Funeral Fornication - "Mankind...as a disease"
Truly melancholic and somber. Funeral Fornication creates atypical depressive black metal, with undertows of an elegiac lament for the forlorn past, and present. Listening to this auditory plight, I conversed with Vultyrous, real name Jaron Good, the mind behind Funeral Fornication.
What are the origins of Funeral Fornication; when and why did it begin?
Vultyrous; I started writing for this project in late 2002 and self-released the first demo The Worm Of Control in 2003. Initially, Funeral Fornication was created because I had a growing passion for black metal, but I wanted to create something that held an element of ambient beauty as well.
How has the project evolved thus far, and is it still progressing in to a different sphere?
Vultyrous; When I started this project it was based around a raw black metal sound with some thrash elements, and even some power metal elements. It was rather a shaky start as it is very difficult to meld these styles together with any degree of coherency. When I listen to my old material I can hear how I, as a songwriter have matured. I think the new Funeral Fornication sound is more defined, and definitely more along the lines of what I was searching for in the beginning. As for the future, I am confident I'll keep it as it is now.
Funeral Fornication’s music has been described as depressive black metal, however it possesses enchanting motifs that truly hold the listener, are unique in their forms and hold greatly with the raw aggression presented. What is the personal context of your music, what are you liberating?
Vultyrous; This project has become a very personal one for me. It didn't start out that way, as in the beginning I just wanted to make the music. But I think when I really started throwing my innermost feelings into it, is when a lot of people started to listen. A lot of the time I am getting out a lot of emotions, or at least, trying to convey those emotions through the medium of music. I, like a lot of people, carry my share of emotional baggage. Funeral Fornication is simply my outlet.
While creating or performing your music, do you find yourself in an almost meditative state, and do you feel that you need to force a certain emotional stance whilst writing or does this come naturally?
Vultyrous; It comes very naturally. I've been performing and composing for years with a bunch of different bands, and after so long, my mind is trained to just go into music mode.
Does your music hold any religious or political views, if so what are these?
Vultyrous; None whatsoever. My music is purely about my personal issues. When I was younger I went through the whole Satanic phase, but honestly, there are just way to many bands using the idea of Satan as their excuse for shock value. It's been done to death. That being said, I have on occasion lyrically referred to ideas like God or Hell, purely out of emotion and not out of a desire to promote Satan. As for political views, I personally feel that politics have no place in my music.
Keeping on the same subject, your compositions hold a strong folk/Pagan feeling, would this stem from personal preference towards the musical style, the belief system, or both?
Vultyrous; I have always liked Pagan/folk music. It has influenced a great deal of my songwriting, although I have no beliefs in that regard. Concepts like Odin and Valhalla make for excellent stories, and I have referenced them lyrically back when I took Funeral Fornication to a more Pagan theme, but that’s as far as it ever goes with me.
Your music further holds an ambiance, and brilliant musicianship which at times is brilliantly juxtaposed with distant, raw vocals. As the lyrical content is hard to understand, what other subjects do you cover in your writing?
Vultyrous; Apart from conveying personal emotions, I have written songs talking about the downfall of man. But in the end, it all stems from my own feelings towards the world.
Can you elaborate on these?
Vultyrous; I am a very skeptical, very cynical person and I consider myself to be aware of how backwards society is. Call me paranoid, but I think most people have just been brainwashed into thinking everything is fine. Look around, something is fucked up.
In the beginning of 2009 you stated that the record 'Solitude and Suicide' “will be an important landmark in the history of Funeral Fornication. It will be the beginning of a new black era.” Can you elaborate on this description, and from a year on, do you feel that it achieved what your intentions held?
Vultyrous; Solitude And Suicide was a ground-breaking release for me because several new elements were involved. Firstly, the change of musical direction towards depressive black metal. Secondly, I had access to much better recording gear than I did when I made everything prior, so there were more options to explore musically. Thirdly, I had it mixed and mastered at Artep Audio, whereas before I was doing it all myself with minimal knowledge.
I think the end result surprised a lot of people who had been familiar with my older material. For myself, I think I achieved what I set out to do on that album.
How will 'Pandemic Transgression' be different from your 2009 release, as well as prior records?
Vultyrous; Pandemic Transgression is still going to be depressive black metal, but this time the songwriting is a lot more progressive. The album as a whole I think will be a lot more epic than Solitude And Suicide.
What is the concept behind this album?
Vultyrous; Mankind as a disease.
You are evidently misanthropic toward society, and I am tempted to ask if this is coming from any political or moral stance, despite you stating that politics do not enter your music? In addition, have you found the writings of any philosophers to further your opinions and ideals?
