RWTD: I'm here with Funeral
Horse! Let's start by just having each of you guys introduce
yourself, talk about what your favorite type of movie is, your
favorite way to get fucked-up, just whatever comes to mind.
Paul: My name is Paul Bearer,
and my favorite movie would be Seven Samurai. And I get
fucked up by getting into arguments with women with big tits.
Jason: My name is Jason
Argonaut. My favorite movie happens to be anything with George
Romero. I'm a zombie fan. Older stuff is better. I have been known
to take just a little bit more vodka than I normally should have,
and, you know, I try to keep it at a certain limit, but there have
been times where I've gone over it. Quite a bit. [laughs]
Chris: My name is Chris
Larmour. My favorite movie is either North By Northwest or
Paul: I love that! With the
Chris: Yeah. It's so fuckin'
weird. But I love North By Northwest because it's just an
amazing story, of a normal person put into extraordinary
circumstances and then just fucking killing it. It's just amazing.
The auction scene? One of my favorite scenes ever, in any movie. My
favorite way to get fucked-up is tap water.
RWTD: Alright. Well, on the
flyer you guys sent me, along with the record, it said that you just
happened to sort of know each other. Can you guys go into more
detail on how you all got together? Have you known each other for a
Jason: I initially put an ad
out in Craig's List, and the first drummer, Kevin... No longer with
Chris: He's since passed away.
Jason: Yes. He died on someone
else's vomit. [laughs] Anyway, so, he responded to the ad [points
at Chris], we started jamming out, and then OK, you know, let's find
a guitar player, singer, and we had another guy prior to Paul. You
know, he was alright, but Paul responded, and he came out, and at
first we were a bit taken aback, because he kind of didn't fit
the look of the stoner guy. 'Cause that's what we're trying to go
for, you know, stoner metal. But, I mean, as soon as he plugged in
and started playing, we're like, “Whoa, this guy's amazing.”
That's pretty much it. We came up with a few songs and we did our
first show at a skate-park...
Paul: Ballistic Skate Park?
Chris: Oh yeah, the skate park,
Jason: That's in Houston.
Paul: I kept making
Jason: And it just, ever since
that, people've just been fans, 'cause we have a very unique sound that's
hard to classify.
RWTD: Yeah, I was thinking
that. It's like, you've got some doom to your sound, there's some
thrash in there...
Jason: We've been called, what,
'doom punk'? [laughs] But that's pretty much how it started, and we
write the songs collectively.
RWTD: I was going to ask,
what's the song-writing process like?
Jason: Someone will
come up with a riff, normally it's Paul, he'll come up with a riff,
and then 'Hey, do you guys like this?'. So it's very democratic.
It's not like, 'It's gonna be like this,' it's very
democratic. But that's why we work so well.
RWTD: You guys want to talk
about some bands that you listened to growing up? Anyone you'd say
influences the sound of the band?
Chris: Probably one of my
biggest influences is Fugazi. I love Fugazi. I was also kind of
into a little bit of early punk. But I was also very much into... I
have a lot of eclectic musical influences.
Paul: You love Karen Carpenter!
Chris: I do. Karen
Carpenter is actually one of my drumming influences because she is an
amazing drummer. If you ever go on Youtube, check out “Karen
Carpenter drum solos”. She's fucking ridiculous, I mean, she'll
pretty much put almost any metal drummer to shame. It's amazing.
Paul: You know what? She could
not make a sandwich to save her life.
Chris: I mean, you can't have
it all. [Paul laughs] But also, one of my other drumming influences
is actually Mel Brooks, the director of comedies like Young
Frankenstein. He was a student of Buddy Rich, and if you ever
get a chance to see him play drums, like he's seriously 90 years old,
he will rock the shit out of a trap kit like no other, because he's
one of these old-school cats that can just really nail it, really
nail it down. And then, uh, Animal from the fucking Muppets, because
he could pretty much use telekinesis to play drums, because he didn't
even really, he was like... the sticks are all over the place, and
they're not even really hitting the right drum and it seems to work
all the time.
Paul: He has that persona of
Chris: Oh yeah, I think he just
plays with rage. He uses rage to make the sticks do the sound he
wants. I think he's just screaming into the drums, and it hits the
right frequency, and they resonate just right. “DRUM ROLL, DRUM
Paul: OK, now I have the magic
stick. (ed. note: microphone)
Chris: You have the conch.
