|Back in 1993 a Norwegian band shook the Black Metal scene in Norway. While all the bands and Metalheads were following the Scandinavian Black Metal scene with promising bands such as Darkthrone, Mayhem, Immortal, Emperor, Dissection and so on, a little combo decided to play Doom Metal music. It was FUNERAL. Even though they weren't in the B.M scene, many B.M fanzines praised their amazing demo "Tristesse" that is a unique moment of sorrowful depression. Since 14 years of existence the band crossed many dramatic events but finally recorded their fourth release "From these Wounds" in 2006. Once again FUNERAL stands against the conventional scene, and brought fresh ideas within Doom Metal field. Most of the answers were from Frode Forsmo (bass, vocals) expected special mention answered by Andres Eek (drum). Interview done 15/05/07||Hell-o, how are you doing
today ? How many beers will you drink for this interview and what albums
will you play ?
Howdy. Frode from FUNERAL here. Doing moderately ok today. I am having a few beers now, yes, so please have patience if I start to rant. Right now I am listening to Dream Theatre, "Train of thought".
like to know how and why did you choose FUNERAL as a band name ? Did you
attend to a death ceremony when you were younger that branded your mind
? And how would you like to see your own funeral day ?
|First all of congratulation for your
great new release "From These Wounds", but what is your point
of view on that release ? Did you reach to get what you had in mind with
that full-length before going to the studio ?
Merci. There is actually a considerable time-gap between the recording and the release of "From These Wounds". At the time of recording we were very excited about the production and all. Preferences has changed since then. On the next one we will go for a more organic and less polished production. Still, for me "From These Wounds" is the best sounding release I have had the opportunity of performing on, so far.
These Wounds" is one hell of great Doom Metal album, it really conveys
all the key elements from this Metal genre : excellent vocals, detuned
guitar and wonderful riffs. How was the writing process ? Was the creation
of the fourth album more difficult than the previous one, I mean you might
sometime lack of idea for lyrics and/or musical
Would you explain
the titles of the new album : what wounds are you talking about ? The
cover of that release, the barbed wires clearly symbolise the deep wound
and the inner self suffering one can go through when he feels miserable…
These Wounds" was recorded in your own studio "Vektor Facilities".
How does it come ? Does it mean Tabu refused to pay a larger studio budget
? Furthermore, isn't it too difficult to judge the quality of the recording
when you're both the musician and behind the computer during the recording
Kjetil is also a skilled and professional sound-engineer. It was he that mixed and mastered the album in his own studio. Yes, it is difficult to be both musician and sound-engineer, and I think it burned Kjetil out. However, I do not think the album suffers too much under the problems you mention. It is the most professional sounding FUNERAL album to date. Regarding Tabu, the album was already finished when we signed with them. Tabu is a relatively small, but very serious record company. I believe they sign their bands based on what they honestly like, rather than what they think will sell. Many good bands under their mark.
Your "Tristesse" '93 demo
tape and later MCD was pretty famous in the early 90's underground scene.
I remember it was sought, and I read that you're looking for re-releasing
it. What is your regard on that material that is 14 years old ?
Being French I'd like to know why you
chose a French word to name your album "Tritesse" (sorrowful)
? Is there any connection with the famous wave of French writers from
the 19th century ? And have ever you tried to write a song with French
You had a deal with Wild Rage for your
"Tristess" CD, everyone knows the troubles about Wild Rage,
but how were the relations and support with FUNERAL from this label ?
Yes, Tabu is definitively the right label for FUNERAL. If FUNERAL ever gets out of the limbo of obscurity, it will be with Tabu. They have given us a treatment that is rare these days, also among the bigger labels, or perhaps especially among the bigger labels. I would recommend unsigned bands to check them out. I believe their focus is on Norwegian or Scandinavian bands, though.
Eek: Back in the 90`s when Black Metal was the big thing, noone seem to pay attention to Doom-Metal, thus no label was interested in signing us. Then we were contacted by Nocturnal and I am sorry to say we jumped on it. They paid what they were supposed to but didn't do shit concerning promotion, distro etc. That'ss why "In Fields Of Pestilent Grief" remains an obscure album to this date.
When it comes to lyrics concept I think
that sometime Doom and Suicidal Black Metal are very close and deals with
the same topics, do you agree with me and are there any suicidal B.M combos
you like ?
