THE video for Creeper’s latest track, Honeymoon Suite, shows a ‘Welcome to Southampton’ road sign graffitied with ‘Beware the callous heart’ – but the goth-punk band didn’t vandalise it, they just created their own.
“It’s kind of our tribute to The Lost Boys from when they enter LA and someone has sprayed ‘Murder capital of the world’ on the road sign,” explains singer Will Gould.
Having played in bands without too much success, Will drew inspiration for his latest act from a visit to the original 1950s Disneyland theme park in California.
It might seem a huge leap from Mickey Mouse, but he explains: “I decided to take some time out and earn some money, so I could do things I hadn’t been able to because I was always skint.
“I got a job in a call centre, saved up some money and went to California to visit the original Disneyland. I’ve always been obsessed with it, it’s really interesting. It’s now surrounded by all these modern chain shops, but then you step inside this artificial world – and yet you can touch it, feel it, breathe it.
“In terms of pop culture, it’s a really historic place – a lot of the original wooden rollercoasters and old buildings are still there. When I got back I just kept thinking about the idea of blending reality and fantasy and creating a world out of it. It gave me the urge to start writing again.”
He linked up again with guitarist Ian Miles from former band Our Time Down Here (a Goonies reference) and they started writing – and a whole lot more.
“I thought, I want to get everything ready before we tell anyone about this – the visuals, the story, everything,” adds Will. “So we fretted over everything down to the smallest detail from the band logo (reminiscent of The Cramps, AFI and old Creepshow movies) to the T-shirts. The band came together quite easily from people we knew or who contacted us previously.”
When they eventually put a track, Gloom, online, it took off, getting thousands of downloads, so it was time to play the first Creeper gig.
“I looked to get a support slot but our local promoter eventually persuaded me to set up a headline show,” explains the singer.
“I wasn’t keen to start with a headline show because it sounded arrogant so I said we’d play at the Joiners in Southampton and just invite some friends.”
After a ‘crazy’ gig things really took off. A representative from Roadrunner Records (home to Slipknot, Killswitch Engage and Opeth) was at the gig and Will says: “I met him and he was wearing a Danzig T-shirt; I knew we’d get on.”
Then Matt Davies from Welsh post-hardcore band Funeral For a Friend contacted Creeper and offered them the support slot on a UK tour.
“Suddenly we were on tour with one of our favourite bands and our 13th show was at the Electric Ballroom in London,” he laughs.
In the 18 months since, the band have supported The Misfits, Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes, Twin Atlantic and Moose Blood, and have joined Neck Deep on European and UK dates, including at London’s Forum.
“It’s scary how quickly it’s taken off,” says Will. “I’ve played in bands all my adult life and most of that time we’ve played to virtually nobody; we know how lucky we are!”
Creeper will play at the Boileroom in Guildford on Tuesday 1 March.