|Interview done by Burt Wolf with Jill McEntee, bassist for FUNERUS!
Interview done in March of 2004!
COULD YOU PLEASE GIVE SOME OF THE BACKGROUND HISTORY ON FUNERUS?
I joined FUNERUS back in 1993. At the time it was Brad Heiple (vocals/guitar) & Jason Foust (drums). They
guitar. In 1994 we recorded a demo & started playing some shows. The demo was starting to circulate & things
with other guitarists, but things never worked out.
WHY WAS THE NAME FUNERUS CHOSEN AS THE BANDS NAME?
I'm not quite sure where Brad got the name FUNERUS from. I think he may have told me before that to him it
meant...the funeral of the world.
WHO OR WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR INFLUENCES IN CREATING YOUR MUSIC & IN LIFE IN
Our early influences were ENTOMBED, GRAVE, CARNAGE, DISMEMBER, BOLT THROWER,
ROTTERVORE just to name a few.
HOW WOULD YOU BEST DESCRIBE THE SOUND OF FUNERUS?
We describe FUNERUS as being low-end heavy sewage Death Metal in the vein of old GRAVE, BOLT
THROWER & ROTTERVORE. It definitely not the most technical, fast as you can go Death Metal. It has some
Doom feeling to it. Definite old school feel.
YOU PLAY BASS IN THE
BAND, ARE YOU SELF
TAUGHT & DO YOU PLAY
ANY OTHER INSTRUMENTS?
I started playing piano as a kid,
and took lessons for a bunch of
years. I haven't played the piano
in forever, but I think I could still
guitar at about 14 years old, on
my own. Then I took guitar
lessons for a while, I really don't
even remember how long, maybe
a few years at the most. I only
began playing bass strictly for
FUNERUS, in 1993. I guess if I
hadn't joined the band I never
would've picked up the bass.
That's the extent of my
THE BAND ORIGINALLY STARTED IN THE EARLY 90'S. SHORTLY AFTER YOUR DEMO RELEASE
IN 1996 THE BAND KIND OF FADED AWAY & LAID DORMANT UNTIL 2001. WHAT WAS THE
REASONING FOR THIS & WHAT LEAD TO THE RESURRECTION OF FUNERUS?
The demo actually was released in 1994, and shortly after Brad left the band for his own reasons. As I said
before, Jason & I tried to keep things going with other guitarists, but things just didn't work out. Eventually
Jason moved to another state & we lost touch. In 1998 I made an attempt to reform the band with an entire new
line-up of musician friends. We did one show, but it just wasn't the same for me. I made a decision at that time
to put FUNERUS to rest for good. I really had no intentions of doing the band ever again. The only reason
FUNERUS became a functioning band again at all was at the encouragement of my husband John McEntee, and
Kyle Severn. John & Kyle both really liked the 94 demo, and they always encouraged me to keep the band going.
One day after an INCANTATION rehearsal, Kyle, John & I jammed some FUNERUS songs, and it felt really
great!! We got a hold of Brad, and it just went from there. So I always have to give John & Kyle massive
amounts of credit when it comes to FUNERUS, if it wasn't for them, I never would've started doing the band
HOW DO YOU FEEL THE BAND DIFFERS NOW FROM THE LINE UP ON THE '94 DEMO?
Well Brad & I have grown into better musicians for sure. We are older & wiser & know a lot more now. I think
having John & Kyle in the band also helps out tremendously, just having seasoned musicians in the band. For
instance, recording the CD. John & Kyle have been through that so many times & are used to the studio aspect
of things. Brad & I don't know too much about that, so it was great to have John there, he knew how to get the
sound we were looking for.
YOUR NEW CD HAS BEEN OUT FOR A LITTLE WHILE NOW ON IBEX MOON RECORDS. HOW
HAS THE RESPONSE BEEN SO FAR?
The response has been great! Most reviews have been very positive, there hasn't been anything too bad that I've
read so far, hahaha. As far as I've heard it's been selling pretty good too. We got a good many sales from the
website & there are a lot of mail order companies that have the CD for sale. Our CD is also licensed to
PRIMITIVE RECORDINGS & will be getting good distribution in North America through CRASH
DISTRIBUTION so we are looking forward to that! We also have European distribution through CONQUERER
RECORDS, and we are signed to SONIC DEATH RECORDS in Brazil for South American & Asia distribution.
