ARTIST PROFILE: FUNERAL FRENCH
We recently got together with French to create a new range for the TSI collection (shop here). Funeral French created each piece using his love of skateboarding and heavy metal as influences. We asked French some questions about life in Aus, his art and plans for the future. Read more about French over on the blog.
WORDS WITH FRENCH
Where did the name funeral French come from?
Well my nickname is 'French', which I got from the older skaters for having an Etnies t-shirt in the early 90's 'cos it used to be a french brand and all the english skaters rode Vans and it was a kinder dis calling someone French. 'The Funeral' bit just got added as it was part of my email address I had ages ago and when I started making work for brands like Creature, they just started using the whole thing as my name. I've never actually asked anyone to call me 'Funeral French' its just been used by people and then it was the easiest thing to use as my website as its good for a web search cos just searching 'French' doesn't work.
Have you seen a change in your works over the years?
Yeah loads and loads. Originally all my was really loose and super sketchy, I didn't used to draw in pencil at all, I would just work direct in ink and I would just throw out what didn't work. But as time went on I tightened up and started to work in pencil and gradually the use the computer helped to make things easier to put things together. Also I used to only work in about 3 colours, not threw lack of wanting to, just that it seemed anyone I worked with just wanted a minimal number of colours due to cost of screen printing.
Where has the heavy metal vibe to your work come from?
I really like Heavy Metal!!! Its pretty much all I listen to, I just love all metal from classic rock or hard rock to seriously ridiculous and horrible death metal and that just ran into my work.
Tunes to work too?
At the moment I've been listening to Witchburner, Archnid, Master, Hellripper, Considered Dead, Slaughterday, Chapel, Sewercide, Mötorhead, Mortician, Impaled and Sodom.
What was living in Melbourne like compared to the UK?
Its like chalk and cheese, I loved living in Melbourne, it was fucking great. So much fun, the weather is rad, the people are really nice, there's so much to skate, loads of good metal shows, a had the best group of friends I've ever had and there's loads of good pubs and you can get out to country real easy. I miss it every day, I'd love to go back.
Plenty of good crew and spots down in Melb, Who were you skating with mostly?
I liked skating so many different places. The city is rad to cruise around and hit all the spots and all the car parks, especially in the evening. I lived next to Fitzy bowl so I used to hit that up regularly with my friend Dave for an hour of power. I really loved driving out to places like Old Know skate park, I'm always stoked to skate an old snake run like Bulleen.
You told me you’ve moved again from the UK and now set up in Germany. How’d that come up? What’s the plan over there?
Yeah, my wife and I didn't want t move back to England, it just meant due to her job we had to leave Aus, so we went back to the UK for 7 months and them my wife got offered a job at the Adidas head office in Nuremburg, Germany so we were down to move here. Its a rad a place, still getting our feet but so far its been rad. I've been taking German lessons and things are travelling along well.
Something you can't do without daily?
Vegemite, Metal, Sainsbury's Red Label Tea bags, Skateboarding, drawing & shouting!!