TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE
This interview with the guitarist ImpresouvenairMort-nèrgal and drummer TMON of Funeris Nocturnum, was done by Sam Chronic through email in late August 2003.
If you pay any attention to the metal scene, and obviously you do if you are reading this webzine, you will notice a rising force from within the depths of the many scattered regions that provide your attentive ears with audio. That force is the Finnish scene and one of the main contributors to it’s charging forefront is none other than the black metal band Funeris Nocturnum. Combining elements of black, thrash and death metal, Funeris Nocturnum has attained a unique and muscular sound that is as strong as lead vocalist Trmnt.xes’s throaty vocals. All of these factors combined with an always present haunting atmosphere and crystal clear production makes for a sound that is sure to infect all those that pass in it’s wake. I recently caught up with axe man, ImpresouvenairMort-nèrgal and drummer TMON to discuss everything from recent happenings to kicking each other’s ass on a deserted island. Read on for more on these Finnish metallers.
I wanted to start off with a question that has been plaguing me since I have listened to this band. Is there any meaning behind the title "Funeris Nocturnum" and what member chose the name?
IMN: Funeris Nocturnum was founded by Trmnt.xes (formerly known as Torment) and Grimort. Grimort had an idea of playing raw and aggressive black metal and he also invented the name, Funeris Nocturnum. The name translates directly from Latin. I'll leave you the pleasure to find out what the meaning is.
I understand that there has been some negotiation problems and set backs with completing the new album. Would you mind telling us a little more about this?
IMN: I think every band has been into a situation where there exists imperfect information within the band and the record label. That situation pisses off sometimes, but all you got to do is increase contact level and don't let yourself slip into block out or your record label has the ability to screw you. At the moment, everything is going as we planned and things are evaluating into better direction. The issue with new album was not actual problems. We had a studio reserved, but we had to cancel it because lack of material.
Do you have any material or song names that you could reveal?
IMN: New material will be heavier, faster and better. Hehehe. We have about 8 songs ready and couple more will follow. The new stuff has more influences on death metal than before, but the black metal elements can be heard. The songs will contain more evilness and aggressiveness than before.
What will be different about this album than the last released "Code 666: Religion Syndrome Deceased"?
IMN: Everything will be different, the music, lyrics, drummer. Overall, we are in a situation where no-one should be shocked what we are doing on next record. Of course we wouldn’t play disco or tango. The next album will contain more brutal and aggressive elements than ever. Our new drummer is much faster than Draco and we hardly cannot wait to start the recordings.
TMON: Bpms. Well as IMN said, it's going to be more brutal and faster. Lot's of grinding, that's for sure.
Since the last album you have a new drummer in your line up. What can you tell us about TMON?
IMN: TMON is the guy who could really help us (and you) to get to the higher level of consciousness. With TMON we are able to perform different kind of surprises. He is hell of a drummer.
If you don't mind me asking what was the reason for Draco's leaving Funeris Nocturnum? Does he remain friendly with the band?
IMN: It was a long process and the main reason is musical aspects. Everyone else thought that the band was evolving into wrong direction with him. Therefore, it was mutual decision that he leaves the band and there were no other choices. Draco understood the situation well. Draco is good friend of us and I have nothing bad to say about him either.
What is the writing process for Funeris Nocturnum from start to finish?
IMN: Since Funeris Nocturnum is very democratic band, I cannot undervalue everyone’s assets in this band. In principle, the writing process has varied in all our records. Material in Pure Satanic Blasphemy was mainly written in our rehearsal room and everyone was in the process. From The Aspect of Darkly Illuminated was more composed in the way that two or more persons wrote the guitar riffs, and did some pre-arrangements. The final arrangements were done with the rest of band.
Code 666 was more or less done individually at home and then the demo songs were given to the rest of band. Final arrangements were still done with the whole band. Nowadays the writing process to the next album is somehow a mixture of previous writing processes and the material also will be a mixture of everything we have done so far and little new aggressive elements with a new drummer.
There are elements of death, thrash and black metal found in your music. What are some of the bands influences?