Vultyrous; I have a certain disdain for society, its true. It does not come from a political point of view, but rather just from the fact that I can form my own opinions and thoughts and don't believe everything I'm told.
I have read a lot of philosophy, and I find a common view in thinkers like Friedrich Nietzsche and Jean-Paul Satre.
When can we expect the release of 'Pandemic Transgression', and can you give out any further details about this record?
Vultyrous; This album is still in the preliminary recording stage. I imagine it will be released mid to late 2010. It will be released on Hypnotic Dirge Records once again, and I hope, will top Solitude And Suicide.
Returning to 'Solitude and Suicide', I wanted to speak about the track “The Weeping Tree”. You’ve stated that this is an example of the new direction that you have taken with your music; however I am more interested in the agony and melancholia that the music produces. How did “The Weeping Tree” grow, what spawned it?
Vultyrous; The whole song is a metaphor. In essence, I am comparing a once strong individual made weak from the pain caused by the world around him to that of a great tree that is dying. It is a song about utter defeat, and giving in to death from lack of will to fight. I wrote this song when I was feeling much the same way. If the agony and melancholia comes through in the music, then I am doing something right.
The auditory aesthetic of your music is very Nordic, what are your musical influences?
Vultyrous; My influences have often changed, and that change is noticeable in the different eras of Funeral Fornication. Early on, I listened to a lot of Bathory, Immortal, Emperor, and Absu. Lately, I spend more time listening to Leviathan, Xasthur, and Weakling, among others.
I listen to too many bands to mention; needless to say they have all influenced me at one time or another.
I get a great deal of influence from classical music too. Composers like John Williams, Olivier Messiaen, Krzysztof Penderecki, and Edgard Varese are great inspirations to me.
Apart from music, what literature, film, historic events et cetera influence you?
Vultyrous; Other influences and inspirations come really randomly to me. I've been inspired sometimes by the oddest things, basically it’s anything that provokes a dark emotional response in me. Sometimes it’s a movie or a book, sometimes it’s a random situation I'm in. Writers that have often inspired me are Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, J.R.R. Tolkien, Edgar Allen Poe, and Charles Baudelaire.
Have you featured any guest musicians in your music?
Vultyrous; Only once, on Murder Cult Eidolon, I had a buddy of mine do the guest guitar solo on “Where Ravens Dare”. Other than that, it’s been me every time.
Apart from the Symphonic Black Metal outfit Artep; have you participated in other musical endeavors?
Vultyrous; I also play 6-string fretless bass for a technical death metal band called Archspire. I have played in numerous bands over the years, but Funeral Fornication, Artep, and Archspire are currently what I am working with.
I also have a dark ambient solo project called Ringbearer that I work on from time to time, and I will soon be working on a traditional doom metal project called Canticle with Adrian Miles of Solstice [UK].
There was mention of a three-way split with Artep and Aron Crimeni, how is this progressing, or is the project lying dormant for the moment?
Vultyrous; This project is moving forward, albeit at a snails pace. Everyone involved with this project is a super busy individual so finding time for it is tough, but this split will get released. It’s just a matter of when.
Will Funeral Fornication ever perform live?
Vultyrous; Probably not. I am too busy with Artep and Archspire to put together a live line-up for this project. Never say never, but I can't see it happening any time soon.
What have you found the response to be to your music, both internationally and from your home land in Canada?
Vultyrous; The response overall has been small, but positive. I think I'm better known internationally than I am locally. I get fans messaging me from all over, but not much of a local response, though I attribute this to the fact that Funeral Fornication doesn't do shows.
After Funeral Moonlight Productions, you were signed to Canada’s Hypnotic Dirge Records, how has the experience and relationship been with Nick Skog, and the label in general thus far?
Vultyrous; Nick [owner HDR] has been great to work with. Here you have a guy who truly loves what he does and goes out of is way to help the bands he represents. Hypnotic Dirge is a small label, but it is growing, and I'm very thankful that Nick liked my music enough to let me be a part of that.
What are the plans for the future of Funeral Fornication?
Vultyrous; Pandemic Transgression will be released this year, after that, we will see. I'm just getting warmed up.
Vultyrous; Keep listening! More good stuff to come!
Funeral Fornication's latest album 'Solitude And Suicide' is available through Hypnotic Dirge Records. To listen to Funeral Fornication and for further information on the project, visit the official MySpace page at: www.myspace.com/funeralsex.
YOU CAN VIEW THE INTERVIEW AT ITS ORIGINAL LOCATION HERE: http://www.voltagemedia.com.au/news/2010/03/25/funeral-fornication-mankind-a-disease
In : Interviews
Tags: funeral fornication solitude suicide vultrous ambient depressive black death doom epic symphonic