Wretched: The Gun Shy Interview


Steven “Thunderbird” Funderburk has long, luscious metal hair. It’s the kind of hair I’ve tried to grow for years, to no avail. Me? My hair reaches a certain point and just stops growing. And then I end up looking like a heathen for two months, no girls look at me, and I ended up breaking and getting a haircut. So when I spoke to the Wretched guitarist this week, I had to ask him what the secret to his long was. Does dude use special vitamins or supplements…some conditioner you can only buy in Finland?

“Everybody gets to that point where it seems like it stays in one spot,” Funderburk tells me, “and you just have to get passed it. You just have to wait it out. You just gotta wait it, man.” No, seriously. Do you have extensions or some girly shit like that? “No, man. You just have to wait.” And look like a heathen while you’re doing it? “It takes time. Be patient.”

Damn. I thought I was going to learn something from the man. Instead, I’ve been made to feel like an impatient prick. Thanks, Thunderbird. At this point in the interview, I’m pretty bummed, so my enthusiasm was kind of shot. I did, however, learn that Wretched were born and bred on Megadeth and Metallica, later discovered bands like Decrepit Birth and Necrophagist, and now, are on Victory Records — probably the heaviest band on the label, after Pathology. That’s because they’re death metal, and fuck if it isn’t some heavy-ass shizzy. The band’s new disc, Beyond the Gate, is in stores now and comes recommended by me.

“Its definitely a weird fit but it works,” Thunderbird says. “Victory’s awesome.”


Wretched — who’ve been touring with Knights of the Abyss and have tours coming up with Antagonist, The Breathing Process, Diskreet, Enfold Darkness and Armed for the Apocalypse — formed in 2005 and have been touring like dogs ever since. And with tours come the inevitable tour stories. What’s your craziest, Thunderbird?

“We’re good friends with Within The Ruins and one night after a show in New Orleans, we went to a Wal-Mart and there was a huge tour bus with a huge trailer and it had Bret Michaels’ face on the trailer; it was a promotional trailer for his autobiography. We took a whole bunch of tour posters and drank a lot of beer, autographed them, and posted them up all over his trailer. He called the police later that night and they came and just took all the posters off. Nothing happened after that. When the cops came, we were all passed out in our van. Bret wouldn’t come out of his bus, which sucked.”

That does suck, Thunderbird. Here’s to hoping you dudes come back from these fall tours with better stories. I kid, I kid. Before the interview ends, I decide to ask Thunderbird one of my favorite questions: What was his worst job? He tells me he worked once at an Abercrombie store for kids.

“I had to wear nice clothes and spray perfume cards and give them to customers, and wear rainbow sandals and polos. It was lame. There was the occasional MILF who’d come in and that was nice to see. Eye candy.”

I know where I’m applying for a day job.

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