Funebrarum interview by Nathaniel!
1- Hey Nick!
Hope you are in a good mood to answer this intie.
Hello Nathaniel! I am in a decent mood tonight so I shall speaketh further on the topics at hand. We've just finished up a brand new 7" entitled "Dormant Hallucination" which will be out very soon on Midnight Records. We also will be re-releasing "Beneath...." on vinyl w/2 extra tracks. 1 from the 1999 demo & one rehearsal track from 2000. This will be on Buio Omega Records from Italy. And further down the line, a split 10" w/EVISCIUM (ex ROTTREVORE)on the same label.Other than that, just practicing when we can and trying to find a drummer....which seems like it might never happen! The album was actually a second demo entitled "Tombs Of Sleeping Darkness" that we recorded simply to give to labels in the hopes of getting signed. Right after that, we lost our drummer and kind of drifted apart for the next 2 years; busy with our other bands. At that point the band was pretty much dead until our friend & local madman Roy Fox/Necroharmonic Records decided to release it. So we went back into the studio & remixed/remastered it-thus calling it "Beneath..." since it was a different recording.
2-Do you consider FUNEBRARUM as a side project of ABAZAGORATH, or do you consider it as a real band. Please tell us more about all the other side bands around ABAZAGORATH. In how many bands are you involved personally?
Until we get a permanent drummer, Funebrarum will always remain in side-project status. We are trying to get the name out there and make it a real full-time band but it's hard to keep it afloat without being a full line-up. There are actually 2 bands that make up Funebrarum....Evoken & Abazagorath. I know Daryl has a couple of other projects; but I don't really know too much about them and he would be able to speak on them further. I don't think they are still active at this point. I personally have Evoken & of course Funebrarum.
3- Playing such a deep and moody death metal is really not common nowadays, especially in America. How comes that you decided to form FUNEBRARUM in order to play an unholy death metal in the old Finnish way (DEMIGOD, FUNEBRE whose logo is really near of yours, DEMILICH...) nowadays?
I love old Swedish/Finnish death metal....I was into that stuff back in the late 80's & early 90's & I still love it as much now if not MORE than I did then. Daryl & Dave love that stuff too (we're all diehards) so the choice was obvious to keep Funebrarum in that style. Of course, we like to try and add our own ideas & keep it original but we will not deny that we are heavily influenced by that era of death metal.
4-Even though FUNEBRARUM only exists since 1999, you are involved in bands like EVOKEN and ABAZAGORATH that are far way older. But a common thing between the bands you are involved in is that none of them lacks of heaviness nor darkness. What makes you feel delivering a so deeply unholy metal? In which band do you fell the most comfortable?
I think heaviness and dark atmosphere are 2 extremely important factors for me when creating music. Powerful music is much more effective in getting your ideas across. Since I first started playing, my goal was always to create the darkest, heaviest music I could with EVOKEN....& that is now the same principle in FUNEBRARUM. It's ingrained in all of us to keep it as brutal as possible !!!!I guess I'm comfortable in both bands equally. EVOKEN is definitely more structured & professional. We practice once a week, & things are a bit more on the serious side. With FUNEBRARUM, it's a little bit looser....we joke around a lot and have smaller practices at Dave/Daryl's house because we still don't have a drummer. Not to say FUNEBRARUM isn't professional, just that right now we're still trying to get a line-up together so we can get going full strength again. I don't see/hang out with the other members of EVOKEN much outside of practice; we all have our busy schedules with jobs, families,etc & I live the farthest away from all 3 of them.
5-How is the line up like now in FUNEBRARUM since there has been some changes since the beginning? Have you now something stable, or have you problems to rehearse or to find enough motivated people? Have you finally found a drummer? Was it hard to find the right guys to start FUNEBRARUM? I mean not everybody is involved into this kind of death metal, especially in the USA where the big trendy wave of deathcore is at its highest point.