Paul: I have the talking stick!
Chris: We're gonna kill you and
use your glasses to survive.
Paul: OK, that's fine, I don't
care, 'cause I'll be dead. What do I say now?
Chris: Uh, musical influences.
Uh, KISS. You know, '70s, '80s, you know, KISS, big guys, make-up,
and mythical creatures.
RWTD: Oh yeah, I was noticing
you guys spit up blood...
Paul: Huh? Yeah, we spit
Chris: Do we?
Paul: Yeah, remember?
RWTD: Maybe I just imagined it.
Paul: No, no.
Chris: It's the thing we gave
Jason: Oh, OK. 'Cause I was
gonna say, I do spit a lot in our sets.
Paul: You throw up
Jason: I do throw up
occasionally, too, not really on purpose, but it's the, eh...
Paul: Yeah, but you wait 'til
the end of the set before you throw up.
Jason: I really try to wait
'til the end.
RWTD: Taking some influence
Jason: Yeah, a little bit.
Paul: Yeah, lunch is usually
better the second time around anyway.
Jason: Uh, true. Yeah,
sometimes. Depending on what it is.
RWTD: In smoothie form.
Chris: Dr. Pepper is actually
kind of still tasty, when you vomit it.
Paul: [Groans and laughs]
Chris: I discovered that as a
child, it was very weird. I remember just puking Dr. Pepper and
being like, “This is really not that bAAAAA-!” [everybody
Paul: Alright, haha. So, um...
KISS, uh... Into Thin Lizzy, really admire their guitar-work. But
then, more recently, Matt Pike. I mean, I can't deny that. Just the
brutality of the way he constructs his riffs and his solos. And the
god himself, Iommi.
RWTD: Gotta pay tribute.
Paul: Yeah. His solos are just
amazing, and... those riffs. It just pulls everything together, and
it's wonderful to listen to. Mr. Argonaut?
Jason: Mine is Sabbath, you
know, for Geezer. I'm a huge Geezer fan. Metallica, the early
years, with Cliff Burton. And Jaco Pastorius... You know, I like a
lot of jazz.
Paul: You have a Jaco bass,
Jason: I have a Jaco bass. I
like it very diverse, anything from Joplin to Cannibal Corpse.
Things I really can't pin-point, but there's certain... Like I said,
Geezer Butler, Cliff Burton, you know, those two primary. And then
Al Cisneros. Those three, I kind of base my structure around.
Paul: Your bass?
Paul: Based around those bass
Jason: Yeah. [chuckles]
RWTD: So, pretty extensive King
In Yellow reference in the liner notes of the most recent album.
Whose idea was that?
Chris: [laughing] Oh, that's
RWTD: Robert Chambers fan?
Paul: Good catch!
RWTD: Well, I mean, Carcossa,
it's all over that.
Chris: I honestly just heard
about Carcossa, like in the last couple of years, and I just find it
RWTD: Have you seen the Yellow
Chris: No, I haven't.
RWTD: Well, that's probably a
Chris: Oh, OK. I'm a bit of a
writer, and we needed space to fill up... [laughs]
RWTD: So, the KISS cover, is
Paul: Yes! Yes, thank you.
Jason: So, Artificial Head
Records, who released our vinyl for our latest album, they also will
be having a compilation coming out at the beginning of September, of
all these other Houston-area bands doing covers of KISS songs, and
our song is called “Almost Human”, which is from the Love Gun
RWTD: Gotta admit, I'm not too
up on KISS. I mean, I know a few songs, but not a lot.
Paul: You know what, you're not
alone! Neither was this guy! [points at Chris]
Chris: Yeah, well, actually,
when we recorded the song, I didn't even know what KISS song it was,
I'd never heard it before. Paul just pretty much said, “Don't
worry about it! It's KISS, it's super-easy, just play the song.”
You know, in the studio, and I was just like “What do you want?”
Paul: We listened to it once,
at rehearsal, over the phone.
Chris: That was terrible. And
I was like, “This is the song you wanna do?”
RWTD: So do you guys do a
version where you just shred it to pieces, or is it kind of faithful?
Paul: It's pretty close,
Chris: It's definitely Funeral
Horse doing it.
Paul: It's more Funeral Horse
style, but the song isn't that hard.
