Makoto Fujishima not only runs the highly respected, Japanese dooml abel Weird Truth Productions , he is also deeply involved in his own musical project, Funeral Month that has delivered some of the heaviest extreme funeral doom ever to come out of the land of the Rising Sun on their debut ‘Dense Fog’
How did Funeral Moth come into being?
Sometime in 2005, Our bass player Sento-san asked me if I was interested with forming a new doom band with him. At that time, he was the bassist of Coffins and I played drums in black metal band Deathchurch. So it was supposed to be something like project band. But both of us left the band so Funeral Moth became our main band. Then Jumpei Ishimaru joined us as drummer and first lineup of Funeral Moth was born. After some lineup changes, current Funeral Moth member is Makoto Fujishima(G/Vo), Tomohiro kanjya(G), Nobuyuki Sento(B/Vo) and Yuichiro Azegami(Dr).
Japan is not really very well known for its metals bands , except for a few exceptions like Coffins, Boris or Church of Misery. Incidentally, all doom bands in one form or the other. Is there a real (extreme) metal scene over there or does it aim mostly abroad like Europe?
Really!? I don't think so! Do you know these band? Deadly Spawn, Anatomia, Intestine Baalism, Defiled, Butcher ABC, Sabbat, Cataplexy, Fastkill, Abigail, Sabbat, Hydorophobia, Baked Bomb, Zombie Ritual, GotsuTotsuKotsu etc... All of these bands are releasing their albums from foreign labels or touring outside Japan. And there are also many great bands here who aren't known so well outside Japan. You must check Begrabnis, Basilisk, Fatal Desolation, Lifeblood, Aiming High, Albiorix Requiem, Skogenhammer, Taste, etc... So I must say you are wrong! There are many great metal bands here! As for doom bands, it's sure that there aren't so many bands, especially extreme doom. But there are great bands like Corrupted, Begrabnis and so on. Anyway, I think there are good scene here.
You also rereleased the 2 original tracks from your demo a few years back. What has changed the most in your opinion from those demo days to the new album?
When we recorded "The Moth Flying to the Funeral Sky" demo and self-titled EP, We were 3 piece band but now we are 4 piece band with 2 guitar players. It's the big difference. 2 songs on demo/EP are much more simple and I think they are typical "slow and heavy as fuck" doom songs. As for the songs on 1st album, we tried to make them dynamic and emotional. Compared to old songs, there are a lot of clean parts, which make our music more atmospheric.
You are also the main man behind Weird Truth Productions. What are the challenges for running a label out of Japan and one that concentrates mainly on a limited audience like for extreme doom?
Yes, I'm running Weird Truth since 1999. I started this label just for releasing my own band Nyarlathotep(now changed the name to de-nihil) stuffs, that plays bizarre death metal influenced by Timeghoul, diSEMBOWELMENT, Dusk(US), Maggoty Corpse etc... My first release was Nyarlathotep/Gnome split tape, and Mad Max(RIP) of Worship/Impaler of Trendies rec took care of its distribution in Europe. In return, I released Japanese edition of his band Worship's "Last Tape Before Doomsday" in 2000. It was the first time I release extreme doom stuff through Weird Truth. Then I released "The Dawning of Mournful Hymns" 2CD of Mournful Congregation in 2002. The feedbacks of both stuffs were really great, so people started to regard Weird Truth as doom label step by step. And those feedbacks encouraged me to keep on releasing doom stuffs, and label works became most important thing in my life. It's sure that there aren't so many people who are into extreme doom, but I think the fans of extreme doom are die-hard! In my opinion, it's nonsense that small UG label like mine release the albums of the bands who are playing mainstream music like deathcore, metalcore and so on. It's better to leave it to bigger commercial labels. Anyway, I just keep on releasing the stuffs from the bands I'm deeply into.
A noteworthy addition comes in the form the delightful leads of Justin Hartwig, known from Mournful Congregation, which hare also signed to Weird Truth. How did you come to the idea of working together on this?
When I went to Australia in March 2013, I met Justin and told him that we were going to start the recording soon. Then he offered me to contribute lead guitar for us. There are no reason to deny such a great offer! Damon from Mournful Congregation took care for the recording of Justin's lead and the result was really great! We must say thanks to both of them!
What makes this style so compellingly fascinating for you?
I'm into extreme doom like Mournful Congregation, Worship, early works of Peaceville 3, some doom/death bands like diSEMBOWELMENT, Inverloch, DUsk(US). The love for those bands make me to keep on releasing doom stuffs through Weird Truth, making music with Funeral Moth!
What can we expect this year aside from Funeral Moth. I know Profetus, for instance, is busy with a new record.
Yes, I'll release Profetus new EP next. Perhaps, I can release it in Spring or Summer. And now Worship is working for new album and I guess I can release it within this year. As for my own band Funeral Moth, we are making new songs for next stuff. For the present, we have 1 new song, so we need a few more to start recording for next album. And of course we play some live in Japan.
If you are interested with our music, please check our album "dense fog"! You can order it from my own label Weird Truth or some distributors all over the world. Stay doomed!