Hours before my Funeral For A Friend interview, I was commanded by CRITICAL WAVE to interview support act Such Gold. And very nice they were too.
And here’s a first. Because it seems relevant to our little chat… there is even a little input from Dave, the press tour manager guy who lingered in the corner.
Oh, and another. In the corner opposite was their unconscious lead singer.
This interview was conducted at Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms on 3rd February 2013.
OK, just for the sake of the tape… someone seems to have passed out in the corner. Can someone please explain what happened here?
Nate Derby (guitar): Well, that’s Ben. He’s our singer. He’s a tired boy. He was drinking last night.
Skylar Sarkis (guitar, vocals): He had too much juice.
Nate: Too much juice!
Skylar: Too much orange and pineapple juice.
Is that recurring throughout the tour?
Nate: The drinking? Not really. It hasn’t been that drunk a tour. I mean… we’ve had plenty of booze, but I haven’t drank very much.
Skylar: We don’t do cool things, so it wouldn’t matter if we drank or not.
Funeral For a Friend apologised earlier for not having any crazy tour stories, without me even asking.
Nate: It’s a pretty chilled tour, which honestly I’m way more into that than partying. I like to sit quietly and don’t party very much. Dave (tour manager) gets us wine when we want to drink.
Dave: It’s Strongbow today you lucky boy.
Nate: Ah, yeah! All right, tonight I’m drinking. I’m feeling better today. I’m not as sick so I’m gonna drink. I’m definitely going to drink that tonight. In fact… I’m gonna have one now. Nobody touch the fucking cider. There’s only four of them. That’s the fucking rule.
Dave: You couldn’t pay me to touch that shit.
Nate: Is it no good? (takes a sip). Hmm… it’s crisp on the palate. Err… yeah, it’s cider!
How did you get attached to… OK, that sounded a little too romantic. How did you get involved in this tour?
Nate: A combination of things, probably. I think a few of the guys are fans of ours, which is really cool. Matt (Davies-Kreye, FFAF’s lead vocals) has said that to us a few times. I don’t know how it all worked out, but here we are. It’s pretty cool. I’m pretty stoked about it. All of these shows have been sold out, or close to sold out. We’re glad to be here.
You have recently announced a very long and strenuous looking American tour…
Nate: Oh yeah. The Senses Fail tour (Such Gold will support them on their upcoming US tour) among the world tour we’re currently doing. The full US means longer drives, but I think we’ll have a lot more of our fans at those shows. A lot of places that we have already played a million times.
Are there always shows lined up, or is there ever an absence of plans? You seem incredibly busy.
Skylar: I don’t think we’ve ever had an absence of plans.
Nate: There is after the tour with Senses Fail. We don’t have anything else coming…, which is kinda nice!
But will it be that by the time that that’s over, there will be another fifty lined up?
Skylar: Maybe. Or maybe we’ll fall off the face of the earth.
Nate: Well, we’re not doing (Vans) Warped Tour, so we don’t have that. I think we’re kind of more focused on… like we could honestly get a summer at home for the first time in four years. That would be really sweet. If that’s the case, I’m really looking forward to that. We’re always on tour during the summer. I would be totally content with not doing a goddamn thing until September personally! Not doing anything would just be… sick, as far as I’m concerned. We’re trying to get stuff booked for late summer. I know there are loads of European festivals going on, so we would love to come back and do something like that.
Do you have fans from other countries nagging you to come by?
Skylar: Yeah. Parts of mainland Europe for sure. They seem to take it pretty personally too.
Nate: It’s tough because it’s so expensive.
Skylar: People say to come to South-East Asia too. We’d love to, but it’s not the right time yet. I think… maybe next year. Once the next record comes out next year, then it will be more appropriate.
Nate: I don’t think we have the draw yet in certain parts of Europe. We just did Germany for the second time. We’ve really done a good Germany tour. It was awesome, but I think we need to focus on continuing to go back to Europe and do festivals. Do the bigger things, and then come back and do headlining stuff. Do Italy and Czech Republic and stuff.
Skylar: Romania. Poland. Stuff like that.
Nate: But I don’t think we’re ready for it yet.
I’ve heard a lot about the draw of Eastern Europe. Lots of rock fans flooding into concerts in Croatia and Moldova and others, and bands say it has a real appeal.
Dave: It’s the food and the hospitality.
Skylar: I wanna go there really bad. It sounds like and interesting place, but I don’t know much about the countries. It sounds like a crazy, weird place to go. I know that a lot of punk rock and hardcore bands are drawn to those areas. I think it’s appropriate that we go there at some point, but if we’re going to go at any time in the near future, we would have to be doing a support for a bigger band. If it was just us, it wouldn’t make sense. We would just lose money, which we can’t afford to do.
I spoke to some fans, asking them to suggest questions, and this is what I got. Funeral For a Friend got these too earlier. I had to throw most of them away because they were absolute filth…
Skylar: We’re there things like ‘ask them why they suck’?
No, you’re safe. If a film were made about you, who should play you?
Skylar: Oh, Jesus Christ…
I did warn you. Or should Jesus Christ play you?
Skylar: No… Ashton Kutcher.
Nate: Ashton Kutcher?
Skylar: I used to have long hair, and someone called me Ashton Kutcher once, so yeah.
Nate: Erm… Don Cheadle.
If your band were a food, what would you taste like?
Skylar: Gluten free.
Nate: It wouldn’t be very thick. It would be like a flax cracker.
Skylar: Or a communion wafer. It would come with a nice glass of red wine.
Nate: And some humus.
Skylar: And it would be administered by a priest.
If there is anything else left to plug or preach to the microphone, then please say so.
Nate: Buy our record… that would be nice. I think it’s being re-released here at the end of the month. It’s called Misadventures.
Skylar: It’s pretty decent.
Nate: It’s dreadfully decent.
You’re descending into southern English speech. That’s spiffing and splendid.
Nate: Yeah, we’ve picked up a few things. It’s delightful and lovely. Come see us live. We’re broke. We’ve got bills to pay. Give me your money and we’ll give you a record and you’ll listen to it. You’ll enjoy it so it won’t be for nothing.
Sounds like a good deal.
Nate: It is!
Thank you very much for your time.
Nate: Thank you.