Jason: It's really not.
Paul: It's the latter part of
the classic era, so they were kind of just busy cranking out these
RWTD: Gotta fill those arenas.
Paul: Yeah. Ace was playing
cards, being like, 'I don't give a shit,' I mean, he wasn't caring.
So it's not that hard to play. You know, we recorded our album, and
the producer was like “Do you guys just wanna knock out that KISS
song? We've got plenty of time. You've already got everything else
done.” And we're like, “Well... OK.” And I look at him, and I
look at him, and we're like “Let's just try it.” So, he was
quiet [points at Jason], so he sat there and was like, “Oh, okay,
so let's just try it.” We went through it once, nailed it, and
then [Chris] went back and listened to it, and the next day, he
recorded his drum track, and then we recorded the bass track over the
top of that. Then we recorded vocals on top of that.
Paul: Kinda got it done
beautifully. So yeah, we're very happy with it.
Chris: And honestly, I thought
it was like one of the best tracks that we ever did during that
session, was this ridiculous KISS cover that I'd never heard before.
I was flabbergasted that it just turned out amazing. I was like,
“This is fucking weird.”
Paul: And you weren't under the
influence of anything.
Chris: Oh, I was super-high,
what are you talking about? [laughter] I was so baked for that
entire recording session. I'm not gonna do that again, that was a
RWTD: So theoretically,
assuming licensing fees were a thing that didn't exist, are there any
bands or particular songs that you'd want to cover in the future?
Paul: Ooh-hoo! You guys go
first, though. [laughter]
Jason: We are currently working
on a Flipper cover.
Paul: We did it that day you
threw out your back.
Paul: Way of the world.
Jason: So we're trying to do
Flipper... What'd we do the other day, we did “Come Together”, by
RWTD: Damn, I wanna hear that.
Paul: That was loud.
Jason: It was loud, and it...
That just fell together, it was amazing.
RWTD: Ever heard Type O
Negative's “Day Tripper” medley?
Paul: Nooo?! [Jason laughs]
Jason: Ah, what else... “Mob
Paul: Yeah, we did “Mob
Rules” the other day.
Jason: I think that's pretty
Paul: We're gonna try to do
maybe a Samhain cover. But then we started doing these other things,
and we're trying to write new material at the same time.
RWTD: So, those are mostly
gonna be stuff that you pull out at live shows, just to surprise the
Jason: Pretty much, yeah.
Paul: Like, tonight we did
Chris: Tonight we did “Angel”,
by Massive Attack. The other ones we were talking about were “Venus
In Furs”, by Velvet Underground. I also, uh, I haven't brought
this up in a while, but I still kind of want to do “Tales of Brave
Ulysses” by Cream. Because that is an awesome song, and I think we
could knock that out of the park. And then, oh, that Doors song that
you like. [nods to Jason]
Jason: Oh, uh, “Not To Touch
Chris: “Not To Touch The
Earth”. That would be awesome too.
Paul: The 'Lizard King' here.
[nods to Jason]
Chris: And Paul and I both play
keys and organs, stuff like that, so we'd be able to definitely do
Paul: I play a different kind
of organ than you.
Chris: I play the meat organ.
Paul: Ohh my god!
RWTD: So how did Artificial
Head get in touch with you guys?
Paul: That would be through me.
Chris: Paul is Artificial Head,
for the most part. Paul, pretty much, it's his label.
RWTD: You just called yourself
up on the phone one day...
Paul: Yeah, like “Why is my
line busy?! This sucks!” [laughter]
Chris: “This guy's always
fucking busy! Fuck Artificial Head!” Nah, it's Paul's label, Paul
started it, and it's all him. He's knocking it out of the park, he's
doing a really good job running an independent label, and it's pretty
much just him, you know? He's got one assistant that I know of, and
that's pretty much it. He does everything all on his own, you know,
and it's pretty amazing. It's like Dischord, the origins of Dischord
Records, which is probably one of the most famous independent labels
Paul: And Atlantic!
Was Atlantic independent at one point?
Chris: Shut up, I hate you.
RWTD: So are you guys looking
to sign any new bands, or do you have your hands pretty much full at
Paul: We've got the KISS
compilation... You know, I'm kind of slowly scouting other bands.