WHAT IS SOME OF THE LYRICAL CONTENT OF YOUR SONGS?
Our lyrical content ranges from anything from the earth rotting away to something like DNR which is Do Not
Resuscitate, or someone who just wants to die, without heroic measures. Brad and I share the lyrical duties & we
have a big difference in our writing style. I don't know how he comes up with his lyrics, but I love his writing
style, the short few word lyrics. I tend to write about more personal topics, real life experiences, which ends up
coming out like a written book, hahaha.
WHAT ONE FUNERUS SONG WOULD BEST
REPRESENT THE BAND & WHY?
It's hard to say. I don't think there is one song I can
pick out that represents the band the best. I think
they all fit the band pretty much the same.
I NOTICED THAT THE MAILING ADDRESS
FOR FUNERUS IS THE SAME FOR IBEX
MOON RECORDS. IS THIS YOUR LABEL AS
IBEX MOON RECORDS is John's label. I really
don't have that much to do with it, except for
helping John with what ever he needs with it.
DO YOU KNOW WHY THE NAME IBEX MOON WAS CHOSEN FOR THE RECORD LABEL NAME?
IBEX MOON is the registered publishing name for John & INCANTATION, so I guess he thought he would
keep it simple & use that name for his label too.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER BANDS ON IBEX MOON OR IS IT STRICTLY A LABEL FOR FUNERUS?
FUNERUS was the first band on the label, but he has since picked up 3 more killer bands, so no, it's not strictly
HOW DO YOU FEEL THE UNDERGROUND MUSIC SCENE HAS CHANGED SINCE YOUR DEMO
WAS RELEASED BACK IN '94 TO PRESENT DAY?
A lot of things have changed. You still had a lot of tape trading then, so our demo got circulated that way. There
was a lot of mail writing & ad sending by mail, where as now the internet makes that almost non existent. There
are a lot more sub-genres of Metal now too, not so much pure Metal/Death Metal, but now you got the Metal
mixed with this or that. Metal mixed with Rap, Metal mixed with melodic female vocals, etc. We'll see what
happens...the strong will survive!
WE ARE BOTH PART OF THE PENNSYLVANIA UNDERGROUND MUSIC SCENE. WHAT IS YOUR
OPINION OF THE PA. SCENE? WHO DO YOU FEEL ARE SOME OF THE BETTER BANDS,
LABELS, ZINES, ETC...?
Well I live more than an hour east of Pittsburgh, in a smaller city, so there isn't too much Metal going on right
here where I live. There are/were some killer bands from Pa. like DERKETA, EVISCIUM, ROTTERVORE,
GORAPHOBIA, LETHAL PRAYER, MI'GAUSS, GOATROT, JONBENETRAMSEY, DOOMWATCH,
DREAM DEATH, FATALITY, COMMIT SUICIDE. As far as labels I know there is WILLOWTIP in
Pittsburgh. He seems to have his shit together. I'm not familiar with any other labels in Pa. other than RELAPSE,
which INCANTATION has had a lengthy history with, so I'm very familiar with them. Also, there is IBEX
WHAT ARE THE BEST & WORST
THINGS ABOUT BEING A FEMALE &
BEING PART OF THE
UNDERGROUND IN SUCH A
BRUTAL BAND LIKE FUNERUS?
I really don't see how me being a female
has any relevance to the band or the
DO YOU FIND IT DIFFICULT SOME
TIMES BEING IN THE SAME BAND
AS YOUR HUSBAND JOHN?
Not at all. We both enjoy playing Metal &
we have a great amount of respect for
each other which makes it very easy to
play together. It's great for me to share
the stage with John, as I've always
admired his energy in front of the crowd.
HAVE YOU GUYS PLAYED OUT A LOT? WHO ARE SOME OF THE BANDS YOU HAVE PLAYED
WITH? WHERE ARE SOME OF THE PLACES YOU'VE PLAYED?
