LA is a machine, spewing out well-marketed, glossy and predictable bands. You'd never have expected the record label behind At The Drive-In to take this path, but a quick look at their Emo-lite roster confirms it. As I learn, Funeral Party had a false start there, and talking to them, you can see that they're not the type of guys to take it lying down. Contact met them at Download festival, a seemingly odd choice of festival for the disco-punk band. They stuck out like sore thumbs in the landslide of metal.
Q: How has where you come from influenced your music?
Chad: We all came from the same shitty town, and you have two choices: grow up and get a job or get out. That's what we tried to do with the band and I think it's worked pretty well!
Q: So did you all go to school together?
C: Sort of.
James: We went to a few different schools. But it was like 'one guy goes to school with one guy, one guy with another.' Then I got expelled, and -
Q: For what?
Q: Right! So have you been to the UK before?
J: This is our third time.
Q: How do you find it? Is playing over here different?
C: Very different. The first time we played we thought no one liked us, but we realized that UK audiences actually properly assess you to see if you're good. In America, if you stood still from the beginning of a gig it would mean you didn't like it. So it was strange getting used to that.
So you are with Fearless.
J: (quickly) No! Sony RCA.
C: Er, yeah. NOT anymore.
J:(Clearly for the Dictaphone) FUCK YOU BOB BECKER! (Fearless president)
Q: This sounds like a bit of a tale.
J: It's a really long story.
(Manager interjects to tell me that despite having them on their roster for some time, Fearless have been less than helpful with promoting the band.)
C: (sighs) Basically, you could tell from their roster of other bands that Fearless weren't interested in us. Their other bands are nothing like us.
Q: Have you got an album ready?
C: Yes, it's out on the 30th August.
Q: And so you must have been sat on that for a while due to all this stuff.
J: Yeah, some of the songs we've been playing for four years.
Q: This whole thing must have been really frustrating?
C: Totally! But it is what it is. You've just gotta roll with the punches.
Q: Is your name from The Cure Song?
C: Yes, actually. Most people don't guess that though.
Q: Do you think that the organizers of Download saw your name, assumed you might be a hardcore band, and asked you to play?
J: I think that's exactly what happened!
C: It's kind of why we chose the name in the first place. Back home in LA there was a scene of hardcore bands, and it was almost to trick people into seeing us.
Q: Is there still a 'scene' in LA to speak of?
C: There used to be. Everyone is into Es and raving now.
Q: A lot of people want to pigeon hole you, saying that you sound like bands such as The Rapture. What would you say to that?
J: Fuck you The Rapture. (Laughs)
C: (Laughs) It's a little annoying. When a new band comes out, people always seem to want to do it.
Q: In terms of bands around at the minute, is there anyone you admire or would maybe want to work with?
C: Well, I was really impressed with The Horrors' last album. I thought they did a great job with that. Other than that, maybe The XX. They are huge in the US.
Q: And finally, will you be back soon?
J: We'll be back in August to do Reading and Leeds.