Lizi caught up with Will Gould, vocalist of goth-punk band Creeper during their headline show in Cardiff to get the low-down on their support slot with The Misfits, signing to Roadrunner Records and the inspiration behind new EP The Callous Hearts.
Hi Will. So, you’ve just done a show in Cardiff tonight. It’s your first time in Wales as a band. How was it for you?
Will: it was lovely and a really nice time. It was really sweaty, I think I’ve ruined my shirt because it’s so gross and sweaty. It was really fun with our friends from Weatherstate and Giants with us. They were incredible bands. We’re grateful that people came to see us. And we will to definitely come back to Wales. Luckily people came to see us, we’re grateful.
Well you’ve had a pretty busy couple of months with slots at Takedown, slots at Download and 2000 trees. So what were they like?
Will: what all of them or?
Anyone of them, what was the festival atmosphere like?
Will: it’s been great, it was a weird one for us because a lot of festivals play in the daytime and a lot of what we do live works better in the dark. We were up early and it was light outside. So, it’s been great and really, really good and it’s been surprising. (interrupted – Will saying bye to a friend). Sorry, so yeah. It’s been weird and I was shocked that people came to see us because we’ve only been a band for little while and it’s been kind of overwhelming to see all those things and often you feel like you’re going to play to nobody and every one so far has been, touch wood, has been a hit and really busy and really cool.
So on Saturday, you started your support slot with The Misfits and obviously they are one of the biggest bands in the Horror scene. What’s that been like so far? I know you’ve still got a few shows to go with them.
Will: Yeah. It’s been an overwhelming experience again and everything that’s happened recently has been you know, it wasn’t something we’d expect to do. And it’s been really cool. Jerry Only is a really lovely man and he’s been really nice to us and accommodating like he watched the sound check yesterday and that was really cool and he really liked my voice and taking compliments for the people you respect and admire. I grew up with the Misfits. Me and Ian used to travel around in his little car in the static age all the time when we were young and it’s just overwhelming really. Like both shows with those guys has been great and we’ve had people come up to see us as well, which has been over the moon and I can’t complain at all. I’ve been a fanboy every single day and I don’t know what to say to Jerry everyday. It’s been kinda weird chats everyday.
So how did it come about? Did they approach you or did you approach them?
Will: what happened was, we got offered a gig from one of the promoters that were with The Misfits and we’re like yeah, of course we’ll come and obviously I’ve heard what was happening with that guy and they were like do you want to come on this one and it ended with all the promoters got in touch with us. Kind of one after another and asked to play. Which is again a massive compliment and something we take really lightly and it means a lot to us. And like it was just great to be put on this tour and really grateful. It was really nice and it happened really easy. So yeah it was a kinda nice way that it happened to be wanted to do something rather than have the band say “please put us on, please put my band on, ya know”.
So you’re a similar genre in a way. I grew up listening to The Misfits myself and as you said previously so did you. Since you’ve been on tour with them for the last couple of days, have they influenced your live performance in any way or have you still decided to stick to your guns?
Will: I think like we were influenced by The Misfits long before we played with them. So like it’s one of those things where it’s always gonna be like that. We’ve seen them play live which is incredible and watching the way Jerry works with the crowd and one of the main things we’ll take away is that we like to think that we take away something from every band we play with and magnifying the bits and keep bits that we like. One thing we really like was that he just comes to meet every single person in the crowd, everyone that wants a photo, he speaks to. Often I suffer with anxiety and I find it awkward talking to people sometimes. Especially on tour when you can’t always predict how you’re gonna be. Whether you have good days or bad days and some days I’m absolutely fine and just another day I feel absolutely horrendous. But the importance of going out and trying to chat and trying to be social and that’s a thing you know for sure. Something we’ve all been really impressed with.
You’re touring this Autumn as guests with Moose Blood. Are you looking forward to it?
Will: yeah like we toured with them, they took us out on our second ever tour in March and it was incredible and it was a really, really lovely time. We became really good friends and they are on the Warped tour at the moment and they’ve been tweeting “we miss those guys” and they were the loveliest people.
From what I’ve seen they’ve had a really good review on the Warped tour yeah, if I read right. (Ian joins quickly as Will pops off to say bye to someone) You can carry on the conversation about Moose Blood, when you’re touring with them. You looking forward to it?
Ian: yeah, of course I am. They’re the best group in the world. (Will comes back and Ian goes again)
So with Moose Blood. I’ve got a couple of friends who are out to see Warped tour this year and they said Moose Blood were very good.
Will: Yeah, they’re an incredible band and they write very good songs and they’re just a really good band with good players who are very nice people, people you’re friends with whether they were in bands or not. The best bands are the ones that come from the Punk and hardcore scene anyway that I see a friendship with and all the bands that played with the OI Circuit a lot, we come from similar places and grew up with similar records and we have a lot in common and we have more in common than people realise.