Right now the line-up is yours truly on Guitar; Daryl Kahan on Vox & David Wagner on Bass. This is the core of the band & we are very stable now despite the problems we've come across in the past. We STILL haven't found a drummer since 2000 though & that makes it difficult to keep things afloat because we cannot practice in a rehearsal studio as a full band. It is nearly impossible to find dedicated musicians in this area into this particular style of music. Nobody cares nor even remembers those glorious days anymore....and most people playing heavy music today were like 6-7 years old back in 1990!!! We don't let it stop us-we get together to write songs at Funebrarum headquarters as often as we can (aka Daryl/Dave's house). Daryl has a drum machine which he uses to come up with the best drum patterns for each riff...so it's kind of like jamming with a drummer. It was more luck than anything that we all met up & love the same style of death metal. Four years into our existence & we are still trying to find the last 2 pieces of the bloody puzzle-that is a perfect indication of just how hard it is to get a solid line-up in place.
6-As you are involved into this scene since more than a decade, I wanted to know your thoughts about the evolution of the genre called death metal! Something I find funny is that back in 91/92, people were complaining of the death metal trend, and tended to turn towards the ugly face of black metal, but in fact I find that the death metal bands from then had more identity in a general view, then the actual bands playing death metal... What do you think about that?
Yeah, it eventually became a trend but there were so many more quality releases coming out during that time. These days you really have to search through all the shit to find the one gem. Back then, death metal bands DID have more identity; much more depth & character than the bands of today. The music was dark, truly evil and played with conviction. Bands today only care about how low they can get their vocals or how fast they can play or even worse how much groove-slam riffs they can put in one song. Of course, after the glory days that over-technical, Cynic/Athiest crap started coming out like 93-94 and after that period death metal was pretty much off the map in the mainstream's eyes.
7-You played with big acts like MORTICIAN, HATE ETERNAL,EXHUMED, and even MAYHEM... How was the response of the audience? Have you had the opportunity to play abroad of New Jersey? Wasn´t it too pitiful to watch how MAYHEM has become gay?
We've had great responses from the audiences.The few shows we did get to play were fucking great & with some killer bands as well. Without a drummer though, we've unfortunately been unable to play shows for quite some time now. Once we do get things straightened out again we'd love to play some shows around the country as well as Europe. Haha, yeah Mayhem was pretty sad.....I think at one point they even through some rap into one of their songs which really made me wonder what the fuck happened to the real Mayhem ?!!? Just a bad imitation of the original.
8- How things are happening with your label NECROHARMONIC? Wasn´t it too difficult to find a label with such an untrendy and uncompromising death metal? How were the responses to your demo and to your album? Do you feel proud to have given an interview for the almighty VOICES FROM THE DARK SIDE mag?
Necroharmonic is a great upcoming label. Roy is a longtime friend and as you said is very uncompromising in what he releases. Everything he puts out is something he truly likes...not something he thinks he can cash in on which is basically how most of the larger labels like to conduct their business.We've had really positive response to both the demo & album...I see them on more and more tradelists every day which is really cool. We've also gotten some killer reviews as well so I guess there are still some people out there who long to hear old school death metal. The interview with VFTD was a great experience....i'm sure being featured in a prestigious zine like that will help us greatly in getting our name further along in the scene abroad. Only problem I have is that Frank Stover kind of slagged my other band Evoken when he reviewed our last album.......haha just kidding, everyone is entitled to their opinions & it wasn't too bad so I won't cry (too hard)about it.
9-What are the new or actual bands you would advise our reader to keep an eye on? Do you support a lot the scene by yourself? Have you already taken part of fanzines or gigs organization? What are the best fanzines past and present according to you?
I can't say I support the scene as much as I used to. I have a job that takes up a lot of my time; as well as 2 bands and a serious relationship that I have to squeeze into my weekly schedule. I try to keep up with what's happening in the scene & I will still search out the occasional album/demo that I feel I need to have.
To be honest with you though, there is very little coming out that interests me these days. Best bands from the last few years....Death Metal I would say: EVISCIUM, KEEPER OF DECAY, INHUME, KAAMOS, REPUGNANT, EXHUMED, REGURGITATE, VOMITORY, SADISTIC INTENT, & BLACK WITCHERY (black/death). For Doom i'd say: HIEROPHANT, WORSHIP, MOURNFUL CONGREGATION, UNEARTHLY TRANCE, MORGION & ESOTERIC. Best fanzines, i'd say: PUTREFACTION, BUTCHER, DEATH VOMIT, GOETIA, ORCUSTUS, ULTIMATUM, UNIFORCE, TALES OF THE MACABRE (still around?) VFTD (of course, still alive), WHERE'S MY BLOODY SKIN, SLAYER, CHRONICLES OF CHAOS, ETERNAL FROST, etc...