TMON: I come from a death metal background myself, so to say. I don't know if you can hear that on the next album or anything, but it's basically what I listen to a lot. Of course I try my best to rip everything I can from John Longstreth, so _that_ you can probably hear through on the next album, haha.
My musical taste is basically a lot of the newer death metal bands, but that doesn't mean that I'm not open-minded with music; quite the opposite in fact. A short list of bands I'm into: Origin, Cryptopsy, The Berzerker, Nasum, Rotten Sound, Misery Index, Skinless, Hate Eternal, Nile, Emperor, Satyricon, Borknagar, Kult ov Azazel, The Gathering, Shannon Wright (some of the best music I have ever heard!), Jen Wood, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Björk, Julie Doirin & the Wooden Stars... I listen to music, not genres.
IMN: To add something, I must say that there are so many influences no one can imagine. Everyone in our band has different influences and different bands to listen at home. Of course, there must are mutual views in our music which should do the best result for our music.
Could you give us a run down on any meaning behind the members names and what they mean translated (if applicable)?
IMN: There are no applicable translations available so the closest ones are represented and do not always believe what you read…
Torment having sex
Impressive dead souvenir
sine qua non
hairy mother fucker
Horgh vs. Gathering
Tease Me, Oh No
When did you become involved in music and have you ever received any formal training?
IMN: My guitar playing started when I was 13. I have been practicing now almost 14 years and still there is always something new to learn. When I was younger, I was considered very talented, and therefore I haven’t got any formal training. Just me and my guitar.
TMON: I started playing drums around the age of 11 (which was a couple of years after I started listening to Metallica and Iron Maiden). I did take some lessons in the beginning, but considering my age and skills, it was just about the basics, you know - no blast beat or anything, haha. For a long time after I quit taking lessons I thought that I can do well enough on my own. All the fast playing and so on I've taught to myself (naturally listening to others has helped on the creative side of drumming).
But... as you grow older, you start viewing things somewhat differently and I guess in my case I also got more motivated in seriously progressing as a drummer (more than just getting faster - not that speed has ever been the main thing for me in the first place) and so I gave it some thought and I'm now taking lessons again. Though, I'm taking lessons only like one in a month due to the fact that I live a 4 hour distance from my teacher, who by the way is the best guy I could dream of taking lessons from (in Finland): Kai Hahto of Rotten Sound. Simply an awesome drummer! To wrap things up: you can do really well on your own, but you have to remember that you can learn something from everyone. Be that videos, watching a band live, or taking lessons. The key element is definitely motivation!
What equipment do you use for recording and live?
IMN: Equipment varies a lot. When record something, we carry a lot of guitars and amplifiers, basses, drums, everything to the studio and try them all. Then we select the best sounding instruments and start the recording. On gigs, I and Sin’equamnon are using Jackson guitars and mostly Marshall cabinets and amplifiers. There is also some rack stuff like, Lee Jackson, Ampeg, Rocktron Hush, Alesis Eq’s and so one. Ruho uses mainly keyboards made by Korg.
TMON: For all those interested: My current kit is a Tama Rockstar pro double kit in a Gibraltar rack with Istanbul, Paiste, Sabian and Zildjian cymbals. Most likely I'll get a new kit in the near future with smaller toms and I'm also planning to get new (smaller) cymbals to replace my current (bigger) ones. I'm also searching money for a second ride & hi-hat, splashes, bells and some Wuhan chinas :) Additionally, I got my Axis A longboard pedals a couple of months back (which are great btw) and Vic Firth 8DN sticks & EAR earplugs!
There is a definite anti-religious message to a lot of Funeris Nocturnums's music. What are your feeling towards religion in general?
IMN: Religions suck. I agree mostly what TMON has to say. Be your own god.
TMON: I could talk for a long time on this subject. On the other hand I'm not into satanism or anything like that either. Basically I think religions and such were meant to be good things, you know, for people becoming wiser, dealing with things they couldn't comprehend, helping them understand their spiritual side and so on, but during the years, it's gone terribly wrong. People just blindly inherit and obey values and opinions - and of course this side is exploited. It's really sad and pathetic... scary, even. Judging others whilst following blindly some doctrines and preaching on and on about their lies. No thanks.
