Interview with Krall
Interview conducted by Scott Murray
Date online: April 18, 2003
Congratulations on the release of your debut CD "Under the Black Veil"! It's quite the accomplishment and certainly not the kind of music your average schmo would associate with Eastern Canada.
Thanks! It's been quite an eventful year for Funeral Fog! This album took a lot of time, dedication and hard work from both of us and we're quite pleased with the final product. We, among many other Maritime bands shall show the world that Eastern Canada has a lot to offer, metal-wise.
What kind of responses have you been receiving from the album so far? It hasn't been out long, but what kind of reviews have you gotten or might expect from some of the major publications you sent copies to?
The responses have been mostly positive, which is great! The album is far from perfect and does have its downfalls, but overall the reviewers have done a good job describing our style of BM and we've gotten quite a few responses because of the reviews.
What do you think Funeral Fog has to offer that differentiates itself from other underground acts or even some of the high profile Black Metal bands still releasing critically acclaimed albums?
What Funeral Fog offers is old-school Black Metal, the way it should be played! The fact that we're old school somewhat differentiates us from what is currently being released to the masses nowadays. Our main goal was to achieve a certain level of atmosphere sorely lacking in many newer BM recordings from established groups.
Why was the band named Funeral Fog? I'm sure you were aware of the risks, knowing that some people out there would come under the assumption that you're a Mayhem cover band, knock-off, or whatever.
Nokturnis, who was enthralled by that song when he first heard it, suggested we use it, and after some thought and research to see if anybody out there was using it, we took it as our own. The risks have been few and the benefits many. The name has helped us in many ways. For example, while people are searching the net for the Mayhem song, many have stumbled upon our site & checked us out, etc. The name fits our style of music perfectly and anybody taking the time to listen to our mp3's will quickly ascertain that we're not a Mayhem knock-off!
Tell me about the writing, recording and production process for "Under the Black Veil", like what were the influences behind the writing of the lyrics and music (bands, themes, emotions, etc...) and what the whole studio experience was like for you.
I wrote and played all the music, while Nokturnis wrote most of the lyrics. The music is a long process for me, I'll go through many riffs until I find something that could be used, and then I record it onto my 4-track. I have to be "in the mood" to write, which means I'll sometimes go weeks without touching my guitar, but once inspiration hits me I'll play for hours. Bands such as Burzum, Enthroned, Darkthrone and (old) Mayhem, among many others usually inspire me. It's one thing to be inspired but it's also important to not copy any of those bands...to work on your own sound and style. Once I have all of the music put together, we put the lyrics to them...And a song is born! The studio experience was quite good, actually. Everything went smoothly, laying all the drums and rhythm guitars in 3 days, then bass and lead guitars in the next 2.The vocals were done a couple of weeks later. Nokturnis nailed most of the vocals in one take! Mixing the album was quite another story! The mixing process was very drawn out and depressing at times, but everything came together in the end.
Was this your first studio recording experience?
No, I've been in the studio a few times with previous bands; I have no problems working in a studio.
Why was the decision made to use a drum machine for the recording?
Since we're a 2-piece band, I'm responsible for all the music being played. Anybody out there who's done this kind of thing will tell you that it's extremely difficult to do the drums without a band-mate playing the guitar or bass to help you out (for timing purposes) plus, I'm not a drummer really. I can play drums, but I'm certainly not the best at it. Since we both made the decision to be self-reliant (and the lack of a local drummer who's into this music) we decided to use a machine to help us. But after the machine was programmed, real drums and cymbals replaced it...so the drums are real but the actual beats are mechanical. A real drummer may be used on our next album.
How did you two meet and eventually go on to form Funeral Fog?
Nokturnis and I met in grade school in 1979 and have been friends for most of the last 20+ years. We both got into the underground metal in the mid- eighties, highly inspired by the likes of Celtic Frost, Bathory, Venom, Slayer, Possessed, etc. Our first musical venture debuted around 1988-' 89 in the form of a band called Satan's Realm. We put out a demo in 1994 and then soon broke up. I resurrected Satan's Realm in 1999,asked Nokturnis to join up with me and the band was reborn. Since we wanted to stay away from Satanism, we changed the name to Funeral Fog shortly afterwards.
Is there any significance behind your band monikers Krall and Nokturnis?
There is no mythical or historical significance to our monikers...They're just cool names we came up with.
Could you narrow down one band or song that really peaked your interest in black metal and has had the greatest influence on your music?
That's a tough question! For Nokturnis it would probably be early Mayhem. For me, my early influences would be Venom, Bathory, Hellhammer...But for this band it would be Darkthrone's A Blaze in the Northern Sky...That's where my newfound influence lies, along with Burzum's Filosofem. Both albums have a type of atmosphere that's chilling to the bone...The kind of thing Nokturnis and myself are trying to create.
The band is dubbed as "primarily a studio project". Have you played live before or perhaps plan to, at least on a local level?
We made a conscience decision in the beginning that it would only be us two, and that playing live would be out of the question, but after a good friend of ours asked us to play live at his party we obliged. He filled in on drums, and we played 4 songs from our album in August 2002. We strongly feel that our songs are not well suited for live performance, therefore we will probably never make a live appearance again.
Aside from Funeral Fog, what other band-related experience do you have?
Separately, we've played in dozens of local bands in the past 15 years, recorded countless demos/ 7"s. Too many to mention.
Do you have any thoughts on some of the latest black metal releases from bands like Immortal, Satyricon and Darkthrone?
I haven't heard the latest Immortal release, but I love Satyricon's Volcano; Darkthrone's Hate Them has them returning to form! It's inspiring to see that Darkthrone has kept its grim sound and feel intact, unlike many other BM acts.
It's my understanding that there is a surprisingly strong underground metal scene operating in Eastern Canada. What are a few of the other bands out there you would love to see at least reach the point Funeral Fog has come to?
Death metal is the dominant style in the Maritimes, especially in the Halifax, N.S. area. Some of the cool Death metal bands that have put out indie releases include Cephalectomy, Terratomb and Realms of Despair. Black metal is the minority in these parts, but local BM bands to watch for are Black Frost, Snowfall, Hellacaust and Eulogy, among a few others.
Outside of the band, how do you spend your spare time?
Working, listening and playing music, reading, etc...
What plans does Funeral Fog have for the rest of the year?
Dark Storm Productions has just released Funeral Fog/Snowfall split CD. We also recorded a cover of Burzumís Ea, Lord of the Depths. The song hasn't been mixed yet, and we still haven't determined what to do with the song, but it will more likely then not be released on a compilation in the near future. I haven't written any new songs lately, just bits and pieces that will likely morph into new songs early into the next year. In the meantime we're still in the hunt for a label to properly release Under the Black Veil or our next opus of pure hatred!!
That's all for today. Thanks for your time guys, stay metal!
Thank you Scott & Metalcrypt for the opportunity to spread the word of the fog...Stay grim.
|Other information about Funeral Fog on this site|
|Review: Under the Black Veil|
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