Of all the new bands being offered for our consideration this January, Funeral Party perhaps stick out more than most. Hailing from the working class suburbs of East LA, the three piece make a noise (dubbed disco punk) that is a world away from anything else doing the rounds, with the Big Apple baiting ‘New York City Moves to the Sound of L.A.’ leading the charge. We spoke to vocalist Chad Elliot….
You seem to be a band very much informed by where you come from….
A lot of that has to do with the sound we have, it influences us as people. We come from this little town, a boring suburb that everyone is really anxious to get out of. That comes across in the music.
The suburbs were always a breeding ground for punk rock…
I personally got a different taste of the whole punk moment. I was exposed to the Clash and the Sex Pistols but never really saw much of interest in it. By the time it got to me it was already mainstream. When we started the band I was getting into stuff like Gang Of Four which was amazing. It wasn’t like the Ramones, it was raw and energetic and danceable. That was what stemmed the idea of what we wanted to do. It was so obscure and ahead of its time, which is why it probably faded away so fast, but I think that it’s far more inspirational than the original stuff.
You know that Gang Of Four have a new record out this week?
I’m pretty excited. I actually entered a contest to win the record and get a private show. I put my name in four times.
So your LA is very different to how most people might picture the city?
It depends on what comes to mind. For some people it’s Beverly Hills and the cocaine, plastic surgery and movie stars but there really is a Mexcian outlook to it where we live. You have a lot of welfare mothers, gangs, poverty and drugs but somehow it all comes together. You don’t really fear for your life when you’re walking down the street. Mexican culture is very family orientated, it might not be your typical family but there is that feeling there. The gang culture hasn’t taken as much root as in other places.
What’s the beef with New York?
The song has more to do with trends in general, how society follows old habits and idea. We picked on New York in particular because it’s a pretty cocky city, they think they’re the greatest and invented everything. We realised that there are definitely other cities that have contributed just as much.
You recently did some fairly major live shows. How does that compare with your club shows?
We’ve always loved the small venue environment. We played arenas with 30 Seconds To Mars and it’s just a different feeling. I’m not saying that we didn’t like it, it was just too impersonal. You wonder if the music and energy is coming across whereas you know it is in a room with 150 capacity. There’s nowhere for it to go. We love seeing a crowd that’s as sweaty as we are.
The live show is important to you isn’t it?
We definitely have a stage persona that hasn’t left us from that start and that’s just fucking energy. It’s been that way from day one. It’s one of the few things that we agree on as a band, that no-one wants to go and see a show by a band that they love and watch them stare at their shoes while playing a song that they could listen to at home. They want to see a show so why not give them what they want?
Funeral Party’s The Golden Age Of Knowhere is out now. The band play Belfast Stiff Kitten on Jan 31st and Dublin Academy 2 on Feb 1st.