Interview: Funeral For Bird

Ahead of their appearance at GOLD, a night celebrating a year like no other with Goldsmiths, we caught with Funeral For Bird… 

Introduce us to Funeral For Bird – how would you describe the band in 3 words?

Electronic-tinged folk

And what about the name? Where does that come from?

I was watching an episode of The Office (the U.S. version) and they had a funeral for a bird that they found. I was looking for names for this new project I was starting at the time, and it just stuck!

How did Funeral For Bird transform from a solo project to a full band? Was it something that happened intentionally or did it just progress naturally?

It was a bit of both actually, although up until this year it’s been a solo project, there have always been other musicians involved. George has played bass has played on every release I’ve put out, and Linfa and Troy featured pretty heavily on the last album. Daša and I have collaborated on stuff in the past too. I knew I wanted to change things up after the last album, and bringing the others in felt like the natural way forward – especially seeing as we’d all worked together closely in the past.

How do you tackle something that was once a solo project, once entirely in your control, suddenly involving other people?

It’s definitely been a process! I have a tendency to be a bit bossy so I’ve had to be conscious about keeping that in check – they definitely keep me in check too! The fact that we’ve all worked together on music before really helped, we are all very well acquainted with each other creatively, and the fact that we’re all great friends certainly helps too! We’ve started writing a lot more songs as a group which has been a wonderful experience. Everyone in the band are such great songwriters, and writing with them has just provided a whole new perspective.

Your third album came out last year, to positive acclaim, but albums seem to be something bands seem to be bringing out less and less – or at least taking longer to release albums and focusing instead on live releases. What’s made you take that approach instead?

I’ve always loved the concept of albums, the idea of a complete collection of songs all relating to each other. We’ve put out 3 albums so far, and I always saw them as a bit of a trilogy. Funeral For Bird originated very much as a studio project, and so creating specific bodies of work was quite important to me, and although it’s branched out since then, this underlying ethos is still there. We’ve actually recorded a live EP to come out at some point this summer – reimagining songs from those 3 albums, but we’ve also got a 4th album in the works!

With live shows, what can be expected from yours?

We tend to go for quite an atmospheric sound with wide dynamics, mixing our guitars with layers of synths and keys and harmonies. Although a lot of our music leans towards the sombre side of things, we like to have fun on stage, too and don’t take ourselves too seriously.

What do Funeral  For Bird have in the pipeline?

We’ve been working on an album, and hope to have it finished by the end of the year. We’ve also got this live EP coming out fairly soon. We’ve got a couple of gigs in July, but we’re thinking of spending the rest of the summer just focussing on writing. If you want a taste of what’s to come with the album, have a listen to the NX Records mixtape, where a new song of ours makes an appearance!

GOLD takes place at The Amersham Arms on 19 July

Melissa Svensen

Melissa Svensen

Melissa, 22. Editor. Student, music journalist, probably talking about Blur or Bowie