Norwegian OLD FUNERAL should be no stranger to those of you that read fanzines in the 80s. All the rest of you better read the interview with Tore to find out all there is to know about Old Funeral. Anders Ekdahl ©2013
I remember you guys from my fanzine reading days in the 80s/90s. You were one of the first extreme metal bands in Norway. Why didn’t you go all the way?
-Well, we went as far as we could go within our own frame. 2 of the members had to go to jail , I was called to military service and one moved to another side of the country. We kind of stopped when everything went bigger and into media hysteria, so we stopped while the scene was still very underground. Which I think is just as good. We never did it to become “big” in the first place anyway.
In the 80s I was in contact with Euronymous, Maniac and Metalion. What did it mean to the Norwegian scene that there were people like that keeping the flame alive?
-They were important people for the scene indeed. Slayer Mag was the ultimate read at the time and Euronymous’ shop and band was often referred to. They were pioneers and deserve respect in their own fields. Metalion made interviews and reviews for the underground bands and Euronymous sold the demos /merch in his shop. Great times!
Did you feel like you were a part of something great back in the 80s? What kind of atmosphere was there in Norway back then?
– We certainly were a part of something special, since we were the outcasts in the big music picture so to speak. Very few people understood us, but those who did were very dedicated.
The atmosphere was great amongst us, but we were looked upon by ” normal” people as outsiders,satanists,wierd etc. It was probably similar in certain aspects as the early punk scene in England in 1976. Us against the world kind of thing.
How long in the works have this retrospective been? I seem to have heard of it for some time now.
– It has been thought about for quite some time, since people are still often asking me for old material like the first demo and so on. So intead of people bootleging it (it has already been done, ref. the “skin And Bone” CD ), I figured it should rather be done properly. Include some rare photos and original flyers in the artwork and just include evrything we ever recorded as a band in one package. Just to get it done once and for all. The only recordings that are not included here that we’ve done, are 2 instrumental tracks from 1992. Those songs were never finished so… Other than that it’s all there. Warts n all.
What has been the hardest part compiling all the tracks? How much repair have you had to do to the tracks?
– We have done NO repair at all. This is straight from orignal tapes with NO rematsering or remix. I wanted it to be as raw,and unpolished as it originally was. The hardest part was to find the tapes and the original flyers and photo negatives. I have moved a couple of times to different addresses, but eventually I dug up some relevant stuff.
When you release a retrospective record as this one I guess it forces you to look back on the history of the band. What kind of feelings do you have on your past?
– Yeah. Old Funeral lasted as a band for 4 and a half years. When we started, me and Olve were just 15 years old and Padden was 18. So that first demo recording was made when we were just kids!! As you can tell by the cover and song titles! Ha ha! But still I think the actual music is very good even today. Of course the recording equipment was very primitive,but I get a great feel when I listen to the songs today. I guess that’s what it all about. The FEEL!. Me an Olve and Padden got together 2 weeks ago and listened to that first demo and we just said to each other: “Fuck ! Listen to that ! We had only played under a year when that was recorded and you can hear the hunger and rebelliousness” . It was a very good beginning for what we did later musically. It’s now 25 years ago since we formed the band and it feels good to go back a see what our humble beginnings were. They were great times that I feel priviligued to have experienced. We are all still very good friends ( me and Olve have played in Bömbers, our Motorhead tribute band, together since 1996 and still running !). And none of us have cut our hair after 25 years ! Allright!
I seem to remember that there was some sort of “feud” between Norwegian and Swedish bands back in the days. What country did/do produce the best and most original bands?
– Yeah , that was later in 1991 and onwards as far as I remember. I myself didn’t think much of it. I was always there mainly for the music. I think it’s irrelevant to think about what country made the best bands, because that’s all a matter of taste anyway. Personally I still like a lot the old Nihilist, first Entombed demo, some early Dismember etc. But what irritated us was that every band wanted to record in Sunlight studio, so all bands sounded the same after a while. It stole a bit of the identity from the bands.
Do you ever feel any bitterness over how things turned out for the band? Would you have liked for the band to have been able to fully explore its potential?
– No. I have never felt bitter about Old Funeral in any way. On the contrary, I feel priviligued. We have been offered rather big slumps of cash for reunion, which would have been very easy to do since we are all still alive and know how to play. I probably have had 30 offers from festivals, promotors last 10 years ,but we always said no. One shall never say never, but if we do it anytime in the future, it has to be for the right reasons, and not for some easy cash. I don’t mind getting paid well for a “normal job” , but whatever band I’ve been in, it has been for my love for the music itself. And that’s the way it forever’s gonna me. My soul is NOT for sale. Music and honesty is sacred to me, allright!
What things did you carry on to do after OLD FUNERAL folded?
– I played in Desekrator, I have played in Bömbers, the Motorhead tribute, continously since 1996, I have played in The Batallion since 2006 and released 2 albums and 1 EP with them. and now I have another band with Bad Faust ( ex emperor, Blood Tsunami, Mongo Ninja) called Studfaust. We are in the process of making our first full lenght now. A 7″ single has already been released. Other than that I have done some guest appearances on albums with Mongo Ninja, Dead To This World and Amok. I have also been a part of the road crew for Immortal on 3 European tours. I have also done some freelancing for music magazines, doing interviews,reports. As long as I can “be around” the music I like I am fine ,allright!
In hindsight what do you feel about the way the Norwegian extreme metal scene has developed, having been there from the beginning?
– As far as I’m concerned I think it’s nausiating when I see the so called big bands go for mainstream stuff like Eurovision Song Contest,and different award shows and become a part of the household culture. It makes me sick and I wanna puke ! That has NOTHING to do with rock n roll ! What the hell! Rock n roll is supposed to be rebellious and UNcultural ! If you ever saw me at a show like that it would be just to piss in the punchbowl. The scene in Norway now is ok. There are definately bands there with the right attitude, but those are often the lesser known bands. I like bands that KICK ASS, not KISS ASS !! Anyway, I will always do what I always did. Play the music that makes my blood boil. Allright!!!