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No Funeral
Interview By: Ryan Durkin 2005

As we near 2006 Chicago continues to produce the original eclectic acts for which it is known. (i.e. Pelican, Colossal, Russian Circles, etc.) No Funeral fits perfectly into this category with their twisted brand of tangled guitar work and creative drumming. Kenny and Simon have played in several Chicago bands including Tusk, Lazarus Plot, etc. No Funeral is; Simon-Drums, Kenny-Guitar, and Tim-Bass.

Ryan: Before we start, can you give us a brief history of Elgin punk rock, the No Funeral version please?

Kenny: The Elgin history of punk is that every generation has a handful of outcasts that start way too many bands that are one hundred percent self-serving. Some move out of Elgin and actually evolve beyond the constraints of geography, while others stay in the hometown, become alcoholics, and continue playing music with indifference to anything relevent happening in the world outside of a small niche of midwesterners. I'm glad to be done with it.

Simon: No Funeral claims no allegiance to Elgin punk, past or present. As all former denziens of Elgin punk are now longhaired hippies, noodly indie rockers, or pop punk sellouts, let's just pretend it never happened? Okay? Good.

Tim: Cookies!

Ryan: Describe your bands sound as if you were 15 years old again and playing in No Funeral. Then describe it as if you weren't in the band, but saw your band, and were still 15 years old.

Kenny: Part One: It would basically be the same thing without the delay, reverb, and Cure influence. And on shittier equipment. Part Two: Dude, this sucks. I can't even understand what the fuck the guitarist is playing. Fuckin' art rock crap. I'd rather be skanking; at least ska is fun.

Simon: I think the drummer has nerve damage judging by the expressions he's making.

Kenny: Punk rock doesn't have trumpet.

Simon: Except maybe the Voodoo Glow Skulls. I think the guitar player might be homeless.

Kenny: Their equipment is way too nice. Let's go listen to Minor Threat. Oh wait...Preslar used a Marshall and a Gibson. Let's go listen to S.O.A. instead.

Simon: Totally. Then let's go to the Dummyroom, I wanna get that new Pist seven inch.

Kenny: Sounds good. I can try to find that latest No Empathy record that Dave Hoffa recommended. He says its awesome.

Tim: Clark bars!

Ryan: Please list the top 3 things wrong with underground music today.

Kenny: 1. Used Los Crudos records are slowly reaching the same cost as a down payment on a house. And I'm sure Lengua Armada won't see a dime of it. It's really ironic and sad that records that were intended to be accessible, cheap, creative, and fun are now expensive collecters items because the band was popular. 2. Social status bullshit. I don't give a fuck who you are; you are NOT a more important person than anyone else pursuing their own identities, dreams, and passions just because you have a band / record label / whatever that everyone creams themselves over. Everyone likes shitty music anyway, so don't believe the hype. 3. Screeching Weasel is still broken up.

Tim: Hot dogs!

Ryan: Please list the top .0135 things right with underground music today.

Kenny: Disrobe.

Simon: The Minor Threat discography is still in print.

Tim: Peanut Butter!

Ryan: I know you guys use to play in very aggressive bands, what made you decide to move a little bit away from that with No Funeral?

Kenny: The aggression is still there with No Funeral. But it was definitely a conscious choice on my part to write a set of songs pretty far removed from hardcore and screamo, yet still having faith that the classic elements of those genres are pretty deeply embedded in the way Simon and I play. I mean, what's the point of doing a band that's gonna be 10th generation Locust or Saetia? That seemed to be where a lot of that stuff was headed. So I wanted to take a chance and do some music that came from a different set of influences, whether it was good or bad. And I'm happy with the band because its a really unique end result. Also, the aggressive aspects of punk isn't really what drew me to that type of music in the first place. I really liked, and still like, the philosophy of not having to know how to play an instrument well to make good, interesting music. So whether its Low or The Ramones, that idea is generally where I take my influence from; stretching a minimal amount of skill to make something you think is good.

Simon: First of all, thanks for the implicit emasculating located directly in the subtext of the question. Second of all, I wanted to distance myself from the coke-snorting hardcore dinosaurs and the cromagnon sxe boners that inhabit that scene.

Tim: .087!

Ryan: Has your views on playing music changed throughout the time you've been in bands, if so what has changed and what has stayed the same?

Kenny: I've become more jaded. I've really come to respect how much time and energy gets put into doing a band, all the stuff that people that don't play usually don't think of. Bands have to move all their heavy ass equipment everywhere, put money into fixing things when they break, they have to deal with shitty practice spaces, venues, people, etc. Basically, if you play music you have to accept that you're going to have to deal with a lot of people that don't care about music. Which sucks. And all the while, you have to watch the rest of the world swallow the most vacant, horrible crap because it seems like a lot of people just want background music to drink to. It wasn't really like that for me growing up because no one was old enough to get into bar shows and so much music was new to me that everything was kind of inherantly exciting. I'm against the idea of a musical elite, and it seems like so many people are still brainwashed into the whole rock star thing, even within punk. What's stayed the same though is that there will always be something new and exciting to get into. There's so many different ways to approach music, so I feel confident that something fresh will always happen when things are getting stale.

Simon: No comment.

Tim: Shark bites!

Ryan: What are some of your favorite places to play, and bands to play with, around Chicago?

Kenny: Basement and house shows are always the best. They're always more fun and usually happen because a group of friends just want to do a show. It's a nice environment to be in. But the downside is that they can easily fall through, promotion can be bad, its generally not financially practical, and sound can be bad. But fun is fun, so fuck it right? On the pro side of things, Empty Bottle has been really nice to us. The 21+ thing and door prices are drawbacks, but the sound is good and the people there are friendly. Now that Fireside is gone, it would really be nice to have another professionally run, all ages venue. As far as bands go, I really like a lot of my friends' bands so its always nice to have that. Pelican, Defender, and Colossal are/were always good to play with. Total Recall and Mayor Daley are cool bands that friends of ours are in. I'd really like to play some shows with The Russian who are a great rock band from here, and a simultaneous set with White Light which is pure feedback drone goodness would be nice.

Simon: We like playing random basements. If we could play shows in which we were the only band, that would be ideal. However, the bands Kenny mentioned are graced with my approval.

Tim: Noses!

Ryan: I heard there was another band or, even more then one, with the name No Funeral. Would you like to comment on their future death(s)?

Kenny: If you choose a name like No Funeral, chances are the members are unstable, volatile people who will eventually self destruct. It's basically an endurance test to see which one will last the longest.

Simon: You no longer have clearance, stay out of my sector!!

Tim: Egg roll!

Ryan: Where can people get your music for free or for bills? Future plans?

Kenny: Reckless Records or directly from us via shows or our website Trades would also be considered provided that your band doesn't absolutely blow. Future plans are teaching Tim to play bass the correct, right handed way so when he breaks a string we don't have to break up the band. Or simply teaching him how to play bass in general; he's worse than Sid Vicious. Covering "In Utero" in its entirety. Getting a van. Driving our van into the White House.

Simon: Our CD is also available from a little online distro called Redline. Now hand over that limited edition Spitboy seven inch Durkin. Or was it the Tribe 8 colored vinyl?

Tim: Time machines!

Screeching Weasel
"My Brain Hurts"
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