Ahead of the release of their self-titled album on February 16, we asked Calvin from Funeral Shakes to take on our A-Z challenge to find out more about them.
A song that made you want to make music?
Queen – A Kind Of Magic. Heard it when I was about 3 years old and thought it was the coolest thing ever. I’m pretty sure my mum still has a tape recording of me singing along to it somewhere.
Best rider you’ve had?
We’ve only played a few gigs so far, so nothing too crazy. Had some nice crisps at the Bedford Esquires show recently.
Craziest moment you’ve experienced in the band?
Getting invited to open for Cancer Bats at their Hail Destroyer shows in April is pretty crazy, we didn’t see that coming at all.
Deepest lyric one of your songs features?
“Together we cried, the day that Bridget died, for you my love every day I die inside” – This is in relation to a mutual friend of myself and an ex girlfriend who sadly passed away on her own birthday.
Easiest song you wrote?
From the same song as I mentioned above “You’re so bad”. Simon had the riff and I wrote the lyrics to it in about three minutes one evening. I guess the words had been in there waiting to come out for a while.
Favourite song in your set?
At the moment, I’d probably say ‘Over You’. It’s really special feeling hearing and seeing people sing the songs back to you, definitely not an experience I’ve had much before this band, and something I hope I’ll never get used to. It’s the greatest feeling, and with ‘Over You’ being one of only two singles that people have heard so far, it gets the best reaction live.
Guest you’d most like to feature on your record?
Mike Patton would be pretty amazing, but would put my vocal performance to shame. I’m trying really hard to think of someone else that would be really awesome but not make me look terrible… Let’s just go with Patton.
Hardest thing about being in a band?
Going back to work after a gig.
Interesting fact about one of your members?
I’m allergic to bananas.
Jokes you have in the band?
At any given time, someone in Funeral Shakes is likely to start playing the Metallica song St Anger.
Key to writing a song?
Write what you know.
Longest distance you’ve traveled to play a show?
Not very far so far. We’ve only played six shows up to this point, and none of them further away than London. We have some treks coming up though. In previous bands we’ve all had some long journeys though, The Smoking Hearts went to Australia to play shows, and we once drove from LA to Houston to play a festival. 26 hours of driving or something.
Most inspiring musician you’ve experienced?
When I was 13 I was lucky enough to see Dimebag Darrell play in Pantera. A few years later, I met him at Download when he was playing in Damageplan. I went over and said Hi, and how much I loved his bands, and his music; He said thanks, and offered me a swig of whisky. I don’t drink, but that was a nice moment.
New band you’d recommend?
Mrs Magician from San Diego. Maybe not that new (in fact, they’ve been around for a while), but remain largely undiscovered. They were a great influence on the songs on our first album, and their first album is still on my regularly played list.
Opening for this band would be ideal?
Elvis Presley, back from the dead tour. Imagine the ticket sales.
Place you’d most like to tour?
Japan. Never played there. Lee has, and I’ve been there as a guitar tech in the past, but I’ve never played music there. That’s always been a dream.
Quote you’d like to pass on to our readers?
“Have a good time, all of the time” – Vic Savage, Spinal Tap
Reason for the title of your forthcoming release?
It’s a self titled album. Good place to start as a band, right?
See us live at?
We have lots of shows! See us in London, Watford, Huddersfield, Stafford, Northwich, Bournemouth, Corby, Bridgwater, Nottingham, Darwen, Glasgow, Doncaster, Manchester, Bristol. We keep adding dates too!
Jan – 2018
20th Bedford, Esquires – Cancer Research UK fundraiser
W/ Gold Key, Hero Dies First, and VNDTA Feb – 2018
14th London, Old Blue Last – W/LIRR
15th Watford, LP Cafe – Instore/Album Release Show
23rd Huddersfield Parish – W/ Mr. Shiraz
24th Stafford, Red Rum – W/Sonic Boom Six
25th Northwich, Salty Dog
April – 2018 – Headline Tour
4th Bridgewater, Cobblestones
5th Nottingham, Red Room
6th Darwen, Sunbird Records (Free Entry)
7th Glasgow, Broadcast
8th Doncaster, Woolpack (Free Entry)
9th Manchester, Night People
10th London, Thousand Island (Free entry)
11th Bristol, Louisiana
*W/ Cancer Bats + Death By Stereo
24th Camden, Underworld*
25th Camden, Underworld*
26th Camden, Underworld*
27th Camden, Underworld*
The old days of music were better than the current, do you agree?
Music will always be the greatest thing there is. I still get excited when I hear or see a new band, so I can’t say that one era was better than another.
We don’t have anything too unusual in the pipeline, but a Funeral Shakes coffin would’ve been ideal had Kiss not thought of it first.
Variations you’d like to do on any of your songs?
I’m not really in to remixes as such, we do a few bits different live here and there. Would love to hear someone else do a variation on our song though.
What do your fans mean to you?
I’m proud to think we even have fans. I think I’d still make music even if I knew no one would hear it, but knowing that there are people that listen to it and like it and invest their time and emotions in to the songs is a very special feeling, and if any one ever wants to say hi or take a photo or anything like that, it’s an honour.
X-rays or any treatments needed for band related injuries?
None for this band (yet), but I once gashed my head open on my bass guitar. It was the first time I’d used my Rickenbacker and I head banged my head straight in to the machine head and split my forehead open. It bled for the rest of the show. I’m told that my blood still stains the floor upstairs at the Garage. Guess I’ll have to keep an eye out when we play there in April.
You’re late for a show, whose fault is it?
One of two candidates. Either myself, or Em. Never Lee, he’s the most on time person I’ve ever met.
Zoo animal that best describes the personality of your band?
We’d be a complete mutation never before seen by man, made up of lots of elements of other animals in the zoo, but never previously discovered… We’d have the colours of a zebra, the pomp of a peacock, the regality of a lion, the ferociousness of a brown bear, all rolled up in to an 8 legged rock n roll machine animal.