Over the last three years, Southampton goth-punks Creeper have created their own musical, mythological and visual universe that lends itself perfectly to Hallowe’en.
Their blend of My Chemical Romance theatrics, scrappy Alkaline Trio punk and leathered-up Lost Boys attitude is accompanied by an eerie mythology and a sinister cast of dark characters.
So as Hallowe’en 2017 approaches, who could be a better person to talk to about horror, ghosts and the terror of erm… crabs.
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What was the first horror film you ever watched?
Will Gould: I think it was Cannibal Holocaust or Brain Dead or Bad Taste, one of those kind of films. I actually started watching horror films at quite a young age.
Are you a big horror film fan?
Not as much as Ian (Miles, guitarist/vocals) in Creeper, but I've seen a lot. I find it harder to watch really gory horror films as I've got older. I've got more squeamish. I definitely prefer paranormal films like The Shining, those films that build, like the Stephen King canon. That sort of stuff is much more interesting to me.
What’s your favourite horror film ever?
That's so difficult. I think maybe something like Braindead would be because it was really gory, which completely contradicts what I said to you before I know, but it was almost comical the amount of blood in it and it was one of those films we passed around school.
Or ‘Cannibal Holocaust’. There's a really great scene in it where there’s a native who's been impaled by a spike. I remember thinking that was so gross. A year later I found out how they did it. They attached a pole to a bicycle seat and put it in the ground and then someone sat on the seat and just balanced a pole in their mouth and looked like they were impaled on this pole.
What was the last decent horror you saw?
Me and Ian saw a really good one the other day. It was called The House Of The Devil. They shot it like it was a film from the 70s so it had that grainy look. There was a girl in a car, a homeless guy comes up to her and asks her for a cigarette and he just shoots her in the head. It happens out of nowhere and the whole group of us watching it collectively jumped out our skin.
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Who is the best horror villain?
It's gonna be from one of the classics, the Hammer and Universal Monsters films. Like the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Or Bela Lugosi's Dracula, one of the greats. Especially in black and white it's just terrifying isn't it?
What horror film character would you identify with the most?
I'd probably be the first one to die.
What do you think is the best horror film soundtrack?
Tubular Bells perhaps, in The Exorcist. That's the best because you don't think of the song, you think about the film don't you?
How would you survive a zombie apocalypse?
I would definitely just get eaten by the zombies. I'm a pathetic excuse for a human being. I would die, just give myself over. The thing I would say about zombies is that they all seem quite content don't they, they don't seem that pissed off, walking quite slowly…
Do you believe in ghosts or demons?
That’s a deep question. I feel like I don't believe in conventional ghosts and demons but I do believe in extra-terrestrial life. I believe in some sort of demon but not a different type of demon. I’ve done an Ouija board before.
Did anything happen?
No. I love the idea of it though. I've never done one where anything's happened before. My mum said a glass smashed against the wall when she did it, but knowing my mum she probably just dropped a glass. I love the idea of it and would love to be proven wrong, but I tend to lump those things in my head with mediums and a little bit of a con to it. I love the idea of it, I wish it was real I'm just very sceptical.
What scares you musically?
I listened to the latest Code Orange album ‘Forever’. I've been really bored with heavy music in the last few years but this was almost like a soundtrack to a horror film or something. Really interesting, really aggressive but with melodic parts, cinematic in places. It made me fall back in love with some of the heavier stuff I used to like when I was younger.
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How does Creeper lend itself to horror visually and musically?
We have a video for a song called ‘Black Mass’ where we wanted The Stranger (terrifying character which is part of Creeper's mythology) to flash up very similarly to the way the demon’s face in The Exorcist flashes up for a brief second.
When we were in Washington we were doing a series of photos. We went to the steps from The Exorcist that the priest falls down, and we remade that shot on the same steps with Ian at the bottom. We did a scene from Poltergeist where Hannah (keys/vocals) was up against a television screen. We've referenced ‘The Shining’, we've referenced the greats of the genre.
What scares you?
Every year my friends throw a Hallowe'en party at their house and every year it's got a different theme so this year we have to dress as our fears. I've dressed as a crab. I really don't like crabs. I just don't like the way they move, they're like a moving, living skeleton.
Someone asked that question to Darren Brown and he said one of the scariest things he could imagine is violence for the sake of violence. Someone just attacks you for no reason. Something you have no control over. Lack of control not being in control of the situation. Not being able to predict it or fight back.
So yeah, that… and crabs.
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Words: Dannii Leivers
For tickets to the latest Creeper shows click HERE.
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