Drop-D presents...


- audio files -

CD liner band photo What's the deal with the name?

Shock value, pure and simple (and yet much less shocking than our second choice of name). Seriously, there's so many people in the Christian community who are really uptight about death and dying; but the scriptures keep telling us that unless we metaphorically die to ourselves and our sinful nature we'll never truly experience life in Jesus Christ. This sort of death is certainly nothing to be afraid of but rather the most liberating experience ever. Again and again we're told to die! "Undertakers" (if y'all excuse the play on words) are also "do-ers," undertaking for the gospel.

There. Phew! Sorry you asked now?

Any musical influences?

You betcha! We regularly rip off many of our musical heroes. Here's the short list: the Choir, Larry Norman, the Partridge Family, the 77's, D.A., U2, REM, the Gaithers, the BEE GEEs and the sound of flushing toilets.

Prove yourself! What have you done??

'Stunned by the Fall' CD cover (This is beginning to feel like a job interview.) Ok, here's the resume: we've been together since 1991 and have to date played some 100 gigs. We've also had the good fortune of playing with REZ Band, Randy Stonehill, Reckless Faith, Rhythm & News, the 77's, the Prayer Chain and we just completed a month-long tour across Canada with Hokus Pick. In 1992 we released an 11-song cassette called Dirge and proceeded to sell a lot more copies than we expected to. Then, in 1994 we went to Nashville to record with Steve Hindalong of the Choir and made a pretty darn fine CD (Stunned by the Fall). It has since been picked up for national distribution through CMC. We've had various cool magazine reviews and lots of radio airplay as well.

'Dirge' CD cover (Wow! Looking at this I'm beginning to wonder why I haven't made any money yet!)

How do you make it in the music biz?

I don't know. Ask someone who's made it.

How did four charismatic yet completely dissimilar individuals like yourselves get together?

I'll give you the short and sweet Reader's Digest version: three of us were in the Christian Power Rock band with hair bigger than Spike from Degrassi (and more hairspray too). Later we formed Undertakers, making music we actually liked this time. We picked up a guitar player who had just learned his third chord and proceeded to lose 16 bass players (some to unnatural causes). One of the guitar players got promoted to bass, forcing the other guitarist to actually practise. Since then, the band has been sort of like a marriage, without any of the good stuff (wink, wink). Lots of fights, lots of tantrums, lots of whining -- and the rest is rock'n roll history!

Undertakers Cast of Characters

Brent Anderson can often be heard relating stories of what it was like in "his day" when he had to walk to school in seven feet of snow during the Great Depression, "but we were happy then, dagnabit!" (He was also the subject of a recent Hokus Pick hit entitled "Old Brent is Thirty," which he claimed was thoroughly inaccurate, though flattering.) His unique vocal stylings can be attributed to years of neglect and continually being punched in the throat. Often referred to as the "hardest working man in show business," much of the band's vision rests with him, which is unfortunate, as he recently invested all the band's money in a pyramid scam. Charges are still pending.

Greg "Eager Beaver" Gitzel was raised by poodles and despite years of intense therapy has yet truly to recover. His knowledge of the music 'biz' is truly extraordinary but unfortunately he can't even tie his own shoelaces. Currently Greg is taking on the bold step of trying to incorporate all four strings into his bass playing (easier said than done, Mr. Smarty Pants). Recently Greg has angered the other band members to no end as they can no longer refer to him as "the single lonely loser" but instead must call him by his given name. They have opted instead not to call him at all.

Jonathan K. Gonyou is currently looking for a guitar instructor to teach him about those tricky seventh chords and the pentatonic scale (pent-a-whata?!?). Thankfully, he has yet to serve any jail time despite being a Preacher's Kid. Jonathan is most commonly asked two things: "what does the 'K' in your name stand for" and "why are you such an idiot?" Neither question can truly be answered. An avid actor, Jonathan is currently starring in a CBC made-for-TV movie with Al Waxman and Bruno Gerussi.

Krishna Ray was born at a young age and since that day he's never been quite the same. He's often referred to as the "musician" in the group, which is ironic seeing as he's the drummer. He realized his drumming potential as a young scamp beating up kids on the playground. His shots to their abdomen had such a superlative resonance and rhythm there was no mistaking his calling. After his phenomenal success (and some shady record dealings), the rest of the band started calling him "$*&%@~~|{}." "The Artist Formerly Known as Krishna" is now a recluse who lives with his wife and their 27 cats.

Something from the little mind of Jonathan K. Gonyou...

I was watching one of those Bill Gaither "Homecoming" videos with my parents the other day (to date the Gaithers have put together 97 of these videos) and as much as I appreciated and was blessed by it, I couldn't help but notice how Gospel Music has changed over the last few years. More and more bands are telling us through their lyrics that as much as Christ has saved them, Christianity is far from a lazy day at the beach. Now there will be those who say Christian music should solely and entirely extol the praises of God; perhaps they're right, but it would be rather misleading, don't you think, if we spouted off to the world that Christianity makes all your problems disappear? What makes a band like the Choir sing "everybody wanders in the forest" or the Lost Dogs sing "if there's no room for doubt, there's no room for us" or the 77's sing "I am a troubled man"? Well...I suppose because it's true. Far from Happy-Happy-Joy-Joy music, eh?

Then again, so are the scriptures. How many times in the Psalms does David pound his fists against the walls and scream to the heavens "God where are you? Do you even care about me?" We were never promised an easy life -- far from it, in fact. Perhaps it's ok, then, to sing with sincerity that yes I do struggle with the Faith sometimes or don't feel like a Christian sometimes or even (yes, I know this is hard to believe) sin sometimes. This too needs to be balanced with the fact that we serve an awesome God, worthy of all praise. There are a great deal of artists who are quite content to sing only of the virtues of being a Christian (these are also the artists who seem to sell truckloads of records). To them and their listeners I say "Amen -- keep it up!" but for others like myself who are touched by something slightly different, the fact that I push God away and don't always seem saved, there is music for use as well.

For those of you who do not understand where Undertakers are coming from or why we sing some of the songs we do, know first of all that we love Jesus Christ with all our hearts, though just like anyone else we're trying to figure out this Christianity thing with "fear and trembling." Mike Knott, a musician who has made no secret of his personal struggles sums it up best: "One thing I've found in my wrong ways, One thing I've learned in my days...Christ saves." Amen.

The Famous Undertakers Chicken Shirt Wanna comment? Wanna make a suggestion? Wanna send Jonathan a love letter? You can contact the Undertakers at:

5413-51 Avenue
Wetaskiwin, Alberta
T9A 0V8 Canada

email: kray@supernet.ab.ca

They'd be also happy to sell you some thing or two. How 'bout t-shirts (will that be 'fish' or 'chicken'?), a CD, a tape, a bandana, a poster, a coffin pendant and a birthday hat? Write or email for a price list!

Last updated April 29, 1996