It is impossible to describe the music of The Funeral Portrait without including their live performance. Lee Jennings (vocals), Juergie Landstrom (guitar/vocals), Chris King (bass), and Stephan Danzey (drums) have as much visual impact as they do audio. Not to say that you have to see it to enjoy the music, rather the music instantly transports the listener to memories of the show. Combining theatre and music is not a new concept, but The Funeral Portrait captures the essence of both in a hard-driving, post-hardcore metal sound for the eyes, as well as the ears.
Excitement starts from within. The Funeral Portrait may wow audiences, but the fan and industry reaction generate as much exhilaration inside the band. They were thrilled when they were named as one of the hundred bands you should know by Alternative Press magazine. It drives them to work harder and the focus is on learning more about music. While Landstrom would like to study production and how sound mixing works, the artists of The Funeral Portrait concentrate on honing their already considerable musical skills. Jennings says, “We would like to become better, all together. All of us have our own things that they are really good at, but I think that if we can even learn each other better, I think that would even be better (at music).” By understanding each part of the music, the artists can incorporate individual talents into a collective vision for the music.
Death is a relative term. Their album For the Dearly Departed is not all about dead people. It describes the stages of grief that we can experience in everyday life. Loss can be felt when a close-knit group of friends grow up and go their separate ways or even when a favorite television series ends. The song “Wax Romantic” describes acceptance in the lyrics: “My broken heart still hangs on every word you say/I will not forget” summing up the stage when you must realize the finality of mortality. There is a point, after losing someone or something precious in your life, when all you can do is keep the memory alive through remembrance.
Seeing is believing. The Funeral Portrait commands the stage, bringing the story to life in a musical explosion that is unforgettable. Jennings is a consummate showman with an inviting demeanor that draws the audience in, through intimate interactions with the crowd, and call and response segments. It is apparent The Funeral Portrait is set to entertain you, but they are there to party with you too. They are signed to Revival Recordings, currently on tour with Alesana, and working on a single to be released this year based on the television series Twin Peaks. The Funeral Portrait is also busy writing songs for a full-length album in the upcoming future.