A nurse who makes death metal

Funerus been playing old school death metal since early nineties. After numerous line up changes things didn't come together till Jill started jamming with John and Kyle of Incantation. When I first heard their latest release "Return To Sludge" I was blown away by Jill's vocals. It's very rare to hear a woman sing brutal death metal vocals. One listen to "Return To Sludge" you will be equally impress how she hold her own with the best of them. "Return To Sludge" is a brutal piece of work.

Hello Jill and John, I hope everything is all well with you. Fall is finally here in Texas but it's still warm. How cold is it in Pennslyvania?
It actually hasn't been too cold yet. We had one snowstorm around Halloween but after that it's been pretty mild up here.

I'm listing to the new Funerus album and I'm completely blown away by Jill's vocals. She and Grace from Landmine Marathon have some brutal set of leather lungs lol!
haha Thanks alot. I'm happy with the way my vocals came through on the album! This was the first recording with me on vocals, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but I think the album captured my true and honest sound.

To get me and the other readers up to date, can you give us an up to date history of the band and how many albums you put out so far?
Funerus has been a band since 1990, started by 2 guys from the Pittsburgh area. I joined up with them in 1993 and shhorttly after put a demo out and we started playing our first shows in 1994. Alot of things happened in between then and 2001. Line-up changes mostly, I tried to keep the band going with other people, and tried jamming with other musicians, but things never really worked out. Until the day that John and Kyle were at the house for Incantation practice, and they asked me to jam out some Funerus songs. Thats when thiings restarted for Funerus. John, Kyle and I got ahold of Brad and he was into reforming Funerus, which led to our first album "Festering Earth". Also alot of tourinf and shows. Eventually Brad left the band forcing me into vocal duties. Next Kyle left the band and was replaced by Sam Inzerra (Mortician, Morpheus Descends) on drums. This line-up recorded the 2nd album "Reduced to Sludge".

How is this band different from Incantation? You feel that people will compare Funerus to Incantation?
People always compare Funerus and Incantation. We feel there is nothing to compare, they are 2 completely different bands. Even John says "Why would I want to play in 2 bands that sound the same?" But I think it is something that will happen forever.

The drums and guitars were recorded in your homestate of New Jersey while the bass/vocals were recorded in Pennslyvania. How long did that process take and how did you manage to put all this together?
It took about 2 days to record the drums and guitars in NJ. The bass and vocals were done over numerous months on our free time. So it was recorded over a long period of time.

Did you have to go to Sweden to help Dan with the mixing of the album?
No we were able to send everything to Dan by computer. We sent him all the tracks for the songs and he would send us mixes back and we would email each other back and forth until we were all happy with the mixes.

So how would you evaluate the album after it all said and done?
We are all very happy with it, we love the production by Dan, we think he did an awesome job!  One of the great things about working with him is he understood what we were trying to accomplish. That was one of the reasons we decided to work with him, is he comes from the same era of death metal, he understands what we want to sound like. We are extremely satisfied with the album. Everybody invoved did a great job.

I know John is busy with Incantation and operating the label. How do you manage to get together for shows and touring?
We just manage it somehow. Funerus is very important to all of us, we make time for things to happen!

Name some of the death metal vocalist that influenced you the most and why?
The vocalist that was the most influential to me was Martin Van Drunen (Pestilence, Asphyx, Hail Of Bullets)! I just love his style and sound! There were more vocalist I liked but Martin was my main influence for sure!

Funerus planning to do any shows or any touring in support of "Return To Sludge"?
There is always "talk", but there is nothing that I know of set in stone so I really don't to say anything. If I knew something for sure then I could say.

How's the current state of the death metal scene in Pennslyvania these days?
Things in PA are actually ok. Right now in my hometown there is Funerus, Incantation and Mausoleum. Pittsburgh seems to be doing well right now with Derketa, Abysme, Rottrevore. So things are looking up.

What are some of the things you and other members of the bands like to do when not composing for Funerus?
None of us have kids, so that helps things. John and I have dogs (akitas) that we rescue, and they are our children. We all work, I am a registered nurse, John works at a screen print shop, and Sam works full time. So we are all very busy!

I like to say thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do this interview. Is there anything you like to add?
Thanks very much Paul for the interview, and thanks for supporting Funerus!
Interviewer: Paul Lewis
Nov 17, 2011

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