I had been friends with Brad and then Funerus drummer Jason for a while. They never had a steady bass player in the band, and they knew I had some experience playing guitar so they asked me to join the band. I thought what they were doing at the time was really heavy, so I was into it. Things clicked right away and within the year we recorded our first demo and did a few shows. Things were going well but Brad had decided to leave the band for other reasons and Jason and I kept it going with other guitarists. Eventually things just fell apart and Jason and I lost contact. A few years later I tried to put the band back together and did do one show, but it just wasn't the same as the original line-up. I decided to put Funerus on the shelf for good, or so I thought. I ended up marrying john McEntee from Incantation. John and Kyle Severn (Incantation) happened to be fans of our old 1994 Funerus demo. Kyle had seen one of the very first Funerus shows that Brad, Jason and I did. So John and Kyle always encouraged me to do the band, and jam the songs with them. I finally broke down one day, and John , Kyle and I played the demo songs. It felt killer and totally natural! We got a hold of Brad, the original guitarist/vocalist, and it's all been amazing since!
2. How long have you been playing bass? Who or what inspired you to pick up this instrument?
I guess I have been playing bass for about 10 years now. But there was a time period when I didn't really play at all. I thought I was never going to pursue music again. As far as an inspiration to play the bass, I would have to say I owe it to Brad and Jason, if they wouldn't have asked me to play for them I may never have picked it up. I did play some guitar as I said before, but it wasn't a very serious thing. I still play a little bit of guitar just to come up with riffs and stuff when we are writing songs, I will play John's guitar, but thatís about the extent of it.
3. Aside from Funerus material what do you love to play on your bass? What bands are you into? And what bands did you start out with when you were starting to enjoy the dark and demented metal music you've grown to love?
I do mostly regular practice stuff on the bass, or I do practice scales and riffs with John. I am mostly into the older death metal bands from the late 80's early 90's. Yeah, call me stubborn or whatever, but I guess Iím still stuck in the past. I started out with early Motley Crue, Twisted Sister, Kiss, Dio, Metallica, etc. And just snowballed from there.
4. How many releases does Funerus have? So far your website only has listed the Funerus rehearsal demo from 1994. Was that your third demo? Tell us about this demo, the titles seem to be concerned with nature. What was the concept behind those songs?
Before I joined Funerus I believe Brad and Jason recorded 2 demos with the Funerus name. I don't think they were anything "official", or anything that were even really in circulation. I'm not real sure. But yes, the 1994 demo was demo #3. The songs on that demo are about the earth rotting, decaying away. Polluted, disgusting waters.
5. What are you currently working on?
Well, we just recently came back from a 3-week tour with Incantation and Disgorge, so we are doing some recuperating from that, haha. We just did the final mastering of our debut CD last night. Other than that, we are trying to put together a CD release show in Pittsburgh and we are probably doing a show in Columbus in November.
6. You've played several live shows already throughout the USA and even Australia with INCANTATION, BLOODLUST, MISCREATION, WARFACE, LIVIDITY, LUST OF DECAY, FLESHGRIND, WACO JESUS, SADOMASOCHISM, MUTILATED, PUTRID PILE, BRODEQUIN, EVIL INCARNATE, LEUKORRHEA, SCREAMING AFTERBIRTH and others. What areas gave you the best response? How was the scene in Australia compared to the US?
Well, unfortunately we didn't get to play with some of those bands, but there is always next time! The best responses we've gotten are the shows we've done in Mexico, Seattle went over really good, Spokane, Huntsville, and Cleveland. We did get an awesome response in Australia at the Bloodlust Festival III. It was strange playing there though, we were all out of sorts because we had a fill-in drummer (Matt from Oni, who did a killer job) because Kyle was hurt from the car accident, and Brad couldn't make the trip, so John did the vocals. But I think we got our point across and gave them a little taste of what Funerus is like.
7.Who did you have the best time hanging out with among the bands that you played live with?
This is a hard one! I would have to say Disgorge. It was killer to play with them every night and to hang out with them on the tour. They are great guys, lots of fun, and totally amazing musicians. Damn that Ben can play the bass!!
8. What other bands do you look forward to playing live shows with?
Really the one band that I wanted to play with was Grave, which we did earlier this year in Cleveland, also with Immolation and Goatwhore. That was a great show, it meant a lot to me. As far as in the future I would have to say maybe Dismember, Entombed for old times sake and shit, the rest of them are far gone by now, unless there are more reunions in the works.....Autopsy, Pestilence!!!
9. Do you see a difference in the portrayal of women in the metal scene? How do you feel about people that associate women in metal with the decline of the scene?
A few jack-asses still say that death metal isn't for women, but Iím not getting that at all in Funerus. I don't know if it has anything to do with the fact that Iím not doing vocals, or if it has anything to do with John. I don't care. Anyone that says women have something to do with the decline in the metal scene can just fuck off. I've seen some women work just as hard as men in the scene, if not harder, just because they feel they have to prove themselves because they are female!
Are there any women in the metal scene or in other areas of the music scene you admire?
I have met so many cool females involved and working in the metal scene since Funerus has started back up again, especially on the road. It's so great to see! I also receive a good amount of emails from women that are in bands or that just support metal and want to tell me they think it kicks ass that I am doing what I am doing. I am friends with Sharon from Derketa/Eviscium. She kicks ass, Zdenka Prado from estuary totally kills, :aura from Warface, Deanna from Persephone Descending, Rachel from Sinister is killer.
11. What are your goals concerning Funerus?
My goals for Funerus are to get good deals for our debut CD in the US and Europe, we already have a killer deal in South America and good distribution there and in Japan. We also want to do as many shows as possible and many fests. Just to get the Funerus name out there as much as possible. I know not everyone is going to like it, but I think a lot of old school death metal fans will be into it.
12. Any last words?
Thanks so much for this interview and for the support. Please check out www.funerus.com. Watch for our CD "Festering Earth". Metal til death.