Funeral March was formed in 1984 by Matt Reese (U.K. Wongs), Marc Balanky (later of the Palominos), Glen Griffin, and Richard Larabee, later joined by backup bassist Rob Brown. After the departure of Griffin and Larabee, Paul Lisa was recruited on guitar, soon joined (and then replaced) by guitarist Mitch Wilson (later of No Knife).
1980s San Diego had a huge indie underground scene in the vein of punk rock. Seminal bands Black Flag, fIREHOSE, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, Hüsker Dü, Fugazi, and the Butthole Surfers had been playing to packed concert halls across the country for years. Such bands had enormous followings, and many had played in San Diego’s rented halls and theaters before any of it was termed “alternative.”
“Alternative to what?” said Matt Reese in a 2002 Reader interview.
Funeral March had one well-circulated release, the 10-song Endless Black cassette (which included a cheeky cover of “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees. The band split long before the Los Angeles Times published an article touting San Diego as “the next capital of alternative rock” and “the Next Big Thing” in 1993.
Matt Reese remarks about the buzz, “I didn’t care one way or the other. I was just glad to see my friends’ bands in magazines, but at the same time I didn’t understand it too much. It was like, well, why? Because so many of us are friends with so many people in Seattle, why do we have to be compared to another city? It was like San Diego might be the next big Seattle. Well, what about everything that happened before in San Diego? No one seemed to give a crap about that.”