Billie Ray Martin’s haunting, soulful voice soothed many a chill…
Funeral Party are a raucous, edgy, DIY disco-punk band from East LA. If their cowbells, guitars and party-starting vocals don’t make you want to mosh and mingle, you might need to check if you’re still alive. We spent chatted to Chad (Vocals/Keys) and James (guitar).
When and where did you last have a really good night out?
Chad: Last time we came, me, the keyboardist and the bassist in Glasgow, went to a Kiss after party. It was fucking amazing. It was the best time I ever had, well for a while.
James: I think for me it was about a week before we came here. We just had a wild drunken night on the town, me and my friends. It was pretty awesome. I can’t go into details.
Chad: Is that when you got the tattoo?
What tattoo did you get?
James: My sign, on my wrist, Libra.
What’s your favourite item of clothing and why?
James: Because you pick the right pair and your feet don’t hurt (laughs).
Chad: My favourite item of clothing is a shirt that I had since eighth grade, it’s completely falling apart. I am determined to keep it until it’s basically a thread.
James: That grey one?
Chad: Yeah, turning into a tank top.
James: Dude, that’s like ten years old man
Chad: Eighth grade, dude
James: That’s awesome
If neither NYC or LA are the places to be, where is?
Chad: Detroit, that place is happening!
Chad: It’s a city that gets you prepared for the near future,
James: Yeah, definitely, it’s apocalyptic.
You escaped Whittier because it bored you, but can you name three things you love about it?
Chad: I love my parents, they’re in Whittier and I love my bed, it’s in Whittier. Jeez, that’s really hard. I think it’s gotten down hill.
James: The Mexican food.
James: There you go, three, that’s hard.
Does the moral character of an orgy change when the participants wear Nazi uniforms?
Chad: No, I think it gets a little bit more sexy.
James: I think it gets a little bit more kinky there, I dig it.
Chad: We’re into it (laughs).
Being in a band can turn you into an instant chick (or guy) magnet- is there a downside to that?
James: Yeah, because if you’re a musician that is already with somebody, it’s kind of hard to carry on a relationship like that.
Chad: And you have to be polite because if you’re not they won’t like your band.
When was the last time you embarrassed yourself?
Chad: One time I was riding my bike in Whittier, I was listening to music and I was thinking I was all cool and not paying attention. I had my head up riding forward, crossing the street and I didn’t see that there was this ditch right in front of me. I am like, looking all cool, thinking I am all awesome, and then all of a sudden I like, just go face forward in a ditch. By the way I’m at an intersection so there are a bunch of cars looking at me.
James: Where were you?
Chad: McDonalds by my house (laughs). So I just fly fucking straight forward and I just got up and like everybody in their car was just looking straight at me and I had no idea what to do so I was like ‘what do you do in this situation?’ So I just started laughing to myself and picked up my bike.
James: I was running through a club, about two months ago. Running through this club, trying to catch up to my friend, I had beer in my hand. I was walking around the floor. Everybody was dancing around me and I slipped and fell on my ass in front of everybody. I caught a beer though (laughs). Not a drop spilt.
With iTunes not paying much and streaming sites taking over, what advice would you give to a new band starting up?
James: Don’t, the music industry is done.
Chad: If you want to make music, go ahead, but if you’re trying to really make it big, it’s probably best not to release any material to anybody, unless its on vinyl and that’s all you can do.
Who makes you go weak with desire?
James: What makes us go weak with desire? Jessica Alba, actually no Taylor Swift. What’s up with you and not liking this white girl? She’s beautiful man.
Chad: She’s freaking nasty
Chad: I have no idea, weak with desire, that one’s weird. I don’t get impressed much.
What do you feel has been your most ‘punk’ moment so far?
James: Crowd surfing.
Chad: Crowd surfing was kind of punk. One time I cut myself, we were in Indianapolis. It was totally the wrong crowd to get all weird and crazy at. I remember I cut myself and I was bleeding and I had blood on my face. There was somebody like straight in front of me and their face went from this (happy, joyful face) to like that (face of shock and anguish). And that was pretty awesome. I felt a little seditious at that moment.
Do children’s games involving blindfolds reveal an essential cruelty in human nature?
James: Fuck yeah, that’s pretty cruel to blindfold a child, pin the tail on the donkey. I never once played that game when I was little. I was always afraid.
Chad: It’s funny though, its people’s urges to really want to fuck with blind people, but you can’t do it, so you do it to your children (laughs).
James: I am totally going to do that (laughs).
Is the love affair with Obama dwindling?
James: Yeah, yeah it is definitely, Obama’s fucking up.
Chad: I saw this great shirt that said I love Obama but then they put like a parenthesis and put a ‘d’, ‘I loved Obama’. It was fucking awesome.
James: ‘Change’- my ass.
Do you think the X-Factor/American Idol is good or bad for music?
Chad: It’s horrible.
James: Bad, worst thing that could ever happen because now we got people like freakin’ Susan Boyle or whatever, which is ridiculous.
Should marijuana be legalised?
James: It will be, actually it’s on the ballot in California.
Chad: I don’t think its going to make any difference, but whatever.
James: I think it can make a lot of money for a lot of people, but then again, I don’t want to be too political.
James: Yes, it will be.
When did you last shed a tear?
James: When I was one years old. Nah, I am just kidding. I don’t know, it’s been a while.
Chad: I don’t know. I am kind of a sucker for sappy movies. I forget the last crappy sappy movie I saw but it always gets me. I forget what fucking movie it is. I think its, it’s kind of embarrassing. I think it’s My Girl. I don’t know.
Chad: I don’t have a black heart.
What are your feelings on glo-sticks?
James: They can be good.
Chad: I would like to tell everybody they are completely edible, who would like to party with them, so they can get sick. I hate them, they’re stupid.
James: They can be good, if you break them up and then pour them on yourself. But people who rave out with them, that shit’s just played out, just played out.
What album will you keep listening to and never get bored of?
James: ‘Is This It’-The Strokes
Chad: I haven’t gotten bored of David Bowie’s ‘Low’ yet, that’s my favourite
Does celebrity entail a loss of dignity?
You got a hot date you wanna impress- what do you cook them?
James: Bean and Cheese burrito.
Chad: Nothing, I like to keep them thin (laughs).
James: Keep you starving baby (laughs).
Chad: You know you’re sexy when you’re starving (laughs).
What song will you have played at your funeral?
Chad: It’s an Aphex Twin song, I can’t pronounce it though. It’s off of the Drukqs album, just put Aphex Twin – Avril 14th, that one’s good.
How do you prevent yourself from going off the rails when touring?
James: Drinking usually gets us to go off the rails.
Chad: Long walks on the beach
James: Holding hands (laughs).
If you could be locked in a pub for 48 hours, which band/artist would you choose to be incarcerated with you?
Chad: I would have to just pick, like, a party band, so I would just get like fucking drunk with them all the time. I would just have to invite Van Halen
James: Yeah, Van Halen and Motley Crew. There you go, two good party bands.
Funeral Party’s single “NYC Moves To The Sound Of LA” is out now….
First Published: The Hospital Club.com June 2010