There's a group from England called Terminal Cheesecake, I've been
talking to them. They're from the '90s, really psychedelic, heavy,
heavy into drugs, heavy, noisy... They were really big, they were on
Earache at one point, Pathological, they were all over the place.
Very interesting guys, they just got back together, they're still
kind of feeling out their reunion right now. And I've been talking
to Greg Scott, who was the artist for Blue Öyster Cult, back in the
'70s. He did Fire Of Unknown Origin, Extraterrestrial
Live, and the one after that [The Revölution By Night],
with the black and pink cover. Before Club Ninja, which has
an atrocious cover. But he did three of their covers. Then he
stopped doing artwork for a while, now he's back into doing artwork.
So I contacted him and Terminal Cheesecake, and Artificial Head... I
like to pair really good bands with really well-known artists.
'Cause this is a labor of love. So there's a band we had on the
label a while ago called Art Institute, was a new-wave post-punk
band, we had Raymond Pettibon do that artwork. Jody Seabody and the
Whirls, that's a 7” that's coming out soon on the label. I've got
Jeffrey Lamm, who's really famous in Japan, he does comic-book art.
Ray Ahn, from the Hard-Ons, he's doing the cover for the Hell City
Kings that we're releasing. And then we had a well-known Houston
tattoo artist, Amanda Bell, do the cover [for our latest album], and
Shepard Hall did the back cover.
Chris: Dude, tattoo artists are
where to go now, they're some of the best artists around, hands down.
Paul: So, I mean, that's the
whole idea. So the Terminal Cheesecake record will hopefully have
Greg Scott on it. Greg Scott's not gonna be cheap, but to have the
artist who did Blue Öyster Cult's covers...
Jason: It's awesome. It's a
selling-point, and it's amazing.
Paul: That's the whole goal, is
to put the two together. Great artwork and great music, together.
RWTD: So, as I understand it,
you guys took separate cars for this tour, but as you head to
California soon, you're gonna be all in one van. How's that driving
situation going to work out, how do the shifts rotate, and who gets
to pick the music that you listen to on the drive? [laughter]
Chris: Normally, I guess it's
whoever's driving gets to pick the music. Unless it's Firesign
Theatre, in which case we just listen to Firesign Theatre forever on
RWTD: Favorite album?
Chris: Oh, I don't have one, I
don't really know it that well. I heard about it when I was in high
school, and then fucking Paul busted it out one day, and I was like,
“God, this is ridiculous, this is so funny.”
Paul: Yeah, we have a best-of
compilation on the player. “Nick Danger”, that one's really
good, and then what was the one with...
RWTD: How Can You Be In Two
Places At Once...
Paul: How Can You Be In Two
Places At Once When You're Not Anywhere At All.
RWTD: One of the best covers
they've got, I think, with the posters of Lenin and Marx, except it's
John Lennon and Groucho Marx.
Paul: Yeah. Clever, clever,
clever people. I admire the shit out of them. Listening to stuff
like that really makes the time go by.
RWTD: I've also got to ask,
where'd the name Funeral Horse come from?
Jason: Oh, that's Paul.
Paul: Yeah, so I was casually
watching the funeral of Margaret Thatcher. I had it on the TV, just
kind of casually, it's on, and I heard the announcer say “Oh,
they're now preparing the funeral horse...” I love that name! But
what is that?! And it's the horses that pull the carriage that the
casket's in. And it was before the band had started, so I just wrote
it down one day, like 'That would be a great song name.' And I just
kept it there, and then I responded to Jason's ad about a band, and I
don't know what name you guys had at the time, but it was Japanese, I
RWTD: Do you recall?
Jason: Oh, god, what was it...
It was 'dead' in Japanese.
Paul: I think he said it, I was
like 'Yeah, that's OK.' I have a thing against American bands using
Japanese names. Just because you really don't know what you're
saying, unless you're fluent in Japanese. Those Japanese tattoos, do
you really know what that says? So I proposed Funeral Horse, and
they're like 'Oh, OK, I like it, it's a heavy name.' And that's
where it came from.
Chris: What are the other names
we were holding onto? There was Snotfaucet.
Paul: Oh yeah, later on we came
up with Snotfaucet, 'cause you had a runny nose.
Chris: I think I was sick, it
was just... [laughs] I think I said it one night, 'My nose is like a
RWTD: Almost sounds like a
Garbage Pail Kids tribute band.
