In The Studio With Lewis Johns: Funeral For A Friend

By Lais

 

In the second instalment of our ongoing feature ‘In The Studio’ with producer Lewis Johns (Ranch Studios, Southampton), we talk about his work with band Funeral For A Friend.

Who are you recording at the moment, and what have they been recording?

I’m currently in the process of the finishing the seventh Funeral For A Friend album. All tracking is down and we’re just in the final mixing stages now.

How did your relationship with the band begin?

Matt first got in touch after hearing my work on The Tidal Sleep, who¬†toured¬†with Funeral. We kept in touch on¬†Facebook¬†and email until one day he asked if I’d like¬†to do¬†a track with them. We all got on great and the rest is history!

How did they hear about your studio and were you a fan of theirs previously?

They are big fans of UK hardcore and are into a bunch of records that were recorded here at The Ranch. Our approach is to make records that hold the integrity of a band’s live sound and I think they were keen on that. I’ve been a fan of theirs since they released their first EP so getting to work with them on an album was a great experience and I think a good match!

What set up have the band generally been using in the studio?

They have a lot of great gear and we’ve generally been mixing and matching with some of theirs and some of ours on this record. Some of the usual PRS guitars, but also some single coil Fenders for a softer, more dynamic feel in some of the songs. My American Tele Deluxe has been getting a lot of use! We took a similar approach on amp tones too. Not just real high gain amps, but some nice old vintage stuff, as well as some cool real tape delays for effects, which they don’t seem to have experimented with too much in the past. I’m half expecting Kris and Gav to both be playing through Roland Space Echos after this is released!

Were there any new techniques or new gear that you’ve tried out in the sessions? How did they work out?

The main focus for the record was for it to have vibe, feel, energy and to be organic, which is something I think they have struggled to fully capture since ‘Hours’. For this approach I had them recording all together in the live room with no click and we overdubbed afterwards. ¬†Matt did all his vocals with a handheld Shure SM58, which allowed him to feel the songs the same as he would live. I think the resulting record is one that sounds like a real band playing their songs with no studio trickery.

What’s been your standout moment of the recording process for this session?

The guys are really easy to get on with and great players so the whole process was a lot of fun. I think the level of professionalism was apparent from the start which is a testament to their studio experience from over the years.

What’s next on the agenda after this recording?

I’m recording Black Art next who are a great punk band from Gloucestershire. I also have Grand Collapse, Svalbard, Pariso and Human Future all coming in next month to do records. Excited for all of them!

You can find out more about the studio and Lewis Johns’ work at www.lewlsjohns.co.uk.

FFAF

 

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]