Funeral Cone interview
Funeral Cone is a band that advertised in my newspaper Mothers News more than a few times and I always did a really far-out job with the ads, which they appreciated. We are friends and I even appeared on the cover of their LP, and wrote a song for them. A few months ago they were going to be in Maximum Rock And Roll Magazine (MRR), and they asked me if I could do the interview. Not to be the one asking the questions though- they wanted me to be the one answering them! They wanted me to be them. It's no secret that I enjoy being interviewed, but to be honest, I didn't like the idea at first. I'm going to do the work and then someone else gets to sign their name? Doesn't sound like a great deal. But then I sat down and I thought it over, and I decided OK, these guys are my friends and I enjoy a good interview, and it'll be fun to wear this mask for a minute. But then almost all the questions were extremely goofy! That makes things more difficult. Regular questions you can answer funny; starting with only funny questions limits your options. Anyway I dug in and got the job done, that's my way. Also I added some more sensible questions into the mix.
After I finished up I learned that MRR changed their policy on very goofy shit (from "Nahhh..." to "No.") so this entire thing would probably get ankled. It's unclear to me if they even sent it in. Anyway here it is, it's weird but there are cool parts. Again, this is me, answering as other people, but saying things I would say. The only section the band really answered is the part about cool shows. Most of the questions are from the poison pen of Doug Demay, who is the band's label boss and Dungeon Master. Shawnecee facilitated the interview and had the idea "let Jacob do it".
-- Jacob Khelper
Answered as a group with everyone talking over each other and finishing each others sentences.
HI FC, Please introduce yourselves and your deal?
- I'm Cory, I play drums, I'm the handsome one.
- I'm Kelley, I play keyboards and sing, I'm the smart one.
- I'm Dan, I'm the singer, I'm the cute one.
- I'm Matt, I'm the quiet one. Also the cute one. Bass.
- I'm Frank, I play guitar, I'm the one with glasses that isn't Dan.
Suppose you once had a job making inspirational posters, describe the one that got you fired.
- It's a cat in box and the text reads FEED ME UNTIL I DIE & PRETEND I LOVE YOU. The cat is clean-looking but has a repugnant aspect, like the child of a banker.
- It's a picture of a snow-capped mountain and it just says WELL HERE IT IS.
- Mine's a picture of a snow-capped mountain and it says WHO REMEMBERS THIS GUY?????
If there was a hair on your body that would not stop growing and could get really, really long, like, say, a mile long or thereabouts, where would you want that hair to be located on your body and would you trim it or let it grow and grow and grow?
- That's a great question but what I want to know is how do I know I don't already have such a hair? I've never really tried to grow my hair out as long as it could possibly go. How many of us have? I hear people say "long hair don't care", but if you had a single hair that was a mile long, I promise you you'd start to care. Maybe it means you've been caring the whole time? You can't have a mile long hair that never splits or gets brittle without maintaining good calcium in your diet. Maybe my motivational poster is LIVE LIKE YOU'RE TRYING TO GROW OUT A SINGLE MILE-LONG HAIR.
What kind of 5 person giant robot would Funeral Cone form? What is the name of your worst giant reptilian adversary?
- I gotta say, first, right off the bat, before we get into this question, I love everyone in the band. I feel like we all have a really good relationship, we enjoy each other's company, we go on vacations together, we play Dungeons & Dragons together every week, and within the constructs of a band we do pretty well. I mean we get to the shows reasonably on time, we load in and everyone in the band helps carry the heavy stuff, we communicate with the sound person, we take care of people in the crowd, we work to solve any problems that may arise. That said, if we formed a giant robot, I really doubt we'd be able to coordinate enough to take a single step forward without falling down, much less fight and defeat any comparably sized villain that didn't happen to be under us when we fell. I would go to the ends of the earth for these people, but based on how we try to split up a check at the end of a simple meal, I have to say there's no way, absolutely no way we could direct a 5 person robot in any meaningful way. Adversary's name would be Gilganto.
Suppose your neck was like, 6 feet long, what then?
- What's with the questions man, do you have like, regular band stuff to ask, or is just going to be goofer's night?
Yeah. OK. So you just played your 100th show, what were some favorite shows so far?
- Thee Tsunamis were cool, Dead Pressure from San Jose, The Holograms from Sweden.
- Any show with Black Rainbow.
- When Neon Piss came out here and we played Boston Providence Worcester three days in a row with them, that was really special. It was when we first started playing with Cory and it was when we really started to feel like a solid unit. Also special shout out to Harvester for helping us so much with touring and being such a good friend and Barker, RIP, for helping us a lot with Bay Area shows and being such a kind person and supporter of our lousy wonderful band.
- Melt Banana!!!!
- We played a beach bar in Provincetown once and it was super fun-- there were like 8 people there (including Dan's parents! And a super fan who made their own sparkly Funeral Cone shirts!). We played our set twice. It was weird and fun and super New Englandy: things I feel that represent Funeral Cone at our best.