What else makes you angry?
IMN: At the moment: stupidity, bimbo blondes, wanna-be-posers. These have something in common… Lack of brains?
TMON: Stupidity pretty much sums it all up. The current state of the world, for example, is because of stupidity (and greed to be more specific). Not thinking about others, no equality or anything. Just more of this and that for me and more arrogant, ignorant and capitalistic actions and statements. More money for guns, less for welfare. Armageddon, here we come...
Let's say that the band is stranded on a deserted island and whoever is the last man standing gets a million dollars. Who wins?
IMN: I doubt, there are not many choices for that…
TMON: I would probably be the only one sober at that point - Trmnt.xes would probably have died of alcohol poisoning before even reaching the shore to begin with - so I could probably double-cross the other guys one by one and be the last man standing.
What if you just had to fight for it?
TMON: This is too easy: Trmnt.xes would the first to go, then Horgath, then either Sin'equamnon or Ruho and finally IMN would beat the shit out of me (if he could catch me first ;)
IMN: Yeah, TMON has fast feet. That’s sure for a drummer.
If you could chose to be anything but a human what would you choose and why?
IMN: I would be a Ron Jeremy vibrator.
TMON: Good question. I don't know really... maybe George W. Bush. Why? First of all, he's obviously not a human being. Secondly, even though being on a leash like a little dog, he has lots of power (sadly no brains!) and the best thing of all: I could then shoot myself.
I really can't stop wondering how much longer will it take to get him assassinated. (At this point I'm probably being held as a prisoner and tortured for being a threat to freedom or something like that, but hey, good questions need good answers)
I understand that you guys party a pretty good amount. Could you give us a funny experience you have had with the band while intoxicated?
TMON: Being a straight edge it's always a funny experience when the other guys are pissed. Trmnt.xes is always the most drunk and usually I just make sure no-one dies - or at least if they do, then I'm not missing it and hope that they go out in some funny way - and we have all of our gear together (as well as every band member) when we leave the venue or bar or whatever after the gig.
One might think it would be a hell to face sober, but the amount of incredibly stupid things said and done keep me from killing myself in the middle of it. Or have at least so far.
IMN: All I could say that, TMON is the only witness who at least have the abilities to remember something…
There are so many side projects that the members are involved in. Do you ever feel that this hurts the creativity for Funeris Nocturnum?
TMON: The situation might be different with the other guys, as they actually compose the songs. I just help on arranging and grind, so I don't think that me having all these other projects on the works hurt the creativity for FN. There's just so much good music to be written, and I'll tell you: you haven't seen the list of my forth-coming projects. I'll probably be having more projects than the other guys put together.
Also the projects FN members are involved in are different to FN (some more, some less), so the guys don't have to battle that much with themselves whether to use some riff for FN or some project.
IMN: I thing the side projects give you a new point of view. Although, there haven’t yet been any situation where any ones side project have been prioritized over FN. And if things are kept like this everything is goings well enough.
So the new album is on its way to being written and recorded but what else is next for Funeris Nocturnum?
IMN: At the moment there is not much more than the things you just mentioned. We would do a couple of live shows here in Finland before the recording sessions.
Anything that you would like to say to all the readers to wrap things up?
TMON: First of all I'd like to thank you. This was my first interview ever, thanks for giving us this opportunity and having all these good questions (I mean that).
For the readers, thanks for reading and check out our site at www.funerisnocturnum.com and if you like what you hear/see, sign the guestbook, write us an e-mail and spread the word. All feedback and support is welcomed and greatly appreciated. Check out "Retaliate" by Misery Index and say hi to Jason Netherton in case you see him - he rules big time.
Thanks to ImpresouvenairMort-nèrgal and TMON for taking their time to answer the interview. Like TMON said; stop by and visit the Funeris Nocturnum site for any and all information about the band including a bio, discography, picture gallery and MP3 downloads from all the albums. Also keep an eye out for new material and be sure to check out the latest Funeris Nocturnum album Code 666: Religion Syndrome Deceased as well as the entire library of FN albums. Definitely a band worth checking out if you have not yet and I am truly a huge fan of their work.
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