The first time I contacted the Norwegian musician was around 2003/2004 the first version of Funeral Wedding, when he divulged the In The Fields of Pestilent Grief. Many years passed, contacted him again this time about to launch Oratorium. Many things happened in the way of Funeral, since its formation to date and in this interview Eek tells us about the new album on the “influence” of his former friends / band mates who are no longer among us about your side project Fallen.
1. Would you like to update us about the latest release ‘As The Light Does The Shadow’ until the present day.
Anders Eek – Finally the succsessor of “ATLDTS” is finnished and ready for release through the German label Grau, hopefully seeing an early summer release. If it were up to us the album would be released summer of 2011, as everything was ready then, but due to label politics and different logistic issues, that did not happen. I am also very happy to announce our new members, singer Sindre Nedland and bassist Rune Gandrud, who took over when F. Forsmo decided to leave.
The album contains 7 songs (10 on the digipack, included a cover version of a Norwegian singer/songwriter…) with our brand of Funeral-doom.
This time around the orchestration is given an even bigger and more epic and bombastic approach than on earlier records.
Its by far the album that we have spent most hours and time composing. And its no secret that this album has everything that we can deliver regarding doom, gloom and misery! Sounds depressing, but its definetly the key to our most defined work of art to this day: pure melancholia.
2. To Mourn is a Virtue is a new ‘old’ album, how did the idea for this release come to life?
Anders Eek – We recorded an instrumental (as we were without a singer at the time) 10-track demo in 1996 at the Academy studios in England, produced and mixed by the famous Mags, and released that a year later as the demo “To Mourn is a Virtue” with singer Sarah Eick on vocals. The demo did not get a lot of attention from record labels, so it got “scrapped”. Over the years we have played around with some of the tracks, using different singers, adding some orchestration etc.
During the years a lot of fans have asked about this recording.
Finally we got a good offer from Solitude Productions to get it properly released, and thus we approved this idea. However I felt like giving the fans a treat, and included never before released versions, included performances by our former singer F. Forsmo, as well as a performance by a singer we tried out,but never was offered the job: Øystein Rustad. (the engineer from the recording of “in Fields..”)
Today I definetly feel these songs sounds even better than in the 90’s, and its a pleasure sharing these recordings with our fans. The original “To Mourn is a Virtue” demo will be released on vinyl through the American label The Crypt later this year, thus the fans get a second treat, and get to hear the entire original demo from 1997.
3. Funeral lost two important members since its formation. How does the loss of these members reflect on the sound today?
Anders Eek – Its definetly a toll to bear. Life will never be the same. I have though learnt to deal with it, but its a burden, all right. Loosing close frinds does something with you.
I know though that both Einar and Christian would have wanted me to continue the band, and I did after quite some time in mourning.
I felt early in the process that my deceased good friends and band-colleagues still are a huge part of the band, and its with pleasure that we use only poetry by Einar on the upcoming album “Oratorium”. There are also riffs written by Christian on the album. So I feel the guys are very much alive, and hopefully would have enjoyed the new record. Their spirit is by far still very much alive within the band.
4. If you are to choose a song that best represents Funeral, what would it be and why?
Anders Eek – Its a very difficult qustion to answer, as all our songs represents Funeral in one form or another. I can only really mention one of my personal favourite, and thats “Those Fated to Fall” from ATLDTS. For me that song contains all the aspects of a typical Funeral song, slow riffs, mournful melodies, aggressive parts, bombastic orchestration and very well performed vocal-harmonies,plus its diversity and progressiveness…
Another song worth to mention is “Taarene” from our “Tragedies” album from 1995. A song that somewhat defined us as a band, and opened a lot of doors for us, and is still somewhat a classic in some ears.
5. How is the doom scene in Norway, compared to the beginning of the Funeral in the 90’s?
Anders Eek – It seems like there are some more bands today,compared to the eary 90’s. I am not too sure, though, as I rarely have the time to keep me updated in the music-scene. In the early 90’s there were so few bands that performed doom-metal that we actually almost all knew each other, and was a bit like a small family in a way.
But in reality, I don’t think there has ever existed a “doom-scene” in Norway so to speak.
6. You are also known for playing in the band Fallen, there are many walks with this project, and no possibility of a new release soon?
Anders Eek – Yes, I have had Fallen as a sideproject for many years now, and I released the album “A Tragedy’s Bitter End” in 2004. I always write songs, not all of them fit into the Funeral form, thus I use that for Fallen. Often its slower and longer songs, more compared with early Funeral.
I also have had problems with the line-up, so its been a task to keep on going as a band, really. Also its been a matter of time in between jobcareer and playing and composing for Funeral.
I have however tons of material written, so it’s really just to get the time and resources to find a steady line-up, and record an album or two. I have received contract offers from several labels. If all goes as planned, an album-release will see the dark of night this autumn.
7. There was a rumor about Shape of Despair Jarno’s be playing with Fallen. How much is this true or just a rumor that was spread on the Internet?
Anders Eek – This is very true. Jarno will perform synth on upcoming new material. Its really an hounour having him in the band, and I am a big fan of his work with Shape. So merging his synth-landscapes with my riffs will be very satisfying indeed.
8. Building on this topic, the Internet is a place with a few clicks it is possible to download the entire discography of several bands. In his view, the Internet disturbs more than it helps?
Anders Eek – It’s definetly a two-edged sword. It’s a fine tool to check out bands and new releases, on the other hand its the death of the physical format as we know it.So basically ,labels don’t sell many albums anymore. My hope is that true fans will buy the product and support the band. If people don’t, the labels don’t have the means to support bands financially anymore, and this will be the death of a lot of bands.
9. What are you listening to today, and which band is your favourite?
Anders Eek – Just bought the last Asphyx album,and it totally crushes!!Love it.Death metal the old school way,and performed flawlessly.
Apart from that I rarely check out new bands, and really keeps on listening to old classics like Alice in Chains, Cathedral, Type o Negative, Mournful Congregation, Swans, Emperor, Crowbar, Dead Can Dance, Beethoven, Wagner, etc. Too many to list here, I am afraid.
10. Thanks for the interview and would you like to leave your last breath to Funeral Wedding readers.
Anders Eek –Thank you for supporting the band.Without the underground we would be nothing.
So I am very greatful towards both the underground media and our fans.
And please, BUY our records. It’s act supports future recordings! It can be pre-ordered through our label Grau in a while.
Watch out for our new album “Oratorium” to be released early summer 2012.
An absolutly crushing, bombastic, melodic, yet aggressive record, and by far the most diversed album we have written in years. Our new singer even has some growling vocals here and there.
It also contains 2 songs originally written for Fallen, but I felt the tracks would suit our new line-up and sound.
So beware of songs well beyond 14 minutes length, in good old Funeral fashion!
Also remember the 4 different 2LP- releases of all our original recordings from 1993-1999 (included an entire live recording from 1995, which have songs never recorded properly in the studio) through the American label The Crypt.
Everyone who have knowledge of the re-releases by the Crypt know how much work they put into their releases.