The Funeral is About to Begin, Sir.
Playing in Japan with Funeral Moth was an important bucket list moment for me. I purchased their self titled ep after initially being drawn to their name and description and was delighted with the gross sounds that oozed from my speakers. That was many years ago, and I am happy to call them friends now as Disrotted has has the pleasure of sharing the stage with them many times. This isn't sludge, stoner rock, psych, or doom..this is grim, lurching, funeral doom from the bowels of the netherworlds.
Kaala: Hey bro. Thanks for taking time with me to do this interview. I have had the pleasure of seeing Funeral Moth play live many times over the past few years, and it is always an incredible sonic experience. Can you give our readers a history of the band, as well as describing your sound?
Makoto (Gt, Vo): Thanks for giving a chance to answering this interview to me and Funeral Moth. It's honor for all of us! OK, I'll tell you about our history briefly. We started the band in 2005 to play exteme doom metal. Our first show was in 2006 as a opening act for StarGazer(Australia) in Kawasaki/Japan. In the same year, we entered the famous Noise Room Studio to record first demo. We chose the studio because our founding bass player Nobuyuki had recorded in that studio when he was in Coffins/Psycho to Black. That demo was released by my own label Weird Truth Productions in 2006 on tape format. Around the end of 2007, Our original drummer Junpei left that band and he was replaced by Yuichirou. With him, we re-recorded 2 songs from first demo and released it as selftitled EP again from WT in 2008. Then, it took 6 years to complete our 1st album Dense Fog. To tell the truth, we had already finished all songs on Dense Fog album by the end of 2010 or so. At that time, we were still 3 peice band with single guitar player. While we toured with Mournful Congregation in 2010, Matsubara-san from Retortion Terror played with us as a guest guitar player and it turned out really awesome. So we decided to add one more guitar player as a permanent member, unfortunately it was difficult to ask him to join us as a permanent member because his home town is far from ours. In 2013, finally Tomoyuki joined us and we started to record "dense fog" album, which was released in February 2014. In February 2014, we also did mini-tour with Worship in Japan and played 3 shows in Sendai, Tokyo, and Osaka. In 2015 one of the founding member Nobuyuki left the band but fortunately we could find Ryo as a replacement quickly. With him, we starrted the recording of "transience" album, which was released in March 2016. CD version was released by my own label Weird Truth again, vinyl version by Throne Records and tape version by Dogma Artistic Guerrilla.
What is the writing process like for Funeral Moth? Are you the main song writer or is a collaborative effort with everyone?
Until Dense Fog album, Both I and Nobuyki wrote the songs. As for Dense Fog album, Nobuyuki wrote 3 of 4 songs. As for Transience album, I wrote all songs. But all other members also add their own input to all of the songs. Especially, Yuichiro never play as same as the drum I played in demo version. He's much more talented drummer than myself and he add his own idea a lot. Now, we are writing new songs for the next album. Tomoyuki also have already writen one song for it.
What were your influences like for Funeral Moth when the band formed? Are there any bands or musicians that play a part in influencing your sound today? What influences the lyrical content?
When we started tha band, Worship and Mournful Congregation were the bands who influenced our music a lot. In early days, Nobuyuki wrote the most of the songs and he's also into hardcore, sludge compareed to myself. So our early songs were much heavier than newer songs. I'm much more metalhead and I'm also into some bizarre metal bands like Melong Delta, Pestilence, Confessor, Timeghoul, and so on besides doom and doom/death. So I'm always tring to make something new in the realm of doom metal as the bands I mentioned have/had done. I don't want to walk on the same path any other bands had already walked on. As for lyrics, I write my lyrics based on my own real life. As a mortal, I had experienced a lot of bitter things, like separation, loss, etc... Such thing influenced me a lot. For next album, Ryo also write lyrics and his lyrics are inspired from his life experiences, such as his childhood memories, and also uses reference from literature like poetry to amplify his message.
I was very happy to see such a positive response to the last full length album Transience. The album was in many top ten lists all over the world and it was a great thing to see. Were you surprised with the reaction to the record?
Thanks! We were very lucky and we didn't expect such a praise because our music is too extreme to be accepeted by many people. We just did what we wanted to do andit's great that people enjoyed our music as same as ourselves.
I noticed that Funeral Moth does not only play with doom bands. I have seen you on bills with grind, pornogrind, hardcore and death metal bands. I know from my time in Disrotted, that playing such diverse shows can be difficult when you are the slow band on the show. How do these shows usually go for Funeral Moth? Do you like playing these style of shows, or would you rather play all doom/funeral doom billed shows?
Yes, we share the stage with the bands who are playing other styles of music. There aren't enough doom metal bands, especially extreme doom like us. So it's impossible to play only with doom bands if we play once per month or so. Personally, I'm also into some other style like death metal, thrash, black, grind and so on. And I think those who come to our shows are also into many type of music. I like both type of shows, genre-mixed ones and doom-oriented ones. If we only play with doom bands, audience will be got tired of it.
What albums or bands have really excited you in 2017?
Spectral Voice's 1st album Eroded Corridors of Unbeing was a really killer! I was lucky to see their show in Götenburg/Sweden along with Blood Incantation this year. They are the really heavy and atmospheric doom/death following the tradition of mighty diSEMBOWELMENT! Bell Witch's Mirror Reaper was really extreme!!! Over 80 minutes sorrowful soundscape! And Anatomia released long-anticipated new album Cranial Obsession this year! Creepy and eerie doomed death metal!!!!
Any plans to tour in 2018? What is new for Funeral Moth
So far, we don't have any tour plans yet. In 2018, we'll concentrate more on making the songs for next album rathar than live activities.
What are some of the most memorable Funeral Moth shows in the past that stick out in your mind?
It's forementioned tour with Mournful Congregation. Whole tour was really fun and we share a lot of great time with MC guys. And Matsubara-san's guitar playing is really awesome and the experience to play with him affected us a lot. And the last day of Worship Japan topur 2014 was also really great. Luckily we shared the stage with two doom giants, Corrupted and Worship. As far as I remember, it was the most crowded gig for us.
You are a book of knowledge when it comes to metal, and I always love talking to you. Top 5 doom albums of all time?
thanks! Oh, it's hard to choose only 5 albums!
Mournful Congregation - The Monad of Creation: It's doom bible for me. Perhaps, I'm the first one who listend to this album besides band members/engineer because I relaesed this album through my label. I still remember the feeling when I hear the first note of this album. Masterpiece of masterpiece!!!!
diSEMBOWELMENT - Transcendence into the Peripheral: It's doom/death rather than doom. But it's very important album for me so I add this to the list. They are the pioneer to mix heavy riffs and atmospheric clean.
DUSK - ...Majastic Thou In Ruin: As good as diSEMBOWELMENT, it's doom/death but I couldn't deny to add this one on the list. The mixture of groovy doom/death riffs and atmospheric clean is really awesome! It's really great that they are active again and play at Maryland Deathfest in 2018! I wish I were there!!!
Skepticism - Aes: Funeral doom master! "Aes" is EP but I think it's the most "funereal" stuff of them, so I chose this one.
Worship - Last Tape Before Doomsday: It's a demo but I think it's the most important stuff for them. I can't listen to "Whispering Gloom" without tears. I miss Mad Max and I wish you rest in beer!
Thanks for your time man! I really respect you and the whole band and can honestly say that Funeral Moth is one of my favorite bands in Japan and one of the most challenging and interesting doom bands in the world. Cheers to you!
Thanks for interview!!! Cheers and be dooooooooooooooooooomed!