The main one that everyone wants to know about is that you’ve just announced about “The Callous Hearts” EP coming out in September…the 18th if I’m correct? It’s your first EP with roadrunner records. What was it like to be signed with Roadrunner?
Will: It was great, it was a weird kinda experience. And you never think it’s gonna happen and as I’ve said I’ve never thought the band would get further than a show. And the fact that it has gone the way it has, and that it’s actually happened, it’s been surreal for all of us and it made sense and the response we had from it was like mental that they were even interested in us. And second of all we were like then realistically are we gonna do this for real. We were already friends with Ian Dickinson, the man who worked there for a while before and he introduced us to others and had loads in common with them. We were mates before and we like to do anything to with any business to do with the band, we tend to go for people rather than the company they work with. If it wasn’t like the Roadrunner and it was a different label we got a friendship with them. Roadrunner are not only great dudes and we got along with them great, they also put out some of our favourite records that we enjoyed at the time. It made sense in the end, and it wasn’t a hard decision to make because they were interesting and they were our mates at that point.
They’ve produced a lot of very good bands…
Will: It was a flattering to think to even see us like that. Like I played in a band for a number of years and we’ve been inside a world and to think of coming out of that would be interested at all and interested about what we might do with our record. They were excited about the whole thing, like the artistic side of what we do, that was exciting, which made us go for it and when someone invested in the whole thing, whole project. Our band doesn’t fit in very easily to a lot of line-ups and we’ve kind of got by, by being in the middle and it was a nice label in the middle and it made sense and when you look at the bands that were on there and it had a variety of different acts. Lots of our favourite records came from them.
So obviously I’ve listened to your debut EP called “Creeper” and I fell in love with it as soon as I heard it. And listening to your live performances of new tracks like the Honeymoon Suite and Lie Awake, they’re tracks off your new EP “The Callous Hearts” and sound great. What else can we expect from it? Is it going to be similar or are you going in a different direction?
Will: Umm, like anything that we do with always be a progression of what we’ve done before and my, our old bands were very similar. We’re a very simple band like we progress on what we’ve done before and we make something new. It’s very unlikely to see us make the same songs again and it doesn’t interest me at all and artistically it’s just boring to me. The new EP has a lot of dynamic to it and I took influence from my hero David Bowie and 1960’s Glam records so it’s made a release of theirs theatric and those were the parts that I most liked about our last record. And this one kind of grows on that and we’ve also kind of…we’ve got Hannah who’s playing with us and we’re trying to have her to play as much as we can because I love her work.
She’s very, very good.
Will: Yeah, she’s played a lot on our new record and worked with me and Ian. She’s gave it a kind of gravity and something that we couldn’t do on our own. It was something we’ve been searching for, for a while and that sound that’s either one of the other. And sometimes you’re at a hardcore punk beat and drop out into a bluesy do-op, middle eight. So this record, you can expect something that’s like the first one. But, some ideas we find similar…at the end of the day if you don’t like changing your style, you get kind of confused and start writing for the audience rather than something you really enjoy…you just mess it all up.
Where do you get some of the inspiration from for your songs? Because quite a few of them are dark in theme but the lyrics in them are sort of like dark but very, very relatable. So are they from personal experiences or are they just like something you’ve came up with?
Will: Well it depends on which record and which song you’re talking about, well it’s sort of tragic. Performing the songs are a really nice thing to do because it feels like my fury and being at odds to the world as I feel like is how I’ve been feeling and how everything is made creative. Because everyone is creative to a certain degree for sure. And people have different talents. And these songs for me are what I went through personally and I wrote about them on the record. I think a lot of our band deals with nostalgia and we kind of focused on that. Like our style and we try to link things with things we grew up with and for our new record I wanted to do something that felt like we were in the film Suburbia. I wanted something that felt like it was from that and like a John Hughes goth teen film but like the songs themselves vary and the record is about Peter Pan, the new record is about like me and the boys being on tour for our whole lives. Our adult lives anyway from 18 and it’s a contrast with our real lives pimped with a fantasy world that we made up and music metaphors to like explain it. So our new record is based mostly on Peter Pan and I did a lot of research into Jim Barrie and I’ve heard a bit of Tiger Lily, which is Peter Pan’s story told by Tiger Lily’s point of view and I did a lot around that. I found a lot of similarities and how similar our lives were and used that type of structure.
Thank you for speaking to us today.
Will: No problem.
Good Luck with the rest of the tour with The Misfits and I’ll see you soon hopefully. So thank you.
Lizi With Will Gould.