Thergothon and FUNERAL's early demo had a bit the same vibe, the same feeling in each release don't you think so ? Could you remember your feeling the first time you listen to this band ? I was also wondering if this band was an influence on yours as according to me "Stream For Heaven" is one of the most heavy and slow album I've experienced in my live…
Eek: I never heard of Thergothon for years after forming FUNERAL. So it didn't influence us at all. I heard their album, but it didn't really move me. We were very inspired by old Paradise Lost, Cathedral, Black Sabbath, and Candlemass.
Doom Metal is mainly established on melancholy and sadness, so does it
mean that members are particularly depressed ? Do you think that we live
in a rather sad world with strange rules ? By the way, do you think that
northern territories led people to loneliness, as cold temperatures and
distances between human might changed their attitudes ?
Let's keep on
this topic : I sometimes feel like some people need to express their emotions
through words or through an instrument while others need sport, do you
feel the same ? Do you believe that such a band like FUNERAL could be
like chemical given to patient to recover his illness ?
|Even though that
Doom Metal is largely influenced by Black Sabbath, FUNERAL is rather far
away from the British band concept. I'd say that you reach the higher evolution
in Doom Metal music, using the feeling of B.S but arranging your songs in
such a way that your tunes sound FUNERAL, period ! Do you agree with me
and how important is/was Black Sabbath for you ? Any favourite albums or
tunes from them ?
Black Sabbath are the godfathers of many of todays sub-genres of Metal. But, as you say, Doom-Metal is probably the genre most inspired by them. A few personal BS favourites would be "Spiral Architect", "Symptom Of The Universe", and "Children Of The Sea". And, I am really looking forward to the new Ozzy album.
you're fan of Doom Metal, I guess you might be aware of labels such as
"I Hate Records", "Golden Lake", "Psychedoomelic
Records", and so on…Did you send any promo to these labels
to get a deal and are there releases from their back catalogue you're
members of FUNERAL are also part of Paradigma that is also one of the very
first Doom Metal and a very great band back then. How did you feel the need
to play in another Doom Metal band ?
Eek: It was FUNERAL bassist Einar who joined Paradigma in the late 90`s. He took care of the bass and melodic vocals on their still not released album recorded in 99 I believe.. Einar moved to Oslo and became friends with the Paradigma guys I think, and FUNERAL was never a band that rehearsed very often. anyway. I actually had 3-4 bands running at the same time back then..
Bassist Einer died in January 2003,
his death seemed to have affected the band seriously both emotionally
and musically. Did you feel that band was cursed back then ? How did he
pass away ?
Back in the 95's there was a Black
Metal band from France that had the same name than yours. The French combo
was on the front line of newspaper because of their satanic actions and
link with the right wings. I guess that it might had pissed you off as
some Metalheads were confusing both band ? Did you ever asked them to
change their name ?
Doom Metal has always been connected
with melancholia, and according to me a part of autumnal season, while
the most melancholic times are the snowing days in winter. As you live
in Norway, I'd like to know your relation with that natural element…
Do you suffer from snow, how do you feel when it's snowing ?
I heard the cover of Abyssic Hate's
"Suicide Emotion" is a picture of a FUNERAL member is that right
and who is he ? I'm not certain about my information, but if I'm right
do you remember how Shane asked a FUNERAL member to feature on his album
|On your web site
there's link to "Fallen" demo tape that is once again a Doom combo
that is really excellent. I listen to the tunes and I've to admit they are
way different to FUNERAL. So, could you explain what's this band exactly,
why did you create it ? Furthermore I saw that since the "A Tragedy's
Bitter End" from 2004 nothing has been recorded, is the band dead and
buried ? I guess the death of Christian Loss is the reason on the inactivity
of the combo ?
Eek: The Fallen demo was released on "A Tragedy`s..". I needed an outlet for my love of extreme Doom back when FUNERAL became a bit faster and "mainstream", so I continued on composing really slow stuff, and I still do to this day. We have recorded a lot of material since then. A 4 -track demo(60 minutes) featuring Cecilie (from the band Skumring) in duet with Kjetil Ottersen. After this we have recorded 90 minutes of instrumental music that we are working on right now, composing vocal harmonies, and finding a suitable label that has the guts to release double album of really extreme metal.
The loss of my good friend Christain actually made me think of ending all my musical projects. But to pay him tribute, I decided to try to move on. He was a huge fan of both Fallen and Funeral.
sometime feel that Scandinavian people are way different to other European
people ? I mean you seem much more concerned with nature, respect of mankind
and equality in society than any others, for instant the "Swedish
way of life" is always mentioned as an example for the other countries…
Would you name your 5 favourite Norwegian
releases so far excepting Paradigma ? What Norwegian band impressed you
or was an influence on your music ?
of questions now, I don't know if I forget anything,…probably, so
feel free to full my gap…