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An interview with Thou’s Bryan Funck

Baton Rouge sludge band Thou are truly a revelation in the genre of metal. By weaving together harsh, heavily distorted instrumentation with thought provoking and epic lyrics, the band has found a unique look on what can sometimes be a stale style of music. It’s not often that a band like this comes around which is what makes this interview with frontman Bryan Funck so special. He was more than willing to answer questions on where the band is going both sonically, and also gives great insight into what inspires some of the best lyrics in metal.

 

1. After having spent so much time working with The Body how do you feel about working alone again for your next project?
Funck: We’ve already done a few recordings since the last Body thing, and we’ve done so much without them, that working without them has never been a big concern. That being said, we definitely miss those guys all the time on a personal level. I wish they lived in the same city as us. We’d probably start another few bands and write ten more records together. But more importantly, we’d just get to hang out all the time.

 

2. How is the process of writing your next release going? Do you feel there are any major themes coming about so far for this record?
Funck: The new record is coming along pretty slowly. We have some really rough ideas for a few songs, but nothing is quite locked in yet. I’m not sure if we’ve even found that first song that usually sets the tone for the album. We always talked about this next record being our “black metal” record, and we’re certainly not there yet. Lyrically, we have a general idea of where those themes will go: esoterica, magick, psychology, feelings, etc. Ha ha ha! If that’s vague enough for you.
3. In past interviews you and Mitch Wells have spoken on how political unrest and corruptness in the south have been major inspirations for the band lyrically. What exactly is it that you see as problematic and inspires you to write?
Funck: I think it’s the same as anyone who creates any kind of art: you’re consciously or unconsciously informed by everything around you. The content in Thou has come through dealing with all those feelings of frustration and alienation that come from living in a really backwards, self-destructive, socially-stunted community. A city that lauds escapism and superficiality is bound to breed apathy when it comes to any kind of progression that requires effort. A specific problem? The issues down here are too many to count! An eviscerated school system, an aggressively violent and ever-expanding police force, on-going racial prejudices, over-reliance on service culture, antiquated class structure compounded by outsiders taking every advantage they can with the city’s thirst for “new blood.” Et cetera.

 

4. When you reference in your lyrics “crazy old men who have done really bad stuff” as Mitch Wells once said, who has inspired those lyrics and what pushes you to share them in your lyrics?
Funck: I think it’s less about trying to expose people to writers and philosophers and more about stealing quality material! Cioran, Constantine, le Guin, Novatore, Landstreicher, Buechner, Grant Morrison are a few. Crowley, Blake, Nietzsche, Vedder, Staley, Cobain, obviously.
5. What would you say to any young musician interested in creating extreme music or just starting a band?
Funck: Find people you get along with and can be friends with and share a similar work ethic. The hardest part for me was finding folks that were serious about the art. All the agreement in the world when it comes to business, sound, aesthetics, content, and everything else–it all ends up being meaningless if you don’t have people you get along with who are willing to put the work in.

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