“Organ-driven hardcore from New England.”
INTERVIEW WITH FUNERAL CONE
(Interview conducted and written by Connor Sullivan)
Frank – Guitar
Matt – Bass
Cory – Drums
Dan – Vocals
Kelley – Organ/Vocals (excluded from interview)
Q: How long has this project been around and what have you released under the Funeral Cone monicker?
Frank: Five years, and we’ve released three things that were all recorded a few years apart from one another.
Matt: We’ve got a 7”, a tape, and an LP.
Q: Can you relate the recording process for your debut LP, Turn Me On Dead Man, released in February?
Matt: The guy who runs the record label, Doug, has a recording studio in his house in Cambridge. He’s also our Dungeon Master for Dungeons & Dragons. But anyway, we actually recorded the record twice at his studio. The first time, we had just finished touring and were really exhausted. So we told him we thought we did kind of a lousy job and he was just super nice and let us record it again. He doesn’t have a recording studio that charges by the hour — we wouldn’t have been able to record it twice if he did. He has a good taste in music and a good sense of what we’re trying to do. He always has good ideas and advice. I don’t think we would’ve put out anything without him.
Q: Your label once described your sound as “political, personal, and paranoid punk.” And listening to your releases, it definitely embodies a lot of those adjectives. Do you think your music adheres to these descriptors, lyrically and sonically?
Frank: Whenever we’re writing songs, I just want it to sound as difficult as possible. And fucked-up. Lyrically, it’s definitely personal for all of us and is whatever someone is thinking about or feeling. But it’s not necessarily political. We do take hard stances as a band, but it’s not an all-encompassing package.
Dan: There are certain things we’re all on the same page about, lyrically. Like human rights freedoms. We’re all about stamping out bigotry. I can’t speak for everyone, but I feel very strongly about how I don’t care for The Beatles. Stances like that. But sometimes my favorite music is just dumb pop music. It doesn’t have to be about politics all the time. Sometimes I just like a good love song.
Q: What’s everyone’s favorite dumb pop song?
Matt: The first one that pops in my head is “Mirage” by Tommy James & the Shondells.
Dan: I like Cyndi Lauper. She had an LP with the band Blue Angel she was in before she went solo that’s great. It’s kind of rockabilly, more like Blondie than her solo stuff. They had this song called “I Had A Love” that’s fantastic. Cranberries are good. That song “Linger” fucking rips.
Cory: I once bought Sinead O’Conor’s “Nothing Compares 2 You” on tape at this thrift shop.
Q: How has New England informed your sound?
Dan: New England just has such a rich history of weirdo bands. Slapshot, SSD, DYS, Blood for Blood.
Matt: Gang Green, who we listened to on the way to this interview.
Frank: Strong hardcore legacy here.
Dan: Yeah. We definitely borrow heavily from all those bands.
Cory: And then there’s all those great Cape Cod bands, like The Barbarians.
Dan: We also borrow a lot from Aerosmith. Aerosmith and Blood for Blood have got to be our two main influences.
Cory: Ha ha, yikes. Next question, please.
Q: Do you feel attached to a certain scene here?
Cory: I don’t really see Funeral Cone fitting into any particular scene. But I think that’s good and makes for entertaining shows. When people book us, and it’s all hardcore bands, it’s weird. When people book us, and it’s all punk bands, it’s also weird. And fun.
Dan: I think there are bands over the course of time and space that we share things in common with. But I don’t think any of this bands fit neatly into the same timeframe or scene or place. We’re trying to sound like a heavy punk band. But we’re mutants, so we can’t get it right. Our shit’s fucked. We’re trying to just make music that we like and be a punk band, but we’re all just a little sick so things come out weird and are just lost in translation.
Matt: The three things we’ve put out all sort of sound similar though. A 7”, a tape, and an LP. They were all recorded a few years apart.
Q: What plans are in store for the future?
Cory: We’re gonna record a split with someone.
Matt: We just don’t know the band yet.
Dan: We have three new songs that are gonna be on it though. It’s gonna be a split 7”.
Q: What do Foo Fest attendees have to look forward to?
Dan: We’re gonna go up there and play some nice, well-constructed music.
Cory: I want to give the audience a relaxing atmosphere to have a glass of wine in.
Dan: We’re a Christian ska band that’s gonna do some hymnals. No shenanigans, no mess, no fuss. It’s gonna be wild.
Q: What’s everyone’s relationship with AS220 like?
Cory: I work there, doing multiple things. So good.
Dan: I really like and respect what AS220 does. The restaurant is good, too. Though once I ordered some French fries that were a large, but looked like a small.