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On Friday the 26th of March, I had the privilege to do an exclusive interview with the band FUNERAL GOD.  On arrival the band was getting ready for their weekly practice and I was very impressed with the dedication and commitment they showed in sacrificing their Friday evening for band practice.  This was also my first time that I have heard the band after their front man Richard left the band and I was very excited to hear what changes have happened since his departure. 
Then it started and I still can’t find words to describe the energy that started flowing within my ears and I realized that this band has to be heard.  But let me not give away all their secrets and let you hear it from the band them self.

How did you all join-up and from which previous bands do you all come from?

Riaan: “Charl and Myself got together and we decided to re-form the band, then we got Dwayne and Richard to join.  Richard left the band and we got Ronald on bass to replace him.”
Charl: “The current members played before in bands like Serpent Moon and Shadowlord. Our newest member on bass played for Flight of Darkness.”

Death Metal has been around for quite some time now, why did the band decide to play this music style?

Charl: “I think it’s a question of what we want to do and this is what we do, tuff.”
Riaan
: “I would say that we are rather doing a more extreme form of music, crazy shit, you know.”



If each of you can think of one word, what in your view describe Funeral God the best?

Riaan: “Brutal.”
Charl:
“Crazy.”
Dwayne:
“Unholy”
Ronald:
“Extreme” 

Who is the songwriter of songwriters of the band?

Riaan: “Well Charl and Dwayne are writing our songs.  Normally Charl will come up with a cool idea and we all will sit together and argue a bit about it and the end the result is a cool song.  Charl is writing all the heavy music and Dwayne is adding that melodic dark feel to it.”

So how do you decide what to write about?

Charl: “Jis man, it's more of a question what will get my head to move up and down.  That sounded sick, haha!  (There is a lot of laughter now in the background).  When I write shit it’s more about the feeling that I get.  If it feels right then I will use it.”
Dwayne
: “We are writing about things that people don’t want to hear about.”
Ronald:
“The main message is the failure of humanity.”
Dwayne:
“Hypocrisy!”
Charl
: “I hate people that don’t want to try new things, they always follow the same stupid routine, and do the same shit over and over again with no originality.  You know who you are. We are doing our best to take extreme music to a new level.” 

What was the first instrument you have played and if you had a second choice what would it be?

Riaan: “First I started on bass, then guitar and finally drums.  I will never pick up a bass or guitar again that’s hectic stuff man.”
Charl
: “First it was bass and then guitar.  My second choice in instrument will be drums.”
Dwayne
: “It’s always been guitar and there will be nothing else, I truly love it. No wait I also enjoy keyboards.”
Ronald:
“Started on classical guitar then bass and then more bass with some keyboards and synthesis on the side.”
 

Let’s talk about you demo.  Where did you guys record and how long where you in the studio?

Riaan : “Asylum studios.  And we were in the studio for about 6 to 7 days and then the mixing and mastering started.” 

I was amazed at the intensity and darkness of your demo.  How did you decide to record these songs and not anything else?

Charl: “ When you listen to the demo you will get a feeling from it.  It’s really intense and there is a lot of good stuff on there that helps waking up that feeling.  It really wakes you up.  Hopefully people in this country will start realizing that Metalheads are not dumb idiots that only does a lot of screaming, if you think about it we are screaming because everyone is so fucking deaf.  We are not a bunch of idiots that don’t know what we are doing, we are people with high inspiration that are trying to carry a message trough and the 4 songs on this demo gave that message what we wanted to give to you.” 

Tell us a bit more about the songs on you demo.

Charl: “NEMESIS, REAPER OF FLESH is the first track on the demo.  This is about a guy that comes down and see a civilization that think they are going forward like evolution but they are actually going backwards like the hole commercial scene.  It’s focusing on the blindness of man.  People are really blind and one day they will pay for it.

REBORN TO DARKNESS is the second song and it’s about opening your eyes and to stop being so narrow minded.

HOLLOW GRACING SUN is the third song and is really a paradox.  I wrote this on this idea that people think that metalheads are always seen as very morbid and only dressed in black and all that shit.  That hole misconception that people got and that they think this is true are just showing their stupidity.  We are actually focusing a lot on human stupidity.

