerkz in London and I was lucky enough to interview them after they smashed their set.  So, in case you missed it the first time around, sit back, relax and have a read!

FFAF pic

Did you manage to catch any other bands playing tonight?

Pat:  Yeah, I managed to catch two songs from The Dirty Youth – they’re from Wales so, big up The Dirty Youth.  It’s not massively my type of music but you have to support good, positive people who just do it for the love of the music.  They’re out all the time working hard and that’s what touring is about – people paying their dues and cracking on and they’ve been on it from the get-go.

Your sixth studio album ‘Conduit’ came out last year, was it well received?

Pat: It got to number two in the rock charts in the UK and we broke the top 40.  It was a big success and surpassed expectation.

You’ve got a huge number of fans on Facebook so you must have had some really good feedback on social media?

Pat:  Yeah, I think YouTube views and comments were good.  There are a lot of avid, serious Funeral fans that give our videos and singles time, so yes, it’s always good.

You did the ‘Hours’ headline tour back in April, was it sold out?

Pat:  Yes, every date was sold out.

Do you prefer playing live or being in the studio?

Pat:  I think it’s a mixture.  When you’ve done your fill of live shows, you’re stoked on new material that you’ve been writing in dressing rooms and meeting up at people’s homes and when you go into the writing process, you fully launch yourself into it.  For us, on the new record (the seventh album) we just set aside two weeks and smashed right through it.  It’s in the bag and it’s coming out, probably early next year.

FFAF new album pic

We’ll look forward to it! What do you listen to when you’re travelling?

Pat:  We’re going to go from extremely cold to extremely hot here, but ‘m going to say Predator, Rude Kids and a lot of drum related things that I like to listen to, as well as hard-core and metal.  It’s a massive varied spectrum of all different musical tastes.

Let’s talk about the Wrexham Comic Con (FFAF are performing at the after party) …

Matt: We were asked to do it in April, but we were already on tour with our shows.  Jamie, the guy that runs it was talking about next year, but then he put on a second event; we could do the date, so yes, we’re going to be playing to a shitload of geeks.  We’re looking forward to it – we get to hang out at Comic Con all day!

Voodoo Rocks FFAF

Funeral For A Friend with myself and Natalie Conway from Red Dragon Records, Voodoo Rocks Summer Ball, June 2014 (Photo courtesy of Emma Radwanski, Emma Radwanski Photography)

You’re going to be doing some smaller festivals, like NASS, Godiva and those sorts of events this year; what are you aiming to achieve in the next couple of years?

Matt: There’s no real goal or plan, we just want to play.  There’s no world domination theory.  We love playing, especially to people who give a fuck about what we do.  We never really set out with any kind of goal to be big or successful; the success we’ve had has come through people wanting to come and see our band, which is awesome.  We’ve been a band for 13 years now and like everything, there have been peaks and troughs.  We feel privileged that people still care enough about what we do to come and support us.  We can’t ask for more than that, really.

You’ve been at it for so long, what sort of advice would you give to any up and coming bands that may be struggling?

Matt: Don’t set out with a goal to make a lot of money, be successful and sell a lot of records.

Pat: Further than that, don’t set out to be in a band, set out to be good with your instrument; be passionate about singing, or be passionate about playing the drums.  Don’t buy an instrument or kit to go and join a band, it’s stupid.  Have fun playing, fall in love with your instrument, your voice, yourself and then be in a band.

Matt: Do it for the fun of doing it, for the love of music.  As soon as you write for anybody else, rather than yourself, then you may as well just stop.

Pat: Trust me, you’ll stop loving it when you get to 22 and realise you can’t play your instrument.  Get good and then be in a band, otherwise you’re saturating an already over-saturated market, if you’re shit and you can’t play music.

Well, you guys should know, you’ve survived the digital revolution …

Matt: So many people are doing bands now that have never toured, that have never put the work in but are becoming successful.  In my eyes, if you want to be in a band, playing live shows and getting out there is the first thing you should be looking at; it’s the key thing.  If you’re not good at what you do and you can’t play live, there’s no point in you going any further.

Pat: The more you need to rely on digital aids, the more you mug yourself off.

Matt: God, anybody can make a record now.  All the shit bands will fall at the wayside and eventually we’ll be left with the good ones …

What do you think about the changes to YouTube? Do you think it will have a big impact on you?

Matt: To be honest with you, little by little everything is being taken away from the independent sector anyway.  Anyone that is trying to rape an artist’s ability to progress and get their stuff out to more people … it’s terrible.  It’s a misguided way to try to claw money back from an industry that’s trying to figure out how to operate now, with the way technology is moving forward and the way people consume music.  For me, one of the things I like currently is the resurgence of people getting into vinyl again.  It actually makes you a part of something, you have to invest time into a record and you end up caring about it.  You can download a track and just forget about it the day after.

Well, although rock has been outselling pop in the UK, a lot of people are saying that 2014 will see the death of the album. Do you agree?

Matt: I think that within this kind of music, albums will always be something that people will be into, even if it’s just collecting them.  I collect vinyl, as do a lot of my friends and even the kids coming to our shows.  If you’re, say, Coldplay, or a proper mainstream act, it might change drastically in terms of physical sales of records, but for metal and hard-core and punk it will always be there.

Pat: Thank God you can’t download merch.

Do you sell a lot of merch?

Pat: It’s what keeps bands like us going on the road.  When records cost £250,000 to make, bands aren’t going to see anything off of that. When you sell out shows and you’re selling merch by the bucket, that’s where you make a little bit of money, but even then it’s percentages.  As long as a band can stay on the road doing what they love, it’s all good, money is not the biggest thing.

It’s sad, though, because back in the day, record sales were everything.

Matt: We’d like to go back in time and be immersed in that situation again.  I got into records in the nineties so for me it was the last decade where music actually meant something.  With my generation I think there’s still a need to be part of something physical in terms of music, whereas kids who are brought up in this generation, they’re the iTunes and Spotify generation; it’s all done on the click of a button.  There’s no hard work involved and no emotional investment in bands any more.

Do you have anything that you would like to say to fans that have supported you all the way through your journey so far?

Matt:  Just, cheers.  We really do fucking appreciate it.

The new Funeral For A Friend album is released on 19th January 2015 via all the usual channels – interestingly enough, as well as vinyl and CD, they’ll also be releasing a cassette version!  You can catch them live – check out their website for the most up to date gig listings.

FFAF tour poster

www.funeralforafriend.com

www.facebook.com/funeralforafriend