From the alley lit backyards of a Metal/Hardcore dominated LA Suburb emerged a hyperactive and talented group of high school friends who knew that house parties were way more than raiding the liquor cabinets; it was where you acquired notoriety as well. With only three and a half years under their belts, Funeral Party recently signed with music juggernaut, RCA. With a healthy following in the Queen’s Country, most new-comers probably think they’re British. Goes to show that LA is the Devil’s armpit. Part from their busy lives en route to being knighted, lead singer, Chad Elliot, picked up the phone and chatted it up.
Interview by: Itay Kapitulnik / Intro & Photos by Jon Hermison
How’d you guys form your raunchy rock sound?
At the time we started, there was this sort of post punk revival going on in LA that we were all fairly new to. Being so young, we didn’t really know any history on post punk, so we started listening to bands like Gang of Four, and we thought it was so fucking brilliant and we wanted to do something like it. With the live show, we didn’t want to just stand there, because people wouldn’t want to pay attention, so we just started acting crazy and it worked out.
You guys have a video directed by Mike Relm. What was it like working with him?
Well, we met Mike a couple times, he seemed like a cool person, he was interested in doing something with us, and I told him my ideas and he’s a really down to earth guy. We started coming up with ideas for the “Just Because” video. He showed up with a girl and some camera ideas and it was really awesome...cool guy.
How long have you guys been together?
We’ve been together for about three and a half years.
Damn. And you’re already signed to RCA? How did that come about?
Yeah, kinda crazy! We originally signed to another label, but we just didn’t fit in. Right after that, we signed with RCA, which was a little bit of a surprise and also a blessing. They caught a scent of us and the next thing we knew, we were signing contracts.
The band is noted as a UK Buzz band, but you’re all from LA? Is it strange to have that much of a response in the UK?
It’s kind of strange, but it’s also an honor. I mean, a lot of the music I listen to, love, and will always love, tends to come from there, so to be recognized and liked over there is a great honor. We like going over there. We’re LA natives but we kind of know how it works. I feel like here, music is sort of on the back burner, as far as celebrities and the big money maker, but over there, music is still in the front seat.
Are shows a lot crazier over there, as far as response?
Yeah, we get a better response and people are just more into music in general out there. You see all sorts of people that you wouldn’t think would listen to a certain type of music, there’s really no boundary on what people listen to and how they dress. It’s great!
Was it tough playing in LA, starting out?
Actually we had a pretty cool start. We would go to parties and see all of these bands play and totally be mesmerized by the scene, wondering who these bands are, who these kids are. We really wanted to be a part of that, so we put this band together and asked people if we could play with them. There was a huge backyard party scene at the time and everyone was in a band from the surrounding LA areas. You’d go to somebody’s house and there would be people from Eagle Rock, Orange County, Whittier, West LA, in all these different type of bands, and it really helped us out.
Do you feel it’s still like that?
Not really, it’s like everyone grew up and people in bands started to become DJs. They saw backyard shows being too adolescent and went to the club instead. I’m hoping for another backyard revival. It was just so much fun.