I recently spoke with vocalist John Strachan, who is in one of the hottest and unique bands in the underground today, THE FUNERAL PYRE. This band will inspire you as well as awe you. Beware, awesomeness applies. While you are at it, make sure you check out the music on their Myspace Page.
deadspout: Alright, so the typical generic question, what influenced the name THE FUNERAL PYRE. Are you all Jim Morrison or DOORS fans?
John Strachan: It's really funny you ask this. As we just had a discussion about Jim Morrison last night and no. I personally, am nothing near a fan of THE DOORS. But, I can't say that for the other guys in the band.
deadspout: THE FUNERAL PYRE recently signed a distribution deal with Prosthetic Records. Congratulations! How has this transition been for you personally and the band in a whole. Also, will you be releasing new material with this deal?
John Strachan: The transition is good. It will at least help get our latest record into stores. I mean, touring without good distribution is really hard this day in age. We'll keep talking with Prosthetic about future releases and hopefully we can work something out!
deadspout: I recently read the band will be re-issuing your previous release "The Nature of Betrayal". However I didn't see if there would be a re-mastering or extras included with the Prosthetic release.
John Strachan: Not on this release there won't be. They'll basically just take the original version and make it available in stores.
deadspout: Who designed that incredible album art on "The Nature of Betrayal"? I had that on my desktop for a couple of days but the dots made me dizzy.
John Strachan: Ha. Sorry to hear that, but the layout was done by Ben West and the actual art was created by Gustave Dore.
deadspout: THE FUNERAL PYRE has one of the most incredible mixtures of Melodic Death and Symphonic/Norwegian Black Metal. Unique is hard to come across anymore. Do you realize your band will become international superstars and will have to beat larger labels off of you with Kendo Sticks?
John Strachan: Hahahah! That was Amazing! But dude, international superstars? No way! But if that does come true, I will definitely give you all the credit!
deadspout: You are the vocalist and I was looking up your likes in music. I found some really diverse metal. NACHTMYSTIUM, KYLESA, EMPEROR, CROWBAR, DEADBOY AND THE ELEPHANT MEN, THE ACACIA STRAIN, and many more. Which influences you as a vocalist more?
John Strachan: Oh wow, you took that right off my Myspace! Haha. Yea, I have one of those. My influences range from older SHAI HULUD all the way to DARKTHRONE. It really all depends on the band and how they deliver their lyrics. Lyrics are just as important as the music….
deadspout: What is with the NICKNAMES GRANDPA?!!?!
John Strachan: Oh man! Yea, I'm the old man in the group, but I'm not the oldest. I'm not a party guy and I don't really like to go out. I prefer isolation and going to bed at a reasonable time. I know, not very metal….
deadspout: You are playing the CALIFORNIA METALFEST this March/April with some very respectable names, who are you most excited about playing along side?
John Strachan: Fucking Testament! We've played with a million bands (or so it seems) but until i play with Slayer, Testament will be good enough! Ha.
deadspout: When is the band going to head out on a national tour? Who would you like to have on it?
John Strachan: Well, we actually just finished 2 national tours at the end of 2006. We're hoping to get out on the road by May/June. We've always booked our own tours and done what we needed to do DIY style. This time, maybe we'll get an offer? Who knows. We'll still be out on the road no matter what.
deadspout: Are you going to be on the FREE OZZFEST this year? Or perhaps Sounds of The Underground?
John Strachan: Oh no, those fests aren't for us. I mean, we don't really have any funding to get onto those fest. They'd be amazing, but I'll keep my fingers crossed.
deadspout: Do you ever get compared to THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, there are some riffings in your song "Plague That Leads To Extinction" that sounds simliar to The Black Dahlia Murder's "Flies". Maybe its the tone. Either way, are you inspired by them?
John Strachan: Well we have tons and tons of respect for those dudes, as they're kicking ass. But no, we're not really influenced by them. But go support them!
deadspout: Why does the Myspace lyrics button never work for ANYONE?!?! Its almost a tease, can you make it better?
John Strachan: Haha. We almost didn't even print the lyrics in the artwork! Then you'd be total shit out of luck!
deadspout: Lets do some quick question and word associations.
Caffeinated or Decaf
Coffee every morning for me!
Giraffes or Zebras
Stripes, John Candy, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis. Fuck yea.
Mayhem or Emperor
Grand Declaration of Anthems????
At The Gates or The Black Dahlia Murder
At The Gates. Classic.
Metal Misha or Sinister Sasha
Kind of like Century media?
Oh yea boy!
Oh yea man, thrashin!
Church of satan, hates Carlos Mencia, he's all good in my book!
John Strachan: Anytime, we don't get to do a lot of interviews so now i feel special! Ha. but thanks for your time and kind words. Cheers to you kids out there that still love metal! Satan!