By now we have played out a lot, yes. We did a 2 week west coast U.S. tour last year, we have played 7 shows
in Mexico, we have played fests in Australia & Italy, and also several one off shows in the U.S. To name a few
of the bands we've played with are GRAVE, IMMOLATION, GOATWHORE, ZYKLON, SETH,
ENTHRONED, SERPENTS AEON, ACHERON, COMMIT SUICIDE, OCTOBER 31, SUMMON,
PSYCROPTIC, DISGORGE (US), SOULLESS, INFINITUM OBSCURE & more.
ANY INTERESTING ROAD STORIES YOU COULD SHARE?
Ok well I have an interesting story, but it may be a little difficult to describe in writing. This was on our 2003
west coast tour, we had 3 dates in Mexico. The second show in Mexico was in Mexicali. It was the middle of
August, and it was 137 degrees that day. It was so damn hot you could hardly breathe. There was a slight
breeze, but it just felt like there was a blow dryer in your face, haha. So we play the show that night (I don't
know how we did it without passing out), stayed at a motel that night & started out for Tiajuana the next
morning. Traveling between Mexicali & Tiajuana was one of the craziest things I've ever seen in my life. It's a
very mountainous region between the two cities. You have to twist & turn driving up & down the mountains
with no gaurd rails. As you come around the side of the mountain & look down across to the other side, you can
literally see thousands of cars, trucks & semis all splattered down the mountain side. They just drove off the side
of the mountain. The mountains are so steep, there's no way to get to the cars, so there are thousands of bodies
still in those cars. The entire way through these mountains, these cars & trucks are just piled up everywhere. It's
spooky as hell. I'm sure it doesn't sound very gruesome how I'm explaining it, but to see it with your own eyes,
it's totally bone chilling. We were traveling with some of the guys from DISGORGE at the time, I think all our
eyes were buggin out of our heads!!!
WHAT DO THE MEMBERS OF
FUNERUS DO WHEN NOT DOING
ANY WORK FOR THE BAND?
Brad works in a bank for a living. He also
plays in another band which he plays the
drums. Kyle keeps very busy, he builds
houses for a living. And of course he has
INCANTATION, ACHERON &
WOLFEN SOCIETY. John is always
doing INCNATATION work or if not he
has a computer business. I am a
registered nurse with a full time & a part
time job in nursing. So we are all really
ARE YOU INTO ANY OTHER STYLES OF MUSIC BESIDES WHAT YOU PLAY? WHO ARE SOME
OF THE BANDS YOUR CURRENTLY INTO?
Sure, I'm into a lot of classic Heavy Metal. I love stuff like old RAINBOW, DIO, SABBATH, DEEP PURPLE,
MAIDEN, TWISTED SISTER, old WASP. As far as bands that I'm currently into, there's ESTUARY,
EVISCIUM, BLOODY SIGN, THE CHASM, PENTACLE, FUNEBRARUM, NEMA, SERPENTS AEON,
HEADHUNTER DC and of course I'm always listening to the old school Death Metal bands like DEATH,
AUTOPSY, PESTILENCE/ASPHYX (Martin Van Drunen rules!!) and Thrash...DESTRUCTION, SODOM,
etc. My all time favorite band is DISEMBOWELMENT from Oz.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE MOVIES & TV SHOWS?
For some reason I'm not that huge of a movie buff. I mean, I love to watch movies or go to movies, but most of
them aren't that memorable to me afterwards. I am however very passionate about football. I am a huge
Pittsburgh Steelers fan (yes I know they haven't done shit for the last several years, but I'm not a fair weather
fan!). I live for Sundays during football season. As far as other TV shows, I'm a sucker for dramas, like the Law
And Order shows.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE FROM FUNERUS IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
Well we have a lot of shows lined up this summer, please check the website for info on that. We have been
writing more material, but we won't be releasing anything new for a good while.
WE'VE REACHED THE END OF MY QUESTIONS. THANX A LOT FOR ANSWERING THIS
INTERVIEW. FEEL FREE TO ADD ANYTHING YOU'D LIKE TO CLOSE OUT!
Thanks for the interview Burt! Cheers and Good luck to you. For anyone who would like more info on
FUNERUS, or for MP3's, check out the website!!!