- Now as far as the 6 foot neck thing, you're looking at back problems. Lots of lying down. Unscrupulous relatives charge villagers to look at you. A short life of mostly drinking. I think the most any of us could hope for in that situation is to befriend a novelist.
- If you had a 6 foot neck, you might just be a giraffe. Or a snake being eaten slowly from the tail end by a tiny man.
What are your songs about?
- Mind control. Beatlemania. Punks. Skins. Ummmm sort of... being caught in a loop of insanity, uh, somebody at the show wearing cop shoes, and maybe they're a cop, maybe they aren't, uh, being nervous, perfect teeth... we have a new song about listening to the ABBA discography on a long car ride, it's called "Cory didn't like it".
- Jacob from Mothers News wrote that one for us. He's truly a national treasure.
Funeral Cone have been asked to play one song at the middle school prom - what song do you play and why?
- Ok back to this. Well, first off, middle schools don't have proms, they have semi-formals, right? What song though? Great question. Well, OK, first off, you gotta load in, probably well in advance like 5pm, load out after the shindig is over, that's your whole afternoon and night, shot to hell for one song. OK so first of all what does a job like this pay?
Pro-bono. Free gig. It's your niece's semi-formal, she asks you.
- That's very suspicious. Personally I would've been mortified if my weird-ass aunt or uncle played a single song in the middle of my middle school semi-formal. It doesn't seem very likely. Major red flags here. Maybe she was coerced into asking? In which case you gotta ask yourself: "Why?". Maybe someone's trying to Carrie one of us? Not gonna happen, not on my watch. Fuck off, that's what I'd say. Not going to happen. Fuck. Off.
What is the most punk insect? If it were 10 feet tall and chasing you would you still think it was punk?
- OK, the punkest insect is not necessarily the one with the most spikes, because the notable thing about spikes on a punk is that they are an aftermarket addition. It's reprehensible to sell or buy a pre-studded jacket, because the act of spiking the jacket, or at least stapling garbage to it, is important. Anyone that buys a pre-studded jacket is just a prep in punk clothes. Rhinocerous beetle is not the punkest insect.
- The punkest insect is a bee, because a bee is named after the punkest verb: to be. Also when it stings you it rips its own guts out. But that doesn't keep it from stinging! And remember that UK striped mohair look for punks? I loved that look, that's a bee look. Changing your threat value doesn't make you more or less punk. That's totally orthogonal.
[at this point we stop to look up the word "orthogonal", which means "unrelated", or "related to a linear transformation that preserves the length of vectors"]
I know you guys invented a machine that shrinks bands and allows them to play directly inside people’s ears, what other inventions are you working on right now?
- Working on a new way to drive where you don't just fucking pull out in the damn middle of the road then wave at the person that fucking screeched to a stop like "thanks for letting me go"! That's something we're currently working on and trying to get funding for. Hopefully it catches on.
You are asked to come up with a new catch phrase for a hit TV sitcom about a lonely 9 year old kid who discovers that his parents are aliens who only fattening him up to eat him on his 10th birthday - what is the phrase? Can you describe the scene where it is first used?
- OK, again, sorry to be a broken record here but I gotta ask: what does a job like that pay? The sitcom's already a hit and they want us to juice it even more? They can payyyyyyyyyyyyyup! They can call my agent, my agent will call me, I'll hang up on my agent, I'll call my agent back when I cool down. That's how this works. Not trying to make free money for the network that helped put fucking shitface in office. Those guys can kiss my royal blue ass, and you can put that in writing!
- Catchphrase is "kiss my royal blue ass"
Do you think someone should make a record that is also a decent Frisbee or other lawn toy? What other things should records be able to do in addition to playing music? Could music be recorded onto a Wham-O Slip ‘N Slide?
- Hmmmmmmmmmmmm gotta say that sounds like a pretty bad idea! Records play music, and that's a lot! You want a frisbee? Get a frisbee. You want a croquet set, bocce ball, badminton, lawn dart, hibachi, flamingo, keg, hammock, moldy armchair, drunk roommate passed out nude, a pentagram burnt into the grass, bros driving by asking when's the orgy, cops throw trash at you, neighbors ask if everything's OK, you're like what are you talking about, trying to cook an egg on an engine block of a car with no windsheild? You want that shit it's already in the yard, OK? If you want a record, you have to get a record. Or download it.
Yes to tour, we love tour. Why tour? Great question. Why is there music? I do not know. Music seems important. It brings people together? It's nice, even if it isn't nice? We're trying to figure out why, I guess that's the why for now. Why we do it is we don't know why we do it. There's no good way to get to the one millionth digit of pi without knowing every digit before that. I'm sorry but there's no way. Sometimes you have to do the legwork. There's a lot of stuff we don't know- almost completely everything! Yet we're out here, having lunch, doing sex, playing music, studding our jackets, studding our food. Why? I don't know! That's why!
Funeral Cone have a new record out on 100% Breakfast, it's called TURN ME ON DEAD MAN.
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