WARCRAFT LEGACY is our last track on the demo.  This is about Egyptian war between Set and Ra and the concept of war in general.  War is always based on religion or just to have a piece of land, it’s so stupid if you think about it.”

Did your style change in anyway since the departure of your ex-front man Richard?

Dwayne: “When Richard was in the band the vocals was very heavy and brutal death.  Now when I took over the vocals the music changed more over to Black Metal with some power metal influence.  We have more a black/death sound now.”
Riaan:
“The new vocals of Dwayne is really making it more intense and aggressive then brutal and there is a lot more changes in his vocal style, which makes it very cool.”
Charl:
“When Richard left the band he took with him the whole Death Metal symbolism with him.  Now with Dwayne on vocals he gave his influence.  With this “new” style I won’t say that we are death, black or power metal we are Metal and that’s all.” 

With an intense demo like yours, what can people expect when they go and see Funeral God live?

Ronald: “Total chaos and a rude awakening.” 

Do you have any rituals before going out on stage, like licking the bass drum?

Dwayne: “BEER, BEER and more BEER!”
Riaan
: “You know the normal tuning ritual on stage, just joking.  We normally say kick ass! It’s more what happens after, haha!” 

The media in South Africa has never really got behind the brutal bands of this country, how do you feel about this?

Charl: “South Africa is very conservative and the majority of the population listens to pop like Britney Spears and all of that.  There is maybe not even 1% of the population into heavy music, but these are the people that we support.”
Riaan:
“It’s maybe also about the record companies.  They sign the bands that has the sound of the commercial popular overseas bands like your Korn’s, Pearl Jam’s and they only promote those bands.”
Charl
: “The average people in this country are all hypocrits and fucked-up.  State it like that.”(Riaan is really freaking out now in some foreign language.)

Are there any hidden messages in your music?

Dwayne: “We are not ashamed to let people know what we are singing about, we will say it straight in their face.”
Riaan:
“We are not a religious type band.” 
Charl:
“There are some hidden messages in our songs, see if you can find it.”
Riaan:
“What!? I didn’t know about this!”
(Every one laughs and I must admit this was a stupid question or what do you say Ozzy!)

So what does the members of Funeral God do to wind down?

Riaan: “Play Playstation.”
Dwayne:
“Yeh, play games.”
Charl:
“I breed snakes and play games.”
Ronald
: “I have another music project going, also live music but more dance base.  I work with a lot of software like “Reason”, “Wave Lable” and that type stuff.  Yeh I chill and jam music.” 

Charl was talking about his snakes.  I have noticed that there are quite the collection of strange pets in this band.  Tell us a bit more.

(Everyone is laughing and ripping Dwayne of now.)=
Dwayne: “If got a cat and fish.  Yes I’ve got fucking fish. Seriously I’ve got fish, tropical fish to be exactly.  Their names mmm…. Fish.”
Ronald:
“I had a dog.”
Charl
: “I’ve got a Burmese Python, a brown house snake, yellow anaconda and three boas. The ones name is testical, the other puff and the other is Max, Gena for Gena Davidson the porn star and Squirt.  I have also a cat Mr Ass and then all these guys that is sitting around me.”
Riaan:
“I’ve got a Bassid called Fred, Baboon spider, five scorpions and a corn snake called Jessabelle.  I had a cobra but didn’t have the facilities to keep it.  I hope to have one again one day. 

What is the future plans for the band?

Riaan: “There is a thing for Germany next year but we are still waiting for it to pull threw.  Also we want to do what bands are supposed to do, to play in as many areas as possible and to get people to know about us.  Also to send some recordings overseas.” 

Any last words for our readers?

Funeral God: “DEFEND YOURSELF FROM US!” 

You can see Funeral God live on stage on
9th April @ Snuggery (Benoni)
8th May @ Rock Café (Witbank)

15th May @ Sting (Midrand) 

To get in touch with Funeral God or to book them to play in your area please contact them at:

ebenvanderhever@santam.co.za
dwayne@gaeadigitalarts.co.za

cryogenic@webmail.co.za

Funeral God is:

Dwayne Coetzee – Vocals and Guitar.
Riaan Els – Drums.
Charl du Preez – Guitar.
Ronald de Stander – Bass and synthesis programming.

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