Do you know what happens when you mix first Phantasm movie 1979 with genuine old school Death Metal and all this you commit somewhere in the Netherlands? What you get is the second album "Phantasm" from FUNERAL WHORE! The band was formed in 2006 in the northern Netherlands and this year's achievement is already their second album, besides it they have numerous demos, EP, splits and contract signed with an ever-growing F.D.A. Rekotz. Holland played irreplaceable role in death metal mainly in the past and therefore should be monitored also young blood. The music you know already from my review and today follow words, more precisely interview with guitarist Kellie and guitarist and vocalist Roy.
Hell-o Kellie, could you introduce your FUNERAL WHORE band? I know you were formed in 2006. How did it come to?
Kellie: Roy came up with the idea to start a death metal band and we started to work out some songs that can be heard back on the first demo. Soon after, we got ourselves a drummer and we went to rehearsal more often. Some time later we were complete including bassplayer and we became more official in existence since we build the Funeral Whore myspace at that timeÖ
Before release of "Step Into Damnation" debut, you had many demos or EPs. Do you think it is still important to release demos today? Of course the band can gain experiences and "tune" the sound. Do you think you will ever return to demos?
Roy: No, we will not return to demos. It is only necessary when you start with your band and looking for gigs or labels. It must be the start to gain a full length or get more recognition for hard working. Yes, to release a demo is important because people can easily meet the bands music and itís intentions. Also, still many labels would like to receive a piece of music.
"Step Into Damnation" debut was published in 2012 under Chaos Records. How did it feel to release a full-length CD? Were you satisfied with the distribution and how critics responded to your debut? How do you rate this album in hindsight?
Roy: The album wasnít really gave satisfying feeling later on. It was hastily recorded, mixed and mastered. That is what really annoying me until this very day. Of course we were very happy with it and especially with the loads of very good reviews and distro going on but with the record quality itself we werenít really pleased.
Today you have a new "Phantasm" album. If you compare the two works, can you see there any differences, whether in the technical, instrumental and compositional solutions? Do you like bands that eventually change their style, instrumentally they evolve and finally they sound already quite different than on their first albums?
Roy: That depends pure into which and from which style a band changes, so I cannot say it is a bad thing to do. Of course, If they transform from osdm into something complete different, then Iím done with that band. Our style hasnít changed since our debut. Only in quality and some composition but generally the whole thing stays the same and we will continue that in the future. Of course there will be some minimal differences but we stay from were we begun, old school death metal.
From my perspective, I can say that new album is straightforward and rhythmic Death Metal of old school with an emphasis on funeral feeling and heaviness. How would you describe your style of Death Metal?
Roy: A very dark and dense sound to begin with. Evil aggressive low riffs but not rolling into chaos. No friendly melodies but still minimal eerie filling short tunes under constant hammering low tuned percussion.
Seems that you are influenced both by European and American Death Metal, European mainly by Scandinavian one. Were also Dutch bands like Pestilence, Sinister, Phlebotomized, Asphyx, Gorefest, Nembrionic or Thanatos important to you? What do you think about the current Dutch scene?
Roy: The current general Dutch scene isnít even worth to mention, you wonít miss a thing. Thereís no underground scene alive anymore and everything is under control of the commercial side of metal. Funeral Whore stays underground until the very end. We have lookalike riffs that sounds like Asphyx but thatís about it. No other Dutch band has inspired us.
How does it feel for a woman to play in a Death Metal band at the position of guitar? Most woman in extreme metal play either bass guitar or at worst they sing. Haven't you had idea to try to sing, or at least backing vocals? Have you also participated in the writing process?
Kellie: Yes, me and Roy write all concepts and work out the songs until almost the final stage, especially since Phantasm. It works perfect because we both got the same feeling and thought about groove and darkness. Bass guitar is not my thing and singing in the very actual sense is horrific. A woman like Rosy from Profanal on vocals is completely killer! I canít judge about a different feeling playing as a guitarist or as a bass player. I havenít played any other instrument.
Already according the name of the new album, it is clear you were strongly influenced by cult Phantasm b-horror. Why just this movie? Do you like only the first part or also the sequels? It appears that whole album is soaked in the atmosphere of the movie. Is there something conceptual in your lyrics?
Roy: Every song covers something from the 4 movies, so yeah, every track has itís sub-concept about the Phantasm concept. The movie is filled with eerie and evilness in a way you only see in Phantasm. This unique atmosphere fits excellent for a band like Funeral Whore. Our fundaments rest on cemeteries, evilness, darkness and death. The Phantasm series covers all of those mentioned subjects.
I can not help but seems to me you are quite focused on cemeteries and everything associated with them, therefore in the haunted sense. Not only many of the song titles suggest this theme, your promo photos are taken at the cemetery gate, stage props and finally the video clips for the The Graveyard Silence or Morningside Cemetery songs. Do you like and seek these places?
Roy: Yes, I really like these places but that is mostly personally interest. But like I said in the previous question, we feel that these old creepy things are our home for our death metal music. A feeling, that we noted from the very beginning. A good old cemetery for example, breathes such a cold dark atmosphere that it doesnít even matter if you check it in winter, summer or at day or night.
As we're on the subject, what do you think about death? It's a fascinating phenomenon and seems that the key for FUNERAL WHORE is Death Metal with sepulchral lyrics. Do you believe death is the gate, or it is an absolute end of every being in all aspects? Are you interested in this issue deeper?
Roy: Thereís only a big guess of what will become of you after life. Life itself, never really ends. Your dead body becomes a breeding corpse from which there is transformation. When I think of my own death I can feel my struggle to live and anxiety of fading away. Those who say they are not scared, lie there pants off. Ten years ago for instant, I stood on a 8 storey construction building. I checked the distance between me and the ground by standing on the edge of that flat roof. At that moment you are literally centimetres away from your death. That was an indescribable feeling. I stood there for approximately one minute and I felt death so near as possible. Extremely scary shit. I do however, except the fact that I must die and that others must die around me, apart of the circumstances and conditions. That is just the way it goes and life goes on. This existence is so extremely insecure and weak, you got luck with every minute you live so I suggest you do whatever you want, that means really anythingÖ. But suffer the consequences of your actions.
The new album was released by rapidly spreading F. D. A. Rekotz. How are you satisfied with this label? Who contacted whom first? Do you have signed a contract for several albums?
Kellie: Yes we signed for 2 albums at F.D.A. Rekotz, We had some contact before about shows and after a while Rico from F.D.A. sended us an email with a contract in it, at that moment we didnít searched for a label, but of course we were very enthusiastic about it, so we signed! Thatís 1 of the reasons it took some time before the album was released.
What is more interesting for you, writing the album, recording itself or live performances? Which of these activities are you closest to? Do you prove even to imagine life without the band, Death Metal?
Kellie: thatís a difficult thing to choose because I think everything is important, you just need the correct plan so you have the time to do all these kind of things. We work hard on everything, Roy and me are making the music together since our last album ďPhantasmĒ, Roy is always the guy who writes the lyrics and makes the artwork. We practice every week, so when we have a live show or when we have recordings weíre full prepared! I think the preparation for everything is very important.
Funeral Whore is our passion, itís not our goal to do this for living, we all have normal jobs besides.
Ok, that would be all from me, if I forgot something significant, you have the space. Thank you for this interview and wish the band a lot of the grave and dark inspirations, thanks again!
Thanks!!! When you see us sometimesÖ come to us so we can drink a beer!!!
Kellie & Roy 11.8.2016 Mortuary
The Mortuary at Night