Chris: Yeah, pretty much. We
were playing some fucking awful bro metal bar, and no one gave a shit
about anything we were doing, and my nose was just running like
crazy. It was such a bad show, 'cause like every other band sounded
like fuckin' Hoobastank. All the bands sounded like Puddle of Mudd
and shit like that, these whiny fuckin' piece-of-shit entitled
Paul: You know, that's part of
our problem. We're the metal band at punk shows, and we're the punk
band at metal shows, you know what I mean? It's hard for us to
figure out where to fit in locally.
Jason: So we're just gonna play
Paul: Puppet shows, children's
Jason: Yeah, children's theatre
for the most part. Elderly homes is another place we really like to
play. Prison garages.
Paul: When we hit the road,
it's a different story. We tend to find our niche everywhere we go
outside of Houston. But in Houston, it's not tough for us to get
gigs, it's tough for us to get into the gigs we think we fit better.
It's like 'Oh you guys are too metal for us!' and then we show up and
they're like 'Aw yeah they're great!'. But it's a good scene after
that. So we end up getting stuck with a lot of bro metal bands. A
lot of bro metal bands.
Chris: Especially in Houston,
because they're like 'Oh, well you're obviously metal, you'll fit
right in with these guys.'
Paul: We get put in at venues
where they're focusing on, like, Dimebag Darrell. We played a
Dimebag Darrell tribute show. We were like, 'Why are we here?! I
don't know shit about Dimebag, except I know I can't play halfway as
good as the guy.' We were just obviously the left-field band.
RWTD: I was kind of thinking,
doom, punk, kind of lends itself more to the sludge scene, which, as
far as I recognize, isn't too big in Texas, everybody's leaning more
towards desert rock, maybe.
Paul: Here's the funny thing,
we're gonna be going through that area on our August tour, we got in
touch with the guy from Tee Pee Records, so he's trying to set us up
with something in southern California. Just didn't work out because
of the dates, the days that we were going through southern
California. But somebody involved in all that, they're trying to
help us out, and they've got our records over there, so we'll see
Jason: We will be playing San
Jose, which is the home of Sleep, so that's gonna be cool.
RWTD: You guys think you'll
play a segment from Dopesmoker, anything like that? Just a
little chunk of it?
Paul: We're not worthy. We're
not worthy, man.
Jason: We will be playing in my
home-town, San Bernardino, California.
Chris: I grew up in California
as well, I'm from San Luis Obispo.
RWTD: And you guys just sort of
found yourselves in Houston?
Chris: My story's a bit
complicated, how I wound up in Texas. Nothing to do with rock.
RWTD: Is there anything else
you'd like to say to your fans, or to the people who fucked up and
failed to come to your shows?
Jason: I mean to get you!
Chris: Honestly, I have a bit
of a serious thing I'd like to say. We have a lot of fans from the
Netherlands, and there was the [Malaysian Airlines] plane tragedy
that happened, about half of the people on the plane were from the
Netherlands, and on behalf of Funeral Horse, I would just like to say
that we're thinking of them, and it's terrible what happened. We're
actually going to be going to the Netherlands next year, and it's
terrible that something like that happened. So I'd just like to say
that, to end on a bit of a serious note for myself.
Paul: We really appreciate the
opportunity, we like hitting the road... We're just very happy with
everything so far, and we're looking forward to bigger and better
things, I guess.
Jason: I'd like to say one more
thing. I guess that the momentous part of this whole Funeral Horse
thing, what really blew my mind, is there's a concert venue in
Houston called Fitz, Fitzgerald's, and I've been there many times as
a spectator. I remember the first time we played there, I was taken
aback because I was standing on the same stage that Red Fang played
on, Mastodon, so that was like a mile-stone for me. It was like, I
couldn't believe this was happening. So, this whole Funeral Horse
thing itself, it's amazing how everyone loves us, they love our
sound, they love our energy. But that's the mile-stone for me,
actually. Going to Europe, that's cool, but to stand on the same
stage that some of the people that I look up to in music... It was
amazing. It was really amazing.
Funeral Horse plays a hell of a show,
so do not miss these guys. Run, steal a bus if you have to, but
don't miss them if they're playing a show anywhere near you. Copies
of their latest album, Sinister Rites Of The Master,
are still available through their BandCamp page, so if you don't have
one already, snag it now!