Norway’s Funeral are almost legends in their own right having been formed over 2 decades ago and being widely credited as pioneers of the funeral doom genre – Shan Siva chats to drummer (and sole survivor) Anders Eek!
1. Hail to Funeral – how did you spend your New Year (hopefully not in a graveyard lol)?
Anders: Hail Battlehelm! I spent it with friends and family, eating good food and consuming some great liquor, as every year ha ha
2. You guys have been going since 1991 – are you something of a cult band?
Anders: I know some consider us this, but it is really not for me to say. I do what I have done since the early 90`s, as it is some kind of obsession for me. It is up to others to say whether or not we are a cult band or not.
3. The band is seen as one of the pioneers of the funeral doom genre – how do you feel about that?
Anders: It’s a great honour to hear such a thing, but again, it’s really not up to me to say. We play doom-metal, the Funeral style. I know a lot of people consider our first releases as something of a rarity, and I believe these albums gave name to this sub-genre, and that’s very cool. For me though, I am not very interested in labelling music generally. I have this vision for the band, and that is to be the perfect soundtrack to a real Funeral, being both a sad, and a beautiful ceremony at the same time. In a sick and twisted way this has always fascinated me..For me it’s not important what people call our music.
4. With a more common association with Black Metal, how big is funeral doom in Norway and is it often mistaken for its blacker cousin?
Anders: It seems like doom-metal generally never have been a big thing in Norway. There are not many bands that ever have played this kind of music to my knowledge, and I have no experiences that our style of music has been mistaken for its blacker cousin as you say.
5. When you started the band, did you intentionally set out to take doom to a more extreme level or did it happen more naturally?
Anders: Yes and no! I wanted to play music that I could not find anywhere else, and I wanted to bring the doom-meal genre to newer/lower heights, so to speak, thus we decided to play the music that we loved but wanted to take it a step further, playing even more extreme than the bands that inspired us in the first place. It was really a mixture of both intentionally playing extreme, and playing music we could not buy. We have really always composed to please ourselves, and taken it as a bonus if others enjoyed it as well.
6. What inspirations did you have when you formed the band?
Anders: I grew up with Kiss, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Black Sabbath, The Beatles, Accept and so forth, eventually I discovered more extreme music, also included classical music. This put together inspired me to form Funeral, and gave me the sparks to pick up instruments in the first place.
7. It seems a little ironic with a name like Funeral that you’ve lost a coupla guys along the way – besides the tragic personal loss has there been difficulty in replacing these guys that has prevented the band from getting bigger?
Anders: First I want to mention that losing 2 band members and friends is a huge loss, independent on the band name. Experiencing this does something with you for life. It almost made me dissolve the band , and I needed a break for a couple of years. Eventually I missed playing this kind of music, and I gathered a new line-, which by the way always has been a task. There seems to be not too many skilled musicians that wants to play doom-metal, but I succeeded at last. Our present line-up is very good and stable, and I feel lucky to have these guys in the band. People that I can trust, and that take on this task in a serious way.
8. How many original members are there in Funeral and have they had to live a lifestyle to keep the band alive – or do they lead a ‘normal’ life and switch the band on / off when they feel like it?
Anders: It’s just me left from the original line-up. Everyone in the band lives quite a “normal” life, I presume, with both day jobs and family. For me writing the music, I constantly “live” with the band, so to speak, and draw inspirations from all kinds of weird things..For me playing in a band is a hobby that consumes a lot of time, and I love it!
9. Listening to “Oratorium” the songs clock in around 10 mins a piece so that is immense achievement especially to keep the attention of the listener, so how does Funeral compose its material – or even remember it all?!
Anders: For me this comes very natural. I tend to like long songs and compositions that sort of lulls you into a state of mind. I like long, winding parts that one can meditate to, so to speak. We spend quite a lot of time composing and recording, doing this makes you remember it very easy, and also makes you a bit tired of the songs when you have put them on tape. This is why we always work on new songs and new albums even before releasing one.
10. What plans do Funeral have for 2013?
Anders: Hopefully the release of a new album. Just vocals and orchestration left. Besides this we are releasing at least one limited 7″, with old demo tracks from the 90`s, containing new recorded vocals. We are also in talks with several promoters for gigs and tours…