10-Is this split ep with CADAVERIZER finally available somewhere, or should I verify my informations? How comes that you managed to appear on an ep with Kam Lee´s new band? How comes that you recruited Dan Seagrave for the artwork? It seems that it´s a long time he hasn´t painted covers for death metal bands!
To clear this up, the EP will not be a split w/CADAVERIZER as they no longer exist. I don't know the actual story as to what happened, but for whatever reason they broke up. The Dan Seagrave artwork was going to be for their side of the split, but since they obviously weren't going to be using it, Blackwulf gave it to us to use. We are totally honored to have the chance to use his awesome artwork for one of our releases. It should be coming out very soon...probably 2-3 weeks.
11-If I am not wrong, MIDNIGHT 666 records is the label of Blackwulf who handled the guitar in DEKAPITATOR... How is this label working? I hope fine! How do you consider the american underground... To me it´s largely composed of trend followers, but still one can find good bands like SADISTIC INTENT, IMMOLATION, USURPER, EVILUTION (rip), FUNEBRARUM, THORNSPAWN, and so on. What do you think of the fact that a music of INCANTATION will be the soundtrack of a NIKE´s commercial?
Yes, he is in DEKAPITATOR-a great band indeed. It's working out good with Midnight 666 so far. Perhaps we can work together again sometime on another release; but that's up to him. It's still kind of early to tell but it seems like he is willing to put the time & effort into his releases so I can see his label doing very well and expanding in the future. The US scene is ok....there are definitely a few bands to watch out for on the horizon. Of course, the other 98% of the scene is mostly trendy stuff as you stated but I avoid all that nonsense & search out the few worthwhile releases. Haha, anything is possible these days....I am not a huge fan of INCANTATION so I wouldn't be too upset about it-but I think it'd be funny to see people running track & playing basketball to "Profanation"
12-OK, please define death metal with your own words, and if death metal was a beer, which one would it be?
I think it would be Guinness Stout....dark, thick, heavy, bitter, & utterly destroying all senses when taken in excess. Seriously though, death metal should be relentlessly heavy & dark with without being over-technical or too complex. No burping frog vocals or moshcore.....only morbidity & cold, evil atmopsphere. Keep it de-tuned & brutal!!!!!!!!!!! (You’re so fucking right!!!!!!-Nathaniel)
13-Would you like to ask me a question?
How do you find the time to do all stuff you do in regard to the scene ? I know you write for a couple of zines & also do the REPUGNANT website. Seems like quite a bit of work !! Also, do you think there are enough bands playing the old-school style now to actually have a revival of the early Swedish/Finnish scene?
am actually studying in Norway, where I am not so busy with the
stuff I have to study, and as it is a very boring country, I rather
occupy myself through a deep dedication toward the true underground...
And it’s not of the taste of some posers around! Hahahaa!!! I spend
between 4 and 8 hours a day or a night for METAL! To me, the problem
is not to play necessary “old school”, but I prefer bands playing
with an identity and who just don’t play brutal stuff for the sake
of brutality only. But, yeah, there aren’t so much old school acts
nowadays, for sure. But in a way, it’s not a bad thing, because
only the real maniacs are involved into it, and when you know where
to find the good stuff, then it’s godly, and all the rest can fuck
off! Support bands like CIANIDE, NIFELHEIM, and all the others mentioned
in this intie, apart from the true GAYHEM, and you’ll have an idea
of what is the real thing!!!!
14- Here comes the end of this little interview. Hope you enjoyed it a bit! Have a fucking good time playing such great stuff! Thanks again for your support.
Thank you, Nathaniel for the support.......it is greatly appreciated !!!! Funebrarum CD's can be bought through Necroharmonic Records as well as through me. The new 7" should be out very soon....keep your eyes peeled for it!!!Also, "Beneath the Columns Of Abandoned Gods" vinyl re-relase w/bonus tracks on Buio Omega Records. Any other info on the band, merch, etc contact me. Ok, til the next time-HAIL TRUE DEATH METAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!