Britain’s newest supergroup are on a path to bring back rock’n’roll and their debut album is lighting the way.
Set for release 15 February 2018 via Silent Cult Records, Funeral Shakes was recorded and produced by Steve Sears (The Hell, Krokodil, Palm Reader) at Titan Studios, Watford and combines frenetic punk rock energy with power pop sensibilities, lathered in disdain, with giant hooks, and lung-bursting choruses.
With all band members part of other successful bands respectively, this supergroup is a force to be reckoned with as they summon their individual talents into one huge sounding record.
It all started when Simon and Calvin of the Smoking Hearts couldn’t quite fit some song ideas around the band’s sound.”We had a lot of song ideas that wouldn’t have fit with The Smoking Hearts sound, songs that were more melodic, or slower, or just different stylistically. We started to demo a few of them at home and realised that it would be a new project.” Calvin says.
Just in time for a week filled with messages of love and sappy things everywhere, Funeral Shakes have delivered a record for the broken hearted – to be turned up loud, obviously. “When would you ever want to hear a song about people who’ve lived happily ever after? Never! You want to listen to the negative stuff, all wrapped up in a happy tune.” Funeral Shakes guitarist Simon Barker mentioned about the record, and he’s spot on. It’s a record to make you feel entirely okay about not having a Valentine’s date or not being in love.
The group’s self-titled debut is a heavy sounding mix of old school rock’n’roll hooks and solid punk riffs. Its twelve songs are mainstream-friendly tracks like Gold Teeth or Howl, as well as much heavier tunes such as Circles. Album opener Over You was also the band’s first single release and is the perfect introduction to Funeral Shakes with its pounding drums, urgent riffs and punk vocals.
Gold Teeth is just one of a good handful of songs on the album that have festival sing-along potential and could catapult the band right into the top of next year’s festival line-ups. Whereas Gin Palace is, stylistically, the most outstanding track on the album. It’s entirely instrumental and takes you back to a 1950’s era rock’n’roll, dancing shoes included.
All this is not to say that the album is entirely perfect, rock never is. But the record has a whole mountain of charm and skill as well as extremely catchy hooks that promise to sound incredible in a live setting, rocking the socks (literally) off everyone in the audience.
The album is proof that rock’n’roll is far from dead – you just need to listen to Funeral Shakes. With the incredible talent at work, this band could most definitely go on to great things. Make sure you pre-order or stream the debut album right here.
Ahead of the release Funeral Shakes bassist Calvin Roffey chatted about their new record, check out the full interview below.
With you all being in successful bands respectively, what made you decide to try something new with the Funeral Shakes project?
Simon and I came home from a Smoking Hearts tour, and Simon had a lot of song ideas that wouldn’t have fit with The Smoking Hearts sound, songs that were more melodic, or slower, or just different stylistically. We started to demo a few of them at home and realised that it would be a new project. It was a very refreshing feeling, escaping the confines that having an established band has. Not that there was anything bad about being in our other bands, but having a completely blank canvas with which to start was a lot of fun.
How would you describe your album in five words or less?
Rocket From The Weezer Hives.
What are your favourite tracks from the release?
There’s not a song that I like any more than any other at the moment, but I definitely enjoy playing ‘Over You’ the most live at this point. With it being the first single, it’s the song that people have perhaps heard the most, and are responding to live by singing the chorus back at us. It’s a special feeling, so I’d say that perhaps that’s my favourite at the moment. But I hope other songs will have a similar reaction once people have had chance to hear the album.
The album is quite high energy and fast paces – are you looking forward to playing these tracks live?
We’ve played a bit of a mixture of the faster songs and the slower ones live so far. It’s quite nice to have that variety, so I wouldn’t say that playing the faster songs is more fun than the slower ones, it’s just different, and that in itself is exciting.
Lyrically the record sounds quite dark, was this something you intentionally wanted to write or did it just happen during the writing process?
Coming in to this project, I don’t think Simon or I necessarily had anything we intentionally wanted to write about. We just wrote about what we wanted to write about at that point in time. I’d like to think we’ll continue this way too. Some friends of ours in the CC Smugglers had an EP called “Write What You Know”, and I think it’s such a good approach, not trying to force a subject matter as much as letting what you’ve got flow naturally.
In ‘Gold Teeth’ there’s a line that goes “No one wants to hear about how happy you’ve become”, and it feels quite relatable, much like a lot of the lyrics on the record. Is this something you aim for, to ensure the reader relates to your music lyrically as well as musically?
Again, we tend to just write about what we want and what we’re feeling. One of the things that I personally love about Simon’s lyrics are how they can be left open to interpretation. You can speculate as to what they’re about, but there’s enough open space in the lyrics for you to be able to fill in the gaps for yourself, or make them personal to yourself. I think we all have songs that when we hear we can relate them to situations in our own lives, regardless of whether that’s what the song was initially about or not. Hopefully the people that listen to Funeral Shakes will have similar feelings.
Let’s talk about your live shows. How do you prep for your those? Any rituals or habits?
We’ve only played a few so far, so we don’t have a routine quite yet, but I think for me at least that getting dressed in to our “uniform” sets the scene. Gets me mentally prepared to become the person you see onstage, if that makes any sense?
What can we expect from your upcoming headline tour?
You can expect to hear much of our debut album, being played live and loud with a couple of bum notes here and there, a few extra drum fills, and hopefully people singing the words back at us just as loud as we sing them to them.
You can catch Funeral Shakes live across the UK:
14 February – Old Blue Last, London – with LIRR
15 February – LP Cafe, Watford – Instore/Album Release Show
23 February – Huddersfield Parish, Huddersfield – with Mr. Shiraz
24 February – Red Rum, Stafford – with Sonic Boom Six
25 February – Salty Dog, Northwich
4 April – Cobblestones, Bridgewater
5 April – Red Room, Nottingham
6 April – Sunbird Records, Darwen (Free Entry)
7 April – Broadcast, Glasgow
8 April – Woolpack, Doncaster (Free Entry)
9 April – Night People, Manchester
10 April – Thousand Island, London (Free entry)
11 April – Louisiana, Bristol