Some time around 1990 in and around the towns of Blairsville and Indiana, Pennsylvania, two long-time friends who had been getting into progressively heavier and more extreme forms of music decided they should start a death metal band. Jason Foust (drums) and Brad Heiple (guitar/vocals) had already been playing for a year or so, creating mostly early NAPALM DEATH and CARCASS influenced music, calling themselves CREATIVE SICKNESS, or C.S. for short. But a change was soon to come.
After being weaned on thrash, speed metal, grindcore and the like for the past couple years, Jason and Brad finally heard bands like DEATH, OBITUARY, and other popular bands of the time. But, more importantly, a friend had suggested they pick up this new album by a band called ENTOMBED. Once they heard this brutal offering from Sweden it was not long before they opted to totally change the style and approach of the band. FUNERUS was born.
Musical abilities still developing, FUNERUS tried to emulate the sounds of their favorite bands-mainly those hailing from SWEDEN. Brad would not stop until he achieved a similar guitar tone as bands such as ENTOMBED, CARNAGE, GRAVE, etc. as well as getting into state-side bands like AUTOPSY, MORBID ANGEL and INCANTATION. However, he did stumble across a local band who would end up influencing them almost as equally: ROTTREVORE. Brad ordered the demo from Mark Mastro, and after hearing that and seeing them live, FUNERUS and ROTTREVORE became friends. Mark pointed Brad in the right direction in finding the guitar sound he wanted, because he was also a fan of the sound coming from SWEDEN.
Over the course of a couple years, and still working on achieving the most brutal sound, FUNERUS released two rehearsal demos, still without a bass player. At the time, finding people into totally brutal death metal was not an easy task. Luckily, though, Jason and Brad stumbled upon the idea of asking a friend of theirs if she would like to play with them. When the two found out their acquaintance, Jill Daily, played guitar a little bit, and was already into similar music, they asked the big question: "Will you play bass for us?" And, without a doubt, the sewage slinging tractor-bass was a welcome addition to their already low-end heavy sound.
Finally, with a worthy bass player in the lineup, FUNERUS recorded a somewhat proper demo, albeit just another practice recording. But this demo was worthy enough to send out to zines and even get them a couple shows. Two shows were played in early 1994, with such bands as ROTTREVORE (who were, at the time, sadly, not the same band), DECREPIT, BLOOD COVEN, and others. Response at these shows were good, and FUNERUS was finally doing what they wanted to do. However, after a hard-fought decision, Brad abruptly announced his departure from the band. For various reasons, he left Jason and Jill with some pretty big shoes to fill. They continued attempts at keeping the band going, with a couple different guitarist/vocalists, but things just never quite worked out.
After a few dormant years, while Brad was off doing other things, Jill had become Mrs. Jill McEntee (wife of John McEntee of INCANTATION). And, fortunately enough, John and Kyle Severn (also of INCANTATION) had been fans of the 1994 FUNERUS demo and encouraged Jill to try to keep things going. She tried to get in contact with Brad, but without luck, and differences with Jason forced her to group together some local death metal acquaintances to learn the songs for a one-off show. With the help of Belial Koblak (guitar), Chris Allen (drums), and Jim D. (vocals), a makeshift FUNERUS played on November, 21 1998 at Boratkos Tavern in Johnstown, PA. Feeling good to play, but not being quite right, Jill yearned to have the FUNERUS of old gathered together for ultimate brutality.
Enter 2002: Upon hearing about a familiarly named band opening for INCANTATION, Brad unkowingly emailed John McEntee to find out if the FUNERUS on the bill was, in fact, the FUNERUS that he had once been a part of. John replied that it was, and suggested that he should play with them because they lacked a vocalist. Needless to say, contact was established once again with Jill McEntee, and FUNERUS fell into place as the brutal sounds commenced easily.
FUNERUS has since played several shows with the line-up of original members Jill and Brad, plus the addition of John McEntee and Kyle Severn to maximize the brutality. The first of these two shows went so well that it was clear the band must continue and progress along the path that was cut short nearly 8 years previous. So, with more shows and recording in the near future…. prepare for a total sewage onslaught!
Brad has since left Funerus in 2004, causing Jill to step up to take over vocal duties. The response at the shows have been great, and this move has been proven successful. Funerus has played close to 20 countries since the release of Festering Earth, and every show has been a success. Also joining the band on drums in 2007, replacing Kyle Severn, is Sam Inzerra, from Morpheus Descends, Deadspeak, and Mortician. Sam adds alot of flavor to the band, and together, Sam, John and Jill have been working hard on the follow up to Festering Earth.
Keep a look out for the next release and 2009 touring schedule!