Seven years is a long time in the music business. “There wasn’t Myspace or iTunes,” states Ryan Richards of Funeral for a Friend. “It used to be harder to get noticed. There was no downloads, no Facebook, no Twitters, just CDs and if you wanted people to hear your music you had to hit the road.”

The drummer (pictured with the shades on), has every right to be proud of his band’s distinguished career to date reaching international rock band status. “The jump in resources is incredible these days,” he continues. “Bands are a lot more empowered with all this social networking. When we began, you had to be signed with a major deal to make any breakthrough.”

Ryan is the screaming, bangin’, driving force behind the Welsh rockers new single Wrench, which hit the charts last week. The infectious, churning beat is indicative of the material this band have produced since signing to Atlantic Records.

We thought it was the perfect time to celebrate what we’ve done,” says Ryan. The album is entitled Your History Is Mine: 2002-2009, and it signals a new chapter for the band who have their own record label (Join Us Records) and a new bass player. As a historical record this is a good package showcasing how the band’s sound has matured. The fans agree as it has hit number 12 in the rock album charts this week.

To promote the album, the band are “hitting the road” visiting The Forum at University of Hertfordshire on Thursday, October 15.

“It’ll be quite a nice change to go out on tour and not have to concentrate on representing our latest album,” he says.

Although when it came to choosing the set list the band didn’t go down the “traditional” route. Instead, asking the fans to decide the music by voting on the website “It really does represent all our best material from day one until now,” enthuses Ryan. “There’s a lot of old ones on there which we haven’t played for a while – it’s been challenging in rehearsals, but pretty exciting for us.

“We always argue about playing this song or that song. So this tour is good because it’s sort of a once-and-for-all perfect set in the fans’ eyes. And it’ll be a nice trip down memory lane, as well as a peek into the future of Funeral for a Friend.”

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Where are you; and what are you doing at the moment?
I'm in the studio putting the finishing touches on the mini album for Tiger Please.

What's on the band's rider
The usual food and beer.

How does the band warm up before a performance?
We go out and watch the support band. You'll usually find us hanging near the sound desk.

What’s the most embarrassing that’s happened to you on stage?
Finding I was allergic to caffeine. I had an anyphylactic attack on stage, which wasn't very nice.

Tell me about the name of the band?
There's no story to it.

How old were you when you were signed to Atlantic Records?

What’s your favourite song on this current album?
This Year's Most Open Heartbreaks

How would you describe Funeral For A Friend in three words?
Heavy. Melodic. Progressive.

What was the first single/album you ever bought?
Album: BAD. Single: Jive Bunny.

Who is your secret crush?
Just my wife and my daughter.

When was the last time you cried?
I had a sneaky tear during the goblin scene of Spiderman 3.

What did you learn at school outside the classroom?
Music, I’d often skip classes at Bishop Hedley and find a room to jam with other people skipping classes too.

How would your friends describe you?
Hard working. Passionate. Workaholic.