– Hi, thanks for your time. What’s currently going on with FUNERAL?
We have been working on our up and coming album “oratorium” for some time now(it was actually finished mixed may last year),but due to logistics,cover-issues etc etc it will finally hit the stores probably this autumn in 3 different versions with 3 bonus tracks..(jewelcase,digipack and 2LP)
We have in the mean time demo-recorded about 14 new tracks,and are ready for yet new releases,hopefully not waiting another 4 years in between the albums…but this is mostly out of our control,unfortunately.So our appologies to our fans for the long wait.
The American label The Crypt just released a 2LP(in a series of four releases,with all recordings from the 90`s,demos and so on) handnumbered and limited to 500 copies, with our first release “Tristesse” and “live 95”,a full concert with the classic line-up .Included on this live soundboard recording are unused tracks. So its a pretty exotic release for our fans.
– Last year you released the “To Mourn is a Virtue” album. Now that is has been a while since it came out, how do you think did everything work? And is there anything you would like to change on it or are you fully satisfied?
It worked out great!
Solitude Prod. did a good job,and basically gave us total artistic freedom.It is a release of demo-recordings that have never before seen the dark of night..It has been a constant demand from fans over so many years,that we thought it was about time these tracks got a proper release.I also loved the digibook version,and the sound is very good. We did some minor addings to some tracks,like adding some strings etc. Other than that these are demo-recordings from 1996,with vocals from previous singers and one guy we tried out(our soundengineer for “IFOPG” from 2001.A terrific singer,which I thought was too sad not to share with our fans).
We also included one original track from the “to mourn is a virtue” demo from 1997,with female singer sarah Eick.(this entire demo will later come out on vinyl through The Crypt,as mentioned earlier..)
– Songs on this album belong to an old demo from 1996, and there are also some tracks of the 1997 demo. Why did you decide to do this? I’ve read you were playing around with the instrumental recordings for some time.
Answered above..But the playing around was done in a period of years,because I thought(and still do) these tracks were too good not to be used(remember we recorded 10 tracks instrumentally in 96,as we were without a singer at the time),and our previous singer F.Forsmo did his “audition” by giving total freedom in recording his own vocals for some of these songs,which I even today think sounds better than a lot we have done,both earlier and later.
There should be mentioned that there are still unreleased material from this Academy session,so one day I hope we will have the chance to share everything..
– And what changes have you done to these tunes compared to the original versions?
Well,not too much,except adding some strings,and of course the issue with new vocal-harmonies. It was also given a remastering.
– If I’m not mistaken back when those songs were written you were unsigned and you were also through some line-up changes. How did you live all that period? Moreover during that time you underwent some years of inactivity.
Yes,we were out of a singer in that short period.But we decided anyway to hit the studio and record these tracks,so we had the chance to record proper vocals when we would find a skilled singer later on.
Later on(around 1999) we had some line-up changes,as both Christian Loos and Thomas Angell decided to quit. and in a period of time the band consisted of only me and Einar Fredriksen(thats why all instruments on “in fields..” are recorded by the two of us).
The inactivity was after the death of Einar. But it should be mentioned that I constantly write songs, even though I have been in the position of not having any members in the band. It always works out thoguh,and I found skilled musicians after a while.
– Anyway you managed to record at the famous Academy Studios. What are your memories from all that?
It was a great time in the history of the band,probably our most glorious days,when all the members were equally dedicated and was a band consisting of close friends….
we lived in the studio for about 14 days,got the famous Mags as producer,and really just had a hell of a good time,hanging out with bands like My dying Bride,Dominion,Cradle of filth etc.
– On this “To Mourn is a Virtue” there are songs sung by Frode and some others by Øystein, which provides a nice contrast and variety to the whole record. How could you say one voice compliments the other?
Its two different worlds I think..But both singers are very skilled,so it was just a matter for us to make a choice,really..I still regret we didn’t hire Øystein as our main singer,but of course getting Frode was as good,though very different in singing-style.
– You’ve also included the version for “Hunger”, also featured on your previous studio album, “As the Light does the Shadow”. Weren’t you satisfied with that version?
Today I still think the original version is best,but I think adding Frode`s voice lifted the tracks several heights..I have always loved that track,and we had a good apportunity re-recording it for “ATLDTS”.
– This has been your first opus with Solitude Productions, a good home for Doom Metal bands. How is everything going with them so far? Anyway you have worked with several companies, is there any reason behind this?
Solitude does a great job,and are very dedicated people,who hold their promises,and really do what we tell them to..
The reason for the different labels are basically because a lot of companies still believe they can earn big money on releasing doom-metal albums,so its been a task finding the right label indeed.
Now ending up on Grau seems like a very good choice.the owner is a doom fan himself,and seem to run the label with idealism, which is a must within this small sub genre.
– What could you comment on the cover artwork? It seems like you got something that fits your music but, what does it represent?
If you are referring to the “to mourn..” album its a perfect fit for the music,I think. Its an old classic renaissance painting,which has sort of been a trademark on a lot of our releases. This reflects our love for art and classical music, as well as telling a story about sorrow and death,which are the main thematics on the album.
– And all this being said; how could you describe “To Mourn is a Virtue” in just 3 words?
– Some yeas ago you recruited two new members for FUNERAL: Rune Gandrud and Sindre Nedland. What have hey both brought to the band?
These guys are amazing musicians,which really lifted the standard of the band to new heights.
Both have contributed a lot.
Bassist Rune plays like fucking Cliff Burton, both fretless,double bass and composes some really original basslines,and has the ability to think outside of the box,so to speak..It really gives our new recordings a whole new dimension in my view.He is a guy that not just follow the bassline of the guitars,and I really love that skill.
Regarding singer Sindre,he is a very skilled singer,and have been given a lot of freedom regarding composing vocalharmonies. He also has a huge variety in his singing,that definetly would make lots of fans dropping their jaws..Its by far the record with most variety singing-wise(there are even some growling on “oratorium”!)
– And finally, what are your near-future plans? Can we expect a new studio album anytime soon?
As mentioned above,it seems like “Oratorium” will hit the streets this autumn.No date are set yet,though..
It will be followed by some concerts as well.
Besides this we constantly work with new material,and have about two albums written.
– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
Thanks for your support,and keep updated on